Marion girls lose tough game to open sub-state

The Marion girls’ basketball season came to a close with a Class 2A sub-state quarterfinal loss to Northern Heights Tuesday, 56-13.

The Warriors fell behind late in the first quarter, which ended with Northern Heights leading, 15-4. The Wildcats extended their lead to 29-9 at halftime, and when Warrior shots refused to fall, 48-9 after three quarters of play.

An 8-4 Wildcat effort in the fourth quarter brought it to the final spread.

“We suspected they were going to try to pressure us in various ways, some full-court pressure, some half-court pressure,” coach Kelly Robson said. “Early in the game, we were handling that. We actually had a lead early in the game, and through the first, I’d say, six minutes, it was really pretty competitive. … But in that last two minutes of the first quarter, they started to stretch it out a little bit, and all evening long, we just couldn’t get the ball in the basket. I don’t think we made a single shot outside of the lane all night long.”

Megan Neufeld led the Warriors with six points and seven rebounds.

The Warriors conclude the season with an overall record of 4-17.

“With lack of experience, we just knew it was going to be a season where we didn’t really mark it with wins and losses,” Robson said. “We tried to mark it by how much we improved, and I really did feel like we improved. Unfortunately, it didn’t show in our last game. I thought we were much better than a 40-point loss or whatever it turned out to be. But I thought the girls continued to try to get better.”

Four seniors will graduate from the program: Corrina Crabb, Maria Stuchlik, Destiny Boudreaux, Michaela Regnier and Sam Kelsey.

“(Corrina’s) got some skills,” Robson said. “She says she loves the game, and I’m just glad that she got out there. She was our leader.

“(Maria is) much better now than when she was a freshman. She just kept hanging in there.

“Destiny kept trying to get better. She constantly worked on her outside shooting, and some nights she could get a few to go in, some big shots for us in a few games.

“(Michaela) had a smile on her face every single day. … She’ll work really hard defensively, and she’ll do other things for the team, just through her hustle and her effort.

“Sam stopped playing last year and then decided to come back out. I’m glad she did. She ended up getting hurt, and that made us all sad. That was too bad. Always appreciate her attitude.”