The Marion girls swept three games to win Centre’s Cougar Classic tournament last week and improve to 10-2 overall.
Marion 37, Centre 34
Marion withheld a late Cougar rally to claim the championship title Saturday.
Centre claimed the advantage from the start with two free-throws by Kelsey Hett and went on to build a 6-2 lead. A 5-0 swing courtesy of Jessi Lewman and Marissa Jacobson gave Marion its first lead, 7-6, but Centre reclaimed it by the end of the quarter, 9-7.
Kate Basore scored nine seconds into the second quarter, and Centre maintained the lead until Kourtney Hansen made two free-throws to push Marion in front, 14-13. Basore scored 45 seconds later for a 15-14 Centre advantage, but from there, Marion outscored the Cougars, 13-4. Hansen scored nine points during that stretch, and Marion led, 27-19 at halftime.
The Warriors outscored Centre, 5-4, in the third quarter. Alli Molleker and Taelyn Pagel accounted for Marion’s points in the period. Shelby Pankratz and Basore accounted for Centre’s. By the final break, Marion led, 32-23.
Marion attempted and missed just two shots in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. Centre, meanwhile, enjoyed an 11-0 run, capped by a three-pointer by Katie Marler that gave the Cougars the lead, 34-32, with 2:39 to play.
Jacobson scored a game-tying basket 20 seconds later, then Pagel and Sam Richmond accounted for Marion’s final three points at the charity stripe.
Coach Kelly Robson said he was pleased with his team for continuing to battle when Centre rallied late.
“The last two nights, I haven’t been happy that we haven’t put a team away,” he said. “But I am pleased that we’re tough enough now that we can stay in there and try to finish that game.”
Hansen led the Warriors with 13 points. Basore led Centre with 16.
Moving forward, Robson said the Warriors will face some quality opponents in the weeks ahead.
“We’ve got a lot of really tough games coming up,” Robson said. “We’re going to have to play better than we did handling the basketball, but we have grown and we’re stronger.”
Marion 53, Rural Vista 51
Marion secured a narrow, 53-51 overtime victory in the semifinals Friday.
The Warriors got off to a hot start, making eight of 11 first-half field goal attempts and forcing eight Heat turnovers to build an 18-6 lead by the first break. Marion ended the period with eight unanswered points.
“The girls came out really focused, ready to go,” coach Kelly Robson said. “We were able to run the floor last Tuesday against Peabody, and I think they had fun doing that, so we tried to get out and do more of the same.”
The Warriors cooled in the second quarter, making one of their first seven attempts, and just three of 11 in the period. The Heat narrowed the gap to 23-15 before Kourtney Hansen scored Marion’s first basket in a 4:22 span. Rural Vista ended the half on a 6-2 run to draw within 27-21 at halftime.
Marion made just two of 13 attempts in the third quarter and Alli Molleker and Hansen each added a free-throw. Rural Vista claimed a 36-33 lead by the final break.
Taelyn Pagel scored off a steal to start the fourth quarter, but the Heat stretched their lead to five, 40-35.
Aided by Rural Vista turnovers, Molleker and Hansen scored Marion’s next four points at the charity stripe, then Hansen stole the ball and dished it to Courtney Herzet who made a basket to put Marion back in front, 41-40. Marion led by as many as 46-42, but the Heat tied the game with 24 seconds left, sending it to overtime locked at 46.
Rural Vista turned the ball over on its first two possessions, while Marion missed two shots. Pagel made two free throws to put Marion in front, then Hansen scored on a traditional three-point play. Rural Vista made a three to close within 51-49, then Pagel made two more charity shots. The Heat scored with seven seconds left, bringing it to the final margin.
“We need to play games like this,” Robson said. “The girls need to be in a close contest where they have to battle to the end. That’s the way you grow as a basketball player, win or lose.”
Hansen led the Warriors with 20 points. Molleker added 14, and Pagel 10.
MHS 58, Peabody-Burns 22
Marion led from start to finish in its first-round win over the eighth-seeded Warriors Tuesday, taking a 12-0 lead when Peabody-Burns missed its first three attempts from the field and turned the ball over a handful of times.
Kallie Hutchison scored Peabody-Burns’ first basket at the 2:38 mark and scored again a minute later. By the end of the period, Marion led, 14-4.
Marion outscored Peabody-Burns, 19-2 in the second quarter. Jessi Lewman led the charge by scoring all six of her points for the game in a 1:26 span.
Anna Lubbers broke Peabody-Burns’ scoring drought with a basket at the 1:50 mark. Marion enjoyed a 33-6 lead at halftime.
Marion opened the third quarter on a 6-0 run, then Peabody-Burns ended the quarter with a 9-6 burst. Mallory Harris scored four points in that stretch. By the end of the period, Marion led, 45-15.
Marion increased its lead to 55-15, then Lubbers scored the next five points for Peabody-Burns. Corrina Crabb made a three-pointer, then Hutchison scored, bringing it to the final margin.
“I was pleased with our intensity,” Marion coach Kelly Robson said. “(We) got a few more shots to go in tonight.
“I think we’ve been getting good shots much of the year, but some games they just won’t go in. Today, a few more of them were going in.”
Hansen led all scorers with 16 points and recorded 12 rebounds. Lubbers led Peabody-Burns with 10 points.
Coming—Marion (2-1, 10-2) will play at Council Grove Friday before resuming league competition next week.
COUGAR CLASSIC GIRLS
Final round, Jan. 21
Marion 37, Centre 34 (1st)
Rural Vista 43, Solomon 34 (3rd)
Herington 43, Elyria C. 40 (5th)
Wakefield 32, PBHS 20 (7th)
Second round, Jan. 20
Marion 53, Rural Vista 51
Centre 37, Solomon 28
Herington 36, Wakefield 29
Elyria C. 36, Peabody-Burns 24
Opening round, Jan. 17
Marion 58, Peabody-Burns 22
Centre 37, Wakefield 27
Solomon 39, Herington 36
Rural Vista 44, Elyria C. 41