Marion girls win league opener

Kourtney Hansen scores the second of two consecutive baskets off turnovers during the second quarter with Ell-Saline Friday. The basket increased Marion’s lead to 18-7. Hansen scored 15 points in Marion’s 48-30 win.The Marion girls never trailed en route to a 48-30 victory over Ell-Saline Friday in the Warriors’ first game of the New Year.

Coach Kelly Robson praised his team’s defensive effort early on.

“We’ve gotten so much better this year at helping defensively, and I felt like, at least early in the game, we were doing a really good job of helping defensively and not letting them get the kind of shots they wanted,” Robson said. “I was pleased with that.”

Marissa Jacobson scored six of Marion’s 11 first-quarter points, including the first four points of the game to give the Warriors the early lead. Marion led, 11-5, at the end of the period.

The Warriors built their lead to double digits, 18-7, after Alli Molleker converted a three-point play and Kourtney Hansen scored twice off back-to-back turnovers. But an 8-1 Cardinal run put Ell-Saline within 19-15 with 1:56 left in the half. Taelyn Pagel capped a 7-0 run with a three-pointer, but Ell-Saline responded with a three of its own, making it 26-18 at halftime.

Hansen and Sam Richmond scored baskets off turnovers to open the third quarter, and Marion maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way. Hansen scored six of Marion’s 10 points in the period, and Marion took a 36-25 lead into the final break.

The Warriors continued to build their margin in the fourth quarter, leading to the final, 18-point spread.

Hansen led all scorers with 15 points. Richmond added nine.

The win improved Marion’s league record to 1-0, and 6-1 overall.

“Getting the league season off on the right foot is nice,” Robson said. “It really is.”

Coming—Marion was scheduled to host Remington Tuesday. The Warriors will travel to Bennington Friday.