Marion teams lose two on the road at Council Grove

Girls lose to undefeated Braves, 61-32

Alli Molleker shoots for two during the first half at Council Grove Friday. Marion suffered a 61-32 defeat at the hands of the undefeated Braves.The Marion girls suffered a 61-32 defeat Friday to an undefeated Council Grove team, after digging into a hole early on.

Council Grove’s Faith Brintle hit a three-pointer 39 seconds into the contest, a sign of what was to come. The Braves made six of eight attempts in the first quarter—four of which were beyond the arc—to stake an 18-4 lead by the first break. Marion, meanwhile, made one of six attempts—a three-pointer by Sam Richmond—and added a free-throw.

“We were breaking their press okay, and we talk about it every single time we work on a press break, that the point of the press is to make you go faster than you can play without turning it over, and we did that very thing,” coach Kelly Robson said. “We consistently turned it over. We went possession after possession without getting a shot, and we were breaking the first part of their press.”

The Braves built their lead to 23-5, then Marion enjoyed a 7-0 run. However, when Marion missed a few shots and turned the ball over twice, Council Grove scored the final eight points of the half in 26 seconds to enjoy a 31-12 halftime lead.

Brintle had 16 points by halftime, and five of the Braves’ 11 made baskets in the first half were threes.

Marion made a run in the second half, outscoring Council Grove, 7-3 in the first three minutes. Kourtney Hansen scored six of those points, twice recording a steal and scoring. A Brave three ended the run, and the teams traded scores the rest of the way for a 43-25 Brave lead heading into the final break.

The Warriors turned the ball over on four consecutive possessions midway through the final period, which helped the Braves stretch their lead to 51-28. Council Grove built to its largest lead at the end, after, fittingly, hitting a final three-pointer with 34 seconds to play.

“We talked about it at halftime,” Robson said. “We’re behind by 19. Maybe we can’t come back and win, but let’s make sure we compete hard, and we kept it even in the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth quarter. It didn’t get to 29 points until late.”

Hansen led the Warriors with 18 points. Brintle led all scorers with 23.

Coming—Marion (2-1, 10-3) was scheduled to resume league play by hosting Moundridge Tuesday and will travel to Sterling Friday.

Boys lose, 64-38, on the road

Evann Heidebrecht drives into the lane during the first half at Council Grove Friday. Heidebrecht scored six points in Marion’s 64-38 loss.The Marion boys slipped to 5-8 on the season with losses to Belle Plaine and Council Grove last week.

Council Grove—The Warriors allowed themselves to get sped up in a 64-38 loss on the road Friday.

For the first three minutes, Marion hung with the home team, even building a 6-2 lead after Chase Stringer and Sam Zinn scored in succession. But with the Braves’ up-tempo play, Marion began rushing the pace, which led to turnovers on three consecutive possessions and consequently allowed the Braves to take a 7-6 lead.

Blaine Mermis scored Marion’s last field goal of the quarter at the 4:21 mark, and by the first break, Council Grove held a 22-12 lead.

The Warriors endured a scoreless stretch lasting the first 5:02 of the second quarter. By the time Nathan Baldwin broke the drought, the Braves’ lead had grown to 31-14. Council Grove led, 35-19, at halftime, having scored their final six points at the charity stripe when their last nine field goal attempts of the half missed their mark.

When Marion went 0-for-8 to start the third quarter, Council Grove enjoyed a 12-1 run. Evann Heidebrecht lifted the lid on the basket with a two-pointer at the 4:20 mark, but by the final break, the Braves held a 60-26 lead.

With a running clock in place to start the fourth quarter, Marion outscored the Braves in the period, 12-4, bringing it to the final, 26-point spread.

“We just need to worry about doing what we do,” coach Randy Skiles said. “They did a good job of speeding us up with their press, and we thought we had to go fast. We couldn’t slow it up.”

Zachary Stuchlik and Stringer shared top scoring honors for Marion with 10 points each.

Belle Plaine—In a game rescheduled from Dec. 17, Marion lost, 68-64, last Monday despite holding the lead heading into the final quarter.

Marion built a 21-12 lead by the first break, led by seven points from Zachary Stuchlik and six from Evann Heidebrecht. By halftime, Marion led, 35-26.

The teams played evenly through the third quarter, which ended with Marion in front, 54-45.

Belle Plaine outscored the Warriors, 23-10 in the fourth quarter, led by Bo Gooch, who scored 13 of his game-high 31 points to fuel the furious comeback.

“We were ahead the whole game pretty much except for the last three minutes of the game,” coach Randy Skiles said. “They just went on a run. Defensively, they got some steals.”

Stuchlik led Marion with 16 points. Blaine Mermis scored 12, and Heidebrecht 10.

Coming—Marion (1-2, 5-8) was set to host Moundridge Tuesday. The Warriors will travel to Sterling Friday.

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