?(Inman?s) a good team, (and) they?re only going to get better,? coach Jeff McMillin said. ?We?re fortunate to get out of here with a win.?
The Warriors built a 9-0 lead with scores by Jack Schneider and Tyler Zinn. Inman made one of eight attempts from the field and committed eight turnovers in the first quarter. The Warriors led, 13-4 at the end of it. Six of Marion?s points came at the free-throw line.
Marion took its first double-digit lead, and Mason Pedersen later made two threes in a 39-second span, boosting Marion?s lead to 21-6. Inman trimmed the margin to nine with a pair of threes.
With Marion leading 25-12, Inman took advantage of four Warrior turnovers with a 9-0 run. Nicholas Stuchlik made two charity shots to give Marion a 27-21 halftime advantage.
Inman further narrowed the gap to 33-30. Pedersen drained a three-pointer, Zinn made two free-throws and Peyton Heidebrecht scored to push Marion?s lead back to double figures, 40-30. Marion led 41-35 heading into the final quarter.
Pedersen made his fifth three-pointer 10 seconds into the fourth quarter, and Marion grew its lead to 47-35.
Over the next two minutes, however, Inman outscored Marion 12-4, thanks largely to three threes by freshman Payton Froese, who led all scorers with 23 points. With 4:54 to play, Inman was within 51-47.
After that, Inman committed a common and technical foul. Nicholas Stuchlik and Zinn each made two free throws, then Dylan Pippin drew a foul and made two more. Within a 12-second span, Marion?s lead grew back to double figures, 57-47.
In the final 3:06, Marion made 11 of 16 free throws to seal the eight-point win.
?We?ve got to figure out how to maintain our hot start,? McMillin said. ?We?ve had a hot start the last two nights and then we?ve really dropped off in the second quarter, and that?s not acceptable. We almost didn?t get away with it tonight.?
Inman sent Marion to the free-throw line 50 times in the game, where the Warriors converted 38 charity shots (76 percent).
Zinn led the effort with 21 points, making 15 of the 20 free-throws he attempted. Pedersen scored 16 points and Nicholas Stuchlik, 12.
Berean?Despite an impressive start, Marion lost, 48-40, Tuesday.
When Berean shots missed their mark, Marion went on a 10-0 run. The visitors scored their first basket with 1:34 left in the first period, and Marion held a 13-4 lead at the first break. Tyler Zinn contributed nine points to the effort.
For as strong as Marion began, things shifted in the second quarter. Marion suddenly struggled to score, going 0-for-6 from the field. Berean took advantage with a 9-0 run to tie the game at 13. Dylan Pippin made one of two free throws?Marion?s only point of the quarter?and Berean built a 22-14 lead.
?Probably the biggest shift is we started letting them catch it inside much too easy and they converted a lot of those,? coach Jeff McMillin said. ?Then when we got shots at the rim, we didn?t convert them.?
Berean scored the first points of the third quarter at the 4:19 mark to take a double-digit lead. Jack Schneider scored four of Marion?s eight points in the period, which ended with Marion trailing, 36-22.
Marion drew within 37-29 after Mason Pedersen drained a three, and the home team trimmed the lead even further when Schneider and Zinn scored for a 39-33 margin.
By the time Pippin scored on a traditional three-point play, Marion was within 41-36 with 2:42 to play. That was as close as Marion got, however.
?In the fourth quarter, I think we had a little bit better attacking mentality and we lost a little bit of that fear,? McMillin said. ?But you can?t wait until there?s no pressure on and you have a big deficit to feel comfortable attacking.?
Zinn led the effort with 13 points.
Coming?Marion (3-1, 4-5) will compete at Centre?s Cougar Classic this week. The fifth-seeded Warriors faced No. 4 Rural Vista Tuesday.
Additional opening-round matchups included No. 1 Sacred Heart and No. 8 Peabody-Burns, No. 2 Wakefield and No. 7 Elyria Christian, and No. 3 Solomon and No. 6 Centre.
Results, as well as schedules for Friday and Saturday, will be posted at hillsborofreepress.com.