It was a tough week for the Marion boys? basketball team, suffering back-to-back losses to Remington and Moundridge.
The two losses put the Warriors at 2-5 for the season.
?It?s a rough stretch,? said coach Jeff McMillin. ?We played very good teams and I think we continue to get better. I expect Remington to be ranked soon, so that would make all our losses to ranked teams.?
Moundridge?Despite falling to Moundridge Friday, 66-45, Marion played well against a team ranked fifth in the state, trailing by just three points near the end of the first half.
?I was proud of the guys,? coach Jeff McMillin said. ?Tonight, we looked like we belonged with a team that was undefeated and ranked in the state.?
Jacob Harper put on a 21-point performance, but Moundridge?s Trey Unrau scored 31 to take game honors.
?When someone?s going to score 30 points, you have to be pretty perfect on everyone else,? McMillin said. ?That?s why we were in it. We were guarding them well. He?s going to score, but the other guys weren?t.
?But in the second half, those guys started getting shots, too, and that?s why the lead stretched.?
The Warriors looked strong through the first four minutes of the game. But the Wildcats took a two-point lead with two minutes remaining in the first quarter, and hung on for a 16-13 lead at quarter?s end.
Moundridge drained two three-pointers at the beginning of the second quarter to gain a 24-13 lead.
But Marion?s Mikael Antoszyk made a three-pointer at 5:00 and Harper followed with a basket to bring the Warriors to 24-18.
Jordan Hett scored on the fade-away at 3:36 and Harper sank back-to-back baskets to bring Marion within four points.
With 33 seconds remaining in the half, Hett drained a three-pointer to make it 30-27, but the Wildcats countered a three-pointer with three seconds left to make it 33-27 at the break.
Harper started the second half with a three-pointer to cut the margin to three.
But the Wildcats outscored them, 16-11, in the third quarter to extend their lead to 49-38.
Hett and Harper combined for just seven points in the final quarter and Marion?s defense crumbled, allowing additional players to complement Unrau?s scoring. The Wildcats scored three baskets from beyond the arc to fuel a 20-7 advantage in the final quarter.
In addition to Harper?s 21 points, Hett scored 12.
?(Harper) played really well,? McMillin said. ?He was really focused. He lost the confidence a bit on Tuesday, but he got it back tonight and felt like he was going to score whenever he got it. And he can do that.
?He?s a really good team player, too. Those weren?t selfish shots he was taking. He wants to win.?
The Warriors had 19 rebounds and three steals and only six turnovers in the game.
?We carried out our game plan, especially in the first half,? McMillin said. ?I think it?ll come for us.
Remington?A strong third quarter was not enough to overcome a 20-point halftime deficit, as Marion lost to Remington Jan. 3, 54-35 defeat.
Jordan Hett and Jacob Harper combined to put the Warriors ahead by two in the first two minutes of play. But the team struggled offensively the rest of the quarter, allowing the Broncos a 7-0 spurt before Ethan Hett sank a three-pointer at 1:26 to make it 9-7.
But Marion?s recovery was short-lived, as Remington scored 15 unanswered points through the end of the first quarter and most of the second.
Senior Mikael Antoszyk finally broke the drought by stealing the ball and scoring on a backward layup with two minutes left to make it 27-9. Jordan Hett and Antoszyk put up four more points, but the Warriors still trailed by 20 points at halftime.
Marion looked like its old self to start third quarter, with Scott Jones scoring in the lane at 7:31 to kick off a Warrior recovery.
Harper put up back-to-back points and Jones chipped in another basket with four minutes remaining to bring Marion to within 35-21.
Jordan Hett took over from there, scoring seven points in the last 2:30 to pull Marion within 10 points, 37-27, by the end of the third period.
But the Warriors could not complete the comeback. Harper fouled out at the end of the third quarter, and the Broncos began the fourth quarter with an eight-point scoring run to put them up, 44-27, with 5:31 left.
Two three-pointers at the end of the game from the Hett duo was too little, too late.
Jordan Hett scored 16 points, including two three-pointers, to lead the Warriors.
Coming?Marion is scheduled to host Sedgwick Jan. 10 before traveling to Hutch Trinity Friday.
?We have a good Sedgwick team,? said coach Jeff McMillin. ?We?re going to go fight them on Tuesday and hopefully continue to see improvement. We?ll be ready for them.?
See hillsborofreepress.com for same-night coverage.