MHS boys split league openers with Eagles, Lions

The Marion High School boys basketball team thumped Lyons 63-50 to raise its league record to 1-1 Friday. The Warriors (3-3 overall) lost their league opener Jan. 6 at Ellinwood, 56-54.

Hesston defeated the Warriors 67-38 in Saturday?s make-up of the contest originally scheduled for Dec. 16.

?Overall, we still need progress in our mental toughness, being strong enough to keep a lead and not waste possessions. ? coach Jeff McMillen said. ?We need to be consistent on our defensive possessions?allow less dribble penetration and be more active.

?The kids are doing a good job for being half a season into our first year together,? he added. ?We just need to continue to improve.?

Hesston used an 18-6 run in the first quarter to put the Warriors in a hole too deep to escape. Marion scored double-digits in three straight quarters.

Luke Gordon scored 14 points, and Eric Vogel had 12.

Lyons?Eric Vogel scored the opening basket and totaled 21 points against the Lions.

Luke Gordon gave Marion a 4-3 lead, with a short hook shot on Marion?s second possession.

Lyons led 4-3 after Gordon?s turnover at the top of the key turned into a layup, but Vogel buried a short jump shot to make it 6-5, Marion.

Taking advantage of an unforced turnover on an inbounds pass, Lyons retook the lead, 9-6, with four quick points.

Elliot Hett replied with a mid-range jumper, and Mitchell Leppke drilled a 3-pointer off a kick-out pass from Gordon after the Lions defense collapsed to cut off his scoring options in the low post.

Lyons knotted it at 11-all with a pair of free throws, but after the back-to-back baskets Vogel scored to finish off the first quarter, the visitors never again pulled even.

?Eric is just real steady, wants to do what he is asked to do, and wants to do his best,? McMillen said. ?He will have more games like the Ellinwood and Lyons games?I see his mentality and approach to the game improving each day.?

The Lions closed within 15-13 as the first expired, but Marion owned the first part of a 12-12 second quarter.

The Warriors opened up a 23-13 lead when Isaac Hett hit a long 2-pointer, but Lyons put together a 12-4 run heading into halftime.

The Warriors unrelentingly dominated the glass in the second half and parlayed their rebounding capital into a 39-33 lead that grew to 49-35 midway through the fourth.

?We are doing a good job of making rebounding a priority and a mindset and a goal to accomplish,? McMillen said. ?We still need to be more consistent in attacking the glass on each and every possession.?

McMillen said he was happy with the Warriors 2:1 edge over Lyons in the category.

Marion dominated its defensive glass 34-10 and turned 10 offensive rebounds into 12 second-chance points.

Coming?Marion hosted Haven Tuesday and travels to Hoisington Friday. The Warriors will be seeded seventh when the annual Trojan Classic begins.

Marion plays opening round opponent Republic County (7-0) at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday.

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