The Warriors built a 40-31 lead with 4:27 left in the game, but Southeast of Saline outscored Marion, 15-2 after that to claim the win, 46-42.
Despite the loss, coach Kelly Robson saw his team make positive strides.
?We have come a long ways,? Robson said. ?I?m really, really pleased, most of all with our effort. Defensively, I actually had to tell our girls to back off a little bit.
?That?s a tough game every year for us to start with. It?s a good team. Other than losing, I couldn?t be happier.?
Marion battled the Trojans evenly through three quarters of play. The Warriors found themselves in an early hole, as Southeast?s Erica Montgomery scored the Trojans? first 10 points to contribute to a 12-5 SES advantage.
Marion closed the first quarter with a 6-0 run thanks to a pair of two-pointers by Kristen Herzet and a basket by Kirsten Hansen that closed the gap to 12-11 at the first break.
The Warriors continued to trail until Bailey Robson and McKenzee Remmers fired off back-to-back three-pointers to tie the game at 21. The first half ended with SES clinging to a 25-23 lead.
Marion gained a slight edge in the third quarter. Herzet and Kirsten Hansen scored in succession to close the period with Marion in front, 33-31.
The Warriors increased their lead with a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter. Robson ignited the run with a basket off a turnover, and by the time Kourtney Hansen scored at the 4:27 mark, Marion had its largest lead of the night, 40-31.
But with Marion struggling against Southeast?s press, the Trojans used a 10-0 run to reclaim the lead. Marion?s scoring drought lasted for more than two minutes. Elizabeth Meyer pushed Marion in front, 42-41, with a basket at the 2:11 mark, but the Trojans scored five unanswered points to end the game.
?We got a little flustered as they picked up the pressure,? Robson said. ?When you get a lead, you?ve got to expect them to come a little harder. That?s a pretty solid team.
?I think my girls saw that they can battle with really good teams.?
Kourtney Hansen turned in a double-double performance with 10 points and 15 rebounds. She had six assists and seven steals.
Coming?The Warriors will host the Marion Classic this week. Marion will face Belle Plaine Thursday and Remington Friday. Both games are set for 7 p.m. The tournament will conclude Saturday.