MHS earns comeback win over Bennington

MHSbbbAtBenningtonAntoszyk768

MHSbbbAtBenningtonAntoszyk768

The King of Comebacks looked with favor on the Marion boys Friday night. The Warriors trailed most of the game but rallied late for a victory over Ben?nington behind Jordan Hett?s 30-point performance.

The win followed a heartbreaking loss to Ell-Saline Feb. 7. The Warriors now stand at 8-9 overall and are 2-5 in league play.

Bennington?Marion?s 62-59 comeback win over the Bulldogs Friday made coach Jeff McMillin proud.

?I was really happy that we were able to stick in the game early while Bennington was hitting a lot of shots,?McMillin said. ?The effort and toughness we showed coming back from nine down in the fourth quarter was something I was also very happy with.?

Marion got some good looks, but could not get the shots to fall as Bennington built a 20-13 lead by the end of the first period.

With a few exceptions, the story-line continued into the second quarter as Bennington expanded its lead to 34-24 by halftime.

Marion went to work in the third quarter. Hett completed a three-point play to cut the lead to 40-37 at 4:26. But Bennington outscored Marion, 10-4, the rest of the quarter for 50-41 lead.

Marion and Bennington traded baskets as the fourth quarter began. But when Hett drained a three-pointer at 2:19 and Harper completed a three-point play, the Warriors enjoyed their first lead of the game, 59-58, with 1:29 remaining.

With 26 seconds left, Hett made a free throw, but Bennington did the same with 16 seconds left.

With four seconds left, Mikael Antoszyk came through at the line for the Warriors, making two free throws to give Marion the three-point win.

In addition to Hett?s 30 points, which included three three-pointers, Harper scored 21.

Ell-Saline?There are few harder ways to lose a game than to be edged by a free throw in the last two seconds after leading most of the game. The Marion boys had to swallow that bitter pill last Tuesday in a 49-47 loss to Ell-Saline.

Marion cruised to a 14-8 lead at the end of the first period. Play heated up in the second quarter, but a 6-0 spurt gave Marion a 23-14 lead at 4:30. Ell-Saline sank back-to-back threes, but Marion scored three baskets on off offensive rebounds to hold a comfortable 32-23 lead at halftime.

But when the Cardinals scored nine unanswered points to begin the third quarter, the game was tied for the first time since the start. Late in the quarter, Ethan Hett hit a two-point jumper and Jordan Hett sank a three to give Marion a 41-34 lead at the end of the period.

The game went back and forth through much of the fourth quarter until a free throw by Harper with 1:36 left tied the game at 47-47.

In perhaps the most critical play of the night, Harper drove to the basket in a tangle of arms and legs. Officials called a jump ball and gave possession to the Cardinals.

With two seconds left on the clock, Ell-Saline was fouled and made the second of two free throws to secure the one-point win.

Jordan Hett led Marion with 17 points and Harper contributed 15.

Coming?The Warriors were scheduled to travel to Inman Tuesday before hosting Benning?ton for a rematch Friday. Tip-off for both games is at 8 p.m. See hillsborofreepress.com.

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