|Bridget Lundy fires a pass into the lane during Saturday?s championship game with Southeast of Saline.|
The game, for the first half at least, was considerably more competitive than the final score would indicate. The Warriors trailed 17-14 after the first frame and were down only three at halftime. But a 24-point third quarter charge by the Trojans proved too much, and Marion was outscored 20-8 in the fourth.
Lindsay Hett got Marion out of the gate in a flash, burying two 3-pointers and a long 2-pointer to change a 5-2 deficit into a 10-5 lead in a 55-second span early in the first quarter. Julia Zeiner got on the board with a short-range shot at the 4:30 mark.
Zeiner notched a fast break layup for a 14-7 lead, then swatted Sadie Roesner?s shot at the other end, and everything was rolling Marion?s way. But as quickly as it had materialized, the Warrior lead evaporated. SES ended the period on a 10-0 run.
Kimber Hardey had scored the Warriors? first basket of the game, and broke through with Marion?s first basket of the second quarter, a dribble-drive layup at 6:25.
A steal by Kayley Heerey followed immediately, but points did not. Marion closed within a point twice in the frame, never led, and trailed by as many as six. After Kristen Steinborn made a foul shot with 1:01 left until halftime, Zeiner added two more free throws, making it 26-23 at intermission.
Zeiner added 11 points after the half, finishing with 17. Heerey scored four in the third quarter, finishing with six. No other Warrior had more than two after the intermission, as the Trojans limited their own mistakes while forcing 10 Marion turnovers. SES also outrebounded Marion 37-21 overall and 16-4 at the offensive end.
The loss marks the end of successful first season under coach Randy Savage, whose squad claimed fourth place in the Mid-Central Activities Association. Marion placed last in the league a year ago, but this year finished with a 12-11 overall record.
Nobody at Robert C. Brown Gymnasium would have guessed the Marion High School girls? basketball team would roll out a 62-52 win Friday night?not after Remington held the Warriors to four points in the first quarter.
The Broncos came in to sub-state as the top seed, and despite scoring on only five of 18 field goal attempts in the first frame, put Marion in a 12-4 hole headed into the second.
Then the Warriors kicked their play into a higher gear, and passed the Broncos like they were standing still. After a traditional 3-point play by Remington standout Katie Regier put Marion behind 17-8 at 5:37, the Warriors dialed up a full-court press that sparked an 11-0 run that mushroomed into a 29-18 Warrior lead in only 4:16.
The fast and furious rally began with a bank shot by Bridget Lundy followed by a Lindsay Hett layup off a steal, and another theft by Julia Zeiner that led to a pair of foul shots by Kimber Hardey.
Kayley Heerey slashed it to a single point with a left-wing 3-pointer, then gave the Warriors their first lead, 19-18, with a right wing bomb after yet another steal by Hett.
Amanda Richmond scored a 2-pointer off an extended possession, then Zeiner scored off a steal. Remington called for time at 2:49, and got off its first field goal attempt since the run erupted. A steal by Heerey on the Broncos? next trip led to no points, but a subsequent theft by Hett created a layup and a 25-18 Warrior lead.
And still the run continued, with Heerey fouled in the act of lining up another 3-point shot. She made one of three free throws, with Lundy collecting an offensive rebound and cycling it back to Heerey for another quick score.
That made it 29-18 with 1:19 remaining before halftime. The Warriors stayed in gear defensively and kept the pedal to the metal, totaling 30 points in the frame.
Zeiner buried another layup, and Heerey?s third 3-pointer of the period pushed the Marion lead to 34-22. Zeiner also put up a last-second 3-point bid, with her shot catching both glass and iron before falling away.
Ahead 34-24 at the break, Marion ramped its lead to 14 on a basket by Zeiner and to 15 on a putback by Amanda Richmond on the offensive glass at the 2:45 mark in the third. Zeiner made it 47-31 off an assist from Kristen Steinborn.
The Broncos threatened to make it interesting heading into the fourth, closing out the third on a 5-0 run. Remington trimmed it to 47-40 early in the final frame, but Marion rediscovered its scoring rhythm behind Lundy and Zeiner, who poured in points on either side of a defensive stop to make it 50-40.
A Zeiner field goal pushed it to 53-42, and Heerey hit a pair of foul shots with 43 seconds left, making it 59-46. Three more makes at the foul line by Hett, and the Warriors reset their sites on SE of Saline.
Hett finished with nine points and five steals, Heerey had 18 points?13 of which came in one flurry during the decisive second quarter?and Zeiner turned in a 23-point, 13 rebound double-double, with four steals. Marion as a team pilfered the ball from the Broncos 16 times and forced a total of 23 turnovers.