MHS girls place 2nd at first-ever Classic

The Marion High School girls basketball team overwhelmed Eureka 71-26 Thursday night to stamp its championship game passport.

In the championship game, Berean Academy used a superb outing by Janelle Rust to edge MHS 50-45.

Berean?After six lead changes, Marion took a 14-13 advantage in the first quarter and expanded it to 26-21 entering halftime.

Marion used back-to-back baskets by Kayley Heerey to open up a 25-18 advantage, but a layup-and-1 by Kayla Wilgers kept Marion from expanding its lead before intermission.

Marion pushed it to eight, 29-21, on a layup by Heerey set up by a Lindsay Hett offensive rebound.

But Wilgers stayed hot, scoring consecutive baskets amid a rash of Marion turnovers.

Rust scored on a stick back layup to lift Berean within two, but Whitney Gordon replied with a stick back layup of her own with 1:53 left in the period.

But Rust finished off the quarter with a flourish, scoring to give Berean a 34-33 lead with 5 seconds left in the quarter.

Heerey regained the lead with a 2-point shot to open the fourth, but Berean snatched it away with free throws and refused to give it back.

When Julia Zeiner scored a layup at 4:38, Rust answered with an offensive rebound and putback.

When Heerey drained a pair of foul shots, Rust answered with two of her own.

Zeiner hit a 2-pointer, but Rust answered again, giving Berean a 45-41 advantage with 2:20 left.

The Warriors made it a 1-possession game when Hett rebounded her own miss and scored, but Marion had to foul and Wilgers made both free throws with 42 seconds to go.

Wilgers added two more to clinch it with 14 seconds remaining. Rust wrecked havoc on the offensive boards and notched a 20 point, 10 rebound double-double.

But, led by Hett?s 12 rebounds, MHS pounded the offensive glass and grabbed 20 second-chances to establish a 36-31 rebounding edge in the game.

Marion took 60 shots, but the Warriors only connected on 18, including an abysmal 1-for-13 effort from 3-point range.

Heerey led MHS with 17 points. Julia Zeiner scored 15.

But as a team, Marion made just seven of 30 (23 percent) shots in the second half.

Eureka?MHS made short work of the Tornadoes behind 13 first-half points from Kristen Steinborn and an 11-for-15 shooting night from Julia Zeiner.

Marion opened up a 19-7 lead during the first half, running off an 11-1 run after the Tornadoes used a 5-0 stretch to lift themselves out of an 8-1 hole.

Kayley Heerey buried a right wing trey with 2 seconds left in the frame, and totaled 14 points in the contest.

Eureka played its best quarter against the Marion press during the second frame, but the Warriors scored 22 points, effectively ending the contest with a halftime score of 41-18.

Eureka closed within 24-16 on a basket by Kathleen McKenzie, but Marion used a 17-2 run to slam the door on the first half.

Zeiner, Lindsay Hett, Heerey, Steinborn, Danae Edwards and Kristen Geis all scored during the decisive stretch.

When Eureka showed signs of life early in the third quarter, the Warriors lowered the boom.

With Zeiner leading the way, Marion rolled off 20 straight points over the final 12 minutes.

Emily Hett capped the scoring with a 12-footer with 10 seconds to go, and became the ninth Marion girl to score a field goal.

Steinborn finished with 15 and Zeiner led all scorers with 22.

Coming?Marion (2-1) visited Hesston Tuesday and travels to Moundridge Friday. Marion next plays Jan. 6 at Ellinwood.

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