MHS loses to Sterling, Moundridge

Blaine Mermis eyes the basket during the first half at Sterling Friday. Mermis scored three points in Marion’s 65-38 loss to the Black Bears.
Blaine Mermis eyes the basket during the first half at Sterling Friday. Mermis scored three points in Marion’s 65-38 loss to the Black Bears.
The Marion boys moved to 1-4 in Heart of America play after losses to Sterling and Moundridge last week. The Warriors are 5-10 overall.

Sterling—Marion suffered a 65-38 defeat to a sharp-shooting Black Bear team Friday.

The game’s leading scorer, Lucas Briar, scored eight points in the first 4:50 to propel his team to a 10-2 lead. By the end of the first quarter, Briar had tallied 13 of his game-high 20 points. The period ended with Sterling holding a 22-8 lead.

““I knew they were going to be tough,” coach Randy Skiles said. “They’ve got so many athletes. (Lucas Briar is) the best athlete in the league by far.”

Six Warriors scored in the second quarter, led by Noah Dalrymple with five points. By halftime, Marion trailed, 39-24.

The teams more or less traded scores to start the third quarter. Evann Heidebrecht made two free-throws to make it 49-33 with 3:08 left in the period. But Sterling scored the final 14 points of the quarter to lead 63-33 by the end of it.

That put a running clock into effect in the fourth period. Chase Stringer scored Marion’s final five points at the charity stripe.

“We had some breakdowns defensively,” Skiles said. (We) took some possessions off and then they got some easy baskets. That’s what I warned against. We could not allow that to happen.”

Still, Skiles could not fault his team’s execution.

“Execution was a lot better tonight, as far as our ball movement, getting the shots in the paint,” he said. “I’m proud of the kids the way they played. I really am. From start to finish, they went out and played hard and did what I asked them to do.”

Stringer led the Warriors with eight points.

Moundridge—Marion suffered a 58-44 defeat Tuesday.

When the Warriors made just one of their first five attempts, Moundridge built a 10-2 lead. But then Marion made its next three, including three-pointers by Evann Heidebrecht and Zachary Stuchlik, to cut into the Wildcat lead. By the end of the first quarter, Moundridge led, 17-10.

Marion more evenly matched Moundridge’s scoring in the second quarter, at one point drawing within 26-22 when Chase Stringer and Blaine Mermis made two- and three-point baskets in succession. But when the game’s high scorer, Dillon Vogts, single-handedly outscored Marion, 8-4, to end the half, Marion trailed, 34-26.

The Warriors cooled in the third quarter, making just one of 12 field goal attempts—a two-pointer by Mermis at the 4:35 mark was Marion’s only basket. A pair of free-throws by Peyton Heidebrecht provided Marion’s only other points in the period, which ended with Moundridge in front, 45-30.

Marion outscored the visitors, 14-13, in the final quarter. Stringer led the effort by scoring eight points, including the final six points of the game to trim what had been a 58-38 deficit to 58-44 by the final buzzer.

“We had some good intensity,” coach Randy Skiles said. “It wasn’t a lack of effort at all. It was just lack of not learning from our mistakes. (We) just do the same thing over and over and over again and expect a different result, (and) it’s not going to happen. I think that they played better tonight than they have in awhile. They shot the ball extremely well.”

Stringer was Marion’s high scorer with 10 points. Stuchlik and Mermis each scored nine. Vogts led all scorers with 20 points for Moundridge.

Coming—Marion was scheduled to play at Sedgwick (2-4, 6-10) Tuesday. The Warriors will host Hutchinson Trinity (3-2, 7-9) Friday for homecoming.