“We didn’t panic,” coach Randy Savage. “We were down eight or nine, and the girls fought their way back into it.”
“Earlier in the season, they wouldn’t have been able to handle the pressure,” he added. “That wouldn’t have happened early in the season.”
Showing a measure of confidence and tenacity, Marion put together a 13-5 run in the fourth quarter, taking a 44-43 lead on one of Zeiner’s breakaway layups.
“We had under 20 turnovers—still too many, but easily our best outing of the season,” Savage said.
Coming out of a time out with under a minute to go, Kimber Hardey was fouled taking the ball away from Deandra Kaiser and nailed the first of two foul shots.
A moment later, Hoisington was off and running the other direction. The Cardinals had numbers in their favor, but Lindsay Hett shut the play down with her third blocked shot of the night.
Hoisington knotted the game on the next possession, then untied it when a miscue on Marion’s inbounds pass led to an easy basket and a 57-55 lead for the visitors.
With 20 seconds remaining, Zeiner dribbled down the right wing baseline.
She was met with extra attention from the Cardinal defense, but outflanked two defenders with a precise bounce pass to Hardey, who sent a layup through the net and the contest into overtime.
The lead changed hands five times during the fifth period and settled firmly in Marion’s hands when Hardey buried two foul shots.
Hoisington misfired repeatedly on free throws, and the Warriors successfully defended their 53-52 lead through four possessions in the final 1:07.
Hardey totaled 14 points, and Zeiner scored 17.
Coming—Marion (4-5) is at the Hillsboro Classic this week, where game times depend on both seedings and results in the 8-team bracket. The Warrior girls played top-seeded Riley Co. Monday night.
Throughout the tournament, results and play times will be posted at www.hillsborofreepress.com and on the Free Line at 947-3363.