Pihl, Vikings frost over MHS girls 77-60

Click to buy photo
Julia Zeiner goes over Jacey Cullop to score two of her 14 points Friday. Zeiner and the Warriors both got into foul trouble, and the Vikings outscored Marion 20-5 at the line.

The Marion High School girls basketball team was battered by Smoky Valley?s senior guard-forward tandem of Rhys Pihl and Jenna Koch Friday night and absorbed a 77-60 loss in Linds?borg.

Winter wrapped the region in a blanket of snow, but Koch and Pihl were red-hot, combining for 54 points. Pihl led the Vikings with 32 points, while Koch added 22.

No other Viking topped six points, but the eruption from the twosome wiped out double-digit efforts from Marion?s Julia Zeiner, Lindsay Hett and Kayley Heerey.

The Warriors chopped an early 8-2 deficit to 8-6 on a pair of fast-break layups by Zeiner. But Smoky Valley dialed up its full-court press to make it 19-6 with 4:08 left in the first quarter and 32-12 in the closing seconds of the period.

Lauren Helmer threw in a 2-pointer just ahead of the buzzer, and Marion carried that momentum into the second quarter, cutting the Viking lead to 15 points on a field goal by Kristen Steinborn.

But as the Viking starters rotated back into the game, Smoky Valley pushed its lead to 42-21. Pihl scored a 2-point shot and a 3-pointer, then assisted on a short jumper by Koch during a 7-2 spurt. Heerey rattled in a last-second 3-pointer to make the halftime score 47-27.

After Pihl made the opening shot of the second half, Heerey grabbed and put back an offensive rebound. The Warriors then forced a turnover, and Zeiner finished off a pass from Heerey to make it 49-31.

The short run stalled, but Zeiner scored field goals at 5:09 and 4:30 to keep the Vikings in check. After a timeout at 3:53, Hett caught fire, drilling a 3-pointer at 3:00 and pilfering a pass from a Viking guard for a breakaway basket.

Marion outscored the Vikings 18-11 in the frame and trailed by a 58-45 margin, but the momentum did not carry over into the fourth.

Zeiner picked up her fourth foul 10 seconds into the quarter and was whistled for her fifth at 7:12.

The Vikings started the period on a 6-0 run and pushed their lead to 64-45.

With 2:05 remaining and the Warriors trailing 72-54, Kimber Hardey put in two free throws, Heerey followed with a 3-pointer and Emmali Kelsey followed with a foul shot for a 6-0 run.

With 1:00 remaining, Pihl broke Marion?s run with a 2-pointer and sparked a 5-0 stretch to close out the game for Smoky Valley.

Heerey scored 19 points to lead the Warriors. Hett finished with 13 and Zeiner 14.

Pihl went 10-for-12 from the charity stripe, and the Vikings made 20 of 32 free throws.

As a team, Marion was awarded nine foul shots.

Coming?The Warriors were to face Sterling Tuesday at home. Marion?s next contest will be against Ellinwood Jan. 4 at home.

More from Hillsboro Free Press
Fire destroys landmark house in Burns
The community of Burns lost an architectural treasure in the early morning...
Read More