Twenty-three first-half turnovers spelled trouble for the Marion girls Friday as visiting Sterling defeated the Warriors, 65-52.
Three minutes into the game, Marion trailed only by three, 7-4, as Alli Molleker made the Warriors’ first two baskets. After that, Marion turned the ball over on nine consecutive possessions.
Sterling scored just four points at the charity stripe during that time. The game was still in reach when Sam Richmond broke Marion’s drought with a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left in the opening period. Marion trailed 13-7 at the first break.
Turnovers continued to pile up for the Warriors, while at the same time Sterling’s Taya Wilson heated up at the other end of the floor. Wilson made three 3-pointers in the second quarter as well as all eight free-throws she attempted.
After Kourtney Hansen scored one minute in, Marion endured a 5:37 stretch with no field goals—and only one attempt—while turning the ball over nine times.
Three made free-throws kept the Warriors from going scoreless. Corin Parmley broke the drought with a basket at the 1:26 mark, but the damage had been done. Sterling’s 24-7 effort left Marion trailing 37-14 at halftime.
“We can’t simulate that pressure, and coaches throughout history have said that kind of thing,” coach Kelly Robson said. “We tried to understand where they were going to be on their press, but we didn’t quite understand how fast they were going to be there, or it appeared so. We didn’t keep our heads very well.”
Marion outscored Sterling 19-18 in the third quarter but only after the Black Bears increased their lead to 45-16 two minutes in. Marion ended the quarter by outscoring Sterling 17-10 with Molleker and Richmond hitting 3-pointers. Corrina Crabb added six points in the quarter, which ended with Marion trailing, 55-33.
Marion closed the gap with a 19-10 fourth-quarter effort. The Warriors scored the quarter’s first seven points to draw within 55-40, led by Kourtney Hansen with five points, forcing Sterling to call timeout.
When Richmond hit a 3-pointer with 1:36 left, Marion was within 61-49 and Parmley trimmed it to 63-52 with a trey. That was as close as Marion got.
“This was not a particularly good game for us, but give Sterling a lot of credit for what they did to us,” Robson said. “But (there are) some positive things to take away as we kept going. We kept battling hard.”
Wilson led all scorers with 28 points, including making all 14 attempts at the charity stripe and four 3-pointers. Parmley and Molleker led Marion with 11 points each.
“We knew (Wilson) was good,” Robson said. “I was more worried about her slashing to the basket, but tonight she was hurting us from the 3-point line.”
Moundridge—A last-second basket by Courtney Herzet lifted Marion past the home team, 37-36, on Tuesday. Marion’s only other lead was at 3-2.
Marion trailed at the end of the first three quarters, and in the first half, Kourtney Hansen and Alli Molleker accounted for all of Marion’s points.
The Warriors trailed, 11-7, after one quarter of play, with Hansen scoring five of those points.
Hansen and Molleker each scored five points in the second quarter, outscoring the Wildcats, 10-8, in the period to bring Marion within two at halftime, 19-17.
Moundridge outscored Marion, 10-8, in the third quarter. Sam Richmond hit a three, and Marion scored five points at the charity stripe. The Wildcats led 29-25 heading into the final period.
Hansen and Corrina Crabb led Marion in the fourth quarter with four points each as the Warriors outscored the home team, 12-7. Hansen dished the ball to Courtney Herzet for the game-winning layup.
“We got a rebound off a missed free-throw,” coach Kelly Robson said of the game-winning basket.
“Kourtney Hansen got the ball and comes out of there like she does and looks up the floor. Courtney Herzet is behind the defense, and gets basically a three-quarter-court pass to her at the block. Courtney doesn’t get nervous; she makes the shot.”
Hansen led the Warriors with 17 points. Moundridge’s Bethany Stucky led all scorers with 19, including nine points at the free-throw line.
Coming—Marion (4-1, 11-4) was scheduled to host Sedgwick Tuesday and will travel to Hutchinson Trinity Friday.