The Marion boys’ basketball team split two Heart of America games last week, moving to 1-2 in league play, 3-6 overall.
Bennington—Marion suffered a 54-47 defeat to the Bulldogs Friday.
Marion trailed, 9-7 after one quarter, as Evann Heidebrecht drained a three-pointer, and Zachary Stuchlik and Blaine Mermis each made two-point baskets.
By halftime, however, Marion had taken a 22-21 lead, led by Heidebrecht, who scored six points in the quarter.
But the Bulldogs battled back in the third quarter, outscoring the Warriors, 17-12, to regain the advantage, 38-34.
A 16-13 Bulldog effort in the fourth quarter secured Bennington’s seven-point win. Ten of Bennington’s final 16 points came at the free-throw line.
“We went through a stretch between the third and fourth quarter, a period of about four minutes, where we didn’t score,” coach Terry Edwards said. “We really never recovered from that. We led by one point at halftime and then trailed a little bit during the fourth quarter. (We) couldn’t contain (JJ Allen).”
Allen led all scorers with 21 points, scoring all but three of those points in the second half.
Heidebrecht led the Warriors with 14 points. Mermis scored 10. Chase Stringer grabbed 10 rebounds to go with his seven points.
Remington—Marion defeated the Broncos, 44-34, Tuesday, avenging a 58-44 loss suffered at the hands of Remington in early December.
The Warriors found success with their zone defense and did not allow penetration, coach Terry Edwards said.
“The other thing is,” he said, “we only gave up three offensive rebounds, compared to where we’ve been giving up double digits. Turnovers were down to 10, and they’ve been as high as 20 or higher. Not allowing offensive rebounds and taking care of the ball itself, helped a great deal.”
The Warriors took the lead from the start, building a 9-2 advantage after one quarter of play, and expanding that margin to 24-12 at halftime.
Scoring in the second half was more evenly matched, with Remington holding a slight third-quarter advantage for a 30-20 score heading into what was an even fourth quarter of action.
Chase Stringer led the Warriors with 12 points and eight rebounds.
The game was Edwards’ first as head coach. Formerly Marion’s assistant coach, Edwards was promoted to lead the team after former coach Randy Skiles was relieved of his coaching duties at the school board meeting the day before.
Edwards, who declined to comment on the situation, said he was notified of the coaching change Monday night. An email to superintendent Aaron Homburg did not receive a response by press time.
Edwards is joined on the bench by assistant coach Tod Gordon.
Ell-Saline— The Marion boys suffered a 43-42 defeat Friday at Ell-Saline on a last-second shot.
The Warriors scored to take the lead with 4 seconds to play, but the Cardinals, after dribbling the length of the floor, got one last look at the basket and made the go-ahead shot at the buzzer.
“We were down by seven at halftime, and then we came out in the third quarter and played really well,” coach Randy Skiles said. “Really, the rest of the second (half) we played pretty well, and then it was back and forth.”
Marion built an 11-8 lead after one quarter, but trailed, 21-14 by halftime. The game became heated in the first half when tempers flared, resulting in the ejection of two players, one from each team.
After halftime, Marion outscored the home team 17-7 in the third quarter to enjoy a 31-28 lead heading into the final quarter.
“We just need to go in quietly and play the game and go home instead of getting caught up with all the other stuff that we got caught up into,” Skiles said. “We just need to come out and play basketball and forget about everything else.”
Skiles said the Warriors missed opportunities, including missing free-throws and layups and sending the Cardinals to the charity stripe.
“(Those are) the things that we’ve got to focus on now moving forward, is doing the things that we can control and not worrying about things that we can’t control,” he said.
Chase Stringer led the Warriors with 14 points.
Coming— Marion will participate in the Cougar Classic at Centre this week, the start of which was postponed from Tuesday to Thursday because of weather.
The sixth-seeded boys will play third-seeded Solomon (6-2) Thursday at 5:30 p.m. With a win, the Warriors would face the winner of No. 2 Centre (6-2) and No. 7 Herington (2-6) in the semifinals Friday.
The other half of the bracket features No. 1 Elyria Christian (7-0) versus No. 8 Peabody-Burns (0-7), and No. 4 Rural Vista (4-4) versus No. 5 Wakefield (3-5). The finals are scheduled for Saturday. Records listed were accurate at the time of seeding.