Warrior girls capture Centre tournament title

Marshelle Mermis shoots for two during the first half of the championship game against Elyria Christian Monday. Mermis scored six points in Marion?s 54-31 win.The Marion girls claimed first place in the Cougar Classic by defeating Elyria Christian, 54-31, in a physical game Monday.

?That was really rough,? coach Kelly Robson said. ?The fouls piled up on both teams. I’m super happy with the effort they were giving defnsively. Offensively it was a little sloppy at times.?

Marion made just one of its first nine attempts and trailed by as many as 8-3. The Warrior defense kept Marion in it, though, and McKenzee Remmers scored to ignite a 9-0 run that put the Warriors in front, 12-8. Elryia drained a three at the buzzer to make it 12-11.

The Warriors capitalized on five Eagle turnovers in the first two minutes of the second quarter to build an 18-11 lead. Marion ended the second quarter on an 8-2 run for a 30-21 halftime lead.

Marion?s defense continuing to pressure the Eagles?Elyria committed more than 40 turnovers on the night. Elyria made only three of nine attempts in the second half, all in the third quarter.

Elyria made the first two shots, but Marion scored 10 unanswered. The Eagles broke a 4:20 drought with a three-pointer with 1:16 left in the period, giving Marion a 40-28 lead at the final break.

Elyria managed three free throws in the fourth quarter. Marion outscored them, 14-3 to win by 23. Six Warriors contributed to the scoring column.

For the game, Kirsten Hansen led Marion with 11 points. Kourtney Hansen and Elizabeth Meyer each added 10.

Marion 55, Wakefield 40

Semifinals, Saturday

Marion secured a 55-40 win Saturday.

The Bombers took the lead out of the gate with a two-pointer and a free-throw, but Erika Hess?s three-pointer after?1:40?of play got Marion on the board and on a roll. The Warriors increased their lead to 12-3 before allowing the Bombers to make a bit of a comeback. Marion led, 16-13, at the end of the first quarter.

The Warriors started pulling away again in the second quarter, ending the half leading, 34-23.

After expanding it to 52-29 at the end of the third quarter, the Warriors only managed three points in the final quarter but rested comfortably on the lead they had built to end with a 15-point victory.

?We had a big lead,? coach Kelly Robson said. ?I don?t think (we) felt like (we) were letting down, but you could see the result a little bit. Our concentration wasn?t as high, and this team was able to get back in it just a little bit. We were never in danger?but that?s part of becoming a good team. You?ve got to finish those games strong.?

Robson said this wasn?t the first time his team has had a weak finish this season.

Shooting is something Robson said his team must continue to work on, while the Warriors find their strength in their defense.

?I was really pleased with our defensive effort,??he said. ?I?m continuing to feel like that?s becoming our identity in a way, when we can defend hard like that.?

Elizabeth Meyer led Marion with 14 points, followed by Bailey Robson 12, and Erika Hess 10. Kourt?ney Hansen grabbed 13 rebounds. The Warriors were 6-for-8 on free throw attempts, compared to Wakefield?s 11-for-17.

Marion 61, Solomon 23

First round, Friday

Marion made the game?s first two baskets before the Gorillas made the first two shots they attempted to take the lead, 5-4.

The Gorillas went 0-for-3 from the field over the next six minutes. Marion forced 15 Gorilla turnovers in the first quarter, leaving Solomon with few shooting opportunities.

Marion then scored 19 unanswered points. Five Warriors contributed, with Kourtney Hansen leading the way with six points. Marion led, 23-5, at the end of the first quarter.

?We found good gaps in the zone very early,? coach Kelly Robson said. ?Kourtney had some good passes down to Elizabeth for some layups early in the game, and that kind of set the tone for things.?

Solomon made one field goal in the second quarter and added five points at the charity stripe. Bailey Robson led Marion?s scoring effort in the period with four points. By halftime, Marion?s lead was 36-12.

The Warriors continued to build, and by the final break, Marion led, 50-20. Robson, Kourtney Hansen and Kristen Herzet scored in succession to open the final period before Coach Robson cleared his bench. The Warriors built to their largest lead at the end.

Marion found success on both ends of the floor, shooting nearly 54 percent from the field (28-52), while limiting Solomon to just 24 percent (7-29).

Kourtney Hansen led all scorers with 16 points.

Coming?Marion was scheduled to play at Hillsboro Tuesday. The Warriors will host Council Grove Thursday.

Tabor College intern Jared Janzen provided coverage for Saturday?s games.

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