The Marion girls lost both of their games last week by a combined margin of six points, including a second loss to Bennington in a week on Friday after a disappointing overtime loss to Inman Feb. 14.
The Warriors are 2-17 overall and 1-8 in the Heart of America league.
?They?re this close to being that good,? said coach Randy Savage. ?Give us 18 free throws and we have seven more wins.?
Bennington?Marion edged the Bulldogs, 51-48, for the second straight week in Friday?s home-court rematch.
?Free throws and turnovers,? coach Randy Savage said by way of explanation. ?We had some defensive lapses, times where we didn?t communicate what we were doing or who we had.?
Marion won the first quarter, 14-8, thanks in part to three-pointers from Erin Meierhoff and Whitney Gordon.
But Bennington sank a three-pointer of its own and forced turnovers with a press to gain the advantage in the second period. The Bulldogs put together an 11-2 scoring burst in the final 1:28 to hold a 29-24 lead at halftime.
The Bulldogs had a strong start to the second half, outscoring Marion, 10-7, despite a three-point basket from Meierhoff.
Starting the final quarter with a 39-31 deficit, Marion traded baskets with Bennington for the first four minutes of the period.
With 2:10 remaining, Katey Erhlich sank two free throws to spark a 9-3 surge, but it turned out to be too little, too late.
?I?m disappointed we didn?t win because I want a win for them,? Savage said. ?They?re playing hard.?
Ehrlich led Marion with 15 points and Meierhoff added 10, including six from three-point range. Kaelyn Thierolf chipped in nine points.
Inman?The scenario on the court looked eerily familiar Feb. 14 as Marion let its matchup with Inman slip away in overtime, 44-41, after leading most of the game.
Marion enjoyed a modest 11-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, aided by Katey Ehrlich?s six points. But foul trouble sent Ehrlich to the bench for most of the second quarter, resulting in a sluggish eight minutes with only four points for Marion.
Fortunately for the Warriors, the Teutons weren?t on fire either. Marion still led at halftime, 15-13.
The Warriors began the third quarter strong with an 11-2 scoring spurt, including a three-pointer from Whitney Gordon, to put the Warriors on top, 26-15, with five minutes left. The Teutons retaliated with a 9-3 burst before Gordon powered in two points near the basket, making it 31-24 at quarter?s end.
The Warriors quickly put six points on the board to begin the final period, but Inman hit three baskets from beyond the arc and scored 15 unanswered points to take its first lead at 38-37 with 2:18 left. With 51 seconds to go, Gordon hit a free throw to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Inman scored four straight points to lead 42-38 with 1:11 left in the extra period. Kelli Hess drained a three-pointer from the corner to give Marion a fighting chance at 42-41.
But the Warriors could not come up with the needed basket, missed free throws and turned over the ball. Inman sank two freebies with four seconds left for the final three-point margin.
Gordon scored 19 points, including two three-pointers. Ehrlich and Hess added nine points each.
Coming?The Warriors are scheduled to play Sedgwick Feb. 21 to close the regular season.