Bennington?It was a close battle between Marion and Bennington, with the teams remaining within four points of each other the duration of the game. Marion held on down the stretch to win by three, 33-30.
?(We) got back to running a little bit of a fast-break from time-to-time,? coach Kelly Robson said. ?I?m afraid we missed some layups on the end of it, too, but we weren?t able to do that against Hillsboro and Moundridge?the better teams.
?But here against Ben?nington, we were able to get out and push the basketball again, which I think is something we?re doing better than last year by a long shot.?
Katey Ehrlich scored Marion?s first seven points, including a three-point basket with 3:51 left that gave the Warriors their first lead, 7-5. Marion led 8-6 as the quarter ended.
The second quarter began with turnovers by both teams. Bennington scored the period?s first points to tie the game at 8 with 4:50 left. After a 5-0 run by the Bull?dogs, Marion trailed by three with less than a minute left in the half. But Kelli Hess drained a three-pointer with 11 seconds left to send the teams into halftime tied at 15.
Megan Richmond opened the third quarter with a three-pointer, and Marion maintained its advantage during the period to lead, 25-23, entering the final quarter.
Richmond was the first to score, but Bennington had an answer for each Warrior basket. Marion led, 29-27, with 2:02 to play. But when a Marion turnover led to a Bulldog three-pointer, the Warriors faced a 30-29 deficit with 1:34 to go.
Marion turned the ball over on its next possession, too, but fought for the jump ball with less than a minute left. The possession arrow gave possession to the Bulldogs. Kirsten Hansen managed a steal, and Richmond scored with 45 seconds left to vault Marion in front, 31-30.
When the Bulldogs missed their next shot, Kaelyn Thierolf sealed the three-point win with a second-chance basket with 8 seconds remaining.
?I couldn?t be prouder of them for hanging in until the end of that one and getting the win,? Robson said. ?This gets us back to 4-4, a .500 record. The seniors just don?t know what that?s like in basketball terms. I think that really feels good.?
Marion shot 33 percent from the field (14-42). Ehrlich and Richmond led Marion with nine points each.
Moundridge?Facing a stingy Wildcat defense, Marion struggled to put points on the board in a 46-26 loss to Moundridge Tuesday.
With Marion plagued by turnovers in the opening quarter, Moundridge surged to an 11-0 lead by the end of the period.
?We knew they were going to be a man-to-man team,? coach Kelly Robson said. ?We tried to be prepared to run some cuts to the basket and handle the basketball.
?Against Hillsboro, we didn?t handle the pressure very well, and we tried to be ready for the pressure. I didn?t feel like the pressure was so much, but we certainly didn?t get open shots. The shots we did get, we rushed them.?
Kaelyn Thierolf got Marion on the scoreboard with a basket to start the second quarter, and a Kelli Hess three-pointer brought Marion within 13-5 with 2:58 left before halftime.
Katey Ehrlich scored 39 seconds later, but Marion trailed 22-7 at halftime.
The Warriors increased their offensive production in the third quarter, outscoring the Wildcats 13-10.
Marion nailed two three-point baskets?one each from Hess and Bailey Robson. Robson concluded third-quarter scoring with a basket off a turnover for a 32-20 margin heading into the final period.
Moundridge opened the fourth quarter with a three and pulled ahead to lead, 40-20 with 4:12 left in the game.
Robson scored with 3:22 left, but Moundridge?s lead hovered around 20 points the rest of the game.
Marion shot 25 percent from the field (10-40). Hess led Marion with eight points. The loss set Marion?s Heart of America record at 0-1.
?Tonight, I don?t think the girls quit,? Robson said. ?They stayed right after it even though we got down 11-0. I was pleased with all eight of the girls that I put out there. Boy, they competed hard.?
Coming?Marion was scheduled to host Berean Academy Tuesday in the team?s second meeting of the season. MHS defeated Berean 47-34 Dec. 12.
Marion will participate in the Cougar Classic at Centre next week. Action is scheduled to begin Tuesday.