Marion defeats Inman, falls to Berean

Erika Hess makes a basket to give Marion its first lead, 5-4, at Inman Friday. Hess scored six points and had four steals in Marion?s 34-25 victory.  Janae Rempel / Free Press
Erika Hess makes a basket to give Marion its first lead, 5-4, at Inman Friday. Hess scored six points and had four steals in Marion?s 34-25 victory. Janae Rempel / Free Press
Despite trailing at the start of Friday?s game at Inman, the Marion girls? basketball team gained the lead by the end of the first quarter and never relinquished it en-route to a 34-25 victory.

?We knew they were going to mostly be a zone team,? coach Kelly Robson said. ?We had practiced against it, and I felt like we understood where the openings were going to be. I thought early in the game we did a nice job of getting it into the middle of the zone to Julia, mostly, and to Elizabeth, too, when she was in.?

Inman took a 4-1 lead out of the gate, but with back-to-back baskets, Erika Hess ignited an 8-0 run that put Marion in front. After a Teuton score, Kourtney Hansen closed the first quarter with a string of four points to give Marion a 13-6 advantage.

The Warriors built their lead to 22-10 by the time Kirsten Hansen scored at the 3:19 mark, but after that, the Teutons burst with nine points, closing the gap to three with 1:15 left in the half. Kourtney Hansen scored the half?s final basket to boost Marion?s lead to 24-19 at intermission.

Marion outscored Inman, 6-5, in the third quarter, thanks to baskets by Kirsten Hansen and Bailey Robson, giving Marion a 30-24 edge heading into the final period.

In the fourth quarter, neither team scored for more than five minutes. Julia Hall scored the quarter?s first points with 2:20 to play, and Kourtney Hansen extended Marion?s lead to 34-24 with a score with 50 seconds left. Inman scored its only point from the charity stripe, bringing the final margin to nine.

?I thought offensively, we just handled ourselves better,? Robson said. ?I didn?t ever tell them not to shoot. It may have seemed like I did, but they learned from the (Hutchinson) Trinity game that (when) we?ve got a lead, there?s no real reason to throw three passes and shoot it. Now maybe we went to the other extreme, but tonight it worked out OK.?

Robson praised the team for driving to the basket.

?We really worked for two days on taking the ball strong in to the basket and when we get in there, to shoot a better quality shot,? he said. ?Tonight, I felt like our focus on the rim was a little bit better. We got a couple of them even to go in.?

Kourtney Hansen led Marion with nine points.

Berean?Marion got off to a slow start in Tuesday?s 42-33 road loss. But aside from the first quarter, in which Marion scored only three points, Marion battled Berean fairly evenly, even outscoring the home team 10-6 in the fourth quarter.

It was the teams? second meeting. Berean won a 33-23 contest during the Marion Classic.

?Sometimes we start really well, and other times we just don?t,? coach Kelly Robson said. ?The last time we played Berean, we didn?t match the intensity that they bring to a game. If you don?t match that intensity, it?s going to be pretty tough. Tonight, after the first quarter we did, but in the first quarter, we didn?t, and we?ve got to start better than that.?

The visiting Warriors did not score in the game?s first six minutes, and the home team built an 8-0 lead. Erika Hess put Marion on the board with a free throw at the 1:50 mark, and Kourtney Hansen made Marion?s first basket with 47 seconds left in the opening period. Berean led, 12-3, by the end of the first quarter.

?(Berean?s) shots were going in, and we were a little bit passive offensively,? Robson said. ?We needed to try to drive the ball more and see if we could draw fouls.?

After Berean extended its lead to double figures with a pair of free throws, Julia Hall scored back-to-back baskets to cut Marion?s deficit to 14-7. A 6-0 Berean run increased the home team?s lead to 13, and the teams traded scores the rest of the half for a 26-15 margin at the break.

The teams traded blows in the third quarter, battling to a 36-23 score as the period ended.

Bailey Robson, Hall and Elizabeth Meyer scored in succession to start the final quarter, cutting Marion?s deficit to 36-29 with 3:39 to play.

Berean scored its first points of the quarter from the charity stripe with 2:52 left, and the teams battled from the free-throw line the rest of the way. Kourtney Hansen made all four free throws she attempted in the final 1:13, and although Marion outscored Berean 10-6 in the final period, it was not quite enough to overcome the deficit.

Robson praised the team for limiting its turnovers to 16, having committed as many as 29 in a previous game.

Kourtney Hansen and Hall split top scoring honors with eight points each.

Coming?As the No. 4 seed in the Cougar Classic at Centre, Marion (2-2, 4-5) was scheduled to face No. 5 Wakefield Tuesday.

Additional teams include No. 1 Centre, No. 2 Rural Vista, No. 3 Elyria Christian, No. 6 Sacred Heart, No. 7 Solomon and No. 8 Peabody-Burns.

Marion?s next games of the Classic will be Friday and Saturday. Visit for an updated schedule as it becomes available.