Marion girls fall to Braves by two

Erika Hess shoots for two during the second quarter at Council Grove Friday. Hess led the Warriors with 12 points in Marion?s 44-42 loss. Janae Rempel / Free Press

The Marion girls? basketball team led by as many as nine in its 44-42 loss at Council Grove Friday.

The Warriors took a 6-2 lead out of the gate and maintained the advantage. Kourtney Hansen scored a traditional three-point play to give Marion a 13-8 lead at the first break.

Marshelle Mermis and Kirsten Hansen scored in succession to extend Marion?s lead to 17-8 at the 7:02 mark, but the Warriors did not score again until more than three minutes had passed.

Council Grove managed just one basket during that time, and when Kirsten Hansen scored at 3:55, Marion led, 19-10. The Braves outscored Marion 9-1 after that, including six points from the charity stripe, and Marion held a 20-19 lead at halftime.

?I didn?t feel like we were playing poorly,? coach Kelly Robson said. ?They got a few more shots to go. They must?ve made quite a few free throws at that point. That happens to us sometimes. We give teams opportunities from the free-throw line, and defensively we?re doing OK. If we wouldn?t foul them, they wouldn?t get as many points. We just fouled a little too much in that stretch.?

Erika Hess made a three to start the third quarter, but from there, the Braves took the lead with a 10-0 run. Marion responded with an 8-2 burst to end the third period with the teams locked at 31.

The Braves led by as many as six in the final quarter. With Marion trailing, 42-37, Bailey Robson drained a three and Kirsten Hansen made a pair of free throws that tied the game with just 43.4 seconds remaining.

But after a Brave miss, Marion turned the ball over, allowing Council Grove to make a basket with just 4 seconds left. Hess had a look at a potential game-winning three, but the shot fell short.

Marion made 10 of 20 free throw attempts (50 percent). Hess led the Warriors with 12 points. Kirsten Hansen added 11 and Robson 10.

?This is the second game in a row that we?ve gotten up to 20 free throws, and a lot of times, we don?t get that many, so quite pleased with that,? Robson said. ?That?s showing a little more aggressiveness on our part offensively; a little more willingness to battle for offensive rebounds. I just thought we battled pretty well tonight.?

Robson also praised his full-court defense.

?Those girls that are up front there really get after it, and I just want them to keep doing that,? he said.

Coming?Marion (6-8)?was scheduled to resume Heart of America league play Tuesday by hosting Remington. The Warriors will host Bennington Friday.

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