MHS boys defeat Council Grove

Bret Voth scores to give Marion a 9-8 lead during the first quarter at Council Grove Friday. Voth led the Warriors with 18 points in Marion?s 47-44 victory. Janae Rempel / Free Press

Both teams led by four in a battle that came down to the wire at Council Grove Friday. In the end, Marion earned a 47-44 victory.

?We?ve been playing real hard and giving great effort and we just haven?t been rewarded for it,? coach Jeff McMillin said. ?We kind of willed ourselves to win, in spite of a lot of mistakes.?

The Braves employed a two-platoon system.

?It was almost like two different teams, and so you had a game-plan for one of the platoons and then a game-plan for the other,? McMillin said. ?You knew when the second group came in, they were going to press and they were going to trap, and you knew when the first group came back in, you?ve got to run your man-to-man stuff. It kind of keeps you off-balance a little bit, but after they started doing it several times, we picked it up.?

After Marion took an early 4-0 lead, the teams battled to a 12-12 tie by the end of the first quarter. Bret Voth contributed seven points to the effort.

Council Grove built a 23-19 lead with 2:45 left before halftime, but Mason Pedersen and Voth each scored two points from the charity stripe, tying the game at 23 by halftime.

?We had good size advantage, but early in the game especially, they got offensive rebounds,? McMillin said. ?We kind of cut that off a little bit. They were causing us some trouble with traps, the press, and at halftime, we actually got to go in there and talk about it and I think calm down against it.

?They didn?t force us into many mistakes out of the trap after halftime, so those adjustments were pretty key.?

The Braves gained a slight edge in the third quarter and took a 34-33 lead into the final period. Nicholas Stuchlik scored six of Marion?s 10 points in the third quarter.

Marion scored five unanswered points to start the fourth quarter, but Council Grove retook the lead with a 6-0 run. The teams traded scores, and Council Grove led, 44-41, after scoring at the 3:20 mark. Those were the Braves? final points.

Dylan Pippin closed the gap to 44-43 with a basket at 2:35. No one scored again until Voth made two free throws with 32.1 seconds left to push Marion in front, 45-44. The Braves missed a three-pointer with less than 10 seconds left and Jacob Baldwin sealed Marion?s win with two free throws.

?(In) the Southeast of Saline game they didn?t make the adjustments to the trap,? McMillin said. ?We made the adjustments tonight, so young guys are getting mature and learning and figuring out what it takes to win.?

Voth led Marion with 18 points. Stuchlik added 13.

Coming?Marion (3-11) was scheduled to resume league competition Tuesday against Remington. The Warriors will host Bennington Friday.

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