MHS girls third in Marion Classic

Marshelle Mermis eyes the basket during the first half Tuesday as Peabody-Burns? Mallory Harris (left) and Rylie McDowell defend. Marion won the game, 61-26 and went on to finish third in the Marion Classic with a 2-1 record. Janae Rempel / Free PressThe Marion girls? basketball team claimed third place in the Marion Classic with a 52-18 victory over injury-laden Eureka Saturday.

Defensively, Marion challenged Eureka to make outside shots, and the Tornadoes made only five of 38 field goal attempts in the game (13.2 percent). Eight of Eureka?s 18 points came from the charity stripe.

?Defensively in our zone, when we keep it off the block and keep it off the high-low post action kind of thing, we do all right,? coach Kelly Robson said. ?I thought we rebounded a little bit better tonight.

?In that zone we ought to challenge shooters, and we did tonight. We made them shoot kind of tougher shots. Didn?t give them a whole lot of second-chance points, which was an important thing.?

Marion burst out of the gate on fire offensively. Kirsten Hansen hit a three-pointer to start things off, and the Warriors held a 7-0 lead before Eureka got on the board with a free throw at the 5:51 mark.

From there, it was all Marion, as the Warriors finished the first quarter with an 8-0 burst for a 15-1 lead by the end of the period.

Eureka broke its scoring drought 13 seconds into the second quarter, but the closest the Tornadoes drew was within 10. Marion closed the half with a 9-2 run in the final 2:55 to extend its lead to 29-12 at halftime.

The Warriors continued to build their lead. With a three-point play, Kourtney Hansen ignited a 7-0 run to end the third quarter with Marion leading, 40-15.

Julia Hall and Erika Hess combined for 10 of Marion?s 12 fourth-quarter points, and Marion cruised to victory.

With full-court pressure, the Warriors forced turnovers which turned into points. Marion had 16 steals in the game and forced 21 turnovers, which led to 19 points.

Hall led with 15 points. Kirsten Hansen added 11. Marion shot 58.3 percent from the field (21-36), while Eureka managed 13.2 percent (5-38).

Robson said he was pleased with the way his team competed in the tournament.

Berean 33, Marion 23

Game 2, Friday

Marion struggled to score in Friday?s 10-point loss to Berean Academy.

?We just really struggled offensively,? coach Kelly Robson said. ?We got some good shots that didn?t go in, and then we kind of got in our own heads. It kind of spiraled downward from the beginning.?

Berean built a 5-0 lead before Julia Hall put the home team on the board with a basket at the 4:39 mark. Elizabeth Meyer scored at 1:04, but by the end of the first quarter, Berean led, 11-4.

Marion was plagued by turnovers in the second quarter and struggled to get the ball inside. With Berean in front, 15-6, Bailey Robson made a pair of free throws, then the teams traded baskets for a 19-10 margin at halftime.

Robson opened the third quarter with a three-pointer, but it was Marion?s only points of the quarter. Berean extended its lead to 26-13 by the end of the period.

After Berean built its largest lead of the night, 30-15, with 5:24 left to play, Marion rattled off eight straight points, including a three-point play by Kourtney Hansen and two baskets by Erika Hess. Marion?s 10-point final quarter was boosted by its full-court man-to-man defense forcing turnovers and recording steals. But the effort was too little, too late, as Berean claimed the 10-point victory.

Marion shot 23.1 percent from the field (9-39). Hess led the team with six points. Kourtney Hansen grabbed 10 rebounds. Each team committed 22 turnovers.

MHS 61, Peabody-Burns 26

Game 1, Tuesday

Despite playing without two starters, Marion led from start to finish in a 35-point win over Peabody-Burns.

?We thought we?d be able to pressure their guards a little bit and keep them from doing the things they were going to,? coach Kelly Robson said. ?We got some runouts and made a handful of layups today as opposed to Friday, so that was a little bit better.?

Erika Hess opened with a three-pointer, and Marion took an early 5-0 lead before Christa Elliott knocked down a three-pointer for PBHS. The teams traded baskets before Marion gained distance with back-to-back baskets for a 13-7 lead.

Elliott responded by sinking three free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt. Kourtney Hansen scored a layup off a steal, but Katy Benson closed the gap to 15-13 with a three as time expired in the first quarter.

Marion enjoyed an 11-4 run to start the second quarter. After Rylie McDowell scored, Marion pushed its lead to double figures with a string of eight for a 34-19 margin after Erika Hess scored off a steal. Marion held a 36-20 lead at halftime.

Marion burst out of the locker room with 10 straight points, including three consecutive baskets by Hansen followed by a Robson three. Katie Charles scored PBHS? only basket of the quarter, then Marion finished with a 6-0 run for a 52-22 margin heading into the final quarter. A running clock was put into place to start the fourth quarter, and Marion cruised to the 35-point victory.

Hess scored a game-high 18 points. Hansen added 12 and Robson 11. Marion shot 53.3 percent from the field (24-45), compared with 30 percent for PBHS (9-30). Elliott was PBHS? high scorer with 10 points. Marion scored 30 points off 26 PBHS turnovers.

Coming?Marion (2-2) will play its final game before Christmas at Haven Friday. The Warriors will host Canton-Galva Jan. 6.

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