But while execution may have been lacking in some areas, it was not for lack of effort, as coach Jeff McMillin praised the Warriors for their focus.
?I think the boys were pretty focused,? he said. ?I could tell that their efforts were trying to do what we?re talking about. We?re just not to where we can always execute now, and that just comes with time.
?We just had a more physical, bigger, more experienced team, and that?s part of the equation also.?
The Warriors committed 23 turnovers in the game, and as an indication of how the evening would unravel, Marion coughed the ball up on its first two possessions.
Haven?s Jamal Rogers scored the game?s first five points before Jacob Baldwin put the Warriors on the board at the 4:57 mark. With their third three-pointer of the period, the Wildcats took a 13-4 lead. Bret Voth responded with a basket from behind the arc, and the first quarter ended with Haven in front, 14-7.
Marion drew within 14-10 after a Baldwin free throw and Voth basket, and trailed 18-12 when Voth scored at 4:22. Marion turned the ball over four times in the final three minutes of the half, though, and Haven ended the second quarter with an 8-1 run for a double-digit, 26-13, lead at halftime.
?One of the things we always say every day is we?ve got to value the ball, and there?s certain things that we work on to help you do that, but mostly, you have to focus mentally to value possession (and) make good passes,? McMillin said. ?We?ve just got to do a better job with some of the small things.?
Haven cushioned its lead in the third quarter, outscoring Marion 17-8 to take a 43-21 advantage into the final period. Mason Pedersen completed a traditional three-point play less than a minute into the fourth quarter, but that was the closest Marion got, and Haven claimed the 27-point victory.
McMillin said it is important the Warriors stay positive and focus on making continual progress, something he did see in the Warriors? efforts on defense Friday night.
?We all know that we?re going to have to make progress,? he said. ?Really the main message (after the game) was that progress doesn?t come quick and it doesn?t come easy. Some?times it takes a lot of bumps and bruises?but I told them, ?You?ve got to stay positive, and you?ve got to learn from it. Just stay in the fight.??
Voth led all scorers with 13 points.
Coming?Marion (1-4) will resume play after the break by hosting Canton-Galva Jan. 6.