The Marion girls endured a two-game league slide last week with losses to Sterling and Moundridge. The Warriors fall to 2-3 in Heart of America play, 10-5 overall.
Sterling—Despite a strong start, Marion suffered a 51-39 defeat Friday.
The Warriors made the first five shots they attempted to build a 12-6 lead. Taelyn Pagel and Sam Richmond bookended the effort with three-pointers.
However, Sterling stepped up its defensive pressure after that, causing Marion to rush the pace and turn the ball over. Marion went 7:21 without scoring, not even attempting a shot during that time, allowing the Black Bears to take a 17-12 lead, thanks in part to a pair of three pointers in a 30-second span. Jessi Lewman broke the drought at the 1:37 mark. By the first break, Sterling led, 22-14.
With the Warriors in foul trouble, things went from bad to worse in the second quarter, as Marion did not score until 2:16 remained in it. Sterling, meanwhile, led by as many as 36-14. Richmond broke the drought. The half ended with the Black Bears in front, 38-18.
“Their press was not really needing to hurt us, but we let it hurt us because we got in a hurry,” coach Kelly Robson said. “We talk about it every time we work on our press break. We say, ‘What’s the point of the other team? The other team wants to get us going faster than we can, and that’s exactly what we did in that second quarter. But I was very pleased with the (game’s) start. That’s something that we haven’t always done.”
Marion enjoyed a 13-3 run to start the third quarter. Alli Molleker lit the fire with a basket 13 seconds in, and Kourtney Hansen contributed six points to the effort. By the time Richmond hit a trey, Marion was within 41-31 with 2:35 to play. But a 4-0 Sterling swing increased the Black Bears’ lead to 45-31 by the end of the quarter.
Hansen scored six of Marion’s eight points in the fourth quarter, including a three-point play and later, a pair of free-throws to conclude scoring in the game.
“The speed of the other team got in our heads a little bit,” Robson said. “We tried to do more than we could do, and we piled up a lot of turnovers tonight.
“I was disappointed in the turnovers but very pleased that we just kept battling in the second half.”
Hansen led the Warriors with 14 points. Richmond scored 10.
Moundridge—Marion got off to a poor start in Tuesday’s 39-26 loss to the Wildcats.
The Warriors went 0-for-8 from the field in the opening quarter, allowing Moundridge to build a 12-1 lead by the end of it. Courtney Herzet scored Marion’s lone point at the charity stripe with 1:08 left in the period.
“Here recently—and it’s not just tonight—we just can’t seem to make (shots) from the outside,” coach Kelly Robson said. “Not just because they’re three-pointers. Even a few steps inside the line, we’re not making them. I don’t know why.
“I didn’t think our shot selection was bad. I really didn’t. But we didn’t make the shots.”
Alli Molleker made Marion’s first basket 19 seconds into the second quarter and was fouled, completing the three-point play to make it an eight-point game. Molleker scored again at the 5:37 mark, but Marion did not score again until Kourtney Hansen made a basket with 54 seconds left in the half. Moundridge led, 18-8, at halftime.
After the Wildcats scored twice to stretch their lead to 14, Marion enjoyed an 8-0 run led by six points from Hansen, to close the gap to 22-16. But an 11-2 Moundridge end to the quarter gave the visitors a 33-18 lead at the final break.
Marion outscored Moundridge, 8-6, in the final quarter, but the deficit was too large to overcome.
“This was a game we really thought we could compete in,” Robson said. “I’m not going to say we didn’t compete, but we got ourselves in an 11-point hole early on. That’s swimming upstream pretty hard for the rest of the game.”
Hansen led the Warriors with 10 points, eight of which she scored in the third quarter. She had 10 rebounds.
Coming—Marion was scheduled to play at Sedgwick (3-3, 12-4) Tuesday. The Warriors will host Hutchinson Trinity (2-4, 6-10) Friday for homecoming.