Marion drops pair to Moundridge
Marion lost a pair of home games Friday to Moundridge — a 78-19 blowout for the boys and a much closer 56-45 loss for the girls.
Despite the lopsided loss, Marion showed some improvement on defense. The Warriors could stall Moundridge a fair bit even with a height difference thanks to movement just erratic enough to throw the visitors off.
Moundridge could cross the court in half the time, however, and shoot from a farther distance. Moundridge also was rebounding failed shots, and a few slam dunks rang through the energetic arena.
By the end of the first quarter, the score was 25-4.
“We’re a bit slow in making decisions,” coach Donald Raymer said. “These games can feel pretty fast for our younger players, so we’re going to work on that.”
The game was punctuated by a round of pop-a-shot at halftime, hosted by Moundridge. To raise money for their junior prom, Moundridge cheerleaders offered crowd members a chance to make a basket for $1. Successful shots would win a two-liter bottle of soda.
Many kids walked away cradling bottles while teens were debating trying out.
“No, I won’t go,” one said. “I’d be embarrassed by the little kids.”
In the last seconds of the game, Moundridge had the ball and were headed to Marion’s basket. Then the Moundridge player with the ball dropped his tension and didn’t try for a shot; both teams visibly folded. Applause went up from both sides of the room as the clock rang out.
After games Tuesday at Remington, the Warriors’ next game will be Friday at Ell-Saline in Brookville.
Three Marion girls scored in double digits; junior Calli Burkholder had 16, senior Jayden May had 13, and sophomore Grace Hett had 11.
Marion took time to make shots when the team had the ball. While it paid off with a lot of three-pointers (two from Burkholder and one from May in the first six minutes), it could not make up for Moundridge’s quicker success with riskier plays.
Moundridge also had better defense than the Warriors, who kept ducking while defending against the taller team.
Coach Jason Hett said he still was proud of his Lady Warriors.
“I can’t knock my girls’ effort,” he said. “They played really hard, and that kept them in the game.”
They will be working on a quicker offense and learning more plays.