The Marion boys had lost their last two games by 42 points heading into Friday’s tilt against Hutchinson Trinity. Against recent common foe Sedgwick, Marion lost by 15 and Trinity won by 10.
So when the Warriors found themselves staring at a 10-point hole less than 4 minutes into the game, few in the crowd could imagine that the game would come down to a last-second shot, with the Eagles escaping with a 60-56 win.
Trailing 11-1, Noah Dalrymple scored the Warriors’ first hoop on a putback at 3:13, the first of 8 points he would score before the quarter break. Combined with two buckets by Mason Pedersen and a Zachary Stuchlik 3-ball, Marion was back in the game, 20-14, as they headed to the second quarter.
Trailing by 7, Evann Heidebrecht ignited an 8-0 run with a drive for 2 and 2 free throws, followed up by a Pederson steal and score and a Dalrymple bucket, and the Warriors grabbed their first lead, 24-23, with 2:40 remaining before halftime. The Eagles fought back to take a 28-26 lead into the locker room.
After an opening score by Trinity, Stuchlik put Marion ahead 31-30 on two driving buckets and a free throw. Trinity called time out after a Pederson trey and a basket by Nathan Baldwin gave the Warriors their largest lead of the night, 36-32.
Refocused, the Eagles reeled off 11 unanswered points before Dalrymple scored to stop the run, but Marion was down 45-38 going into the final period.
A pair of Chase Stringer free throws with 1:25 left put Marion within 2, 52-50. The gap was 5 when Stringer scored with 21 seconds, and he made a leaping deflection of Trinity’s inbounds pass, but Marion fouled in the ensuing scramble for the ball.
Two more Stringer free throws with :10 left cut Trinity’s lead to 58-56, but the Eagles neatly split the Warriors’ press and scored a layup. An off-balance 3-point attempt by Pedersen as he attempted to draw a foul for a possible game-tying 4-point play was off the mark as the buzzer sounded.
Dalrymple was the team’s leading scorer with 16, and Stuchlik added 11.
Once Allie Molleker scored 3 points to put Marion ahead 5-4, a methodical offense and relentless defense ensured the Lady Warriors would avoid the ups and downs experienced by the boys. A spinning move in the lane for a bucket by Kourtney Hansen and a give-and-go score by Corin Parmley put Marion up 13-9 at the first break.
A 3-pointer by Sam Richmond and two quick scores by Taelyn Pagel gave Marion an 8-point lead, 20-12, but Trinity trimmed the deficit to 21-18 at the half.
Marion went back up by 8, 29-21, on a traditional 3-point play by Hansen, two Pagel free throws, and another Richmond trey, and the Lady Warriors carried an 11-point edge into the final quarter, 35-24.
After Trinity scored to pull within 37-28, a Hansen steal and score gave Marion a double-digit lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Parmley scored the team’s final 5 points as the Lady Warriors closed out a 44-32 win.
Hansen led Marion with 12 points, with Parmley close behind with 10.
Marion split games at Inman on Tuesday, with the girls winning 34-31 and the boys losing 52-29.