Warriors rally to 5th place finishes
Marion’s boys got their second victory of the season Friday night, 65-15, against Wakefield at the relocated Cougar Classic at Marion Sports and Aquatics Center.
They placed 5th overall in the tournament.
Marion’s defense sharpened to the point that defenders could steal the ball and run down court to score.
Players tightly fenced whoever had the ball and would crowd at the basket to prevent rebounds.
Passes were quick and unpredictable, some players throwing backward or in a crescent around Wakefield’s defense.
Top shooters were junior Caden Wilhelm with 17, senior Campbell Winter with 13, and sophomore Jack Lanning with 10.
A running clock saw the fourth quarter out.
“I’m glad we could get a good game out of it,” coach Donald Raymer said.
Raymer admitted that Wakefield was off its game, with many players injured or out sick.
One Wakefield player —sophomore Kobe Wendt — previously had COVID and was still in what school officials call “modified quarantine” during the game. He wore a mask on the court but otherwise did not seem hindered.
The boys also won Saturday against Hope, 53-43.
Marion’s next game will be 7:30 p.m. Thursday against Council Grove at home.
Marion’s girls preceded the boys in victory with a 46-13 victory over Solomon, placing 5th overall in the Cougar Classic.
They have sped up in shooting since previous matches, getting plenty of clean three-pointers without waiting for a perfect shot.
The girls also could make shots even with half of Solomon breathing down their necks. Calli Burkholder successfully passed the ball over four heads at one point.
Solomon sophomore Taytum Anderson rolled her ankle with 1:45 left in the first half and needed to be carried off the court, close to tears from pain. Her injury earned little sympathy from Marion, who shot another three-pointer soon after the game resumed.
Marion was a bit weaker after halftime, giving Solomon more opportunities. The warriors also struggled to get rebounds throughout the game.
Boys coach Donald Raymer has been filling in at the girls’ games and practices for the past week while coach Jason Hett is out because of COVID.
“We’ve got a lot of teachers out right now,” Raymer said. “That’s why there’s no school.”
The team was not used to Raymer’s coaching style and froze up several times when he called plays, trying to translate what he wanted.
The girls were able to work independently of him well enough, however, and identified some of their own weaknesses at warm-up during halftime.
They also won the game Saturday against Wakefield, 32-30.
Their next game and the return of coach Hett will be 6 p.m. Thursday against Council Grove at home.
Last modified Jan. 27, 2022