The Ell-Saline Cardinal varsity basketball squads were swept in Heart of America League play Friday evening in a road tilt with the Marion Warriors.
In the girls’ matchup, Ell-Saline’s offensive struggles continued as the Warriors jumped out to a 24-6 halftime edge. The Cardinals made it competitive following the break, outscoring Marion 14-5 in the third quarter to pull within 11 entering the fourth quarter, but eight points from Warrior freshman Jayden May to begin the period put the game out of reach, with Marion going on to win 45-25.
May scored 16 points on the night to fuel the Marion (3-14, 1-6) victory. Junior Chloe Burkholder also reached double digits in the Warrior win, finishing with 11 points.
Ell-Saline (0-17, 0-8) received an excellent effort from sophomore reserve Lakyn Short, who paced the Cardinal offense with 13 points in the loss.
In the nightcap, fans were treated to an offensive explosion, as the Cardinals and Warriors combined for 168 points in the boys’ battle. It appeared Marion was primed to coast to a blowout win midway through the second quarter, holding a 39-24 advantage, but the Cardinals closed out the first half with a 9-2 run to trail 41-33 at the break.
After trading body blows in the third quarter, Ell-Saline entered the fourth quarter down 60-55. The Cardinals would get to the mountaintop in the final stanza, as sophomore Treyton Peterson was fouled on a three-point attempt then hit all three free throws to put the Cardinals up by one, but the Warriors’ 6’4″ senior duo of Chase Stringer and Noah Dalrymple proved too much to overcome down the stretch, combining for 15 points over the game’s last eight minutes as Marion nipped Ell-Saline 86-80.
Marion (12-6, 3-4) received three 20-plus point efforts in the win, with Stringer and Dalrymple finishing with 25 and 20, respectively. Senior Sam Zinn came off the bench to pour in 23 points in the Warrior win
Ell-Saline (3-15, 1-7) shot the lights out from beyond the arc, connecting on 15 three-point shots. Sophomore Treyton Peterson enjoyed a career night, scoring 31 points – 25 in the second half – to lead all scorers. Senior Pat Giersch and junior Sawyer Kramer turned in stellar offensive efforts as well, finishing with 17 points a piece, while junior Caleb Hammonds chipped in a career-high 15 points in the losing effort.