In the spirit of Christmas time, the Marion girls basketball team used a box to defeat Gallatin County, 70-58, Monday night and avenge a loss from earlier in the season at the Lady Wildcat Invitational.
Gallatin County"s Hailey Chubb, who was named the Most Valuable Player of that Marion tournament, scored 23 points in the first half Monday night to help the Lady Hawks take a 34-32 lead at the intermission.
But with a box-and-one defense in the second half, Marion limited Chubb to eight more points and had four players reach double figures in a solid team effort.
"We wanted this one pretty bad," said Marion coach Chris Roberts, whose team moved over .500 to 6-5 on the season. "I thought we let one slip at the tournament. We laid an egg that night, but they"re a really good team. They"re probably the best team in 1A. We just had a great effort tonight."
Marion junior guard Abby Bayer scored 22 points, dished out seven assists and had five rebounds. Nia Marshall had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Cassandra Woods had 13 points and seven boards. Orea Cosby also hit double figures with 15 points and Lauryn Kadela had eight, with seven coming in the fourth quarter. Jasa Bell had just two points but pulled down 10 rebounds.
"What can I say about our defense," Roberts said. "Orea and Lauryn guarded Chubb in that box-and-one and kind of shut her down in the second half. Nia and Abby played well, Cassandra again, Jasa gave us great minutes. Everybody played well."
Gallatin County (9-5) had a 38-35 lead with six minutes left in the third quarter, but Marion went on a run and led 46-42 after a bucket from Woods and 49-44 following a three-point play by Cosby before the period ended.
Baskets from Kadela, Bayer, Marshall and Cosby helped extend the lead in the fourth as Marion outscored the Lady Hawks 38-24 in the second half.
Chubb finished with 31 points to lead all scorers. Harlie Turner had six of her 12 points in the first quarter, which ended in a 14-all tie, and Audrey Jackson put in eight of her 10 in the fourth to give Gallatin County three players in double figures.
But the Lady Wildcats used their depth to wear down the Lady Hawks and turn defense into offense down the stretch.
Marion won the junior varsity game, 42-24, with Kadela scoring 17 points for the Lady Wildcats.
Marion hosts Murphysboro on Thursday night, which will be the last game until the Benton Rangerette Christmas Classic that begins on Dec. 28.