Prep Basketball

Marion wins a wild Wamac West dandy, 53-50, over Center Point-Urbana

Indians outlast CPU, close in on divisional crown

Center Point-Urbana’s Allie Wooldridge (34) drives to the basket between Marion’s Mia Laube (21) and Kayba Laube (24) during the first half of their girls’ basketball game Friday at Marion High School. Marion prevailed, 53-50, despite Wooldridge’s 26 points. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Center Point-Urbana’s Allie Wooldridge (34) drives to the basket between Marion’s Mia Laube (21) and Kayba Laube (24) during the first half of their girls’ basketball game Friday at Marion High School. Marion prevailed, 53-50, despite Wooldridge’s 26 points. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

MARION — This was the eighth time Chloe Rice has played against Center Point-Urbana, and she had a pretty good idea how the Stormin’ Pointers would defend the biggest play of the game.

“In the past, they’ve liked to trap the pick and roll,” Rice said. “So the drive was open.”

Rice converted a three-point play with 26 seconds left to give Marion the lead for good, and the Class 4A top-ranked Indians outlasted No. 5 Center Point-Urbana, 53-50, in a Wamac Conference West Division girls’ basketball dandy Friday night at Marion High School.

Marion (17-0 overall, 11-0 Wamac West) survived a 26-point, 10-rebound assault by Drake recruit Allie Wooldridge and took a giant step toward the division championship.

The Indians lead by two games with three to play. And let’s be honest, it would take something extraordinary for anyone left on their schedule to beat them once, let alone twice.

“This puts us in good shape,” Marion Coach Corby Laube said. “And it keeps us in line for a No. 1 (postseason) seed.”

CPU (15-3, 9-2) fought back from a 12-point deficit and took a one-point lead on three occasions in the fourth quarter, the last at 49-48 when Callyn Fox hit a pair of free throws with 36 seconds left.

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Laube called for the pick-and-roll on the next possession, with the option of Rice driving to the basket or kicking out to Kayba Laube.

“It gives Chloe the freedom to create,” Coach Laube said. “It’s a simple play, but a tough play to defend.”

Rice drove the left side of the lane, scored and was fouled. She made the free throw for a 51-49 Marion lead.

“That play got us all night,” Wooldridge said.

Fox hit the first of two free throws with 10 seconds left to bring the Stormin’ Pointers within one, then Rice added two more foul shots with 8 ticks remaining to make it 53-50.

Rice — bound for Saint Louis University next year — led the Indians with 17 points and eight rebounds.

Adrianna Katcher’s 3-point attempt at the horn hit the backboard and rim, but didn’t find the net.

A 15-2 run gave Marion a 38-26 lead with 2:17 left in the third quarter. It was 40-31 headed to the final period.

“Were we going to pack it in, or were we going to fight?” CPU Coach Philip Klett said. “We fought, and gave ourselves an opportunity.”

Wooldridge did most of her damage at the free-throw line, where she made 15 of 19 tries.

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“My teammates were screening for me at the right time, and were getting me the ball,” she said. “It was up for me to finish.”

MARION 53, CENTER POINT-URBANA 50

At Marion

CENTER POINT-URBANA (50): Adrianna Katcher 2-3 0-0 5, LaMia Sisk 0-1 0-0 0, Olivia Brecht 2-7 0-0 5, Allie Wooldridge 5-10 15-19 26, Callyn Fox 3-9 6-12 12, Sydney Boevers 0-0 0-0 0, Raegan Dufoe 0-3 0-0 0, Madison Willson 1-2 0-0 2, Karly Millikin 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 13-36 21-31 50.

MARION (53): Chloe Rice 5-8 7-8 17, Caitlyn Smith 0-2 0-0 0, Randi Wright 0-6 0-0 0, Mia Laube 1-3 3-4 5, Kayba Laube 3-9 2-3 10, Riley Wright 3-6 2-2 9, Ella Van Weelden 1-2 0-0 3, Leah Van Weelden 1-4 0-0 3, Sophie Willette 1-3 0-0 3, Maddie Knapp 1-2 1-3 3. Totals 16-45 15-20 53.

Halftime: Marion 23, CPU 18. 3-point goals: CPU 3-9 (Katcher 1-2, Brecht 1-4, Wooldridge 1-2, Fox 0-1), Marion 6-21 (Rice 0-1, Smith 0-2, Ra.Wright 0-3, K.Laube 2-5, Ri.Wright 1-3, E.Van Weelden 1-1, L.Van Weelden 1-4, Willette 1-1, Knapp 0-1). Team fouls: CPU 18, Marion 22. Fouled out: Sisk, Ra.Wright. Rebounds: CPU 25 (Wooldridge 10), Marion 33 (Rice 8). Assists: CPU 7 (Wooldridge 3), Marion 8 (Rice, L.Van Weelden 2). Steals: CPU 6 (Wooldridge 3), Marion 4 (four with 1). Turnovers: CPU 15, Marion 14.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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