Prep Basketball

Riley Wright's career-high 28 lifts Marion girls' basketball past Kennedy

Freshmen Ella Bockenstedt, Regan Rice play a major supporting role as Indians improve to 13-0

CEDAR RAPIDS — Riley Wright was the headliner. Ella Bockenstedt and Regan Rice, the secondary heroes.

Wright scored a career-high 28 points, Marion’s freshmen were anything but timid, and the Class 4A second-ranked Indians fought past Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 73-62, in a non-conference girls’ basketball game Saturday afternoon at Kennedy High School.

“We knew this was going to be a big game, playing a 5A team on its home court,” said Wright, a junior committed to the University of Northern Iowa. “We had to contain ourselves, and we had to make shots.”

The Indians’ ninth-graders, Bockenstedt and Rice did both.

Bockenstedt posted eight points and nine rebounds, and Rice hit 3 of 5 shots from long distance and tallied 11.

“Defensively, Ella is a huge presence, and she does some things offensively to keep opponents honest,” Marion Coach Josh Claypool said. “She’s not afraid to shoot it.

“Regan, this was her best game yet. It was a matter of when — not if — she’d make some big shots.”

Last year’s 4A state runner-up, Marion moved to 13-0. This was the Indians’ closest game of the season, and there are more biggies coming up, including a home date with 4A No. 3 Center Point-Urbana next Saturday.

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“We got exactly what we wanted today, a challenge,” Claypool said. “We feel really fortunate to sneak out of here with a win.”

Free-throw shooting was a major contributor. The Indians made 22 of 26 attempts from the line, 18 of 20 in the second half. Wright made all 10 of hers.

Kennedy (8-7) was right on the Indians’ heels for much of the contest. The Cougars forged a 28-28 tie late in the first half, were within 33-29 at intermission and still in striking range at 47-39 through three quarters.

A 6-0 run, highlighted by Rice’s 3-pointer, gave the Indians their largest lead, 63-47, with 4:55 to go.

“They made shots,” Kennedy Coach Andy Courtney said. “They are very talented and well-coached. Our girls were very competitive, and relished this chance.”

Sadie Powell paced Kennedy with 26 points, making 9 of 11 shots from the floor. Sophia Barrett added 15 points, including a four-point play at the end of the first quarter.

MARION 73, CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY 62

At C.R. Kennedy

MARION (73): Sadie Struchen 2-7 1-2 6, Riley Wright 8-12 10-10 28, Kayba Laube 2-8 4-5 9, Ella Van Weelden 4-11 3-1 11, Ella Bockenstedt 3-7 2-4 8, Regan Rice 3-5 2-2 11, Jo Hartke 0-0 0-0 0, Madison Prier 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-50 22-26 73.

C.R. KENNEDY (62): Camryn Ray 3-12 2-4 8, Sophia Barrett 5-11 4-5 15, Olivia Pecinovsky 0-3 1-2 1, Sadie Powell 9-11 4-6 26, Tori Knight 1-10 6-6 9, Ella Cadenhead 0-3 0-0 0, Carlee Smith 1-3 0-0 3, Olivia Herring 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-53 17-23 62.

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Halftime: Marion 33, Kennedy 29. 3-point goals: Marion 7-21 (Struchen 1-4, Wright 2-2, Laube 1-5, Van Weelden 0-2, Bockenstedt 0-3, Rice 3-5), Kennedy 7-19 (Ray 0-1, Barrett 1-3, Pecinovsky 0-1, Powell 4-6, Knight 1-4, Cadenhead 0-2, Smith 1-2). Team fouls: Marion 16, Kennedy 17. Fouled out: Van Weelden, Ray. Rebounds: Marion 39 (Bockenstedt 9), Kennedy 31 (Ray, Barrett 6). Assists: Marion 12 (Wright 6), Kennedy 9 (Cadenhead 3). Steals: Marion 5 (Laube 4), Kennedy 5 (Powell 2). Turnovers: Marion 8, Kennedy 8.

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

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