Upstart Marion ends Cyclones’ 4-A reign

Six-point first half dooms HCHS as youthful Indians hold off back-to-back champs’ late rally, 46-38; Cyclone seniors finish with 95-6 career record, including 8-2 mark at Wells Fargo Arena

 DES MOINES -- Only time will tell if Wednesday’s Girls State Basketball quarterfinal marked a symbolic passing of the 4-A torch from Harlan Community to Marion.
 HCHS has become a Class 4-A dynasty, of sorts, during Zach Klaassen’s four years as head coach, winning 95 games, playing in four state tournaments and claiming two championships and one runner-up trophy.
 But it certainly looks like Marion is poised to enjoy 4-A’s next sustained run of success.
 The 7th-ranked Indians, starting three sophomores and two freshmen, made themselves right at home in their first state appearance since 2010, putting the 3rd-ranked Cyclones in a stunning 24-6 hole early in the third quarter, then holding off a fourth-quarter charge to beat the two-time defending champs, 46-38, at Wells Fargo Arena.
 Marion’s victory capped a first round in which all four lower-seeded teams advanced in a balanced 4-A bracket. The Indians (20-4) will now face No. 8 Pella (22-2) in a Friday semifinal at 11:45 a.m. The Lady Dutch defeated the Hawkeye Ten’s other state qualifier, No. 2 Lewis Central, 47-41.



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