Orion varsity, sophs split with Stark County

Mindy Carls
Chargers Hailey James, left, and Adah Swanson, right, battle a Stark County Rebel for a rebound in the varsity game on Saturday, March 6, in Orion.

For a while on Saturday afternoon, March 6, the Orion varsity girls appeared on the way to their first win of the season.

The Chargers led or tied the Stark County Rebels until midway through the second quarter of the non-conference basketball game.

Stark County put the first points on the board only seconds into the game, but Orion’s Jenna Drish tied the score with a pair of free throws.

Drish and Courtney Farwell hit baskets to give Orion a 6-4 lead, which went to 8-4 when Riley Filler netted a pair of free throws midway through the first.

Hailey James connected on two freebies to make the lead 10-7.

A pair of quick baskets put Stark County in front 11-10, but the lead vanished when Orion’s Jennie Abbott scored to put her team back in front 12-11.

Charger Marly Lillibridge rifled in a trey for a 15-13 edge.

Two free throws deadlocked the score at 15-15, but Orion edged ahead by two points just before the buzzer when Adah Swanson whipped the ball to Ella Sundberg for a basket.

In the second quarter, Swanson found the range from the free-throw line and the field to put Orion up 20-17.

Sundberg spun in two points to keep the Chargers in the lead 22-19.

But with 4:30 to go in the half, the Rebels tied the score and then began pulling ahead. They had a 29-22 lead at halftime.

In the third period, Orion outscored Stark County 5-3 to cut their deficit to 32-27. The quarter was scoreless until the clock ticked down past the midway point.

Orion’s points were scored on Abbott’s deuce and Drish’s trey.

Shortly after the fourth quarter began, Drish made up most of the five-point deficit. She stole the ball, went coast-to-coast and scored. Drish connected on a free throw to complete the old-fashioned three.

Courtney Farwell netted two free throws to tied the score at 32-all.

After Stark County edged ahead 33-32, Farwell passed from the arc to James under the basket for the two points that put Orion ahead 34-33 with 5:10 to go.

The Rebels crept ahead 37-34, only to have Farwell hit for two with 3:10 on the clock.

Two free throws extended the Stark County lead to four at 40-36.

With just over two minutes to go in the game, Farwell scored on a putback. When a Stark County pass went to Abbott at midcourt, she raced to the basket for two points to deadlock the score at 40-40.

But those would be the last points for the hosts. Stark County would go to the free-throw line and make all six attempts to secure the win.

Drish finished with 10 points; Farwell, eight; James, six; Abbott and Sundberg, four each; Swanson and Lillibridge, three each, and Riley Filler, two.

Orion had two treys, one by Lillibridge and one by Drish.

The Chargers made 10 of 13 free throws. Drish shot 3-for-3, Filler and Farwell 2-for-2, James 2-for-4 and Swanson 1-for-2.

The sophomore game went in Orion’s favor 43-13.

While the Rebels’ entire team scored only 13 points, Charger Adah Swanson tallied 14 points and her teammate Madeline Nightingale, 13. Katie Christensen and Mary Mohr added six points each and Ella Sundberg, four.

Orion was 3-for-8 at the charity stripe. Mohr shot 2-for-4.