Marion blistered the nets for an incredible 64-percent shooting night and dealt the Wildcats a 69-55 loss Dec. 30 in Illinois.
Trigg County finished the tournament with a 3-2 record and finished third out of six teams in the round-robin format.
The loss came just five hours after Trigg lost to the tournament champion Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Ill. 51-46.
"We were kind of pathetic on defense really. It was very disappointing," said Wildcat head coach Bill Chumbler. "They had too many back door cuts against us."
Trigg played both games without sophomore Russell Mackins, who suffered a knee injury in the Wildcats’ overtime win over Cairo, Ill. the previous night. The sophomore forward had his knee examined by the Southern Illinois University training staff Thursday and was on had to witness Trigg’s loss to Marion.
The Wildcats also played without sophomore guard Rodney Davis, who suffered a thigh injury in the day’s earlier game against SHG and left the gym after the Marion game on crutches.
"We got tired, but we just didn’t shoot well. We could have used Rodney outside and Russell inside to free up the other players," Chumbler said.
Even without the injured players, Trigg County found itself in shape to knock off the home standing Wildcats, who finished the tournament with a 4-1 record.
Jeremy Jones buried a 27-footer at the halftime horn to give Trigg County a 38-37 lead at intermission.
But Marion found gaping holes in Trigg’s defense in the second half, and the Wildcats couldn’t find the basket.
Marion (11-3) opened the second half on an 11-3 run as the Wildcats missed 17 of their first 22 shots in the second half after hitting 17-of-31 in the first half.
Trigg County cut the deficit to five points on three occasions, but Marion countered with a 13-2 run over the latter part of the third quarter and most of the fourth quarter to build a 65-49 lead with 2:37 left.
Andrew Dunn, a 6-5 forward, constantly found himself open against the Wildcat defense and finished with a game-high 30 points on 13-of-17 shooting from the field.
Xavier Anthony was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field and finished with 14 points after sitting out most of the first half in foul trouble.
Jones led Trigg County with 22 points, including 13 in the second quarter when the Wildcats outscored Marion 24-20.
However, he finished with just 1-of-11 in the second half as Marion’s pressure defense took its toll.
With a second quarter jumper, Jones topped 1,000 points for his career and became the 17th member of Trigg County’s 1,000-point club.
Jamaal Boyd scored eight points, and Zack Wright, Steven Wadlington, and T.J. O’Hara each scored six points.
Without the services of their leading rebounder Mackins, the Wildcats were beat on the glass 27-19 by Marion.
"Marion is a well-schooled team. We were just standing and not talking on defense. We haven’t learned that yet apparently," Chumbler said.
The Wildcats saw their six-game winning streak snapped in Illinois, but returned home with an 8-3 record.
After playing five of their first 11 games against out-of-state teams, the Wildcats get back to playing area teams for the remaining two months on their schedule.
Trigg County kicked off a five-game homestand Tuesday night against Livingston Central.
The Wildcats will host Hopkins County Central (5-7) Friday night for homecoming at 7:30 p.m. It will be the first meeting between the teams since 1999. In four career games, each team has won twice.
Next Tuesday, the Wildcats will host Caldwell County at Wildcat Gym.
Caldwell (8-4) beat Trigg 71-70 Dec. 10 in Princeton – Trigg’s only loss against a Kentucky team.
While Caldwell County has won two straight games against the Wildcats, Trigg has won the two straight at Wildcat Gym.