MARION -- For a second straight night, the Marion High School girls basketball team used a gutsy performance to pick up a victory.
The Lady Wildcats followed Monday night's conference win over Centralia with a hard-fought 34-28 triumph over rival Herrin on Tuesday at Cuss Wilson Gymnasium.
Marion is now 14-12 with the streak and finishes the regular season on Thursday night, with the postseason set to begin next Monday.
Herrin scored the first five points and led 7-5 at the end of the frame on a basket by Grace Lenhoff, but Marion took the lead with an 8-0 run as Abby Bayer, Jordan Turner, Jasa Bell and Jackie Drury all scored early in the second period.
McKenzie Orange added a free throw and Daishen Wolaver also scored to give Marion an 11-2 run, then Maddie Goodley netted a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to give the Lady Wildcats a 19-11 lead at intermission.
Bayer scored the first points of the second half to give Marion its largest lead of the night at 21-11, only to see Herrin pull within 21-19 behind five points from Layla Wade before Bell hit a pair of free throws to make it 23-19 at the third stop.
Madison Russell hit a 3-pointer and layup to help Herrin tie the game at 27 with 3:05 left, but Marion answered with Bell scoring off a nifty pass from Bayer and it was free throws the rest of the way.
Orage, Bayer and Bell all at least split from the line in the game's final 2:37 to keep the Lady Wildcats ahead.
Bayer finished with 10 points and Bell had eight, while Orange netted six. Wolaver and Goodley had three and Drury chipped in two.
Wade led Herrin with 10 points. Lenhoff had six, Russell added five, Morgan McKinnies had four and Ashton Hawk contributed three.
Marion finishes the regular season with Senior Night against Carbondale on Thursday, then takes on Massac County on Monday, Feb. 12, in the first round of the Carterville 3A Regional at 6 p.m.
Herrin plays Murphysboro in the game after that. The winner of Marion and Massac County advances to Tuesday's first semifinal game against Carterville, with Olney facing either Murphysboro or Herrin in the second game.
The regional championship is slated for Thursday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m.