Big, bad Jon.
At 6-foot-11, Marietta High senior Jon Sewell is the tallest boys' basketball player in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League.
He's also one of the big reasons why the Tigers are 12-4 overall and 5-4 in the SEOAL going into Friday night's scheduled 7:30 game against Portsmouth at Sutton Gym.
On Tuesday night, Sewell scored seven points and grabbed five boards in a 62-46 Marietta win at Logan.
"Jon stepped up again and had a good effort," said MHS head coach J.D. Secrest after Sewell posted a double-nine with nine points and nine rebounds in a 56-37 Tiger win over visiting Gallia Academy last Saturday night.
"He's trying to be (a force)."
A couple of days before Christmas, Sewell was a tower of power when he scored 18 points and collected eight boards in a 71-63 triumph over the visiting Athens Bulldogs.
"It's hard work, working all through the summer and everything - and trying to get some weight down," said Sewell after the Gallia Academy game."
All that work is indeed paying off, and even though Sewell's offensive stats aren't like that of the Athens game every night, just his presence in the paint at the defensive end of the floor has been very beneficial to the Tigers.
Call him swat man, because in every game this season, he either blocks shots or alters them.
With his long arm reach and strength, Sewell makes opposing pivot players think twice about muscling the ball to the basket. He also discourages guard penetration in the lane.
In essence, when Sewell's on the floor, opponents have had to basically rely on an offensive perimeter game, because it's very difficult to shoot over him.
Warren's 6-3 standout center Grant Venham tried and finished with only two field goals and seven total points before fouling out of the game in the fourth quarter.
Chillicothe's 6-8 junior Malik London also accepted the challenge, but could only manage nine hard-earned points on two field goals. More often than not, he had his shot either blocked or altered by Sewell.
The Cavs' center even had the nerve to try to dunk on Sewell - unsuccessfully.
After Chilli defeated Marietta 60-45, veteran Cavaliers head coach Gary Kellough said that London just didn't finish very well.
Well, Sewell had a lot to do with London's sub-par performance on offense.
At the other end of the floor, Sewell displayed a nice baby hook and scored 10 points.
"We got on Jon at halftime," Secrest said, "and he came out and responded in the second half."
As regular-season play winds down, Marietta has good reason to be optimistic when the playoffs tip off. The Tigers could be a force to be reckoned with later this month.
"Jon's come a long way, and we told him we're going to ride him from here on out," said Secrest after the Gallia game. "He'll have to carry us."
As big as Sewell is, that shouldn't be any problem whatsoever. In fact, he's looking forward to it.
"I'm just trying to get better every day," he said.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441 or firstname.lastname@example.org