Big performances from Erica Dawson have become all but a given these days, but when other players for the Marietta Lady Tigers are stepping up and doing well, they are virtually unstoppable.
That is what took place Wednesday night at Sutton Gymnasium when Marietta defeated Cambridge 65-41.
In addition to Dawson's 24 points, eight rebounds and six steals, the Tigers also got eight points apiece from Kaitlyn Cozzens, Starr Johnson and Taylor Smith. Overall, nine players scored at least two points for Marietta.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Marietta High’s Starr Johnson, left, is fouled in the act of shooting by Cambridge’s Kiersten Taylor (20) during East Central Ohio League girls’ basketball action at Sutton Gym Wednesday night. MHS won 65-41.
"The younger kids are starting to play. Everybody is starting to contribute a little and do their part," said Marietta head coach Scott Cozzens. "That's exciting."
While the final score was fairly lopsided, it was a back-and-forth game early, with six lead changes in the first quarter.
The Tigers dented the scoreboard first with a basket from Cozzens. Cambridge's Mallory Taylor responded with a bucket of her own to tie things up. After a 2-pointer from Dawson, Mariah Rosstier hit from long range to put the Bobcats up 5-4.
Marietta 65, Cambridge 41
Cambridge 16 11 10 4 - 41
Marietta 15 23 10 17 - 65
Kiersten Taylor 1 5-5 7, Hallie Stocker 3 6-8 12, Mallory Taylor 3 5-9 11, Mariah Rossiter 2 0-0 5, Abby Seckman 1 2-2 4, Kennedy Seckman 1 0-0 2, Jonnierah Smith 0 0-0 0, Annabel Ryan 0 0-0 0, Hannah Miller 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 18-24 41.
Marietta (5-0, 4-0)
Lexi Walsh 2 0-0 4, Luisa Barton 0 3-4 3, Taylor Smith 3 0-2 8, Lain Weppler 2 0-0 4, Brittany Deskins 0 2-2 2, Erica Dawson 8 7-9 24, Lauren Martin 0 0-0 0, Haley Bonar 0 0-2 0, Kaitlyn Cozzens 4 0-0 8, Allie Moore 2 0-0 4, Starr Johnson 3 2-2 8, Gracie Haas 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 14-21 65.
Team stats: Cambridge: Shooting: 11-34 (32 percent); 3-point shooting: 1-7 (Rossiter); Rebounds: 19 (K. Taylor 6); Steals: 7 (Rossiter 3); Turnovers: 20; Marietta: Shooting: 24-49 (49 percent); 3-point shooting: 3-13 (Smith 2); Rebounds: 26 (Dawson 8); Steals: 11 (Dawson 6); Turnovers: 16.
Next game: Marietta at Rosecrans at 6 p.m. Saturday
Cozzens then knocked down a jumper, followed by a pair of free throws from Dawson to put the Tigers back on top.
After Cambridge's Hallie Stocker and Marietta's Allie Moore traded baskets, the Bobcats scored four consecutive points to take an 11-10 lead. Cozzens struck again with a layup before Stocker hit a jumper and Kiersten Taylor converted a three point play to give Cambridge its largest lead of the game at 16-12. Smith hit a corner 3 for Marietta to cut it to 16-15 at the end of the first quarter.
The game continued to go in see-saw fashion until midway through the second quarter, when Marietta took the for good on a basket by Johnson to make it 26-24. Dawson was then fouled attempting a 3-pointer and nailed a trio of foul shots to make it 29-24, and the Tigers never looked back.
Later in the quarter, Marietta took advantage of sloppy play by Cambridge as Dawson and Lexi Walsh each recorded steals and turned them into fastbreak layups. This extended the lead to 38-24, and it was 38-27 at halftime.
Each team scored 10 points in the third quarter, with Marietta maintaining an 11 point lead going into the final quarter. Johnson knocked down a layup before Taylor made two free throws to make the score 51-39. From there, the Tigers would score 14 of the final 16 points to ice the game.
Marietta held the advantage over the Bobcats in just about every statistical category. The Tigers shot 49 percent (24-for-49) to Cambridge's 32 percent (11-for-34) and held a 26-19 edge in rebounding. The Tigers also turned the ball over 16 times while the Bobcats coughed it up 20 times.
Marietta remained undefeated with the win at 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the East Central Ohio League. The Tigers have now beaten each team in the Scarlet division of the ECOL.
"It's what we've talked about," Cozzens said of getting the season off to a good start. "We've played everyone in our division now and beaten them. That gives us a leg up."
Cozzens believes the team is starting to click as a unit, and if that is the case, the remaining schools on Marietta's schedule should beware.
"The kids are starting to come together as a team," Cozzens said. "I thought this was maybe our best team effort tonight."