Victoria Buzzard's short jumper at the buzzer gave the Warren Lady Warriors a dramatic 48-47 victory over the Marietta Lady Tigers Thursday evening at Sutton Gymnasium.
Marietta took its first lead since the opening quarter of the game on a Brittany Deskins' free throw with four seconds left on the clock but the Lady Warriors drove the length of the court with Buzzard's shot bouncing on the rim before falling through just as the buzzer sounded.
Josey Riffle took the in- bounds pass for the royal blue and white and made it to halfcourt before finding Buzzard along the baseline for the game winning shot.
MIKE MORRISON The Marietta Times
Marietta High’s Alle Moore (42) looks to pass as Warren’s Josey Riffle (33) defends during non-conference girls basketball action at Sutton Gym Thursday night.
MIKE MORRISON The Marietta Times
Marietta High’s Taylor Smith (10) drives on Warren’s Sarah Proctor (20) Thursday night.
"Coach (Amy Colgrove) drew up one play but then she changed it," said Buzzard. "Katie Rauch set a nice screen to free up Josey (Riffle) and she got it to me and somehow I was able to make the shot."
Marietta had called back-to-back timeouts after Deskins' free throw allowing Colgrove the opportunity to change her mind and draw up what proved to be the game winning play.
"Katie Rauch set a great screen for Victoria and we were able to find her down there," said Colgrove. "Josey kind of fumbled the ball for a minute but she was able to get the ball to Victoria (Buzzard)."
WARREN 48 MARIETTA 47
Warren 19 8 11 10 - 48
Marietta 7 11 14 15 - 47
Audrey Bowe 3-9 0-0 6, Sarah Proctor 3-5 2-4 8, Victoria Buzzard 5-13 5-6 18, Josey Riffle 2-5 0-1 4, Katie Rauch 1-3 0-0 2, Adrienne Lang 2-4 0-0 4, Kate Ryan 3-3 0-0 6, Kelsey Bartmess 0-1 0-1 0, Totals: 19-43 7-12 48. Three-Point Goals: 3 (Buzzard 3).
Taylor Smith 0-5 0-3 0, Madison Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Lain Weppler 4-12 4-5 13, Brittany Deskins 2-2 2-4 7, Lauren Martin 4-11 2-4 11, Alle Moore 2-4 0-0 4, Starr Johnson 5-8 2-2 12, Tyler Lamb 0-2 0-0 0, Kallee Dowler 0-2 0-0 0, Totals: 17-46 11-18 47. Three-Point Goals: 3 (Weppler, Deskins, Martin).
Warren: Shooting: 19-43 (44.2 percent), Three-Point Shooting: 3-10 (30 percent), Rebounds: 28 (Buzzard 8, Ryan 5), Assists: 10 (Riffle 4), Steals: 8 (Riffle 5), Turnovers: 16, Team Fouls: 19.
Marietta: Shooting: 17-46 (36.9 percent), Three-Point Shooting: 3-11 (27.3 percent), Rebounds: 29 (Johnson 11, Moore 7), Assists: 9 (Deskins 3), Steals: 5 (Martin 2), Turnovers: 15, Team Fouls: 15.
Next Games: Warren at Logan (Saturday), Vinton County at Marietta (Saturday).
Junior Varsity Game
Marietta 34 Warren 13
Warren Scoring: Autumn Roddy 5, Kate Ryan 4, Raelyn Gardner 2, Jada Croston 2.
Marietta Scoring: Kallee Dowler 11, Madison Miller 6, Hannah Grosel 6, Shae Hutchinson 4, Shannon Hasley 3, Olivia Linscott 2, Audrey May 2.
Warren used a 15-0 run to close the opening quarter to pull out to an early 19-7 lead forcing the Tigers to play come-from-behind basketball for the rest of the way.
The orange and black began to chip away at the Warren lead in the second quarter and baskets by Starr Johnson, Lauren Martin, and Lain Weppler in the last minute of the half trimmed the WHS lead to 27-18 at intermission.
Marietta head coach Mark Hannuksela was not pleased at all with his team's effort in the first 16 minutes.
"Our effort was just awful in the first half and Warren's wasn't," said Hannuksela.
"I realize we came back and gave ourselves a chance, but you just can't play two quarters and be a successful basketball team."
The Tigers looked much better in the third quarter as Deskins drained a triple and the Tiger defense forced three Warren turnovers in the first minute of the second half to trim the lead to five at 27-22.
Weppler's three-point play with 3:33 to play in the third closed the lead to three but Warren got three points to close out the third by Sarah Proctor to cling to a 38-32 lead heading to the final eight minutes of play.
Riffle opened the final quarter with a drive to the bucket for a deuce and after Marietta's Alle Moore scored on a rebound, Kate Ryan scored an inside field goal to send the lead to 42-34 with five minutes to go.
Johnson, who was honored along with fellow senior Tyler Lamb prior to the game, sank a pair of freebies and then scored on a nice assist from Martin to trim the lead to four.
Buzzard's two free throws made it a six-point lead with 3:33 to play, but MHS got a free throw by Martin and four straight points by Weppler to creep to within a single point with less than two minutes to play.
Buzzard drove strong to the basket to make it a 46-43 game before Weppler answered with a huge triple to tie the game at 46-46 with one minute to play.
The Warriors came up empty on their attempt to retake the lead and on Marietta's ensuing possession, Deskins was fouled by Buzzard, sending her to the free-throw line with a chance to give the Tigers the lead with just four seconds to play.
Deskins first shot was no good but the junior guard recovered to make the second to give the Tigers the lead and set up the dramatic finish.
Riffle took the inbound pass under the Tiger basket and momentarily stumbled before recovering to find Buzzard for the game-winner.
"Everybody set their screens really, really good and I got the ball and I was going to get it to Vic (Buzzard) no matter what," said Riffle, who saw extended playing time due to an injury to starting Warriors point guard Kendra Lynch. "It was a tough battle all the way through and it was nice to be able to pull out a victory."
Buzzard led all scorers with 18 points while Proctor finished with eight for Warren.
Riffle finished with just four points but added five key steals and four key assists to the Warrior attack.
"She (Riffle) brings a lot of intensity to our team," said Colgrove of her 5-foot-3 junior guard. "When she steps on the floor it seems like everyone else picks up their game a couple of notches."
Weppler scored seven of her team-high 13 points in the final quarter while Johnson completed a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds and Martin chipped in with 11 for the Lady Tigers.
The dramatic victory evened the Warren season mark at 9-9 while MHS dropped to 14-6 with the loss.
Hannuksela was disappointed to let a victory slip away on senior night.
"Our seniors have contributed a lot to our team and our program," said Hannuksela, whose team will host Vinton County in a make-up game on Saturday. "They are hurting right now because this is a game that they really wanted to win."
Next up for the Warriors is a trip to Logan on Saturday.