Kroft, Altenberger record double-doubles in Tigers’ win

Hannah Kroft and Morgan Altenburger each finished with double-doubles Saturday afternoon as the Marietta Tigers downed the Zanesville Blue Devils 62-49 in an East Central Ohio League matinee at Sutton Gymnasium.

The Tiger cagers never trailed in the game as they used a balanced attack and some outstanding play off of their bench to hand Zanesville their fifth loss in seven decisions.

“Our girls really, really wanted this one. They are a very young group and they just need to learn how to win,” said second- year MHS head coach Allen Ruth. “They wanted to win today and they needed to win and they needed that boost of confidence.”

The Tigers led by four at the end of the first quarter keyed by six points from sophomore guard Jessica Smith.

Marietta extended that lead by seven at the intermission (24-17) as seven different Tiger girls scored at least one point.

Zanesville cut the lead to five to open the second half on a Alena Mayle field goal before the orange and black quickly extended their lead back to 13 thanks to an 8-0 run.

Junior post player Hannah Kroft got the run going with back-to-back field goals before Morgan Altenburger and Jennifer Smith scored buckets in transition to push the lead to 32-19

Sophomore Katie Korodi got her first taste of extended playing time at the varsity level and made the best of it as the energy she brought off of the Tiger bench along with Jennifer Smih played a key role in the Marietta run.

“I will tell you what Katie Korodi really stepped up and played well for us today,” said Ruth of Korodi, who scored four points. grabbed four rebounds and came up with three steals in her limited amount of playing time. “I was really happy with the way Katie played and Jennifer Smith stepped up and played really hard as well.”

The Devils managed to whittle the Tiger lead down to five at the end of the third period but the Tigers answered by scoring 11 of the first 12 points of the final period to push their lead to 47-32 with 5:15 to play.

Marietta pushed their lead to as many as 19 as they notched their second victory of the season against four defeats.

Kroft led the Tigers with 15 points and 12 rebounds while Altenburger added 10 points and 11 boards.

Twin sisters Jennifer and Jessica Smith finished with eight points apiece for the Tigers, who will host arch-rival Warren on Monday night.

“We’ve got a big game Monday night and I was hoping we weren’t looking past this game today,” said Ruth. “We had a good couple of days of practice this week and it was good to see it pay off for us.”

The Tigers improved to 2-4 on the season and share an identical 2-3 conference record with (2-5) Zanesville.