Prep girls basketball: MHS girls ousted

CHILLICOTHE – The Marietta Lady Tigers had a tough time getting shots to fall in a 49-43 loss to Miami Trace in a district semifinal game at Southeastern High School Thursday night.

Marietta was just 14-for-48 (29 percent) from the floor while the Lady Panthers were 12-for-31 (39 percent).

The Tigers seemed to have things under control early, taking a 14-6 lead into the second quarter, but Miami Trace responded with a 20-9 run in the second quarter and never looked back.

“We had a lot of good looks,” said Marietta head coach Scott Cozzens. “When you get this far in the tournament, and you have a bad half quarter, it can really put you behind the eight ball, and we did.”

Trace was led by Ariana Mabra’s 16 points. Abby Schwenk added 15, and Deidra McKay put in 11. Erica Dawson paced Marietta with 20 points, while Lain Weppler also hit double-digits with 10.

Lexi Walsh opened the scoring by banking in a 3-pointer, and then Dawson converted a four-point play to give Marietta a 7-0 lead. Later, three straight points by Weppler extended the lead to 12-4. Trace’s Kelsey Wilson traded baskets with Dawson to make the score 14-6 at the end of one.

Early in the second period, Dawson hit a jumper followed by a trey from Weppler to give Marietta its largest lead of the contest at 19-8. The Panthers then went on a 9-2 run before a free throw by Dawson made it 22-17 in the Tigers’ favor. Trace then scored nine unanswered, six from Mabra, to take a 26-22 lead before a foul shot from Haley Bonar cut it to 26-23 at halftime.

Abby Schwenk hit consecutive buckets followed by a jumper from Mabra to go up 32-23 midway through the third quarter. Later, a putback by Schwenk made it an 11-point game before a pair of free throws by Weppler and a layup by Starr Johnson brought it to 36-29. A bucket by Dawson and a free throw by Johnson made it 38-32 going into the final stanza.

Miami Trace opened the quarter on a 7-2 run to bring it back to an 11-point game. Dawson hit a 3-pointer and later a foul shot to make it 45-39 with 47 seconds left, but the Panthers were able to hold the Tigers off to secure the win.

“The kids didn’t stop fighting,” Cozzens said. “They battled to the end. The game is basically over but I’ve got seniors out there diving on the floor. Give (Miami Trace) credit. They played well. They made the big free throws down the stretch. They deserved to move on today.”

Marietta out-rebounded the Panthers 30-29 and committed 13 turnovers to Trace’s 18, but could not overcome the shooting deficiencies.

The Lady Tigers finished the year with a record of 14-10. It was the final high school game for seniors Dawson, Walsh, Bonar, Kaitlyn Cozzens, Luisa Barton and Kristen Hill.

“I challenged the younger kids to have the work ethic of the older kids,” Cozzens said. “I told them ‘In the 42 years of basketball at Marietta High School, you’ve accomplished more than anyone. When you walk in and see on the banner the sectional championships, they had one when you got here. They’ve got five as you leave. You’ve got two regional appearances. You’ve set the bar.'”