Lady Pios roll: MC women use depth to trounce Bethany, 97-56

By Mike Morrison

The Marietta Times

Marietta College head girls basketball coach Stacia Shrider felt heading into the 2013-2014 season that team depth would be a big key to a successful campaign.

That team depth was on display Tuesday night as 12 Lady Pioneers scored at least a field goal as Marietta College rolled to a 97-56 non-conference win over the Bethany Lady Bison in their home opener.

“We had a lot of contributions from a lot of players tonight,” said Shrider in her second year as Pioneer head coach. “I think that is one of the things that is going to make us be successful this season is that we are deep and when we sub in we really don’t lose anything.”

The Pioneers jumped all over the Lady Bison from the very start as they scored the games first six points and 14 of the first 16.

Bethany went on a brief 6-2 run to trim the lead to 16-8, but the Lady Pios responded with an 11-0 run to push the lead out to 27-8 halfway thru the first half.

Eleven different Pioneers got in the score book in the opening half alone as Shrider substituted continuously while her team didn’t seem to skip a beat.

After a three-point play by Gabrielle Naples put an end to the MC run, the Pioneers scored nine straight points and the rout was on.

The Marietta College bench outscored Bethany’s bench 20-7 in the first half as they carried a commanding 50-23 lead into the intermission.

Bethany opened the second half with an 11-8 run but once again Marietta College bounced right back by scoring 12 unanswered points of its own to increase the lead to 70-34 with 13 minutes to play.

“We said at halftime how important it was to not let them get back into the game,” said Shrider. “We were able to extend the lead and that was exactly what we wanted to do. I think we are starting to turn the corner with our experience.”

For the second straight game the only drama remaining as the seconds wound down was whether or not he Lady Pios would eclipse the century mark in scoring.

Saturday, five Pioneers scored in double figures as MC routed D’Youville 96-74 and they were able to duplicate that feat against Bethany as once again five girls scored ten points or more.

Leading the way for Marietta College were the inside trio of Heather Booth, Candice Alexander and Mackenzie Kiser.

Booth, a graduate of Frontier High School, led the way with 18 points, while Alexander made good on 7-of-9 field goal attempts for 16 markers with Kiser coming off the bench to add 16 more.

“We had an advantage inside early on with our quickness and our guards did an good job of feeding them the ball,” said Shrider, whose team also out rebounded Bethany by a healthy 43-27 margin. “Our post did a great job of sealing and connecting around the rim.”

The Pioneers shot a blistering 59.4 percent from the floor in the game (38-64) including four of eight from behind the arc with three of those coming from senior guard Tori Dixon.

Dixon finished with 12 points in the game, while Sierra Sigman added 10 points off of the Pioneer bench.

Shenandoah High School graduate Sami Schott led the way for the Lady Bison with 13 points while Lauren Simpson and Taylor Verrico chipped in with 12 and 10 points respectively.

Fort Frye graduate Morgan Liedtke and Warren High School grad Jordanna Rauch made their home debuts for Marietta College.

Liedtke started the game for the Lady Pioneers and had three points and three assists, while Rauch added six points off the bench while collecting three assists of her own.

Add senior starting guard and Marietta High graduate Paige Lamb to the mix and the Pioneers are well stocked with a whole bunch of local talent.

“That was one of our goals as a staff when I took over was to keep as many good local kids here as we could,” said Shrider. “It has definitely helped our fan base and it’s helping our team too because they are all very good players.”

The Pioneers improved to 2-1 with the win and will next travel to Chatham (Pa.) Saturday for another non- conference contest.