Prep basketball: Tigers’ size too much for Rosecrans

ZANESVILLE – Rosecrans’ youthful exuberance tried its best to handcuff a much taller Marietta team on Hall of Fame Night.

But the Tigers’ overwhelming size proved to be too much Friday.

Braden Riley and Jonathan Wood, 6-foot-5 and 6-6, respectively, combined for 30 points and 18 rebounds, and the Bishops shot 28 percent in a 55-38 loss in an East Central Ohio League game at Rogge Gymnasium.

The Tigers (2-2 ECOL) also got a game-high 17 points with a trio of 3-pointers from 6-2 junior Corey Hill, who was playing his first game of the season after tonsil surgery.

Hill had eight points – including a pair of 3s – during an 11-0 run that saw the Tigers turn a 20-20 tie with 2:03 left in the second quarter into a 31-20 lead with 5:38 left in the third.

Rosecrans (2-5, 1-2) never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.

“He’d only had one practice,” Marietta coach Mark Duckworth said. “We weren’t sure how he was going to play, but obviously came out and did pretty well. It’s nice to have him back.”

Rosecrans played without top scorer Aaron Gehlken, who sat out after suffering a concussion.

Without their best outside shooter, the Bishops struggled mightily to find their touch, hitting 3-of-22 3-pointers and 13-of-46 field goals.

It gave them little chance against a Tigers team that was intent on pounding the ball to their two big men.

“We played really hard,” Rosecrans coach Todd Rock said. “Give Marietta credit, they came in here and did what they had to do to win the game.

“I liked how (we competed),” Rock said. “We have to play that way every night to give ourselves a chance. The upper division (of the ECOL) is going to be tough on us, but we’re going to keep getting better.”

After turning over the ball 14 times in the first half, which led to deficits of 6-2 and 16-14, the Tigers only had four in the third.

Marietta led 42-27 entering the fourth, a lead that swelled to 20 points before both teams emptied their benches.

The Tigers shot 53 percent and had a 35-17 edge in rebounding. Riley had 10.

“For us it was a tale of two halves really,” Duckworth said. “Give Rosecrans credit, they came out with that scrambling defense and it gave us trouble and we got in some foul trouble.

“I was pleased with how we played in the third quarter and how we rebounded,” Duckworth said. “And our size was a factor, but that only matters if you’ve got guards who buy in and get them the ball. We did a good job of doing that tonight.”

Jared Cox had 11 points and Elliot Start eight for Rosecrans, which visits West Muskingum tonight. Jesse Melick had five of the Bishops’ 12 steals.