Prep boys basketball: Tigers down Eagles

BELPRE – Braden Riley was a force inside throughout the game, tallying 25 points, as Marietta High edged host Belpre 60-59 in non-conference boys basketball action Saturday night.

MHS, now 4-2, led all the way, but could never put the scrappy Golden Eagles away, with the outcome coming down to the last minute of the last quarter.

After falling behind by nine (49-40) with 5:48 to play, Belpre kept within reasonable striking distance (5-7 points) over the next 3:40 until Tavian Miller canned a trey with 2:06 left to make the count 53-49.

With Deijon Bedgood sinking 11 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter, the Golden Eagles pulled within three (56-53) with just 1:30 to play. The spread was four at 58-54 in the final minute when Brennen Ferrell drove down the lane for a successful shot with 31.4 seconds remaining to make it a two-point game at 58-56.

But Marietta’s Garrett Bertram got loose on the other end and was free down low in the lane to take a feed for a layup at the 6.6-second mark for a 60-56 lead before Miller drilled a desperation 3-ball at the final horn to make it only a single-point difference.

The 6-foot-5 Riley was followed in the scoring column for the Tigers by Dillon Sturm with 11 and Corey Hill with 10.

For Belpre, which dropped to 4-4, Ferrell netted 16 points, Bedgood bagged 14 and Nick Therriault finished with 12.

Marietta, with Riley’s eight points in the first quarter, went up 14-9, and led 26-18 at the half of the rugged, physical game. A 14-14 standoff in the third quarter took the game to the last eight minutes, with Belpre getting the gap down to four twice before John Henry’s three-point play and a Hill hoop upped the lead to nine, 49-40.

MHS is scheduled to host New Philadelphia in an East Central Ohio League game Friday at 7:30 p.m.