Warriors roll past rival Marietta High, 78-61

JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times Warren’s Chase Weihl (23) handles the ball as Marietta’s Gage Herb looks on during a high school boys basketball game Tuesday in Vincent. Weihl scored a game-high 20 points as Warren won, 78-61.

VINCENT — Warren needed a big-time comeback to defeat Marietta earlier in the season.

This time, the Warriors almost never trailed. After outscoring the Tigers 15-2 in the second quarter, Warren rolled to a 78-61 victory Tuesday to improve to 9-2 on the season.

“It was a good team win,” said Warren senior Bishop Ford. “We all shared the ball well.”

Ford was one of three Warriors who scored in double figures. Ford’s 16 points off the bench complemented Chase Weihl’s 20 and Kyler Dennis’ 19. Bryce Gandee added 10 for the winners.

Warren countered everything Marietta attempted on defense successfully, shooting 58 percent (29 for 50) from the floor. On the other side, Marietta (5-5) was just 21 for 66 (32 percent) in the game and did not make a field goal in the game-changing second period.

“Second quarter was the big difference for us,” said MHS head coach Glenn Dawson. “If that’s the only production our offense is giving us, we’re in trouble. Warren’s a good team. We knew coming in here it was going to be a battle. We certainly got one.”

In December, Warren rallied from a 21-point deficit to defeat Marietta 85-82 at Sutton Gym. From the jump Tuesday, it looked like the game would be just as tight as the last one as Warren led 20-19 after the opening stanza. Travis Moore’s two free throws 30 seconds into the second quarter gave Marietta a 21-20 lead, its only advantage of the game. Warren then closed out the first half with 15 straight points to take a 35-21 lead into halftime.

“We wanted to focus on getting layups and attacking the rim and I thought we did a good job of that,” said Warren head coach Blane Maddox. “We knew in the second half they would have to come and get us and that would open up layups for us. When we took care of the basketball we got layups and when we didn’t they got turnovers and points. Would’ve liked for us to finish a little stronger the last three or four minutes but overall I thought we played well.”

Marietta got within no more than 10 points of Warren’s lead in the second half as the Warriors responded every time it appeared the Tigers might make a run.

“They have some good shooters,” Dawson said. “We didn’t get out and contest some 3-point shots and they put them in the hoop when they needed to.”

Weihl, who finished with 10 rebounds for a double-double, threw down a slam dunk midway through the fourth quarter to put an exclamation point on the win. Ford and Josh Huffman added eight boards apiece for Warren.

“Bishop Ford came in and gave us an outstanding lift,” Maddox praised. “I’ll tell you what, every player was happy for him. Seniors don’t always get the minutes but they keep grinding at it and grinding at it. We are happy for Bishop. He deserved it and he definitely helped us out huge tonight. I’m glad he was patient with us.”

Marietta was led by Zack Deskins’ 15 points. Turner Hill added 12 points while Moore finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Trent Dawson, Marietta’s leading scorer for the season, has been limited with the flu and finished with six points.

“We battled and did get back within 10 at one point so we had some fight in us,” said coach Dawson, whose Tigers return home Friday to play New Philadelphia. “We just could not close it out.”

Warren will visit Rio Grande Saturday where it will take on Spring Valley. The Warriors have not lost to their Washington County rivals since 2009.

“That feels really nice,” Ford said. “Absolutely.”