Marietta High falls to 0-2 after 52-37 loss to Dover

MIKE MORRISON The Marietta Times Marietta High’s Natalie Brooks handles the ball during a high school girls basketball game against Dover Wednesday at Sutton Gymnasium.

It’s hard to imagine a worse start in your first home game of the season than the Marietta Lady Tigers got off to in Wednesday night’s East Central Ohio League opener against Dover.

The young Lady Tigers could simply not buy a bucket in the early going as they did not make a single field goal in the opening period as they dropped a 52-37 decision to the Lady Tornadoes.

Marietta turned the ball over 10 times in the opening eight minutes as they fell behind 16-2 and did not make their first field goal until sophomore Hannah Kroft scored an inside basket with six minutes to play in the second quarter.

The orange and black spent the rest of the game attempting to cut into the Dover lead but in the end the tough beginning was just too much to overcome.

“We are still trying to figure things out and this is a brand new system for them,” said first-year Tiger head coach Alan Ruth. “I thought we played hard but you just cant make ten turnovers in a quarter and fall behind 16-2 and expect to win.”

Once the Tigers finally got their first field goal they begin to heat up as they got a length- of- the-court drive for a score by junior Torrance Nonnenmacher and a three-ball by Morgan Connolly that trimmed the Tornado lead to 20-11 with just over two minutes to play in the half.

Dover rallied to score four of the final five points of the half to take what appeared to be a comfortable 14-point lead into the intermission.

As cold as the Tigers were to begin the game they were as hot to begin the second half as they used an 11-2 run to cut the Dover lead to five with five minutes to play in the third.

Junior Natalie Brooks opened the scoring for MHS and senior Audrey Smith and freshman Morgan Altenburger connected on back-to-back triples.

An inside score by Dover post Claire Bauer briefly slowed the Marietta momentum but Smith answered with her second three-ball of the quarter to trim the lead to 28-23.

“That run was kind of like a glimmer of what I foresee us being at some point,” said Ruth. “We had glimpses of that in our first game against a very good Alexander team as well.”

Unfortunately for Ruth and his Tigers they were unable to sustain that momentum as Dover out-pointed them 7-2 the rest of the quarter to take a double-digit lead into the final period.

A three-point play by Hannah Neff to open the final quarter was followed by back-to-back field goals by Jordyn Kiser and Jada Weston to extend the lead to a game-high 17 points.

Marietta managed to whittle it back to 14 but that would be as close as they could get the rest of the way.

Kiser’s 13 points and 10 rebounds led a very balanced Dover attack.

Weston finished with 12 while Samantha Blair and Neff chipped in with nine and eight points respectively.

Marietta was led by Altenburger with 10 points while Kroft yanked down a team-high 10 rebounds.

Ruth feels his squad will need to get through a bit of a learning curve early on but is confident that will happen sooner than later.

“I thought we played hard enough, but the fundamentals are still lacking a little bit,” said Ruth. whose team will travel to Meadowbrook Saturday afternoon. “We’ve got a group that didn’t play a whole lot last year and they are all trying to figure it out. They are willing to work hard and I am too so it’s going to be a joint effort.”