Tigers surge past Golden Eagles
Marietta High had its best offensive outing of the season.
The Tigers never trailed en route to a 93-65 triumph over Belpre High in Peoples Bank River City Classic boys’ basketball action at Marietta College’s Ban Johnson Arena Friday night.
“I felt like we got into a rhythm tonight,” said second-year MHS head coach Glenn Dawson. “We got all 14 of our kids in the game, and all of them contributed somehow. So, I was happy for that.”
Austyn Chen, a non-starter, scored a career-high 17 points to lead the Tigers, who improved their record to 3-6 overall. Kail Hill and Jermaine Burke each added 13 markers, while Austin Witucky had 11. Mark Duckworth netted eight.
“It was a good game for Chen,” Dawson said. “He hustled and worked for everything he got tonight. He did a great job.”
Marietta’s pine chipped in with 47 points.
“The bench produced,” Dawson said. “They’re hungry, and that’s what it takes sometimes. They came out here and worked extremely hard — and it paid off for them.”
Tyler Leasure-coached Belpre (2-5) was paced by Cole Knotts’ game-high 19 points. Logan Adams added 14, while Bailey Sprague and Brandon Simoniette had 11 apiece.
After Derek Duckworth drained a three in the opening minute of play, Marietta was off and running.
The Tigers had a 13-1 lead before Belpre got its next points at the 3:34 mark. When the period ended, MHS, sparked by Witucky’s seven points off the bench, owned a 24-11 advantage.
In the second stanza, Chen had seven points and Burke six as the Tiger lead bulged to 45-29 at the intermission. Keeping the Golden Eagles in the contest, Knotts had 14 first-half points, including four threes.
After the break, Belpre had a 6-0 run on four points by Adams and a Simoniette bucket to reduce the deficit to 12, 47-35. But Marietta, sparked by Burke, Witucky and Max Miller, was able to come back and stretch its lead to 24 (66-42) going into the final period.
In the fourth quarter, the Tigers posted their fourth straight 20-plus point period to win going away.
“It was a fun game for these guys,” Dawson said. “Now, we’ve got to focus and look forward to Meigs tomorrow night.
“Hopefully, we come out with the same kind of attitude, excitement, pressure and momentum.”