Marietta snaps skid, upends Zanesville 45-41
ZANESVILLE — The opportunities were there for Zanesville.
Yet, the Blue Devils couldn’t convert on Friday night.
Zanesville missed its final seven shots of the game and was 3 of 7 at the foul line in the fourth quarter of a 45-41 loss to visiting Marietta in East Central Ohio League action at Winland Memorial Gymnasium.
The Blue Devils took a 34-28 advantage into the fourth quarter, thanks to a 9-0 run in the third.
Shelton Redman split a pair of free throws early in the fourth for a 35-31 Zanesville lead, but five turnovers led to several easy buckets for Marietta in the final stanza.
The Blue Devils, who played without leading scorer Cory Norris due to a coach’s decision, dropped to 4-5 overall and 3-2 in the league.
“We played hard and showed signs of improvement, especially against the press, but we have a difficult time scoring,” ZHS coach Scott Aronhalt said. “We made critical mistakes with either turnovers or our rebounding down the stretch. Our execution was lacking, and they caught us.”
Derek Duckworth, who finished with 12 points, sparked the Tigers in the fourth. His three-point play cut the deficit to 35-34.
After a Ryan Mannix hoop put Marietta up one, Duckworth stole an errant pass and laid it in for a 38-36 lead.
A pair of Austin Witucky free throws stretched the Tigers’ lead to four, 40-36, but the Blue Devils tied it on a pair of hoops by Brennan Reasoner.
Marietta went ahead for good on the ensuing possession when Witucky scored down low with about two minutes remaining.
The Tigers (2-6 overall) made three of four free throws in the final 58 seconds to secure the win.
They also held a 26-23 edge on the glass and held Zanesville to 15-of-38 shooting, including 3 of 16 behind the arc.
“We needed this one. We’ve been in a lot of games in the fourth quarter, but things didn’t bounce our way,” Marietta coach J.D. Secrest said. “We made the plays and the foul shots down the stretch. Our defense gave them some problems, and our bench sparked us.
“Our guys battled for 32 minutes, and we knew we needed to do that,” he added. “We haven’t played a team with a losing record so hopefully, this effort carries over and we can get a couple more next week.”
Jackson Graham had a team-high 13 points and hit a pair of 3s in the first quarter to put the Tigers up 9-6 after one.
Zanesville clawed back and took a 17-15 lead after Clayton Foreman found Redman, who scored 11, for an easy bucket in the paint.
Graham answered with a 3, and Mannix converted a three-point play after a Foreman hoop to put Marietta up 21-19 late in the second quarter.
However, Greg Gibson hit Kaleb Young for a layup with 30 seconds left in the half to tie the game at 21.
Marietta led early in the third and went up 26-23 after a Witucky putback, but Redman’s hoop started the 9-0 Zanesville run.
Gibson added a steal and layup and Avery Parmer hit a 3 during that stretch to put the Blue Devils up 32-26 before taking a 34-28 lead into the fourth.
Reasoner and Gibson, who had five assists, added eight points each for Zanesville, which had eight of its 13 turnovers in the second half.
Witucky and Mannix had eight points and six rebounds apiece for the Tigers, who finished 16 of 37 from the field and 8 of 12 at the line.