Marietta, Warren boys go 2-0 at River City Classic
The Marietta Tigers rolled to their fourth consecutive win Saturday night at Ban Johnson Arena with a 59-37 win over River in the final game of the River City Classic.
After getting off to a slow start by dropping their first four games, the Tigers evened their season mark at 4-4 with the impressive win over the Pilots.
Tony Munos tossed in a team-high 21 points while Jackson Graham added 17 and a team-best eight rebounds as the orange and black won for the second consecutive night in the Classic.
“We were finally able to put two halves together tonight,” said MHS head coach J.D. Secrest.
“The past couple of games we have played really well in the first half but got a little lackadaisical at the end. Tonight we were finally able to slam the door on somebody and take care of business.”
The Tigers jumped out to a 15-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and increased their lead to 11 at halftime thanks in part to 14 first half point from Munos and 11 from Graham.
River got the margin under double-figures once midway through the third quarter before the Tigers went on a 9-2 run to open up a 43-27 lead heading to the final quarter.
Both Munos and Graham connected twice from behind the arc in the game as MHS shot a solid 52 percent from the floor (24-46).
“Tony (Munos) and Jackson (Graham) are really becoming a pretty solid one-two punch,” said Secrest, whose team returns to action Friday night at Coshocton. “I’m really proud of the way our kids have responded after our rough start.”
Tiger junior Mark Duckworth added six points and earned some praise from his head coach for the job he did defensively.
“Mark Duckworth has been playing great defense on the other teams best players night after night,” said Secrest. “He’s been working incredibly hard and its paying off.”
The Pilots, who slipped to 2-6 with the loss were led by Brody Lollathin with 11 points and Ty Long with 10.
Warren 61, Crooksville 58
The Warren Warriors also came away with a victory Saturday night as they held off a furious fourth quarter comeback bid by Crooksville and downed the Ceramics 61-58.
Warren led by as many as 11 points in the final quarter before the Ceramics began to chip away at their lead only to run out of time.
The Warriors led by two at halftime thanks to some outstanding perimeter shooting from senior Brandon Simoniette.
Simoniette knocked down four triples in the first half to keep an otherwise cold Warrior team in the game until they got things rolling in the third quarter.
“He’s a confident shooter and a streaky shooter so when he is hot we have got to try to get him the ball,” said Warrior head coach Blane Maddox of Simoniette. “We weren’t shooting the basketball well at all again in the first half so we needed someone to step up and make some shots and he did a good job.”
The Warriors extended their lead to nine by the end of the third quarter and led by 11 with three minutes to go in the game before the Ceramics mounted their charge thanks to the hot hands of Caden Miller and Caden Sparks.
Sparks scored 12 points in the final quarter and Miller added eight but it would not prove to be enough as the Warriors held them off down the stretch to improve to 5-3 on the season.
“That’s high school basketball, they are not always beautiful but we’ll take the win,” said Maddox, whose team travels to Fort Frye on Friday night. “We didn’t make a lot of foul shots down the stretch and they did but we were able to hang on and that’s a good win for us.”
Jake Baumgard had a solid game in the post for the Warriors as he finished with 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds while sophomore Brayden Sallee chipped in with 10 points off the bench.
Kurt Taylor managed just three points for Warren but filled his stat sheet nicely with six rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Crooksville (3-5) was led by Sparks with 28 points while Miller added 23 and a game-high 14 rebounds.