Tigers fall to Meadowbrook, denied first victory
Meadowbrook shooting guard Zach Rusnak came up empty in the Colts season opening win over Coshocton last week.
The Colt senior must have been saving up for Tuesday night’s East Central Ohio League tilt against Marietta at Sutton Gymnasium as he canned four 3-pointers in the opening quarter to lead Meadowbrook to a 73-47 win over the winless Tigers.
Rusnak made a pair of wide-open triples to open the game and added two more later in the first period as Meadowbrook made its first eight shots and nine of their first ten and jumped out to a 23-6 lead at the end of the first quarter of play.
“We were able to put them behind the eight-ball from the start with our shooting,” said Meadowbrook head coach Lou “Scooter” Tolzda. “Zach (Rusnak) didn’t score a point in our first game but we know he can make the three and that was big for him to hit those shots early in the game.”
While the Colts were clicking on all cylinders offensively from the onset the Tigers were ice cold as they did not convert their first field goal until more than two minutes had expired in the second quarter.
Sophomore Tyler Kytta accounted for the first Tiger field goal in the second quarter but Meadowbrook scored nine of the next 13 points to open up a 34-10 lead with a minute to play in the half.
The Tigers put together their first little run of the game as Mark Duckworth, Adam Coil and Tony Munos each scored buckets in the final minute of the half to send Marietta to the locker room trailing the Colts 34-16.
Marietta made just 4-of-26 field goals attempts in the opening half but actually played even with the Colts in the second and third periods to keep the game from being a complete blow-out.
“After the tough start, I thought the second and third quarters we competed,” said Marietta head coach J.D. Secrest. “The guys off the bench came in and gave us a spark and really played hard.”
Marietta managed to cut the lead to 14 at one point in the third quarter but the Colts opened it back up to 17 before the end of the third and then out-pointed the orange-and-black 25-16 in the final period to cruise to the 26-point win.
Colt senior guard Johnathan McCall led all scorers in the game with 23 points while also grabbing six rebounds and coming up with three steals.
“He (McCall) had a great game for us. He’s a three-year player who played in the state tournament for us,” said Tolzda of the 6-foot senior guard. “He’s an outstanding basketball player and we expect that out of him.”
All 12 of Rusnak’s points came in his first quarter barrage while Davis Singleton added 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds for Meadowbrook.
Jake Singleton added eight points and seven boards while senior Addy Black chipped in with four points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Marietta was led in scoring by Munos with 12 points while Kitta, Ryan Mannix and Justin LaBarre each finished with six.
“I know Marietta is 0-3 but we know they are a lot better than their record shows,” said Tolzda, whose team improved to 2-0 with the win. “We were really worried coming down here but I think we did a great job of taking their shooters out of the game. We’ll take coming down to Marietta early in the year on a Tuesday night and getting a win.”
The Tigers will look to put the tough loss behind them and get ready to take on New Philadelphia on the road Friday night.
“The middle 16 minutes we competed but other than that we kind of got abused by a very solid team in Meadowbrook,” said Secrest. “It’s early in the year and hopefully these kids will respond by going up to New Philly and competing for 32 minutes.”