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Warren girls rally in second half to beat Marietta

Photos by Jay W. Bennett Warren’s Abbie Smith, who finished with game-highs of 16 points and 10 rebounds, is guarded by Marietta’s Morgan Altenburger during the Warriors’ 49-35 East Central Ohio League victory Wednesday night.

VINCENT — Jennifer Smith’s layup thanks to a Rylee Kendall assist following a steal by Morgan Altenburger had Marietta head coach Allen Ruth’s squad up 31-29 with 5:23 left in the third here Wednesday evening, but it was all Warren after that.

The Warriors used a buzzer-beating 10-foot kiss in the paint by Kelly Jackson, who opened the fourth with a 3, as the hosts turned up the defense en route to a 49-35 East Central Ohio League triumph.

Abbie Smith double-doubled and dominated inside for Warren head coach Amy Way. The junior finished with game-highs of 16 points and 10 rebounds.

“I think rebounding was and our defense,” Way replied when asked what she felt the keys were in the second half. “We talked a little bit better and had some better rotations on the defensive end and some shots started to fall.

“We shot the ball not very well. We didn’t take the greatest of shots, too. I think that kind of played into it, but I told them at the beginning we got a stretch now where we are just going to have to grind out some games.”

After taking the 31-29 lead, the Tigers missed their final nine shots of the period and went 1 of 13 from the field in the fourth.

Millie Ryan, who grabbed nine caroms, assisted on an Alex Frazee hoop to tie it at 31-all. Warren, which won its fifth straight and returns to action tonight at Logan, started the third just 2 of 12 with four turnovers.

The Warriors (7-2, 4-1) took the lead for good with 1:45 left in the third when Frazee, who had 11 points and seven boards, converted a short jumper on the baseline. Olivia Alloway, who finished with a baker’s dozen, took a charge on Altenburger with 10 seconds left and the hosts had the momentum heading into the fourth following Jackson’s make.

“Sometimes they are not going to be pretty,” coach Way added. “Sometimes the offense and shots aren’t going to be falling.

“We just got to figure out a way to rebound the ball, get some stops and hopefully the ball will go in.”

At intermission, the two rivals had 14 rebounds apiece, but the Warriors held a 25-16 edge on the glass following the break.

Jessica Smith’s steal and layup for part of her team-high 11 counters made it 35-33 just 44 ticks into the fourth, but the Tigers didn’t score again until Altenburger converted a pair of foul shots for the final points of the affair with 17.8 showing on the clock.

Following Jackson’s trifecta, she assisted on a Smith make inside to push the lead to 40-33. Alloway then proceeded to score nine straight points, which included a 3, for a 49-33 bulge with 2:57 remaining.

Altenburger finished with eight points for the Tigers (8-6, 2-2), who had a three-game winning streak snapped. MHS, which was led by Adi Hill’s nine rebounds, returns to action Saturday afternoon at Cambridge.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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