Tigers come up short against Bobcats, 48-45
Cambridge rolled into Sutton Gymnasium here Wednesday night and exacted a measure of revenge on Marietta as the Bobcats left town with a 48-45 East Central Ohio League victory.
A week before Christmas, the Tigers of head man J.D. Secrest pulled out a 57-54 road win against the Bobcats, but CHS got big games from Dominic Cork, Brock Valentine and Sean Perkins to improve to 6-8.
Marietta, which dropped to 6-13 and returns to action next Thursday at Waverly in an Ohio Division II sectional opener, watched seniors Tony Munos, Mark Duckworth and Adam Coil, who had a team-high seven rebounds, play their final home game.
“Adam did what he always does for us,” said Secrest, who got 14 points from Munos, a baker’s dozen by Tyler Kytta and 12 from Duckworth.
“He (Coil) played good post defense and grabs every rebound that comes near him. Mark hit a couple 3s tonight and his defense was good as always and he played the whole fourth quarter with four fouls.
“He told me he wanted to go and wouldn’t foul out and Tony stepped up some in the fourth quarter and got to the basket some and finished. Those three seniors, they gave it all they had. Hopefully, we get a tournament victory and we can continue the season. If we play as hard as we did tonight and can knock in a few more shots we’ll be right there with Waverly.”
The Tigers, who trailed 8-0 before a Munos lay-in at 3:18 of the first, were playing without the services of senior Tyson Shaffer and sophomore A.J. Graham due to COVID-19 contact tracking.
A triple by Colton Slaughter pushed the Bobcat advantage to 13-2, but Munos knocked one down from deep and followed it with a steal and layup to make it 13-7 after one.
Marietta had trouble with the Bobcats’ size and 3-2 zone defense, but still managed a 21-20 halftime lead. The final three points of the quarter came via an Isaac Koast free throw and a spinning floater in the paint from Duckworth.
Cork, who double-doubled with a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds, opened the second half with a one-handed hammer to bring the Bobcat faithful to their feet. Valentine, who also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 caroms, proceeded to score a pair of field goals. Between those two makes, Perkins had a two-handed jam as the visitors opened the third on another 8-0 spurt.
Down 30-21, the Tigers rallied behind Duckworth and Kytta. Duckworth had consecutive 3s and following a Koast knock-away steal, Duckworth assisted on Kytta’s trifecta to make it 32-all late in the third. Perkins, who finished with eight markers, five assists along with game-highs of seven steals and three blocks, scored the final three points of the quarter to give CHS a 35-32 cushion.
Despite starting the fourth quarter by missing their first eight field goal attempts, the Tigers finally took the lead on a Kytta trifecta at 43-42 with 1:32 to play. It was 45-42 after Kytta drained two charity stripe tosses with 40.9 ticks showing, but the Tigers didn’t score again.
Caden Moore assisted on Cork’s lay-in with 29.3 to go to close the deficit to 45-44. The Tigers proceeded to miss the front end of a pair of 1-and-1s, which led to Cork’s go-ahead deuce with 4.3 seconds remaining.
Coil attempted a pass just beyond half court, but Perkins was there to make the steal and he sank both foul shots with 2.9 showing to set the final score. A last-second heave from near half court by Duckworth was off the mark.
“They gave Warren, Meadowbrook and Dover battles,” coach Secrest added. “We felt like we took some positives out of tonight with our sectional game (upcoming). We’ve got a week to get ready and come up with a game plan. We didn’t shoot well tonight and we haven’t really shot well the last three games. That’s what it’s going to boil down to in the sectional — if we can make our shots.
“I was pleased with the effort of Isaac and Ely(jah Lieras-Kelley) off the bench. I thought everybody pretty much worked hard tonight. I know the seniors would’ve liked a better result. It wasn’t for a lack of effort. They played hard tonight, just a couple breaks here and there. They played well enough to win and didn’t get it and that’s frustrating, especially when it’s your last home game.”
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org