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Marietta girls too much for River in 52-27 win

Photo by Mike Morrison Marietta’s Kayla Addison (44) attacks the basket during a high school girls basketball game against River Wednesday at Sutton Gym. Marietta won, 52-27.

Marietta Tigers girls basketball coach Allen Ruth knows full well there are going to be plenty of ups and downs for his young team this season.

Count Wednesday night as one of those “ups” as the Lady Tigers rolled to a 52-27 win over the River Pilots at Sutton Gymnasium to even their record at 2-2.

“I’m pleased with the way we played although we didn’t shoot the ball the way we are capable of,” said Ruth, whose team shot below 25 percent from behind the arc. “We had an off night shooting but our defense played outstanding.”

The Tigers, who do not have a single senior on their roster, were led by junior Riley Medley with 14 points while freshman Leigha Lauer added 12.

Marietta jumped out to a 14-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and extended their lead to 15 at the half by out-pointing River by a 14-5 mark in the second quarter.

River managed to keep within striking distance of the home team late into the third quarter thanks to a strong performance from Rylee Knight who scored nine of her team-high 14 points in the period.

The Pilots had whittled the Marietta lead down to 11 late in the third before the Tigers strung together a 6-0 run that pushed their lead to 17 and finally gave them some room to breathe.

Medley got the run started by making a free throw and freshman guard Alyssa Baker came up with a steal and assisted Lauer for an easy deuce.

Lauer capped the run with an old-fashioned three-point play to increase the MHS lead to 40-23.

Marietta opened the final period on an 7-0 run keyed by back-to-back inside scores from freshman Candace Addison.

Tiger sophomore Saylor Wharff connected on three triples to finish with nine points while Addison added 6.

Ruth found plenty of playing time for his entire roster as 11 different girls got extensive playing time and every single one of them contributed to the win.

“These younger girls are gaining experience and that is a really good thing for our program,” said Ruth, who has 10 freshmen and sophomores on his roster. “We have got a long way to go and a lot to learn but I am really pleased with the way they are coming along.”

In addition to her 14 points Medley shined for her team on both ends of the court.

“She is kind of a steadying influence for our younger girls and brings a lot of leadership,” said Ruth of Medley, who is in her first year in the orange and black after transferring from Fort Frye. “She’s smart and athletic and tough and gritty and just a great help for us.”

Marietta will return to action Saturday when they travel to Warren to take on the Warriors.

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