MARIETTA-As far as season openers go, it doesn't get much more exciting than a win on a last-second shot.
That is exactly what senior Erica Dawson delivered for the Marietta Tigers against ECOL foe New Philadelphia Thursday night at Sutton Gymnasium.
With the game tied at 49 with 5.6 seconds left, Dawson inbounded the ball to sophomore Taylor Smith in the left corner. Smith then passed it back to Dawson who, after a pump fake gave her an open shot, nailed a 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left to make it 52-49. The Quakers could not get a shot off, giving Marietta the girls basketball victory.
"We worked on that play yesterday for the first time," said Marietta head coach Scott Cozzens. "They were smiling, going 'we're gonna run that, aren't we?' I wanted to clear one area a little more. When I saw New Philly come out in that set, I felt like 'oh, we're gonna get it.' It's just something real quick, and it's hard to guard the inbounder a lot of times, especially as quick as she (Dawson) is. We just had Taylor run at her and catch it and flip it right back to her. Dawson is as good a 3-point shooter as there is around."
Overall, Dawson had 31 points on 12-for-26 shooting. She also led Marietta in rebounding with seven boards. Senior Kristen Hill chipped in with six points on two 3-pointers. Senior Kaitlyn Cozzens and sophomore Allie Moore each had five points apiece. Kaitlyn Cozzens also had six boards, while Smith had a game-high six assists.
Dawson scored 10 of Marietta's first 11 points as the Tigers jumped out to an 11-7 lead. After the Quakers' Jaida Carter made 1-of-2 free throws, Kaitlyn Cozzens made a bucket to make it 13-8. Smith followed with a 2-pointer of her own on an assist from Dawson to give Marietta a 15-8 advantage, its largest of the game. Carter nailed two buckets to cut the lead to 15-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Marietta 52, New Philadelphia 49
New Philadelphia 12 10 17 10 - 49
Marietta 15 5 16 16 - 52
NEW PHILADELPHIA (0-1)
Sammie Glazer 1-10 1-2 4, Amanda DeMattio 5-7 3-4 14, Larkin Joseph 1-1 0-0 2, Jaida Carter 7-9 1-5 15, Tori Moreland 5-9 1-1 12, Amy Blake 1-3 0-0 2; TOTALS: 20-39 6-12 49; 3-point goals: Glazer, DeMattio, Moreland 1
Erica Dawson 12-26 1-3 31, Kristin Hill 2-7 0-2 6, Kaitlyn Cozzens 2-6 0-0 5, Allie Moore 2-5 1-3 5, Taylor Smith 1-5 1-4 3, Brittany Deskins 1-2 0-0 2, Lain Weppler 0-3 0-2 0, Starr Johnson 0-1 0-0 0; TOTALS: 20-55 3-14 52; 3-point goals: Dawson 6, Hill 2, Cozzens 1
Shooting: M 20-55 (36%), NP 20-39 (51%); Rebounds: M (Dawson 7, Cozzens 6), NP 20 (Carter 8); Assists: M 12 (Smith 6), NP 12 (Glazer 4); Turnovers: M 9, NP 14.
Next game: Marietta at Vinton County at 3 p.m. Monday.
Belpre 67, Miller 41
Belpre 9 15 22 21 - 67
Miller 5 9 16 11 - 41
Emily Hughes 3 2-4 8, Rachel Packard 0 2-2 2, Kenzie Reed 2 0-0 4, Sierra Barker 5 3-6 13, Audrea Linton 1 1-4 4, Katelyn Hughes 6 2-4 15, Cheyenne Henderson 2 3-6 7, Claudia Hall 1 0-2 2, Jackie Cunningham 2 0-0 4, Hannah Lawrentz 0 2-2 2, Ashley Jenkins 2 2-2 6, Lizzie Adams 0 0-0 0, Emily Bowen 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 24 17-32 67; 3-point goals: K. Hughes, Linton 1
Kassidy Custer 0 0-0 0, Jacy Dutiel 4 3-5 11, McKayla Alexander 2 1-3 6, Graceyn Gibson 0 0-2 0, Tessa Pierce 1 1-2 4, Ali Bray 2 3-4 7, Sance Dutiel 5 3-6 13, Katie Hall 0 0-0 0, Rebecca Houck 0 0-0 0, Twila Muncy 0 0-0 0; TOALS: 14 11-22 41; 3-point goals: Alexander, Pierce 1
Next game: Eastern at Belpre 6 p.m. Monday.
The Quakers scored the first eight points of the second quarter to go up 20-15 before sophomore Brittany Deskins came off the bench to nail a jumper and make it 20-17. Carter made a bucket before Dawson hit her third trey ball of the game to make it 22-20 Quakers at the half.
In the third quarter, Tori Moreland scored five straight points to put New Philly up 27-21 before Moore hit a bucket. Dawson then scored five straight points of her own to tie the game at 28.
The two teams continued to trade buckets in the quarter. Kaitlyn Cozzens hit a 3-ball to make it 37-36, but Amy Blake hit a mid-range two-pointer at the buzzer to make it 39-36.
At 44-40 in the fourth quarter, Dawson hit a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game, and then Hill followed with a 3-pointer of her own to give Marietta the lead 46-44.
The lead was short-lived as as Sammy Glazer responded with a trey to make it a two-point game again. From there, Dawson took over. She hit a 3-pointer to give the Tigers a 49-47 lead. Amanda DeMattio drove to the lane and hit a layup to tie it, setting up Dawson's heroics at the end.
"We knew that they were going to focus on me because people know who I am this year," Dawson said. "My teammates did a really good job of stepping up and helping me get the ball and taking their shots when they needed to. We did what we had to to get the win. It was sloppy and we have a lot of things to work on, but I think we'll get better as the season goes on."
The Tigers are back in action at 3 p.m. Monday at Vinton County.
Belpre 67, Miller 41
CORNING, Ohio - Belpre got a game-high 15 points from freshman Katelyn Hughes and Sierra Barker scored a baker's dozen as the visiting Golden Eagles outscored Miller in every quarter here Thursday night en route to a 67-41 victory.
The Golden Eagles, now 1-1 with a home game Monday versus Eastern, played without the services of injured junior Lexi Cunningham, but head coach Scott Miller's team also got scoring production from Emily Hughes (eight), Cheyenne Henderson (seven) and Ashley Jenkins (six).
Miller (0-2) was paced in scoring by Sance Dutiel (13) and Jacy Dutiel (11).