BELPRE - Garrett Bertram's only basket of the game was the biggest one for Marietta Saturday night as the visiting Tiger cagers nipped Belpre 60-59 in a rough-and-tumble boys basketball contest.
Marietta, now 5-3, led all the way, but could never put the scrappy Golden Eagles away, with the outcome coming down to the last minute of the last quarter.
After falling behind by nine (49-40) with 5:48 to play, Belpre kept within reasonable striking distance (5-7 points) over the next 3:40 until Tavian Miller canned a trey with 2:06 left to make the count 53-49.
Photo by Steve Hemmelgarn
Belpre head boys basketball coach Jordan Thornhill talks to his team before Saturday night’s game versus visiting Marietta, The Tigers edged the host Golden Eagles, 60-59.
With Deijon Bedgood sinking 11 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter, the Golden Eagles pulled within three (56-53) with just 1:30 to play. The spread was four at 58-54 in the final minute when Brennen Ferrell drove down the lane for a successful shot with 31.4 seconds remaining to make it a two-point game at 58-56.
But Bertram got loose on the other end and was free down low in the lane to take a feed for a layup at the 6.6-second mark for a 60-56 lead before Miller drilled a desperation 3-ball at the final horn to make it only a single-point difference.
Marietta's 6-5 Braden Riley was a force inside throughout the game, tallying 25 points. He was followed in the scoring column for the Tigers by Dillon Sturm with 11 and Corey Hill with 10.
For Belpre, which dropped to 4-4, Ferrell netted 16 points, Bedgood bagged 14 and Nick Therriault finished with 12.
Marietta, with Riley's eight points in the first quarter, went up 14-9, and led 26-18 at the half of the rugged, physical game. A 14-14 standoff in the third quarter took the game to the last eight minutes, with Belpre getting the gap down to four twice before John Henry's three-point play and a Hill hoop upped the lead to nine, 49-40.