Marietta downs Meadowbrook
MARIETTA-The Marietta Tigers played well on both ends of the floor, shooting 25-for-50 (50 percent) on offense and forcing 28 turnovers on defense, in a 68-37 rout of ECOL foe Meadowbrook Wednesday night at Sutton Gym.
For Marietta, putting up 68 points is no small accomplishment. After losing senior Erica Dawson to a wrist injury, the team did not shoot well Monday against Wheeling Park in 65-40 loss.
Head coach Scott Cozzens was happy with the way his team bounced back.
“It’s really big,” Cozzens said. “People can’t underestimate how big it is and how happy (the players) are in the locker room and how happy Erica is for them. You can just see it on their faces. I think their confidence is growing and growing.”
Leading the offensive charge for the Tigers was sophomore Lain Weppler, who had a career and game-high 22 points.
“I just tried to be as big as I could,” Weppler said. “When they started reading my screens, I just tried to go underneath them.”
Weppler said it was important for the team to prove it can perform well while Dawson is unable to play.
“This is big,” Weppler explained. “Erica is such a good player. We could never replace her. Just to prove that we can play without her was pretty big for our team. It was a big team effort.”
Weppler was joined in double-digits by fellow sophomore Taylor Smith, who had 13 points and a game-high five assists. Senior Kristen Hill chipped in with nine points.
Meadowbrook was led by Marissa Goodright’s 21 points.
Goodright scored the game’s opening basket to put the Colts up 2-0. Weppler responded by draining a 3-pointer while getting fouled. She made the free throw to convert the four-point play.
Senior Alexis Walsh hit a free throw to make it 5-2 before Goodright scored back-to-back buckets to put Meadowbrook on top 6-5. After Hill made a jumper, Goodright hit a free throw to tie it at 7-7. Smith then hit a 3-pointer off an inbound pass from senior Kaitlyn Cozzens followed by a free throw from Hill to make it 11-7 in Marietta’s favor.
Goodright had a putback before trading baskets with Weppler to make it 13-11 after one quarter.
The second quarter began with a layup by Smith on an assist from Weppler. Hill then put in a layup to put the Tigers up 17-11. Goodright responded with a 2-pointer of her own before a free throw from sophomore Allie Moore made it 18-13.
When Courtney Wolverton made a jumper midway through the second quarter, it was the first field goal for Meadowbrook by someone other than Goodright, who scored the team’s first 13 points.
Moore then traded buckets with Meadowbrook’s Sidney Singleton to make it 20-17. The game continued back and forth until Smith and Hill made back-to-back shots to make it 28-21. Wolverton answered with a trey to cut it to 28-24 before a layup from Smith made it 30-24 at the half.
The Tigers began pouring in the offense in the third quarter, going on a 15-2 run to make it 45-26 and put the game out of reach. The run was led by eight consecutive points from Weppler.
Marietta held Meadowbrook to 13 points in the second half, as the Colts struggled to take care of the ball against Marietta’s press.
“(Turnovers) helped create energy,” Cozzens said. “I think that fed into our kids’ confidence on offense. We got some easy baskets and we got the game opened up a little bit and we just flowed and played a little bit looser.”
The win brought Marietta’s overall record to 10-3 and its ECOL record to 6-1. The Tigers remain in first place in the conference.
“We’re still learning our identity and how do we play with each other,” Cozzens said. “Each game we’re getting better and better.”
Coshocton comes to Sutton Gym Saturday to face off against the Tigers in another ECOL contest. Junior varsity tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.