Marietta rolls to win over Ceramics

Marietta’s Turner Hill (2) blocks the shot of Crooksville’s Mike Baughman (0) during a high school basketball game Friday night at Sutton Gymnasium. Photo by Jordan Holland.

MARIETTA — It’s too early to make any serious predictions about Marietta High School’s basketball season, but if the season opener on Friday is any indication the Tigers won’t be outhustled.

Marietta (1-0) harassed and frustrated Crooksville (0-1) from the opening tip off as the Tigers steamrolled to a 93-41 victory at Sutton Gymnasium.

“All preseason we have been working on playing real up-tempo,” said senior Turner Hill, who led Marietta with 20 points. “We didn’t have a lot of information about Crooksville, but our goal was to pressure them, create turnovers and get easy baskets and lay ups.”

That pretty much sums up what Marietta did to the Ceramics for four periods. After taking a solid 16-7 lead in the first quarter, the Tigers scored 25, 32 and 20 over the final three.

“That’s the type of pressure we want to put on opponents all season,” said first-year coach Glenn Dawson. “If we can play with that type of aggressiveness and get up in their face, we’re going to be tough.”

With an experienced and athletic squad, Dawson said he wanted to take advantage of his deep and talented roster.

“We have athletes, who play with a lot of length and can run and move,” Dawson said. “What we did tonight is what we can do every game. The kids have worked hard to get into great shape and they want to play this way.”

Marietta’s trapping, swarming defense caused 20 first-half turnovers and 33 for the game. That led to many easy baskets as 13 Tigers scored.

Senior Trent Dawson had 19 points, five assists and five rebounds, while senior Matt Altenburger chipped in 13 points. Another senior, Isaac Danford, also reached double figures with 12 points on a 5-of-5 shooting. Danford also had four steals.

“We’ve been putting a lot of work in during practice,” Hill said. “I think we were a little nervous at first, but then we settled in.”

Coach Dawson said right now he feels comfortable going nine deep, but as the season progresses he hopes to get to 10 or 11.

“We will present some problems for some teams,” he said. “Being the first game, we didn’t have a good feel for shooting the ball early. Once we settled down, I think we played very well.”

The Ceramics were led by Dustin Oneal who had 10 points and five rebounds, while Trey White and Landon Hinkle each had six points.

Marietta travels to Alexander for a 7:30 p.m. tip off on Tuesday.