Senior’s 30 points lead Warren past Marietta, 73-43

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Warren’s Josh Huffman, right, drives with the ball as Marietta’s John Mannix defends during Tuesday’s game at Sutton Gymnasum.

Josh Huffman was a handful for Marietta High.

The 6-foot-5 Warren High senior standout posted a double-double with a varsity career-high 30 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Warriors to a 73-43 triumph over the Tigers at Sutton Gym Tuesday night.

“It was just going for me in the paint tonight,” said Huffman, who also blocked four shots. “I was attacking in the lane, hitting all my postups, and finally made my free-throws in the second half. I just came out and played my game and did what I needed to do to get the win.”

Clay Miller added 10 points, while Troy Huck and Seth Dennis netted eight apiece for the Warriors, who improved their record to 16-5. The royal blue and white cagers also earned a sweep of their big school Washington County rival, downing the Tigers, 80-66, in Vincent on Jan. 9.

“We shared the ball, and that’s what makes us good,” said WHS head coach Blane Maddox said. “We don’t care who scores, and we feed whoever’s open.

Added the Warrior headman, “Clay (Miller) played great off the bench. He rebounded well and did a lot of great things for us. I loved the way he played. The whole bench did real well.”

Marietta fell to 7-14. Mark Duckworth paced the Tigers with 13 points, while Austin Witucky chipped in with nine markers.

“It wasn’t for a lack of effort for sure,” said MHS boss J.D. Secrest. “Our kids battled. I thought Mark played a real good game at the point. We’ve been getting on him to be a little more offensive-minded.

“And our kids off the bench gave us some spark. We just didn’t have an answer for their (Warriors) inside game.”

Sparked by Huffman’s eight first-quarter points, Warren staked itself to a 21-12 advantage. Duckworth had seven markers for the Tigers, who stayed close. Early on, there were four lead changes and two ties.

“We came out and had our fire,” Huffman said. “We wanted this game.”

During the opening minute of the second quarter, Huck’s bucket and bonus freebie gave Warren its first double-digit lead (24-12) of the contest.

Witucky then scored two straight buckets to cut it to eight. But Huffman answered that with a deuce, and the Warrior advantage never dipped back into single digits for the remainder of the contest.

At halftime, Warren owned a commanding 34-18 lead — and Huffman had 12 points.

“He got the “overrated chant” (from the MHS student section) at halftime, so we talked about that a little bit,” Maddox said.

After the break, Huffman went on a tear, scoring seven points in the third period and 11 in the final stanza as Warren won going away.

“You can see how hard he plays whether you’re up 10, down 10, or up 20,” Maddox said. “He plays with the same enthusiasm, and I’m so happy for him tonight. He’s had a great career, and he had a great ballgame for us.”

Said Secrest, “Huffman came to play tonight. We didn’t have an answer for him.

“When a well-coached, disciplined, fundamental team is clicking on all cylinders, they’re an opposing coach’s nightmare, and that’s what we ran into tonight. They’ve been playing well lately and getting ready for tournament.”

Marietta is scheduled to play at River View in an ECOL game at 7:30 p.m. Friday, while Warren is also on the road at Logan at the same time, on the same day.