Tigers surge past River View, 73-49
MARIETTA — The first quarter belonged to Jackson Graham. The second, Tony Munos. And the fourth, Tyler Kytta.
The Tiger trio each got hot at the right time to help MHS take down River View 73-49 Friday night at Sutton Gymasium.
Graham scored 14 of Marietta’s 16 points in the first quarter, knocking down four 3-pointers, to put the Tigers up 16-13 after eight minutes. Marietta scored 16 more points in the second period, with 11 of those coming from Munos.
Finally, holding on to a 50-40 lead midway through the fourth quarter, Kytta got hot and poured in 16 straight points to help the Tigers pull away for their sixth straight victory.
Graham finished with a game-high 24 points while Munos added 16.
The Graham-Munos duo has done the bulk of the scoring for Marietta this year, but Kytta, who did all his scoring in the final eight minutes Friday, provided some help.
“I thought we got out to a good start,” said Marietta head coach J.D. Secrest, whose Tigers are right back in action Saturday at Meigs.
“Jackson and Tony did what they do. Jackson gets open and he can fill it up. He gets hot. We put Tony in the middle of their zone and he’s tough to defend one-on-one. He was able to get some separation. He’s getting a lot of confidence in his pull-up mid-range game, and he can be a scary player if he gets really good at that mid-range game.
“Obviously Tyler Kytta played really well off the bench. We’ve been waiting for an outburst like that from him. We knew he had it in him. I think this really helps his confidence, and hopefully he can become that X-factor for us off the bench.”
Adrian Avendano provided energy on the defensive end, grabbing a game-high four steals, while Adam Coil cleaned up the glass to the tune of nine rebounds for the Tigers. Justin LaBarre, AJ Graham, Kory Science and Zach Bartlett all made key contributions off the bench.
“Justin LaBarre gave us a good spark off the bench,” Secrest said. “Our bench guys played pretty well tonight. We’re a little bit under the weather and we needed the bench guys to step up tonight.
“(Avendano) gave us a lot of energy tonight. He was everywhere and that’s good to see. He worked hard tonight.”
Though the Tigers played well offensively, their defense allowed them to gain some separation, holding the Black Bears to just four points in the second quarter.
“Defensively, we picked it up toward the end of the first quarter and played really well in the second quarter,” Secrest said.
Marietta, which led 32-17 at halftime, outscored River View 18-12 in the third to go up 50-29 with eight minutes remaining. The Black Bears wouldn’t go away, though, scoring the first 11 points of the fourth quarter to get within 10, 50-40.
Mark Duckworth then drew a foul and converted a free-throw before coming up with a steal on the other end. He dished to Kytta for a layup, triggering his offensive spurt and allowing the Tigers to pull away.
“River View battled there early in the fourth and we got a little lackadaisical,” Secrest said. “We’re trying to stress to these guys that when we get back into the Dovers, New Phillys and Warrens, we can’t afford to be lackadaisical. Those are games that are going to be nail-biters and every possession is going to be important.”
River View was led by Donnie Kehl’s 21 points. Owen Emig added nine while Austin Fox chipped in seven. Jaxon Rinkes finished with six points and a team-high seven boards, while Drew Ireland handed out four assists.
Marietta will look to ride this win streak as long as it can. Secrest is happy to see his players’ hard work translating into victories.
“The kids have played hard,” Secrest said. “I think they have some confidence. This gets us over .500 in the league. The ECOL is a tough league to compete in.”
Jordan Holland can be reached at email@example.com.