Warriors nab road win against Marietta | News, Sports, Jobs

Warren’s Aubrey Pepper, right, makes a move with the ball as Marietta’s Kenzley Urban defends during Thursday’s game at Sutton Gym.
(Photo by Aaron Lee)

MARIETTA — With both teams coming into the matchup 1-0 in the TSL, the game between Marietta and Warren on Thursday was for momentary conference supremacy. In a game where the Warriors were in control for most of the 32 minutes, they won 57-46.

Warren’s Aubrey Pepper managed a steal and a basket to take an early 4-0 lead. Pepper later faked a pass and took a shot to go up 11-3, forcing a Marietta timeout. A triple by Hayleigh Chidester expanded the Warriors’ lead. Back-to-back baskets by Mackenzie James-McGuire forced Marietta to take a timeout down 18-3 with one minute left in the first. Marietta’s Saylor Wharff nailed a three to end the quarter down 10 at 18-8.

Early in the second, Raylen Shotwell hit a three for Warren. Leigha Lauer of the Tigers acquired her third foul of the game midway through the second, forcing her to go to the bench momentarily. Chidester then hit her second three of the night. The Warriors were up 31-12 at halftime.

The Tigers could not get much of any offense going in the first half. Most of their shots were taken from behind the arc, and Marietta was 1-16 from that distance.

In the third, the three-pointers finally started to go Marietta’s way, allowing the Tigers to claw back. Jacey McKnight hit the first one, followed by Alyssa Baker and Maddie Hogue. On the ensuing Warren possession, McKnight stole the ball back and passed to Baker, who was fouled and hit both of her shots. The Tigers were now within striking distance.

Warren’s Hayleigh Chidester, left, scans the floor as Marietta’s Saylor Wharff defends during Thursday’s game at Sutton Gym.
(Photo by Aaron Lee)

Warren’s Sarah Pettey pulled off a nice reverse layup midway through the third. Pepper once again contributed off a steal and a basket. Marietta’s Julia Tucker hit a nothing-but-net 3 near the end of the period. Going into the fourth, the Warriors were up 38-33.

Tucker hit another three early in the fourth, making her 2/2 on the night. During a set of free throws by Pepper, she missed the second, but Chidester managed a putback. Marietta’s Baker then hit her second three of the night. Marietta took a timeout down only two at 41-39. Coming out of the timeout, James-McGuire started racking up points on the fast break to allow the Warriors to rebuild their lead. Warren won by a final score of 57-46.

Marietta’s Leigha Lauer had a game-high 15 points. For the Warriors, James-McGuire, who also had 11 rebounds, tied with Chidester at 14 points a piece.

Warren head coach Brad Venham said of the game, “It was a Marietta-Warren battle right? You throw out the records any time we play each other, and you know that’s what it’s gonna be. I am so proud of every single one of the players. Two weeks ago, we would’ve lost that game, but we’ve grown since the couple of losses we’ve had, the tight ones, we’ve grown so much together, so I am super proud. That is a great team that we faced. We scored a little bit more than they could come back from, and that’s what helped us. I’m super proud of our effort. Our positive attitude was awesome, kept us in the game. We knew they were gonna come out in the second half and do that, we knew it, I mean we talked about it, they were gonna make shots, and then we weathered the storm.”

Venham discussed Mackenzie James-McGuire, and how she was able to make such an impact as time began to dwindle, “Z is such a phenomenal player, she’s very sneaky for being our tallest player, but she gets out and goes when we need her to run, she’s the trackstar and she gets out and flies. When she plays solid basketball, she is so good for us. I challenged her, she started for us until the last couple of games, and I’ve challenged her to be the spark coming off the bench, and tonight she was exactly that.”

With Fort Frye on the schedule for this Saturday, it’s onto the next challenge for the Warriors, “They (the players) get to celebrate tonight, I don’t get to celebrate. I’m gonna go home and watch some film and get ready for Fort Frye, because it’s another tough battle. Coach McClain said it before, we only have four teams in the league, but for only being four teams, it’s a stinkin’ hard league. We’re looking forward to the challenge, we can’t wait. We’re going to be celebrating 50 years of Warren girls basketball Saturday, so it’s gonna be a good time.”

Contact Aaron Lee at alee@newsandsentinel.com

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