After four consecutive road games to start the season, the Marietta High boys basketball team is scheduled to play its home opener against Athens High in a non-conference tilt at Sutton Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. tonight.
The J.D. Secrest-coached Tigers (3-1 overall, 1-1 Southeastern Ohio Athletic League) probably feel pretty good about themselves, having won three of those four away games, defeating Cambridge, New Philadelphia and Gallia Academy in an SEOAL game, respectively.
On Tuesday at Chilliocothe, MHS suffered its first loss of the 2010-11 campaign Tuesday night, dropping a 63-40 decision to the preseason SEOAL favorite Cavaliers. The Tigers stayed close to the Cavs in the opening period, trailing by just 14-13.
At the break, though, Chilli extended its lead to double digits, 33-23, and Marietta faded fast in the final period, scoring only four points. Wes Riley and Morgan Wynn scored 13 and 11 points, respectively, to pace the orange and black.
Jeff Skinner-coached Athens is coming off a 50-30 trouncing of Trimble at Charles McAfee Gymnasium.
Elsewhere tonight, two days before Christmas:
Wood Co. Christian at Charleston Catholic
Ho! Ho! Ho!
With a 7-0 mark, the Dan Ellis-coached Wildcats have good reason to be jolly at this time of the year.
Wood County Christian is rolling and coming off big wins over St. Marys and Valley Wetzel in the Paden City Holiday Tournament. The Wildcats defeated the Lumberjacks, 84-68, in the tourney final
The Wildcats feature a balanced scoring attack with Jacob Ungar, Josh Ungar, Cody Gutberlet and Seth Tackett providing most of the swishing. Jacob Ungar, Gutberlet, and Tackett each was an all-holiday tournament honoree.
Charleston Catholic, one of the premier Class A teams in the state, will be a good test for WCCS.
Winless Shenandoah is off to a slow start on the season, dropping its first three games of the season, including Pioneer Valley Conference setbacks to Monroe Central and Fort Frye, respectively.
The Zeps have been competitive in all of their games, but have come up short. A win over the visiting Bobcats would be a nice Christimas present.
Shenandoah is paced by leading scorer Brett Farnsworth.
Cambridge is led by Jake Yanico and Devon Francis.
Bridgeport at Frontier
Frontier head coach Roger Kirkpatrick is making a list and checking it twice. Naughty or nice, the winless Cougars (0-4) also still seeking their first "W" of the seaso. The Cougars, who are paced by Corey Fickiesen, Jordan Jefferson, and Nick Brunoni, are coming off a tough 63-50 Pioneer Valley Conference setback to Buckeye Trail. In that game, Fickiesen and Brunoni scored 17 and 15 points, respectively.
Morgan probably feels like it's been standing under the mistletoe too long without any results. The Raiders are 0-7, and need a win in a big way to restore their confidence.
Morgan is led by Cody Fluhart and Ted Vynalek.
at Ritchie County
Class A top-ranked St. Marys has Kelsea Fickiesen, a scoring machine, and that's sometimes enough to make opponents want to take refuge in a chimney.
Thing is, the Lady Blue Devils are not a one-player show. Dani Renner, Audra Clark, and Beverly Knight are very capable of putting the ball in the basket.
The Lady Rebels have their work cut out for themselves. Maybe they should just provide cookies and milk instead of a basketball at tip-off time?
Ritchie is paced by Tristan Toman, Regan Stout, and Casey Spears.
Federal Hocking at Nelsonville-York
Federal Hocking head coach David Crosier needs more elves in the shop. Actually, more then five players on the team will do.
The winlesss Lady Lancers (0-6) have enough people to start a game, but finishing one is another matter. In one game already, they had three on the court after two had fouled out at the end and still almost won.
Federal Hocking is coming off a 63-12 setback to Waterford. In that game, the Lady Lancers, who got six points apiece from Ashton Cale and Cheyanne Singer, were scoreless in the first and third quarters. The team also includes Kate Russell, Whitney Gillian, and Alex Putnam.