With the official start to basketball season a week away, fans can get a sneak preview of the Marietta College men's and women's basketball team Saturday night in Ban Johnson Arena.
"Pioneer Madness" will take place at 9 p.m. with several activities planned for players and fans alike.
The doors to Fenton Court will open at 8:30 p.m. and the event is free to the public.
Times file photo
Marietta College’s Tori Dixon splits two defender during women’s basketball action at Ban Johnson Arena last season.
The night will include plenty of entertainment, contests and prizes. Three-point shooting contests, hot-shot competitions and a men's scrimmage highlight the evening. Both the men's and women's teams will be introduced to the crowd.
Under the direction of the sixth-year head coach Jon VanderWal, the Pioneer men return seven lettermen from last season's 17-9 squad.
Leading the way for the Pioneers this winter will be senior wing J.J. Martin and junior point guard Tyler Hammond.
Martin was second on the team last year averaging 10.8 points per game and led Marietta with 6.4 rebounds per outing.
Hammond averaged 9.3 points and dished out a team-best 71 assists.
First-year women's head coach Stacia Shrider welcomes back nine letter winners off of last year's team that posted a 10-16 record and advanced to the OAC Tournament for the first time since 2005.
Junior guard Tori Dixon is the Pioneers' leading returning scorer having averaged 8.9 points per game a year ago. She led Marietta with 72 assists. Sophomore forward Heather Booth averaged 8.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, while senior guard Krissy Rowe chipped in with 5.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per outing.
The men open the new season at home in the 42nd annual Marietta Shrine Tournament next weekend. The Pioneers play Frostburg State University (Md.) on Friday at 8 p.m. The Consolation and Championship games are slated for Saturday at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
The women open on the road next weekend. Marietta travels to Cincinnati to play in the Mount St. Joseph Tip-Off Classic.
The Pioneers play Albion College (Mich.) on Friday at 5 p.m. and Mount St. Joseph on Saturday at 4 p.m.