Tonight’s the night: Marietta to host Warren in rivalry contest

While Marietta High has the homecourt advantage, it will be the underdog when it hosts Warren in a non-conference boys’ basketball game at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

“We’re behind the 8-ball,” said MHS head coach J.D. Secrest, whose Tigers (5-7 overall) dropped three straight games last week after going over the .500 mark with a win at Frontier on Jan. 5. “We’re going to have to do a lot of things well, because I know they’re going to throw everything but the kitchen sink at us, so we’re going to have to be able to handle it.”

Warren, 10-1 overall, currently owns a four-game winning streak since suffering a 69-47 setback to Upper Arlington in the Ohio River Classic at Marietta College on Dec. 29, 2012.

“We’ve been playing well,” said Warren boss Blane Maddox. “I know, though, we’re going to get Marietta’s best shot. We’re going to need to put pressure on them and hope that they turn the ball over.”

Of late, Warren has had the upper hand in the all-time series against MHS. Most of the games have been close, except for the last one when the visiting Warriors routed the Tigers, 76-56, on Valentine’s Day 2012.

In an earlier meeting in Vincent on Jan. 17, 2012, Warren claimed a 44-39 decision.

The season before in 2010-11, Warren posted three wins against Marietta, including a 53-48 sectional final overtime decision at Logan High on Feb. 26, 2011.

Warren is coming off an 85-23 triumph at Jackson (0-12) in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League contest last Friday night. Five Warriors scored in double figures with Michael Hall and Adam Lang notching 16 points apiece, Evan French getting 13, and Reece Patton and Matt Drayer each chipping in with 11.

Evan Yabs or Lang, Dylan Leffingwell or Danny Pannell, French, Patton, and Hall are expected to start against Marietta.

“We know what they can do,” Secrest said. “It’s going to be difficult for anybody on their schedule to stop all three of them (French, Patton and Hall). We just hope we pick the right one.”

Marietta will probably counter with starters’ Corey Hill, Braden Riley, Billy Weekly, Adam McKnight and Cameron Benson. Jordan Satterfield, who normally starts at the point, is out with a knee injury.

Look for Reid Chwalek, Ethan Strauss, and Jonathan Wood to also see significant playing time.

“We just hope that we can give Warren 32 minutes,” Secrest said. “We want them to come down here and…we’ve got to get some respect.

“We want to give teams 32 minutes of basketball. We don’t want them to put their JVs in in the third quarter or whatever. We want teams that we go up against to have to battle us the whole game.”

Said Maddox, “We’re expecting a tough, close ballgame.”