Prep girls basketball: Marietta at Warren tonight

Marietta High will not be at full strength when it plays at Warren in a non-conference girls’ basketball game at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

Erica Dawson is still out with a broken hand, and that’s a huge loss for the Scott Cozzens-coached Lady Tigers.

When Dawson was on the floor at Sutton Gym in the first meeting between the two Washington County big schools on Jan. 2, she torched the Amy Colgrove-coached Lady Warrior defense for 41 points and helped the Lady Tigers win 62-57.

No other orange and black cager scored in double figures.

“The Warren game is always interesting,” Cozzens said. “I thought Warren played one of their better games against us earlier this year.

“It seems if we could bottle the energy our kids play with when we play each other and bring that out each game then both teams would be playing much better basketball at this point in the season.”

Someone will have to step up if MHS is going to beat Warren again this season. Fact is, the Lady Tiger seniors have never been defeated by the Lady Warriors.

Of late, Lain Weppler, a 5-foot-8 sophomore, has been a force for the Lady Tigers on offense. In a win against Meadowbrook, she scored 22 points.

Against Warren, Marietta’s probable starters will be Haley Bonar, Kristen Hill, Kaitlyn Cozzens, Luisa Barton, and Taylor Smith.

Look for Lexi Walsh and Weppler to be the first people off the pine.

Marietta is coming off a loss, its third straight setback, at Cambridge last Saturday.

“We are not playing well after the loss of Erica,” Scott Cozzens said. “It is hard to have to make this big of change midseason. We have a few kids who are stepping up but we need everyone to become more focused than we have been.

“Our defense has started to play better. We are just not finding our way offensively and that is to be expected. Moving kids around to other positions and asking kids to do something that is out or their comfort level is tough and so far they are not consistent.”

Warren, meanwhile, improved its record to 10-7 overall with a 51-41 win at Logan last Saturday. The Lady Warriors are 7-1 in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League and within striking distance of undefeated league leader Jackson.

Against the Lady Chiefs, Jordanna Rauch scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed five rebounds. Mackenzie Ullman added 14 points and eight caroms.

Warren features a balanced scoring attack with Victoria Buzzard, Emma Ryan, Ullman and Rauch all very capable of scoring in double digits in the same game. They did so in the loss to Marietta, and they hope to do it again tonight in Round 2.

Warren is expected to start Amy Fleming, Kendra Lynch, Rauch, Ullman, and Ryan.

“Just expecting it to be your typical Warren/Marietta game that will come down to who makes plays at the end of ballgame,” Colgrove said.