Prep girls basketball: Marietta girls drop 2OT decision 47-44

River View overcame a 19-point first-half deficit and went on to defeat Marietta High 47-44 in double overtime Wednesday evening in a crucial East Central Ohio League battle at Sutton Gymnasium.

Senior Andi Daugherty scored 22 of her game high 24 points in the second half and the Black Bears out rebounded the Tigers 34-23 to steal what appeared early on to be an easy MHS victory.

“It was just a total team effort and it all started with defense,” said River View head coach Kevin Smith. “We had some girls who stepped up and made some huge plays down the stretch.”

Early on it looked like the orange and black was well on its way to a blowout victory as it jumped out to a 16-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and extended that advantage to 26-7 with just over four minutes to play in the first half.

Tiger junior guard Lauren Martin scored eight first half points and the MHS defense forced 11 Lady Bear turnovers.

River View managed to trim five points off of the Tiger lead just before intermission with a 7-2 run capped by a three-pointer by Sofie Hjorth to close the lead to 28-14.

The referees seemingly left their whistles at home in the opening half as the Lady Bears were called for only three team fouls while Marietta was called for its only foul of the half with 20 seconds to play.

River View spent the first four minutes of the second half whittling the MHS lead down to single digits as Daugherty scored all nine points in a 9-2 run that closed the Tiger lead to just eight at 31-23 with 4:15 to play in the third.

A runner by Martin sent the Marietta lead back to 10 and a strong move on the inside by Starr Johnson extended the lead to a dozen before Hjorth’s bucket ended the third period with Marietta in front 39-29.

Daugherty completely took over in the final quarter of regulation as she scored 11 of the Bear’s 14 points including an offensive rebound for a score with 25 seconds to play to tie the game at 43-43 and force overtime.

Daugherty grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds, many coming on the offensive end, and the Tigers inability to limit second shot opportunities proved to be their downfall down the stretch.

“We let her (Daugherty) get offensive rebounds when she missed and to me that was the whole story of the ball game,” said Tiger head coach Mark Hannuksela. “We did a poor job of attacking the glass and that just absolutely destroyed us.”

While the final period was a drama filled eight minutes, the first overtime was anything but as after Marietta came up empty on its first possession, Smith elected for his Bears to hold the ball for one final shot while three minutes ran off the clock.

That one possession strategy proved unsuccessful as a Bailey Moore shot attempt was off the mark and Starr Johnson grabbed the board for MHS to force a second overtime.

River View claimed its first lead since the opening minute of the game on a Jessie Gibson field goal and Johnson made one-of-two free throws to make it a 45-44 game with a 45 seconds to play.

Daugherty came up with the play of the game when she came up with a turnover and Hjorth cashed in with a pair of freebies on the other end to give River View a three-point lead with nine seconds to play.

A last second shot from behind the arc by Martin was no good and none other but Daugherty was there to grab the rebound and seal the Black Bear victory.

“For the last 20 minutes of regulation they just played harder than we did,” said Hannuksela, whose Tigers fell to 13-5 and 7-4 in the ECOL with the loss. “When you are up by almost 20 at home, you just can’t give it away.”

Hjorth joined Daugherty in double figures for the Lady Bears (14-6, 8-3) with 12 points, while Martin led the Tigers with 15.

“Our girls just kept believing and stayed the course and just kept battling and worked their butts off,” said Smith of the comeback victory.

The Lady Tigers will look to rebound from the tough loss Saturday afternoon when they play host to Zanesville.