BY Jim Haynes
Times-Reporter sports writer
UHRICHSVILLE The Claymont Mustangs keep on rolling.
The Mustangs defeated the Marietta Tigers 52-29 in boys high school basketball action Tuesday night to move their winning streak to 10 games.
With a huge East Central Ohio League game against the Dover Tornadoes looming Friday night, Mustangs head coach Scott Doak would have nothing to do with his team looking ahead, especially since Marietta beat Claymont early in the season.
“We honestly haven’t even thought about Dover,” Doak said. “We were just focused on Marietta and what we had to do to beat them this time.”
The game started slowly for both teams, as they struggled shooting the ball early, but thanks to a couple of 3-point baskets by Tyler Golec, Claymont held an 8-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the first game between the two clubs, Marietta used its size to its
advantage against the man-to-man defense deployed by the Mustangs.
But it was a lesson learned for Doak, who implemented a zone defense to guard against the bigs of Marietta, not allowing them to stay under the basket for easy scores.
And it worked, as Claymont held Marietta’s Jonathan Wood and Braden Riley to a combined 11 points for the game.
“They just planted those two guys in blocks in the first game, and it was silly of me to play man defense, but we made adjustments in this game by playing a 2-3 zone and a 1-2-1 to suffocate their inside scoring,” Doak said.
Marietta started the second quarter by outscoring the Mustangs 6-2 to pull within a bucket.
With the score 16-12 late in the quarter, Claymont’s Kohltin Miles drilled a triple to push the Mustang lead to seven.
The half ended with Claymont leading 20-13.
The potent Mustangs offense woke up in the second half led by the hot shooting of Miles, who drained two more 3-pointers as part of a 9-2 run that pushed the lead to a comfortable 14 points.
Claymont also turned up the pressure defensively in the second half, forcing four quick turnovers by Marietta that spurred the early run in the third quarter.
It was more of the same in the fourth quarter as Dylan Sterling and Tyler Golec relentlessly pursued the ball to force more turnovers leading to easy buckets as Claymont removed all doubt.
While it wasn’t the Mustangs’ best performance of the season, Doak was proud of his team’s effort and can now look forward to the game against Dover.
“I thought we played well in spurts,” Doak said. “We missed some shots that we normally don’t miss, but to hold them (Marietta) to 29 points says a lot about our defense tonight. Now we can shift our focus to Dover the next couple days. I love going to there to play and the intensity and atmosphere that this game will have.”
The Mustangs were well balanced offensively with four players in double figures, led by Clarke and Golec with 12 a piece, while Miles had 11 and Sterling had 10.
Marietta was led by Wood and Corey Hill with nine points each.
Reach Jim at 330-364-8434 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @JamesEricHaynes