Updated Wed, Nov 20, 2013 12:43 pm
The Lady Pioneers from Marietta (2-1) started on a 25-8 run to lift them over the Bethany Bison (0-1), 97-56, in their home opener.
“It feels great to be able to win our first game at home with the type of atmosphere like we had,” senior Paige Lamb said. “We had a lot of supporters there trying to see what this new Marietta team was like, and we were able to give them a little preview of what we have in store this season.”
After the hot start, some of the starters got a breather, but that didn’t stop the Pioneers’ momentum as the bench players continued the hot streak. With five minutes left in the first half, the Lady Pioneers had a 42-17 lead. At the half, Marietta held a 50-23 lead.
“Being home was a huge factor,” Marietta head coach Stacia Shrider said. “The starters got us off on the right foot and gave us a big advantage. Then the bench players came in and made big contributions.”
Both teams came out of the break hot. After the first five minutes, Marietta led, 64-34. The Lady Pioneers quickly stifled any hopes of a Bethany comeback. With 10 minutes left in the game, Marietta led, 74-40.
From then on, the Bison went cold from the field. But that was not the case for the Pioneers, as they continued to add onto their huge lead.
Junior Heather Booth led the Pioneers in scoring with 18 points and forward Candice Alexander finished with 16 of her own.
“We are happy with the win,” Shrider said. “We aren’t satisfied on [defense] quite yet, we need to get better defensively. In order to do that, we need to be selfless on defense.”
“We have improved so much since our first game,” senior Tori Dixon said. “Everyone comes to play every day. I think we will be a tough team to match up against, and I am excited to be a part of this team. We have a lot of young players, but everyone has faith in them stepping up and making a huge contribution.”
For the Lamb and Dixon, the only two seniors on the team, it was their last home opener.
“There is still a lot to improve on, but we have a deep bench and the team chemistry is awesome. It makes winning on the home floor for my last home opener 10 times better,” Dixon said.
Looking ahead, the Lady Pioneers will make the two-and-a-half hour drive to Pittsburgh to take on nonconference opponent Chatham University.
“Chatham is a small team,” Shrider said. “We will need to defend on the inside and stop their good guard play. They also have a 6-foot-3 post player, she will be the biggest girl we face all year that we will need to contain.”
Tipoff from Chatham University is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23.