Marauders rally to sweep Rockets, 42-37

By Bryan Walters -

WELLSTON, Ohio — When they needed it the most, the Marauders made it happen.

The Meigs boys basketball team made a pivotal 7-1 run over the final five minutes of regulation Friday night and ultimately escaped with a 42-37 win over host Wellston in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division matchup in Jackson County.

The Marauders (12-8, 7-3 TVC Ohio) claimed a season sweep of the Golden Rockets (5-15, 2-9) after posting an easy 76-44 decision back on January 20 at Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium, but nothing about the rematch was easy.

WHS led 12-10 after eight minutes of play, but the guests responded with a 14-9 second quarter run that resulted in a slim 24-21 edge for the Maroon and Gold at the break.

The Blue and Gold, however, battled back with a pivotal 13-8 surge in the third canto, which resulted in a 34-32 Wellston advantage headed into the finale.

Clinging to a narrow 36-35 lead with 5:08 remaining, WHS committed three consecutive turnovers that resulted in points. MHS also netted 5-of-8 free throws in the final 1:50 of regulation to help seal the deal on a 10-3 fourth quarter run that resulted in a five-point triumph.

The Blue and Gold outrebounded the guests by a 31-28 overall margin, but the Marauders committed only five of the 20 total turnovers in the contest.

Meigs connected on 15-of-46 field goal attempts for 33 percent, including a 3-of-21 effort from behind the arc for 14 percent. MHS was also 9-of-16 at the free throw line for 56 percent.

Zach Bartrum led the Maroon and Gold with 12 points, followed by Luke Musser with 11 points and Dillon Mahr with six markers. Weston Baer was next with five points, while Jared Kennedy added four markers.

Christian Mattox and Zach Helton completed the winning tally with two points apiece. Kennedy hauled in a team-best 10 rebounds and seven steals as well.

The Golden Rockets netted 15-of-40 shot attempts for 38 percent, including a 5-of-16 effort from behind the arc for 31 percent. The hosts were also 2-of-4 at the charity stripe for 50 percent.

Matt Simpson paced WHS with a double-double effort of 18 points and 19 rebounds, both game-highs. Michael Graham was next with nine points, while Noah Henry and Daivon Newell rounded things out with respective efforts of seven and three points.

Meigs has now won two straight decisions and Wellston dropped its third consecutive outcome.

The Marauders play at Athens on Saturday and complete both the regular season and league schedule next Friday when they host River Valley at 7 p.m.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

By Bryan Walters