FRANKFORT, Ohio — These Warriors defended their home ground and preserved their reservation.
Fourth-seeded Adena shot 68 percent from the field through three quarters and led all but 33 seconds of regulation on Friday night while handing the Meigs boys basketball team a 75-52 setback in a Division III Southeast 1 sectional final held at AHS in Ross County.
The 20th seeded Marauders (5-9) led for just 12 seconds in the first quarter after a Wyatt Hoover basket at the 4:20 mark completed a 7-0 MHS run that resulted in a 7-6 edge.
The Warriors (21-2) answered with a Logan Bennett trifecta with 4:08 left, and ultimately never trailed again. Bennett — a 6-foot-5 senior who was named Scioto Valley Conference player of the year — poured in 10 first quarter points and AHS closed the final 3:41 with a 16-6 surge that resulted in a 25-13 lead.
After starting with a 12-of-19 shooting performance, the Blue and White followed by hitting six of their first nine shot attempts in the second canto while extending their lead out to 15 points on three different occasions.
Down 36-21 with 2:40 left in the half, the Maroon and Gold got six straight points from Coulter Cleland as part of a 7-3 run to end the second quarter — leaving MHS with a 40-28 deficit at the break.
The Marauders shot a more than respectable 12-of-21 from the field (57 percent) in the opening 16 minutes, but Adena simply scorched the nets at blistering 19-of-30 clip for 63 percent. The guests also had nine of the 15 turnovers at the intermission.
Meigs closed to within nine points after a Cleland basket made it 42-33 with 6:40 remaining in the third, but the Maroon and Gold were ultimately never closer.
Bennett threw down consecutive dunks over the next 46 seconds and AHS netted eight of its first 10 shot attempts in the third frame, which led to a 63-41 cushion with 39 seconds left in the period. An Andrew Dodson offensive putback just before the buzzer made it a 20-point contest headed into the finale.
The Marauders were never closer than 67-50 following a Brayden Stanley bucket with 3:36 left in regulation. Preston Sykes gave the Warriors their largest lead of the night at 75-50 with a basket at the 1:27 mark.
With the 23-point victory, Adena will now face fifth-seeded South Point in a D-3 district semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Frankfort. The Pointers defeated 12th seeded Coal Grove by a 53-47 margin on Friday night.
The Warriors outrebounded the guests by a 23-19 overall margin, with both teams hauling in seven offensive caroms apiece. MHS also committed 17 of the 27 turnovers in the game.
Meigs made 23-of-48 field goal attempts for 48 percent, but went just 1-of-13 from behind the arc for eight percent. The guests were also 5-of-8 at the free throw line for 63 percent.
Cleland led the Marauders with 18 points, followed by Dodson with 12 points and Hoover with 10 markers. Cleland and Hoover also paced MHS with six rebounds each.
Stanley and Braylon Harrison were next with five points apiece, while Morgan Roberts completed the scoring with two points.
Adena netted 33-of-53 shot attempts for 62 percent, including a 6-of-13 effort from 3-point range for 46 percent. The hosts also sank 5-of-6 charity tosses for 83 percent.
Bennett led AHS with game-high efforts of 25 points and nine rebounds, followed by Jarrett Garrison with 23 points and Sykes with 13 markers. Garrison also hauled in seven boards for the victors.
Dillon McDonald was next with nine points, while Jacob Shipley and Nate Throckmorton respectively wrapped things up with three and two points.
Meigs will complete the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division portion of its regular season schedule over the next few weeks.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.