Updated Sun, Nov 17, 2013 5:58 pm
The Pioneers gained their fifth Marietta Shrine Tournament crown under head coach Jon VanderWal, as they beat the Piedmont College Lions, 79-58.
Marietta dominated the first few minutes of the game, opening up with eight unanswered points with 15:12 left in the first half. But the Lions quickly picked up their play, going on a 5-0 run that left the Pios questioning their defense.
Piedmont had narrowed the Marietta lead to 18-16, but that was the closest the Lions got all game. The Pioneers began to pull away throughout the rest of the half, going on a 19-5 run to make it 37-21, as the players headed to the tunnels.
With a 16-point advantage at half, all the Pios had to do was protect their lead in the second half. And they refused to rest, coming out of halftime with an explosive offensive effort that boosted their lead to 61-38 with 10:13 left.
Piedmont tried to catch the Pios, narrowing the deficit to as low as 17 points throughout the last 10 minutes but they ultimately fell to a potent Marietta offense.
Sophomore post player Eddy Grenert provided a huge spark off the bench, leading the team with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, four rebounds and two blocks.
The Pioneers received strong contributions from junior post player A.J Davis with 11 points, four steals and three rebounds and senior point guard Tyler Hammond, who went 8-for-8 from the free throw line and had 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and one block.
Marietta will hit the road for its next two games, playing Waynesburg University on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Denison on Saturday at 3 p.m.