Dalton stops Marietta in Campbell Holiday Classic opener

Dec. 28—SMYRNA — Dalton outscored the Marietta girls 26-8 in the second half to pull away for a 56-30 victory Wednesday in the opening game of the 25th Campbell Holiday Classic.

Having an opportunity to be the leadoff game in the silver anniversary of the event was something Marietta coach Derrick DeWitt was happy to do.

"We get to see competition from around the state," DeWitt said. "This event is put on by good people like (Campbell boys) coach (James) Gwyn and (girls) coach (Randy) McClure. They are people you want to support."

Marietta (1-11) played short-handed as it dressed only seven players, and DeWitt was forced to constantly juggle the lineup to try to let players grab a little rest, while also keeping them out of foul trouble. It worked for much of the first half, but Dalton (7-2) was able to take advantage in the final 16 minutes.

Leading 30-22, Dalton forward Grace Ridley took over on the inside. She scored 11 of the team's 14 points in the third quarter, including the last two baskets to make the score 44-25 heading to the fourth.

Ridley added eight more in the final quarter to finish with a game-high 28 points.

In addition, Ridley made life difficult on the young Blue Devil team, which is made up of first-year starters and underclassmen, who tried to get the ball in the paint.

"We need more game experience," DeWitt said. "We have a bunch of juniors and freshmen, and game experience is valuable. And we didn't do a good job of taking care of the basketball."

Marietta did its best to stay in the game in the first half.

After getting behind 10-2, it began to crawl back into the game. A pair of baskets by Victoria Alexander and a 3-pointer by Frances Storey helped pull the Blue Devils back within 15-10 at the end of the first quarter.

Trailing by 13 with 3 minutes to play in the half, a jumper by Kayla Day and another 3 by Storey helped close the gap to eight at the half.

Day led Marietta with 11 points, while Storey had 10.