Jeff Sabatino couldn't have scripted a better season opener.
The longtime Martins Ferry hoop boss was pleased with all facets of his Purple Riders' play as they demolished visiting Edison, 79-37, Friday night. The Purple, suiting up just one senior, jumped on top at the outset and never let up, getting positive production from the entire roster.
The Purple Riders now have a week off before receiving their first of many tests at Buckeye Local. The Wildcats fell to 0-3.
MARTINS FERRY senior standout Cody Schau goes up for two of his 31 points during Friday’s game against Edison inside the Tolbert Gymnasium. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
"I don't know of one phase of the game in which we did not execute well," Sabatino said. "We played with good intensity from start to finish and that is one of the things we stressed.
"Our aggressive man defense set the tone for the night and we owned the boards as we should," he continued. "We did a real good job of taking care of the ball while forcing them into a ton of turnovers."
Senior standout Cody Schau opened the campaign in spectacular fashion. The 6 ft. 2 leaper scorched the nets for 31 points, including a nice breakaway jam. He displayed his versatility with eight rebounds, four steals and five assists.
Junior post Robert Vargo was a force inside. The 6 ft. 6 bruiser netted 14 points and grabbed 10 boards. Vargo received excellent inside help from 6 ft. 8 Emilio Appolloni. The elongated frosh knocked down 12 points while grabbing eight boards and blocking seven shots.
Sophomores Jake Barritt and Isaiah Sears did their damage in the backcourt. Barritt had three points but directing a near flawless offense while handing out six assists. Sears drained a pair of treys.
"I thought this was the best game Jake has played. He ran the show while Isaiah handled himself well filling in for Taylor (Shane)," Sabatino said. "Cody scored 31 and he did it very unselfishly. He was excellent at both ends of the floor. Robert and Emilio owned the inside and they complement each other quite well."
Martins Ferry bolted to a 22-8 advantage after one quarter and it only got worse for the Jefferson Countians. The Riders were on top 37-12 at halftime and 59-22 after three panels.
Edison had no one in double digits. Clay Woodward and Alec Jones led the way for the Wildcats with eight points each while Dylan Jones added seven.
First-year Edison coach Nate Moses was quick to the point after the game.
"We are not getting the job done. It is as simple as that," Moses said. "We have no excuses."
Edison committed 16 turnovers to just six for the winners.
Martins Ferry made it a sweep on the evening, taking the reserve contest by a 63-21 margin. Kylil Bass led the the young Purple Riders with 12 points while Josiah Burress chipped in with 10 markers.
EDISON (37) - D. Jones 2, 3-4 7; Lee 1, 0-0 2; Hyndman 0, 0-2 0; Kramarich 1, 0-0 2; A. Jones 3, 2-2 8; Howell 0, 0-0 0; Wilkin 2, 0-1 4; Woodward 2, 4-5 8; Horan 2, 0-0 4; Schat 1, 0-0 2. Totals 14, 9-14. MARTINS FERRY (79) - C. Schau 13, 3-3 31; Barritt 1, 0-0 3; Vargo 6, 2-2 14; Appolloni 6, 0-1 12; Sears 2, 0-0 6; A. Burress 0, 0-0 0; D. Schau 0, 0-1; Agnew 0, 0-0 0; Rine 0, 0-0; Edwards 2, 2-2 7; Bass 2, 0-0 6; J. Burress 0, 0-2. Totals 32, 7-11.
Three-point goal: Martins Ferry (9): C. Schau (2), Edwards (2), Bass (2), Sears (2), Barritt (1).