BYESVILLE - A couple of weeks ago, Martins Ferry's Cody Schau received two technical fouls in a game against Indian Creek which drew an automatic two-game suspension by the OHSAA.
Since his return, the 6-foot-2 senior has been unstoppable in a pair of contests.
Wednesday night at Meadowbrook High School, he turned in his second straight 30-point effort in leading the Purple Riders (11-8) to a 71-47 rout of Bellaire (3-20) in Division III sectional tournament action.
Ferry’s Cody Schau (22) takes a jumpshot against Bellaire Wednesday night.
"Sitting out those two games made me hungrier when I came back," Schau said. "The first game (vs. Harrison Central) back I came really hard, but I feel I can play a little better than I did."
That comment came after a 13-for-23 performance from the field, and a floor game that included a half-dozen rebounds, five assists, four steals and a blocked shot.
In the process, Schau surpassed the 1,000-point mark with a layup down the lane midway through the fourth quarter, which drew a standing ovation from the very sparse Martins Ferry contingent that made the trek to Guernsey County.
"That was special. I've been working for this my whole life," Schau said of reaching the milestone, which came in basically two seasons.
"It was also nice to do it in a win.
"I don't think we played as well as we are capable of," he continued. "I think we'll play better next game."
With Schau scoring 16 of his game-high total in the first half, the designated hosts built a 28-17 lead, but veteran Martins Ferry coach Jeff Sabatino was less than satisfied.
"I wasn't happy,'' he said. ''Even though we were winning I wasn't happy because we want to get better. It's tournament time. I understand the survive and advance thing, but we want to play better and I didn't think we played very well.
"I thought Bellaire played really hard in the first half," he continued. "It's hard to play against a team that you've beaten twice and had a lot of success against, but I thought Bellaire played a lot better."
Bellaire head coach J.R. Battista agreed with his counterpart.
"We played about as well as we could have in the first half," he said. "We missed some shots that I'm not saying we normally make, but they were makeable good attempts."
Whatever Sabatino told his troops during the halftime break, they took it to heart as the Purple Riders outscored the Big Reds by 43-30 count in the second 16 minutes.
Schau connected for eight more points in the third quarter as Martins Ferry exploded for 23 points in grabbing a commanding, 51-32, advantage heading into the fourth.
Junior power forward Robert Vargo continued to turn in double-double after double-double. The 6-4 banger finished with 13 points and a dozen rebounds. The Purple Riders other three starters - Tyler Strama, Jake Barritt and Emilio Appolloni - all scored eight points a piece.
Bellaire was paced by sophomore Nathan Steele who pumped in a dozen points. Classmate Tyler Ramsey came off the bench to net a career-high 11 points and grab a team-best five boards.
Martins Ferry, which led 32-23 off the glass and had seven less turnovers at 22-15, returns to Byesville on Friday, March 1 to meet Fort Frye.