BARNESVILLE - High school basketball games are played for 32 minutes. In essence, though, Friday night's girls' season opener between St. Clairsville and Barnesville was decided in about three.
Brigee Mick drained back-to-back 3-pointers to key an 15-4 run to start the second half and helped propel the Red Devils to a 60-48 triumph on the Shamrocks boards.
''It started with two big shots by Brigee,'' St. Clairsville coach Alicia Freeman pointed out. ''She's one of our seniors and we really want her to be more involved in the offense and she really stepped up (Friday).
''She's really been working a lot on her shot and it showed.''
Mick wasn't the only one with a hot hand.
Anna DeFillippo canned a free throw during the spurt, part of her 16 points on the night.
Alexa St. Clair set the stage for both of them, scoring eight of her team-high 20 points in the first period.
That was the first of two lulls for his squad, according to Barnesville coach Jamie Carpenter.
''We started out kind of flat and were down something like 9-2,'' he said. ''That and the start of the second half hurt us.
''But I told the girls after the game that if we played the way we did during the middle of the game and late in the fourth we'll be OK.''
The Shamrocks survived St. C.'s opening onslaught and rallied to grab a 12-10 lead thanks to three straight buckets by Miranda Plumly.
Plumly led all scorers with 23 points.
''She really is stepping up, which is something we need her to do and something I was pleasantly surprised with,'' Carpenter said.
Barnesville maintained a lead until the Red Devils went on a 7-0 binge to close the quarter. Ashten Cenkus and St. Clair scored before DeFillippo drained a trey.
St Clairsville's offense continued to churn in the third quarter. Lauren Figura's jumper at the 4:15 mark gave the Red Devils their largest lead, 33-22.
The lead swelled to 37-22 when St. Clair converted a jumper, then a layup, forcing Carpenter to call time out with 2:18 left in the quarter.
''We purposely scheduled some scrimmages against some teams we knew were gonna take it to us because wanted to prepared for these types of games,'' Freeman pointed out. ''We knew our first game was coming up sooner than others, so we wanted to be ready.''
While many teams tend to look a bit sluggish on opening night, the Red Devils offense seemed to flow well, Freeman noticed.
''We really showed patience on offense,'' she said. ''That was a big issue for us last year. We would go down and shoot and not really assess the situation. (Friday), we did a better job of getting the best shot.''
St. Clairsville led by as many as 17 at 53-36 in the fourth quarter. At that point, however, the Shamrocks went on a 10-2 run to trim the advantage to 55-46. Shayla Markovich and Sydney Ralston both had 3-point plays during the spurt, which, in the end, was too little, too late.
Markovich finished with 10 points.