Big Run Aids Bellaire Win
By SETH STASKEY
For The Intelligencer
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Eleven days between games is a long time for a basketball team.
With the holiday and then a postponement last week due to weather, that was exactly what Bellaire was facing Monday night when it returned to action on John Jenkins Court.
It showed, too.
The Big Reds turned the ball over 20 times in the first half, struggled from the field and found themselves in a battle against an improving St. Clairsville team that had won four in a row. However, Bellaire was able to put together the game’s lone real run at 12-1 in the third quarter, to gain separation and eventually go on for a 47-39 victory.
“My assistant Coach Hutch (McFeeley) was concerned because it had been so long since we played and I didn’t really think we’d have to worry about it. He was right and I was wrong,” Bellaire coach John Farrier said. “We were definitely rusty, but St. Clairsville played hard and has gotten better.”
Bellaire found itself with a 16-12 lead after one and a 27-24 upperhand at the half. Sophomore Maci Crozier scored nine of her 15 points in the opening half to give the Reds a spark.
“I told the girls I thought we played poorly in terms of taking care of the ball and there are things we need to (continue to improve on),” Farrier said. “But, we’re standing at 12-1 and anytime you can win by basically 10 and not play that well, it shows what kind of team we have.”
The Red Devils came out in the second half and got an inside bucket from Katie Bradshaw to get within one. However, the Big Reds turned it up a notch just as Stacey Agnew expected them to do.
“We told that they were going to bring the pressure and they did,” Agnew said. “We handled it in the first half and we didn’t handle it as well in the second. That was the story of the game. We missed some good looks, but their pressure causes you to rush your shot. So even though you’re wide open, you’re still rushing.”
During that third-quarter spurt, Bellaire got a pair of field goals from Crozier. Classmate Natalie Stoner tallied a bucket, while hard-working sophomore Michaela Flaherty and talented freshman Katrina Davis also tallied.
“I felt the game was going to come down to whichever team could get on a run and (Bellaire) did,” Angew pointed out. “I know they only stretched it out to 10 or 11, but with the kind of team they have and the way they shoot foul shots, it’s tough.”
The Big Reds carried a 41-30 lead into the final quarter. St. Clairsville wasn’t unable to get any closer than seven.
Crozier finished with 15 points to lead all scorers. Flaherty came off the bench to score 11 and collect eight rebounds. Davis finished with nine points and 10 boards.
St. Clairsville didn’t have a double-figure scorer. Ari Reager had nine points to lead the Devils. Sydney Freeman had seven, while Bradshaw had six points and nine rebounds.
The Big Reds finished with 30 turnovers, which was seven more than St. C. The Big Reds held a 34-30 edge on the boards.
“We realize that if we’re going to accomplish the things we want to, we have to play much better,” Farrier said. “This is the kind of game you have to watch on film, even if you don’t want to watch it. We have to learn from this.”