Bellaire Earns Season Sweep Of Shadyside

Photo by Paul Kranjyak Bellaire’s Maci Crozier (10) drives to the basket as Shadyside’s Brinley Steen (5) defends Monday in Bellaire.

BELLAIRE — John Farrier wasn’t worried one bit about how his Bellaire team would play Monday night against Ohio 7 rival Shadyside after winning the Buckeye 8 championship Saturday night.

“I told the girls after we won the Buckeye 8 championship that was great, but Monday’s the Belmont County championship, so we took it that way,” he said after the Big Reds posted a 68-61 hard-fought triumph over visiting Shadyside (14-5) inside the ‘House of Champions’ on Guernsey Street.

With the win, Bellaire completed its regular-season portion of the schedule with a superb 18-2 mark. That comes on the heels of a 19-1 record last winter. The victory also allowed the Big Reds to defeat every Belmont County opponent twice, with the exception of St. John Central, which was not on the slate. The two setbacks have come at the hands of Wheeling Central and Wheeling Park, both of which were not on last season’s schedule.

“I was happy for Senior Night. It was a good way for our seniors to end their season with that kind of win. They deserve that,” Farrier noted of Cierra Davis and De’Asia Burney. “I was happy for them on that end.”

Shadyside (14-5) scored the first nine points, but Bellaire came right back with a 12-point run and led 15-12 at the end of one quarter. Brinley Steen’s basket just ahead of the halftime buzzer sent the teams to the lockerrooms tied at 32-32.

The Tigers led for most of the third stanza, but Cierra Davis nailed a trey just prior to the third-quarter horn, leaving the rivals knotted at 51-51.

Katrina Davis’s inside basket put the hosts up for good at 58-57 with 5:15 showing and Natalie Stoner’s fifth 3-pointer extended the lead to 61-57.

The teams traded buckets before Bellaire went on a 5-0 run — all the points coming on free throws — to seal the deal.

Bellaire made 15 of 19 free throws, compared to 4-for-11 for Shadyside.

“Shooting 50 percent or less from the foul line is not a good position to put yourself in, especially against a good team like Bellaire,” Shadyside coach Serge Gentile said. “Besides that I thought we competed and gave ourselves a chance to win. Bellaire made a few more plays than we did at the end.”

Stoner led all scorers in the game with 26 points, while also grabbing eight rebounds as Bellaire led 34-29 off the glass. Maci Crozier continued her solid play with 16 points and eight boards. Katrina Davis finished with 11 markers and half-a-dozen caroms. Stoner also charted five steals and four assists.

“It was an exciting game. It’s fun to go to battle with Shadyside. I thought there were some real exciting sequences there … a lot of good basketball players doing what they do best,” Farrier said. “Serge does a heckuva job over there. We play them in the summer and it’s exciting. We play them during the regular season, it’s exciting. It’s a fun game for us.”

Freshman Tory Hendershot led Shadyside with 15 points, while Syd Destifanes added 13 and Steen 12. Baylee Wach pulled down eight rebounds and had four blocked shots despite being saddled with foul troubles.

The teams combined for 47 turnovers, with the Tigers being charged with 25.

Both teams are already assured OVAC playoff berths as Bellaire was No. 1 in Class 3A and Shadyside No. 3 in Class 2A.