Bellaire Improves to 3-0

Photo by Kim North Bellaire’s Natalie Stoner (11) looks to get around the defense of Martins Ferry’s Sidne Sidon (0) on Monday.

MARTINS FERRY — Even when good basketball teams have an off night shooting, other areas of their game have to step up. That was the case Monday night when a pair of undefeated squads faced off inside Tolbert Gymnasium at Martins Ferry High School.

Bellaire (3-0) used its three-phased defensive package to roll past homestanding Martins Ferry, 69-37.

Big Reds coach John Farrier sounded more like a meteorologist instead of a basketball coach in the first half. He could be heard screaming out weather-related words like “Hurricane,” “Tornado,” and “Tsunami” to his team when the Purple Riders (2-1) had the ball in their end of the court.

“That’s our natural disaster defensive package,” Farrier said. “It’s worked for us for three years now.”

Bellaire ran out to a 9-1 lead early before Martins Ferry closed strong to trail 13-9.

The Big Reds doubled up the Purple Riders in the second as Natalie Stoner netted 15 of her game-high 24 points. Katrina Davis added nine points and five offensive rebounds in the second quarter as the margin grew to 33-19.

“We did not shoot the ball very well in the first half, and I told the girls that at halftime,” Farrier said of his team’s 13-for-36 effort from the floor. “We didn’t look good at all offensively, but we were still led by 14. I thought, however, our effort was there on the defensive end. That was the key, I thought.

“Defensively, I liked our intensity. I thought we played really well on defense.”

The defensive pressure seemed to wear down Martins Ferry, which was charted with 23 turnovers, 13 of which came in the first half.

“I thought we wore them down. The more possessions we have on offense means the more the opponent has to work on defense,” Farrier said. “We didn’t shoot our best, but we wore on them.”

On the flip side, Bellaire took care of the basketball when it had possession. The Big Reds were guilty of 10 miscues, with four of those coming before halftime.

“I really didn’t notice that many (turnovers), and if I didn’t yell at them too much, we must’ve taken care of the ball,” he said.

Martins Ferry coach Paul Matuska said his team got caught up in Bellaire’s up-tempo style of play.

“We knew the full-court pressure was coming, we just didn’t take care of the basketball,” he said. “We got into that running game with them and we’re not going to win that. We preached all week about taking care of the basketball and not getting into that rush-and-shoot. We just didn’t do that tonight.”

To show the Big Reds balance on offense, Stoner became the fourth player to eclipse the 20-point barrier in three games.

“That’s why we’ve been so successful thus far. We have girls that can put it through the hole. We also have girls that are very unselfish.”

Davis finished with 12 points. Maci Crozier and Michaela Flaherty evenly divided 18. Davis also charted six steals and handed out four assists. Flaherty yanked down six rebounds.

Davis completed her double-double with 12 rebounds as Bellaire held a commanding, 37-18, advantage off the glass.

“If she was in a 5-10 frame she would have about 30 rebounds a night,” Farrier said of the 5-foot-2 cat-quick Davis, who led the Big reds in rebounding last season. Of her 12 boards, eight came on the offensive end. “She has that nose for the ball. She knows where it is going to go and she uses her body exceptionally well. She puts herself in position to get them (rebounds).”

Madison Ging scored 12 points to lead Martins Ferry. Jaden Stalder added 11. Richella Spielvogel had 10 rebounds.

Beallsville 65, Paden City 38

PADEN CITY — Ashley Louden compiled 14 points while Olivia Muncy netted 13 as Beallsville defeated Paden City. Ashley Howell was also solid for the Blue Devils with 12 points.

For the Wildcats, Hannah Loy had a team-high 14 points and Raven Faulks secured 10.

Caldwell 40, St. John 29

BELLAIRE — Kaylin Nixon scored 11 points, but St. John fell to Caldwell.

Union Local 77, Ridgewood 14

MORRISTOWN — Union Local held Ridgewood to three points in the second half and four players scored in double figures in its victory.

Allison Loase supplied a game-high 17 points for the Jets while Casey Kildow bucketed 15. Hannah Porter contributed with 13 points and Lauryn Menges rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11.

Steubenville Catholic 67, Bridgeport 20

STEUBENVILLE — Steubenville scored at least 18 points in each of the first three quarters en route to a victory over Bridgeport.

Julia Zatta cashed in on three 3-pointers as she led the way for the Crusaders with 25 points while Bella Oliver posted a solid 16 and Christine Dombrowski totaled 10.

Briana Conaway tallied a team-high nine points for the Bulldogs.

Shadyside 58, Monroe Central 35

WOODSFIELD — Baylee Wach tallied 18 points to lead Shadyside to a victory over Monroe Central. Tory Hendershot supplied 11 points for the Tigers.

Kalista Friday had eight points for the Seminoles.

St. Clairsville 46, Harrison Central 30

CADIZ — Behind four 3-pointers, Maria Vincenzo bucketed 18 points as St. Clairsville defeated Harrison Central. Rileigh Simpson also scored in double figures for the Red Devils with 12 points.

Sydney Starr led the way for the Huskies with 17 points.

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