Harrison Pulls Out OT Victory
BELLAIRE — Welcome back, Huskies!
After a two-week absence and playing for the first time since Nov. 25 due to COVID-19 related issues, Harrison Central’s girls basketball team made the most of their return.
The Huskies watched Bellaire rally in the fourth to force overtime, but in the extra session, the Huskies simply weren’t going to be denied. They scored 11 of the 13 points in the bonus session to pull out a 67-58 victory against the Big Reds inside the ‘House of Champions’ Monday night.
“Both teams sure made it exciting,” stressed Harrison Central coach Nick Yourkovich. “It feels great to come back and simply play. Winning a game like this adds a little extra excitement.”
The Huskies actually resumed from their pause on Saturday and had two practices before making the trip to Belmont County.
“Our JV team really pushed our top seven, which was a great help to prepare for (Monday),” Yourkovich said.
Along with winning their second straight game this season, the Huskies (2-1) snapped a nine-game losing streak to Bellaire in the process.
The Huskies found themselves trailing in regulation after junior Lizzie McAninch got free inside for a bucket, making it 54-53 with 97 seconds to play.
After Harrison committed one of its 27 turnovers, the Big Reds extended their lead to three on a Jayden Lowe basket.
However, the Huskies didn’t wilt. Maddy Butler was fouled and made one-of-two at the stripe.
The Huskies, who came empty after an offensive rebound forced a turnover, which led to Audrey Corder scoring to knot the game
“We didn’t make smart basketball plays in the final minute,” lamented Bellaire head coach John Farrier. “We committed a foul, didn’t secure a defensive rebound and those plays are the difference makers in a close game.”
In the overtime, the Huskies looked like the fresher team. The teams traded baskets in the opening minute of the overtime, but Harrison closed with the final nine.
“With the foul trouble we were in, when the game went into overtime, I was a little nervous,” Yourkovich said. “I’m still not sure how we manipulated the whole second half.”
Mackenzie Harbold ignited the spurt when she drilled a trey. On the ensuing possession, junior center McKayla Dunkle, who had a field day on the interior against the under-sized Big Reds, tallied two more of her game-high 26, making it a five-point spread.
Bellaire had some good looks in the OT, but simply couldn’t buy a basket. Compounding matters, it turned the ball over four times.
The Big Reds held a 32-29 lead at halftime, but the Huskies seized control in the third, outscoring Bellaire, 17-9. But, as they’ve done time and time again this season, the Big Reds battled back.
“The third quarter was bad,” Farrier said. “It seems we have those stretches every game and then have to battle back. We did a terrible job defensively of (stopping) the ball. I did a bad job of making the necessary adjustments, so there is a little blame to go around. We need to get better, and we will. Give Harrison credit. For coming off quarantine, we hoped to wear them down and they wore us down. They played well and were well prepared.”
The Huskies were led by Dunkle’s production. She added 14 rebounds, four blocks and three assists to her stat sheet. The Huskies were in the game early because of the contribution from Britton Positano, who scored 12 of her 20 in the first quarter.
“Brit really carried early until everyone else caught up to the speed of their press,” Yourkovich said.
Bellaire (2-5) was led by McAninch’s 16. She also had seven rebounds. Lowe finished with 15, while Allie Ault and Kayleigh Leigh each drilled a trio of treys for nine points. Ault also had nine rebounds.
Monroe Central 51, Caldwell 26
CALDWELL – Invading Monroe Central started fast and finished strong en route to claiming a victory at Caldwell.
Junior standout Kalista Friday continued to lead the Seminoles with her brilliant all-around floor games. She posted 23 points, seven rebounds, nine steals and five assists.
Her scoring was backed by Haylin Hiles, who went for 11.
Shenandoah 52, Barnesville 44
BARNESVILLE – The invading Zeps used a strong second and third quarter to subdue the homesteading Shamrocks Monday night.
Barnesville was led by Halley Markovich, who scored 19. Anna Later added 12.
The Shamrocks are 3-3 and host Shadyside Thursday at 6 p.m. in a varsity only affair.
Beaver Local 54, Edison 46
CALCUTTA – The Beaver Local girls basketball team kept Edison from winning its first game with a 54-46 victory on Monday.
Savanna Ankrom led the Wildcats with 16 points. Gracie Fox scored a dozen points, and Alayna Meadows added eight.
Jordan Palmer paced the Beavers with 20 points.
Edison tentatively hosts Conotton Valley on Thursday.
Indian Creek 52, Steubenville 32
STEUBENVILLE — Hailey Clark netted 23 points as Indian Creek downed Steubenville.