Ferry’s Smith Scores 1,000th Point in Win
CONNORVILLE — There was a point in the season where Martins Ferry would have let Friday night’s game slip through its fingers.
However, it’s clear to see the Purple Riders are starting to corner.
Martins Ferry was able to overcome rough foul shooting and nine Buckeye Local 3-point goals to avenge a December setback, 52-49 on the road.
“I am proud of our effort and I like the direction we’re heading,” Ferry coach Derek Edwards said. “It’s a lot of credit to the kids because they’ve gotten in the gym, stayed positive with one another, accepted coaching and our execution is starting to take a turn. We just need to keep it going.”
While the Purple Riders (4-6) have now won two in a row, Buckeye Local, which was one of the area’s best stories early in the season, has dropped three of four and are now 7-5 on the season.
“When the ball goes in (the basket), good things happen,” Buckeye Local coach Chris Heaton said. “We’re struggling with shot selection right now, which is putting us in a tough spot defensively, but our kids keep fighting and battling. We just have to come back and get better and keep working.”
The Panthers came out and jumped out to an early lead that grew to as many as 14 in the first half, but the Purple Riders righted the ship. They fought back to tie the game at halftime and then took a two-point lead into the fourth quarter at 38-36.
In the fourth, the Purple Riders appeared on their way to delivering a knock-out blow a couple of times. Each time, however, the Panthers had other ideas.
Leading by five, Ferry fouled Jake Mayle on a 3-pointer and he drained the shot and the charity toss. But, the momentum was short-lived. Zach Flesch – who dialed long distance three times – cashed in one of those bonus goals.
Following an empty possession by Buckeye, Ferry senior Logan Smith not only put his team up by six at 48-42, but he achieved a personal milestone, netting his 1,000th career point, becoming just the 11th male player in Ferry history to score a grand.
From there, the Panthers were able to hang around because of the Riders’ aforementioned woes from the line. Ferry missed seven of nine in the period and 11 for the game.
As the Riders kept clanging foul shots, Buckeye chipped away. Mayle got two at the line himself and then Cameron Best got a steal in the backcourt and buried a trey, making it 51-49.
Riders junior Jaizen Miles finally got one-of-two to go at the line, setting up the final possession. Buckeye Local — cleanly — dribbled the ball up the floor and got a wide-open look from the wing to force overtime, but the shot came up just short.
Ferry was led by Smith, who finished with 16. It gives him 1,001 points in his illustrious career.
“(Scoring 1,000 points) isn’t easy to do and it’s a tremendous individual accomplishment for Logan,” Edwards said. “There’s not been a lot of guys come through Martins Ferry to do it, so I am very proud of him because he’s worked hard to do it. His teammates have worked hard at it, too. They did a great job of getting him the ball.”
Backing Smith in the scoring column was hard-working junior post Peyton Hores. He blue-collared his way to 10 points and seven rebounds. Flesch and Miles evenly divided 18.
Buckeye Local was paced by Mayle’s 22. Best finished with 14 in top support.
Bridgeport 82, Beallsville 54
BEALLSVILLE — Dylan Gregorcic hit nine 3-pointers en route to 29 points as Bridgeport defeated Beallsville. Quintin Burleski tallied 21 for the Bulldogs.
Adam Barker paced the Blue Devils with 27 points.
Harrison Central 66, Union Local 63
CADIZ — Kobe Mitchell paced Harrison Central with 38 points in a victory over Union Local.
Zach Bateman led the Jets with 18 points.
River 48, Shadyside 46
HANNIBAL — Brody Longwell, scored 15 points to help River defeat Shadyside.
The Tigers were led by junior Korey Beckett, who scored 20 points.
Steubenville 57, Steubenville Catholic 42
STEUBENVILLE — Phaeton Hill led Steubenville with 16 points as it defeated Steubenville Catholic.
Charles Miller finished with a game-high 20 points for the Crusaders.