River Quiets Barnesville
BARNESVILLE — Suffice to say, River was well aware of the shooting exploits that Barnesville demonstrated during its Wednesday evening victory against Steubenville Catholic.
Just 48 hours removed from a game when they knocked down 16, 3-pointers and scored 84 points, the Shamrocks found the going a little bit tougher thanks to the solid defense the Pilots applied.
River challenged seemingly every shot Barnesville took and controlled the glass en route to a 48-38 victory Friday night inside a fairly crowded Shamrock Gymnasium.
“I am really proud of the kids because I thought our defense was exceptional,” a satisfied Mark Romick said of his Pilots. “Barnesville can shoot it, but I thought we did a great job of really challenging their shooters and not giving many clean looks.”
Much of that was evident in the second quarter when the Pilots limited the Shamrocks to just two points. However, they only scored seven themselves and led 18-13 at halftime.
“We didn’t have as many chances to get our feet set (Friday) because River got us moving a little bit with that man-to-man defense,” Barnesville head coach Johnny Hines said. “We couldn’t throw it in the ocean if we were in a boat early when we did get good looks. We struggled with (offensive) efficiency. Hats off to River because they were more physical and got after us.”
River still found itself unable to fully shake the Shamrocks in the third, outscoring the hosts just 13-12.
Barnesville took the lead with 1:58 to play in the third, but the Pilots closed with nine of the final 11 points of the period. Sophomore Ty Long did much of that work with the aforementioned physicality that Hines referenced. He scored seven in the period and freshman Kabel Isaly buried a bonus goal to push the lead back to six at the final stop.
While River’s defense was impressive, it’s offensive output wasn’t a work of art by imagine. However, the Pilots were able to get their sophomore duo of Brody Lollathin and Long going to a tune of 22 and 15 points, respectively.
More important than the scoring output that Lollathin put forth was his effort at the foul line, which was a sharp 11-of-11, including 10-of-10 in the fourth when the Pilots held the Shamrocks at bay.
“We’ve had three or four kids staying after practice, every night for the last couple of weeks, to shoot extra foul shots,” Romick said. “The kids have taken (foul shooting) to heart. What an effort at the line by Brody Lollathin.”
Thanks to Lollathin’s work at the foul line, the Pilots actually extended their lead to as many as 13 in the fourth before Barnesville junior Kason Powell hit a buzzer beater to give him a team-high 12.
Powell led the way for the Shamrocks, but Romick made sure he singled out the defensive effort Austin Creamer put forth on Barnesville’s leading scorer, Colton Hines. He limited him to just eight points in the game.
“We’re playing nine guys and all of them contribute in some capacity,” Romick said. “We had some spurts where we got out of control on offense at times and took some ill-advised shots. But, I told the kids if we continued to play defense like we did (in the second quarter), we’d be in pretty good shape.”
The win is a repeat victory. River won in Hannibal last Saturday.
The Shamrocks (3-6) are back on the home boards Tuesday, welcoming Monroe Central. River (6-3) will bid for its fourth straight win on Wednesday when it welcomes Buckeye Local.
Harrison Central 61 Martins Ferry 53
CADIZ — Kobe Mitchell dropped in 26 points to help lift Harrison Central past visiting Martins Ferry.
Shenandoah 71 Shadyside 60
SHADYSIDE — Korey Beckett scored 21 points and Elijah Brock added 19 but it wasn’t enough as Shadyside dropped a decision to visiting Shenandoah (9-1) inside the Tiger Den.
Mason VanNest added nine for the Tigers (4-5).
Christian Duniver paced four Zeps in double figures with 24 points. Max McVicker added 20 while Baylor Wentworth finished with 12 and Dayton Hill 10.
SARAHSVILLE — Martins Ferry staged a dramatic late rally to decision Shenandoah, 40-36, Friday night in Noble County.
The Purple Riders trailed 30-18 and 36-34 before winning the final two matches — both by decision — for the win.
Down 36-34, Zak Dobson earned a 7-2 win at 220 pounds before 285-pounder Zeke Bruney sealed the verdict with a 4-0 whitewashing.
Domenick Tedeschi (126), Jonathan Rossano (132), Kaden Archer (138), George Hulsey (160) and Kameron Hughes (182) all won by pins, with Hulsey needing just 36 seconds. Chase Goff (170) scored a major decision.
Shenandoah 75, Shadyside 6
Brendon Schrader (152) posted a pin in 57 seconds to keep the Tigers from being blanked.