St. Clairsville Girls Edged In Sectional
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The OHSAA post-season tournament trail proved an abbreviated one for St. Clairsville.
The Red Devils dropped a 55-51 decision to Indian Valley Wednesday night in a Division II sectional opener on John Jenkins Court. Coach Stacey Agnew’s youthful charges topped the same Braves by a 54-43 count last week.
St. Clairsville, which entered the sectional playing at a high level, bows out at 11-10. Indian Valley, meanwhile, improved to 8-15. Coach Scott Melville’s charges will now advance to play talented Maysville Saturday afternoon.
The Red Devils couldn’t have asked for a better start.
The hosts rolled to an 18-8 lead after one quarter. Junior Alexis Thoburn sparked the quick getaway with nine points in the round.
St. Clairsville, however, encountered a scoring drought over the next two quarters to put itself in a bind. The Red Devils netted just three points in the second quarter. Consequently, Agnew’s crew trailed 23-21 at intermission.
Things didn’t get much better in the third quarter for the Red Devils, scoring just seven points while Indian Valley was riding the hot-shooting of junior standout Ashton Doak to build a 36-28 advantage entering the final quarter. Doak, a savvy 5-7 guard, dropped in 10 tallies in the round.
St. Clairsville began playing with a sense of urgency again in the final quarter but never got closer than the final margin. Thoburn drained a pair of treys in the final 25 seconds to make it a four-point final.
“We couldn’t have started any better,” Agnew said. “We were scoring well and moving well. The second quarter really hurt us. We began to stand around. We even told the girls to start moving.
“I think we might have gotten a little tired in the (second) quarter. We hadn’t been able to practice the past few days because of the weather. We are not using that as an excuse but our legs may have gotten a little tired,” he said. “Indian Valley went to a man defense and it gave us problems. Number 32 (junior post Madison Monte) didn’t play against us the first time. She played well and so did the Doak girl.”
Doak did a lot of everything for the Braves, and did it all well. She tallied 22 points and was perfect at the foul line down the stretch. Monte, meanwhile, just days removed from COVID quarantine, delivered 11 points and a dozen rebounds. Elena Baker added 12 markers for the winners.
“We are an inexperienced team. This is really the first tournament game for these girls. They were playing jayvees last year,” Melville said. “We grew up tonight. We held together in the fourth quarter.
“Madison had a big-time game for us. She did a great job on the boards,” he added. “Ashton is a very talented player. We knew she was capable of playing like she did tonight.”
Thoburn was superb in a losing cause. She finished with 22 points, 11 coming in the final quarter in leading the Red Devil comeback attempt. Hard-working senior Macy Malin closed out her career with a fine 13-point effort.
“We got off to a slow start this season but we really improved as the season progressed,” Agnew said. “We were playing well heading into (Wednesday’s) game. So, it is a disappointing way to see it end.
“We are losing just one senior, so we have a chance to be a good team next year,” the sixth-year Red Devil coach said. “Hopefully, we will be able to get in a lot of summer work unlike this past year.”
St. Clairsville committed 14 turnovers. Indian Valley was guilty of 16 miscues.
Beallsville 33, Newcomerstown 32
BEALLSVILLE — The homesteading Blue Devils avoided being a first-round upset victim by pulling out a hard-fought victory over Newcomerstown.
Beallsville was led by Hallie Bommer’s 17 and Makenna Phillips’ 12.
River 53, Malvern 42
MALVERN — Invading River pulled an opening-round upset over the fourth-seeded Hornet thanks to an impressive second and third quarter.
All told, freshman Kelsey Harlan led River with 17 points. Junior Hannah Raper added 10 and Rylie Knight finished with nine.
Shadyside 72, Bridgeport 18
SHADYSIDE — Tory Hendershot tallied 14 points, 10 steals and six assists as Shadyside ousted Bridgeport.
The Tigers led 43-0 before the Bulldogs got on the board.
Baylee Wach and Kamdyn Elerick each added 13 for the Tigers.
KOBE MITCHELL BECOMES HARRISON’S ALL-TIME LEADING SCORER
CADIZ — Harrison Central senior Kobe Mitchell added another record to his illustrious career Wednesday evening when he became the all-time leading scorer in Harrison County history by pumping in 40 points to fuel the Huskies to a 66-60 victory against East Liverpool.
As it turned out, the Huskies needed all of those points to improve to 13-7. Harrison Central found itself trailing 42-32 at halftime, but turned up the heat defensively and Mitchell matched the 20 points he put forth in the first half.
Mitchell, who currently has 2,334 points, has scored 40 or more four times this season. Freshman Hayden Cassidy went for 10.
East Liverpool was led by Cole Dailey’s 23. Devin Toothman added 17.
Buckeye Local 64, Steubenville Catholic 60
STEUBENVILLE — Invading Buckeye Local used a 28-point barrage in the fourth quarter to post a victory against Steubenville Catholic.
Senior Jake Mayle led the Panthers (10-6) with a game-high 25, including seven bonus goals. Mason Brown added 14.
The Crusaders were led by Charles Miller’s 15.