Barnesville took the lead late in the first quarter and never gave it back in methodically holding off Bridgeport, 60-50, Friday night in boys' basketball action inside the Greenhouse in western Belmont County.
Trailing 10-8, the Shamrocks (2-1) got a three-point basket by sophomore Isaac McGee with 42 seconds left in the opening period. The bonus bomb jump-started an 8-0 spurt that built an 18-10 margin three minutes into the second frame.
A pair of charity tosses by Brian Clark bumped the count to 10, 29-19, with 0:22 on the clock, but the Bulldogs' (1-2) Jonathan Kreiter connected with five seconds left for a 29-21 Barnesville lead at the break.
"Bridgeport is a good, athletic team, so this is a good win," Barnesville head coach Chris Pack assessed. "We had some adversity to overcome in the first half, and we did. We handled it, though."
Bridgeport battled back and got within three, 35-33, at the midway point of the third period, but Barnesville reeled off the final eight markers of the period to take a 41-30 lead into the final chapter.
Four different Shamrocks found the scoring column in the run. Clark started the spree with a basket and Mitchell Wells drained a trey from the right wing for a 38-30 margin. Dylan MacMillan cashed in 1-of-2 free throws and McGee completed a steal at midcourt into an uncontested layup at the 16-second mark.
The Bulldogs made several threats in the final quarter, but the Shamrocks had an answer for every one.
Bridgeport slowly, but surely, clawed its way back into the contest, slicing the deficit to 54-50 with 90 seconds remaining on a steal and layup by Bailey McGrath.
"We just talked about doing the little things better," Bridgeport head coach Donnie Cash said. "We probably had a total of 10 missed layups in the game. If we convert them, who knows?"
MacMillan sealed the deal by meshing 5-of-6 charity tosses down the stretch. He finished with a game-high 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
"We shoot free throws in pressure situations every day in practice," Pack said of his team's 13-for-21 showing. "We hit them when we had to tonight."
The same can't be said for the Bulldogs, who were a putrid 6-for-15.
"That's not acceptable," Cash admitted. "We're not asking them to be perfect, but 6-for-15 isn't acceptable."
Also reaching double digits for the Shamrocks were Clark with a dozen and Brandon Burkhart with 10. McGee added eight off the bench.
QJ Williams paced Bridgeport with 14 counters. Dallas Fields had 11 before fouling out late. Aaron Roth and Kreiter evenly divided 16.
Barnesville held a very slim, 43-42, nod off the glass as Zach Houston cleaned it 11 times. Burkhart added nine and McGee eight. MacMillan and McGee split half-a-dozen steals.
Williams pulled down 10 boards to lead Bridgeport. Robert Teeman and Kreiter had six each. Parker Dyson recorded six blocked shots.
The Bulldogs recorded 18 turnovers, one more than the Shamrocks.
Bridgeport travels to Bellaire Tuesday night, while Barnesville makes the journey to Beallsville.
In JV action, David Stewart's three-pointer late in overtime lifted Barnesville to a thrilling, 57-54, victory.
BRIDGEPORT (50) - Fields 5 1-2 11; Williams 7 0-1 14; Roth 2 2-2 8; Kreiter 3 0-2 8; Dyson 2 1-4 5; McGrath 1 1-2 3; Teeman 0 1-2 1; Cash 0 0-0 0; Totals: 20-58 6-15. BARNESVILLE (60) - MacMillan 6 7-9 19; Burkhart 5 0-0 10; Clark 3 6-10 12; Anderson 0 0-0 0; Houston 3 0-0 6; McGee 3 0-2 8; M. Wells 2 0-0 5; Stewart 0 0-0 0; Totals: 22-52 13-21.
Three-Point Goals: Bridgeport 4 (Kreiter 2, Roth 2); Barnesville 3 (McGee 2, M. Wells)
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