CADIZ -- The first half belonged to the home-standing Harrison Central Huskies but Monday night's final 16 minutes would be all Martins Ferry as the Purple Riders scored 36 second half points to disappoint Harrison, 54-37.
The Purple Riders came into Cadiz at a perfect 4-0 but Huskies head coach Nick Yourkovich felt confident his team was up to the challenge,
"The first quarter and a half was an example of how I know we can play - the type of team we can be," said Harrison Central's skipper. "Unfortunately, the last two and a half quarters showed the type of team we really are.
MARTINS FERRY senior Jessica Kinney drives to the bucket against Harrison Central’s Emily Dodds during Monday’s game in Cadiz. The Lady Riders ran their record to 5-0 with a 54-37 victory. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
"That second half was about the most disappointing half of basketball I have ever experienced," Yourkovich said following the loss. "The reason being, they came out in the third and hit us in the mouth and we just didn't fight back. I really am at a loss to explain it."
The Huskies' defense pressured the Purple Riders - they out-rebounded the visitors and their shooting was on the mark as they ran out to a double-digit lead in the opening frame.
Martins Ferry made a run late in the first to close the gap to 16-10 at the first buzzer.
Jesse Ledger drained a pair of treys, Shanon Compher netted one from long range, while Katie Ellzy cleaned it up with a pair of jumpers in the first for Harrison.
In the second quarter, Martins Ferry would net 6 of its 8 points in the stanza from the charity stripe. Compher hit again from outside the arc and Ellzy put in 6 as the Huskies won the second panel by 9-8.
The Purple Riders were still trailing 25-18 at the intermission but battled back to take a 27-25 lead at the 5:36 mark in the third. Harrison would briefly regain the lead 30-29, but the visitors would go on a 6-0 run and never look back.
"It was a total team effort in the second half, "said Martins Ferry head coach Lindsay Coyne. "We got back our fire and our intensity.
"I was very proud of the way we came out the third quarter and played hard. We gutted it out," Coyne added. "Harrison Central is a scrappy team. They outplayed us in the first half and our team was able to pull it together in the second half and get the win."
The Purple Riders put up 20 third quarter points to just 7 for the hosts.
Kylie Stalder netted all seven of her points in the third frame while Shaina Oberdick added six. Jessica Kinney put up 4 of her game high 21 points in the third and 9 in the fourth as Martins Ferry outdistanced Harrison Central, 16-5.
Kinneyadded 6 rebounds and 4 assists, Oberdick finished with 10 points for the Purple Riders.
Ellzy notched another double-double for Harrison Central adding 12 rebounds to her 14 points. Ledger chipped in 9 points and Compher 8 points with 6 caroms.
Harrison Central (1-4) travels to Edison Thursday while the Purple Riders will host Union Local next Monday.
HARRISON CENTRAL (37) - Ellzy 6, 2-2 14; Custer 0, 0-2 0; Dodds 1, 0-0 2; Dunfee 0, 1-5 1; Compher 3 0-1 8; Orr 0, 0-0 0; Nameth.0, 0-2 0; Richards 0, 1-2 1; Ledger 3, 0-1 9. Totals 13, 5-17. MARTINS FERRY (54) - K. Stalder 3, 0-0 7; M. Stalder 0, 3-4 3; Suriano 1, 1-3 3; Rose 3, 0-0 6; DeLeonardis 1, 1-2 3; Kinney 8, 5-5 21; Oberdick 4, 2-2 10; King 0, 1-2 1.Totals 20, 13-18.
Three Point Goals - HC - Ledger (3), Compher (2) MF -- K. Stalder