It was a hard-fought battle Tuesday night as homestanding Barnesville (3-3) took one from Union Local (2-3) by a 75-67 margin.
The Green were paced by a sparking 29-point effort from Brandon Burkhart who dominated underneath on the offensive end with an array of post moves and drop steps.
Both teams began the night with troubles having anything to fall, leading to a scrappy opening stanza filled with boards and missed putbacks. After one quarter, Union Local held a 16-15 margins.
A 19-2 Jets run in the second quarter stifled the Shamrock defense heading into half. Senior Jacob Bailey turned in another rounded performance as he collected seven of his 23 points on the night in the second quarter to help spread the advantage to 40-31 at the midway point.
"We were hustling and going so hard the first half, it was kind of taking us out of position at times," said Barnesville head coach Chris Pack.
"We stressed to them at halftime that we had to slow down, and see what's going on ahead of us, " he continued of his team's adjustments.
After coming out to an immediate 9-point deficit, the Shamrocks looked to claw their way back behind a dazzling 11-point performance by Burkhart in the third quarter to help bring the score to 52-all heading into the last period of play.
"We told them at halftime that we had to play with confidence." Pack exclaimed.
"We lost our intensity and got in foul trouble. Give Barnesville credit, they put in a winning effort tonight." Union Local head coach Vaughn Butler reluctantly admitted.
"We knew Barnesville plays multiple defenses. We were preparing for what we could see and we did do that. We just didn't execute," Butler continued.
It didn't take long in the fourth as five Barnesville players collected multiple buckets in a well-dispersed 14-4 effort to close it out.
Zach Houston continued to play a pivotal post presence role, as he did all night off-setting some length underneath. Houston finished the night with a double-double, contributing 17 points and 10 snags off the glass.
Union Local would make a run to come within five at one point in the final minutes, but that was as close as it got as Bailey attempted to lead the late charge that came up short.
Along with Bailey, Trenton Tipton turned in the second solid outing for the Union Local frosh. Tipton bucketed 16 on the night while leading the Jets on the boards with six.
"Tipton is coming on as a player. He's doing some good things for us. He's forcing me to play him as a freshman, what else can you say?" Butler commented.
"Jacob is our leader. He leads by example. Without him we wouldn't be where we are." added Butler.
Barnesville controlled the boards on this evening 36-28. Union Local also committed 24 turnovers to the Shamrocks' 17.
The Shamrocks are back in action Friday at home against Bellaire. The Jets travel to John Marshall the same evening.
UNION LOCAL (67) - McDiffitt 1 3-5 5; Sill 0 0-0 0; T. Tipton 5 4-7 16; Dunfee 2 3-4 9; Causby 0 0-0 0; Haverty 0 0-0 0; Jones 4 0-0 8; Smolira 0 0-0 0; Porter 2 1-2 6; McKivitz 0 0-0 0; Bailey 7 6-6 23; C. Tipton 0 0-0 0; Totals: 21 17-24. BARNESVILLE (75) - Mankin 0 0-0 0; Anderson 0 0-2 0; Burkhart 12 5-9 29; MacMillan 2 2-6 6; Clark 5 1-2 13; M.Wells 0 0-0 0; Stewart 0 0-0 0; McGee 2 4-6 9; L.Wells 0 0-0 0; Nicholson 0 0-0 0; Houston 8 1-2 17; Totals 27 13-27.
Three Point Field Goals: Union Local 8 (Bailey 3, T. Tipton 2, Dunfee 2, Porter); Barnesville 3 (Clark 2, McGee )