St. Clairsville is feeling more secure in the Class 4-A chase as its 61-45 win over Bellaire and a loss by Martins Ferry Thursday evening kept the Red Devils in the hunt for a spot in the OVAC girls' basketball championships.
"We talked in the locker room at half time about playing four hard quarters," said Red Devils head coach Alicia Freeman. "We have had trouble in the third quarter all season that has cost us some close games.
"I thought tonight we started a little slow but we worked hard and started clicking," Freeman added. "We came out in the second half and played good sound basketball."
Bellaire's Myleah Green cuts to the hoop around St. Cliarsville defender Ashleigh Moulder during Thursday night’s action on John Jenkins Court. Additional images can be found at cu.times-leaderonline.com
On the other bench, Bellaire's head coach Marci Bonar was disappointed, "This is the first time this season I have had to say this: We did not give 100 percent. We did not come to play.
"We have lost games, yes, but never in those losses did we ever let down," Bonar added. "It really bothers me because we work so hard in practice and because of that I feel these girls deserve to win, but when they just quit trying it is really a shame."
The hosts would lead 9-7 after a lethargic first quarter and Bellaire would keep pace through out most of the second frame.
Just before the intermission, the Red Devils would get some transition buckets to make a run just prior to the buzzer which yielded a 26-19 lead.
"We wanted to come out strong in the second half so I started with a five-guard set," Freeman commented. "That picked up the pace for us on both sides of the ball."
St. Clairsville would continue to take advantage of miscues to outscore the Lady Big Reds 17-13 in the third and 18-13 in the final frame to set the final.
Beallaire committed 28 turnovers to just 7 for St. Clairsville.
St. Clairsville had two players notch 15 points as Carlee Gillespie and Alexis St. Clair shared the spotlight. St. Clair pulled down nine caroms while Brigee Mick retrieved seven of the host's 31 rebounds. The Lady Red Devils netted 24 of 52 two-point, one of 10 three-point and 10 of 18 charity chances.
Keirstyn Kidder led all scoring with 19 points for the Lady Big Reds. Cari Crozier put in double figures with 13 points. Myleah Green added 10 lightings with seven rebounds for Bellaire. The Big Reds made good on 16 of 38 close-range, 1 of 9 long-range action shots and 10 of 17 foul shooting.
St. Clairsville will host a tough River squad Saturday while Bellaire will host Barnesville on Monday.
BELLAIRE (45) Kidder 6, 6-9 19; Messenger 0, 0-0 0; Crozier 5, 3-4 13; Gillespie 0, 0-2 0; Ryan 0, 0-0 0; Green 5, 0-0 10. Totals 17, 10-17. ST. CLAIRSVILLE (61) Mick 3, 0-0 6; Skukan 0, 0-0 0; Gillespie 6, 3-5 15; DeFillippo 0, 4-4 4; St. Clair 7, 1-2 15; Delguzzo 1, 0-0 3; Cenkus 3, 1-2 7; Moulder 1, 1-2 3; Figura 4, 0-2 8, Sliva 0, 0-0 0, Totals 25, 10-18.
Three-point goals. Bellaire - Kidder. St. Clairsville - Delguzzo.
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