CONNORVILLE Harrison Central picked up its first win of the season by spoiling the season opener for Buckeye Local, 58-45.
Tom Figurski's debut as head coach for the Panthers started out well as the home team stood toe-to-toe and with the Huskies for the first half.
Harrison Central led, 15-13, at the end of the first quarter then Buckeye Local went on a run and gapped out to a five-point lead early in the second period.
BUCKEYE LOCAL’S Lauren Swiger (2) notches one of her four blocks as she defends Huskies Kara Dunfee (22) while Katie Ellzy (32) watches the action during Monday’s game in Connorville. The Lady Huskies posted their first victory of the season. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
The Huskies' head coach Nick Yourkovich called a time out and the visitors battled back to even where the two squads stayed trading leads through the remainder of the first half.
With just under two minutes left in the first half, Harrison Central gained some momentum forcing some turnovers to outscore the Panthers 14-9 and take a 29-22 advantage into the locker room.
The third quarter was pivotal. The Huskies defense shut down the Buckeye Local offense outscoring them 14-6 in the frame.
"We started to play defense together as a team," Yourkovich said of the success. "We have not had all five players working together on defense this season, until tonight, when we finally put together a good quarter of defensive basketball."
The Huskies continued the romp moving out extending to a 20-point lead as Jesse Ledger drained her second 3-point shot of the half midway through the fourth quarter.
Yourkovich cleared his bench relieved to get the first game in the W column for the new season.
Kara Dunfee paced the Huskies with 14 points and eight assists.
Katie Ellzy dropped in 13 to round out double figures for the Huskies. D.J. Keesey added eight points while Ledger netted seven leading the Huskies in rebounds with 5.
Harrison Central was 7 of 14 from the charity stripe.
The Panthers' sophomore Lauren Swiger led all scoring with 18 points. Classmate Becky Zeroski joined her in double digits with 11, while junior Kierstyn Czuchran put in 7 points. Buckeye Local was 16 of 30 from the foul line.
"We sent a lot of sophomores and juniors out there, and, for the first game, I thought we came out, worked hard and I am proud of the way we played," said Figurski of his Lady Panthers. "We came out in the second half and made some mental mistakes, but we are trying to build a solid program here and the only way to do that is get them out on the court for some varsity time."
Buckeye Local committed 20 turnovers while the Huskies turned the ball over 22 times.
The Huskies now 1-2 will head home to face off against 2-0 St. Clairsville Thursday evening, while the Panthers will have a week to prepare for a tough Indian Creek squad.
BUCKEYE LOCAL (45) Swiger 6, 6-13 18; B. Zeroski 3, 4-4 11; Czuchran 1, 5-6 7; Long 3, 0-1 6; Petrilla 1, 1-4 3; R. Zeroski 0, 0-2 0; Leonard 0, 0-0 0; Banal 0, 0-0 0; Taylor 0, 0-0 0; Johnson 0, 0-0 0; Totals 14, 16-30. HARRISON CENTRAL (58) Doty 0, 0-0 0; Ledger 2, 1-1 7; Yoho 2, 0-0 4; Carter 0, 0-0 0; Nameth 2, 1-4 5; Dunfee 5, 3-4 14; Logsdon 0, 0-0 0; Kuryn 0, 0-0 0; Keesey 4, 0-2 8; Orr 3, 0-0 6; Ellzy 6, 1-2 13; Dowdle 0, 0-0 0; Stackhouse 0, 1-1 1. Totals 24, 7-14.
3-point Goals: Harrison - Ledger (2), Dunfee. Buckeye B. Zeroski.
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