CADIZ It would take four extra minutes to decide this Buckeye 8 battle in the John W. Stephenson Center but St. Clairsville could not get off the final shot before the buzzer and Harrison Central would celebrate a hard-fought 62-61 decision in overtime.
The Lady Red Devils had control of the contest in the second quarter when they ran out to a 19-10 lead when Huskies junior Katie Ellzy punched in seven points of an 11-2 run that tied it up at 21 apiece just before the half. St. Clairsville would get a bucket before the buzzer and take a 23-21 advantage into the break.
As the third quarter began it appeared that the Huskies had not returned to the floor ready to play the second half. And did not net a bucket until midway through the frame leaving them in a 29-22 hole.
St. Clairsville senior Carlee Gillespie pulls down a rebound as teammate Lauren Figura and Harrison Central freshman Alexis Yoho (11) watch the action.
The Red Devils would counter every opportunity to close the gap and held a 10 point lead until late in the fourth quarter. With their backs once again against the wall, the Huskies would respond to close the gap to 55-52 with 1:50 left in regulation.
Harrison Central freshman guard Alexis Yoho would drop in a jump shot from the paint and Ellzy would go to the foul line netting both of the shot to knot it at 55 with just 48 ticks left.
Both teams had opportunities to score the potential winning basket but the score remained unchanged until with just 3 seconds left the Huskies frosh guard Yoho pushed through two Red Devil defenders for what appeared to be the winning lay up. But the official under the backboard whistled off the bucket with a travel call negating the points and the Red Devils would have one more chance.
The Huskies defense denied the Devils down court and time expired without a final shot from the visitors sending the contest into overtime.
Ellzy scored first in the extra frame giving them their first lead of the contest 30 seconds into overtime.
The Lady Red Devils leading scorer in junior Alexis St. Clair got the ball and delivered the goods to knot the contest yet again. Red Devil senior Lauren Figura and then connected on a pair of penalty shots to put the visitors up 59-57.
Kara Dunfee connected on a hook shot from the right side of the back stop to even it up at 59 before Figura added a final two points to her total giving the Red Devils a 61-59.
The Huskies' frosh guard Yoho once again found the bucket and this time no whistle to tie it up at 61.
At the other end the Red Devils shot caromed off the rim and Harrison Central's Shianne Nameth pulled down the rebound and drew the foul.
Walking the length of the floor the sophomore missed the front end of a double bonus but found net on the second to set the final score with 8 seconds remaining in overtime.
The Red Devils once again called on St. Clair to deliver but the shot fell off the mark and Namath snagged the carom clinching it as the final seconds ran off the clock.
"We showed a sense of resiliency tonight that I have not seen in this group, getting down ten (points) and then fighting back is something we have not done before," said relieved Huskies head coach Nick Yourkovich. "I think this was a significant building block for this team in terms of moving forward.
"I know it has just been a couple weeks, but since the first game this group has come a long way," Yourkovich added. "I thought Katie had a great game, she carried us early and then when their defense took her away we had other players step up."
On the other bench Red Devils head coach Alicia Freeman had suffered a second tough loss in as many nights.
"This is our third tough game this week with Union Local Monday and River last night.
"Am I happy that we lost? Absolutely not," Freeman said. "But I have to say that I am really pleased with our effort.
"We were trying to put it out of reach but they just kept creeping back," Freeman related. "We have got to learn to be smart with the basketball when there is little time and the ball is in our court to our advantage.
"We had opportunities to give this game to ourselves, but unfortunately things just did not fall our way tonight," St. Clairsville's coach lamented. "We missed some key shots and we can't do that. We will learn from our mistakes and we will take this as a lesson."
Ellzy led all scoring with 25 points adding 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. Dunfee and D.J. Keesey both netted 9 points while Yoho finished with 8 for the Huskies now 2-1.
St. Clair paced the Red Devils with 16 points. Anna DeFilippo netted 14 points while Carlee Gillespie put in 13 points for St. Clairsville now 2-2.
Harrison Central pulled won 23 rebounds and turned the ball over 17 times.
St. Clairsville finished with 28 rebounds and 13 turnovers.
Both teams have the weekend off and return to action on Monday when St, Clairsville travels to Edison while the Huskies are on the road at Martins Ferry
ST CLAIRSVILLE (61) Mick 2, 0-1 5; Gillespie 5, 2-3 13; Defillippo 5, 3-4 14; St. Clair 4, 8-10 16; Figura 3, 3-3 9; Cenkus 2, 0-0 4; Totals: 21, 16-21. HARRISON CENTRAL (62) Ledger 0, 2-2 2; Yoho 4, 0-0 8; Nameth 2, 1-2 5; Dunfee 3, 2-2 9; Keesey 2, 5-6 9; Orr 2, 0-0 4; Ellzy 11, 3-4 25. Totals 24, 13-16.
3-point Goals: HC - Dunfee. St. C. - DeFilippo, Gillespie, Mick.
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