BARNESVILLE - When Jamie Carpenter's Lady Shamrocks fell to 0-2 earlier this season, he had some harsh words for his squad.
The girls must have listened as Barnesville (3-2) has reeled off three straight victories, the third coming late Saturday afternoon in the form of a 56-47 verdict over visiting Martins Ferry (1-2).
"The first game we had jitters and the second game we were just flat," Carpenter explained. "I put it in the paper about (the girls) having no desire ... no heart and since then we've played really hard and stayed focus.
BARNESVILLE’S Shaela Markovich (44) works for position against Martins Ferry’s Tyrah King during Saturday’s game in Barnesville.
"I thought we played under control today, which is good for us," he added. "We got a lot of speed, but we slowed it (the tempo) down and controlled the game. We never let them crawl back in, which is a good thing, but then again, we couldn't put them away."
The Shamrocks snapped a 3-all deadlock with a 6-0 spurt to take a 11-10 advantage after one period.
After Martins Ferry took its only lead of the game (12-11) early in the second quarter on two Malyah Coleman, Barnesville went on a 15-4 run for a comfortable, 27-16, lead at the half.
Most of the points came off of turnovers as Martins Ferry couldn't handle the ball to the tune of 18 first-half turnovers.
"We can't get over the hump because we are not ready to play the first quarter, the second quarter and the third quarter," Martins Ferry head coach Lindsay Coyne stressed. "We're ready to play in the fourth quarter. Maybe that's my fault and I'll take the blame for the last two games. Maybe I'm not preparing them enough for the start of the game, but come Monday they will be ready to play all four quarters, or I'll play girls that want to."
The Purple Riders cut the margin to six, 29-23, midway through the third period, but another mini-run by the Shamrocks bumped the count back to 13, 36-23, as sophomore Sydney Ralston scored six of her team-high 18 points.
Martins Ferry outscored Barnesville 20-16 in the final stretch, but it was too little, too late.
Coleman, just a freshman, scored a career-high 23 to lead all scorers, but no other Purple Riders would reach double figures. Morgan Stalder finished with nine, Sydney Bridges added eight and Tyrah King recorded seven.
In addition to Ralston, two other Shamrocks reached twin digits as Miranda Plumly knocked down 14 and Shaela Markovich added 11.
Markovich also pulled down 11 rebounds and Plumly charted seven steals. King had eight boards for Ferry.
Barnesville hosts Monroe Central Monday. Martins Ferry entertains Harrison Central the same night in a 7 p.m. varsity-only tip.
No JV game was contested.
Barnesville 56, Martins Ferry 47
MARTINS FERRY (47) - Stalder 3 2-2 9; Coleman 8 4-5 23; Bridges 3 2-4 8; King 1 5-9 7; Ray 0 0-0 0; Monroe 0 0-0 0; Morton 0 0-0 0; Johnson 0 0-0 0; Skvarka 0 0-0 0; Totals: 15-37 13-20. BARNESVILLE (56) - Plumly 4 6-8 14; Markovich 1 9-16 11; Huntsman 2 1-2 5; Broomhall 2 0-0 5; Ralston 8 2-3 18; Sleeth 1 0-0 3; Hannahs 0 0-0 0; Hanlon 0 0-0 0; Totals: 18-51 18-29.
Three-Point Goals: Martins Ferry 4 (Coleman 3, Stalder); Barnesville 2 (Broomhall, Sleeth)