CADIZ - Cory Yoho only took one shot Friday night, but it was the biggest of the game.
With Harrison Central trailing 41-39, the 6-1 junior knocked down a three-pointer from the right wing with just under 2 minutes, 30 seconds left to play for a 42-41 Huskies' lead, and the hosts would go on for a 44-41 triumph over visiting Indian Creek (1-1) inside the John W. Stephenson Center.
"Cory's been struggling from the field a little bit, but we keep telling him to shoot it, shoot it," Harrison Central head coach Justin Clifford explained. "We were on the ropes a little down by two, but he just stepped up and buried a three to give us the lead."
The exchange of the lead was the ninth of the hotly-contested game. There were also seven deadlocks.
The Redskins of veteran head coach Joe Dunlevy didn't head to their teepees. In fact, the Jefferson Countians had two golden opportunities before time finally expired.
After a Harrison Central miss on the front end of a 1-and-1 with 48.3 ticks remaining, Dunlevy called his last timeout with 25.7 on the clock. The Redskins worked the ball down the floor and into the hands of Chad Durbin, but after spinning into the lane, his shot was too hard off the glass as the 5-9 Kowalski skied for the crucial rebound.
He was subsequently fouled and went to the charity stripe for a bonus situation with 10.8 showing. Both of his attempts tickled the twine for a three-point edge and Clifford utilized his final timeout.
The ball was inbounded to Johnny Haught who dribbled down the floor and pulled up from just beyond the bonus arc as time was winding down, but his shot was off the mark and fell into the hands of the Huskies' Dalton Rutter, who was immediately fouled with 1.4 seconds left.
He missed the free throw, but Indian Creek couldn't get off a last-ditch shot.
"Cory's clutch shot has kind of been our motto of our team all year," Clifford noted. "Next guy up, next guy step in. Who cares what you did the possession before? Now we're going to play our rear ends off that possession. If it doesn't work out, let's get the next one. I think they're starting to buy in a little bit.
"Any time we play those guys, it's going to be a war," Clifford noted. "We don't hold the ball (all the time), but we just get after it. It might be fun for the fans in the bleachers, but it's not real fun where I'm sitting."
The main problem for Indian Creek was its ballhandling as it had 23 turnovers, compared to 14 for the Huskies.
"I'm one to always give the other team credit," Dunlevy offered. "That's their game. They get after you. Some of the things we can correct because you're going to have turnovers against Harrison. That's their style of play, but we had way too many unforced turnovers."
Kowalski led the Huskies with 12 points, while Nate Olmstead added 11. Durbin paced the Redskins with nine markers. Blake Roar had eight.
Indian Creek led 33-26 off the glass as Durbin landed game honors with 10. David Miser snagged six off the bench for Harrison Central, which hosts Martins Ferry on Tuesday.
The Huskies made it a clean sweep with a JV victory.
INDIAN CREEK (41) - Foldi 2 3-4 7; Roar 2 4-6 8; Haught 1 0-0 2; Durbin 2 5-6 9; Woodbury 3 1-3 7; Huynh 2 0-2 4; Anderson 1 2-3 4; Wade 0 0-0 0; Totals: 13-27 15-24. HARRISON CENTRAL (44) - Kowalski 5 2-2 12; Redish 3 0-2 7; Evans 2 0-3 6; Yoho 1 0-0 3; Olmstead 4 1-3 11; Rutter 2 1-3 5; Miser 0 0-0 0; B. Mitchell 0 0-0 0; Johnson 0 0-0 0; Totals: 17-44 4-13.
Three-Point Goals: Harrison Central 6 (Olmstead 2, Evans 2, Redish, Yoho)