WINTERSVILLE The Indian Creek boys' basketball struggled offensively, while Martins Ferry was able to get good looks inside.
In the end, the Purple Riders used a balanced offensive attack to defeat the Redskins, 62-45, Friday night.
Martins Ferry (4-5) led from start to finish. The Purple Riders recorded the first four points of the game, and the boys from Belmont County led by as many as 21 points in the fourth quarter en route to the victory.
The visitors outscored the hosts in each quarter. Martins Ferry scored at least 13 points in each stanza, while Indian Creek (3-7) was limited to single digits in two of the quarters. The Purple Riders increased their offensive output in each quarter.
"We had the same problem, and it is my fault," Indian Creek head coach Joe Dunlevy said. "I need to figure out what we need to do offensively to win. The kids played hard. They handle the ball well. We just didn't score. That is my fault. I have got to figure it out. We are going to practice at noon tomorrow, and we are going to try and figure it out."
The Purple Riders played well on both ends of the court for the majority of the game.
"We played well tonight," Martins Ferry head coach Jeff Sabatino said. "We have led in every game this season. We just have not been able to finish the deal all the time. We were able to sustain the lead tonight.
"We played good defense. We played good defense except for maybe the final three or four minutes of the game. Other than that, we played good defense from start to finish.
"We rebounded well. We took care of the ball. If we continue to do that, we will be fine.
"We were focused tonight. We have a very-young team. Sometimes we don't stay focused, but we did tonight."
Though only five Purple Riders scored in the game, four of them scored in double digits, and it was enough to get the job done. Robert Vargo recorded a game-high 21 points, while Arjay Burress and Emilio Appolloni each tallied 12 points and Jake Barritt collected 11.
Also, James Edwards scored six points.
"They are both big, but they both are good," Dunlevy said about the Purple Riders' inside combination of Vargo and Appolloni. "Appolloni can shoot it from 15 feet. He has a nice stroke. We knew that. We have trouble against size.
"We have to figure out how to score points. That is my fault. I have got to figure it out."
Two players reached double digits for the Redskins. Jonathan Haught tallied a team-high 17 points, while Aaron Foldi finished with 15 points.
Also, Seth Starkey scored seven points, and Blake Roar and Jonathan Woodbury each recorded two points.
"Joe is a great friend of mine, and he is an outstanding coach," Sabatino said. "His kids always play hard, and they did that tonight. His kids are always intense, and they were tonight. We did a good job of matching their intensity."
After Martins Ferry scored the first four points of the game, Indian Creek closed to within 6-4. Baskets by Vargo and Appolloni built the lead to six points, and the Purple Riders led 13-7 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, a three-point play by Vargo gave Martins Ferry an 18-9 lead with 6:28 left to play before halftime. Indian Creek countered with a 7-0 run to close within 18-16, but the Redskins did not get any closer the rest of the way.
The victors recorded the next eight points, and the Purple-and-White led 27-19 at halftime.
"We knew what they were going to do, and they knew what we were going to do," Dunlevy said. "They just executed better than we did."
Martins Ferry extended its lead in the second half. The Purple Riders led 43-27 after three quarters, and they led 52-31 in the fourth before winning by 17.
"Indian Creek has hit a rough stretch," Sabatino said. "Indian Creek has lost a bunch of games. They have lost to some really good teams. Are we one of them? That is yet to be determined.
"They just need to trust in Coach Dunlevy."
Martins Ferry is scheduled to play tonight at home against Union Local.
Indian Creek is slated to play Monday at home against Weir.
"I got out-coached tonight," Dunlevy said. "Jeff is a great coach. He does a good job. We didn't execute."
MARTINS FERRY (62) - Barritt 3 4-6 11, Garriel 0 0-0 0, Burress 3 6-7 12, Baine 0 0-0 0, Edwards 2 2-5 6, Agnew 0 0-0 0, Bass 0 0-0 0, Barbour 0 0-0 0, Vargo 8 5-6 21, Shane 0 0-0 0, Schuster 0 0-0 0, Appolloni 4 4-6 12, Rine 0 0-0. Totals: 20 21-31. INDIAN CREEK (45) - Foldi 6 0-0 15, Roar 1 0-0 2, Wade 0 0-0 0, Haught 6 2-3 17, Huynh 0 0-0 0, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Durbin 1 0-0 2, Coppa 0 0-0 0, Starkey 3 1-1 7, Woodbury 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 3-4.
Three-Point Goals: Martins Ferry 1 (Barritt); Indian Creek 6 (Foldi 3, Haught 3).