Harrison Central roars by Bellaire

Bellaire nearly upset Harrison Central in their first meeting this season Dec. 7 on Guernsey Street but their second meeting yielded a different outcome as the Huskies executed a 82-38 Tuesday night shellacking of the Big Reds in the John W. Stephenson Activities Center.

“We played hard but poorly on offense,” said Bellaire head coach J.R. Battisita. “You just can not turn the ball over as many times as we did and expect to win.

“Credit Harrison’s defense for that, they definitely put the pressure on us,” the Big Reds coach admitted.

It would be the Big Reds garnering the first turnover of the game as Nick Patrone made the transition bucket for the Big Reds which would be their only lead of the contest at 2-0.

Harrison Central turned up the heat defensively and went on an 11-0 run, never looking back as they dominated play on the hardcourt the rest of the way.

The Huskies led 19-8 after the first frame and 35-18 at the half. Harrison came out in the third quarter and again ran up the total, outpacing the Big Reds 23-9 in the period.

“J.R. really does a nice job with Bellaire and with all of their back cuts you just have to have patience on D when you play them,” said Harrison Central head coach Justin Clifford. “We changed our tactics and turned up the pressure on them and made it a full court game there in the first half.

“I hope we’re a better team than we were in that first game,” Clifford added. “I know we shot a lot better tonight.”

The Huskies were 23 of 40 from two-point range and five of 18 outside the arc.

Fletcher Watt led all scoring with 20 points. Rashean Mitchell scored 17 points and Nick Pelegreen added 13 lightings as both pulled down eight of Harrison Central’s 28 rebounds.

Austin Kowalski added 12 points with four assists to round out double figures for the Huskies.

Kyle Hess was the only Big Reds player with double figures scoring 12 points and was responsible for seven of the visitors’ 27 rebounds. Bellaire was 17 of 38 on action shots.

Harrison Central made good on 21 of 32 foul shooting while Bellaire converted on 4 of just 5 opportunities at the stripe.

The Big Reds turned the ball over 25 times to just 11 miscues for the Huskies.

Harrison Central improves to 10-2 and will travel to back door rival Union Local on Friday night. Bellaire falls to 2-11 and will host Edison Friday night inside “The House of Champions.”

Harrison Central won Tuesday’s reserve contest, 54-16.

HARRISON (82) – K Mitchell 0, 1-2 1; Kowalski 3, 5-7 12; Yoho 0, 0-0 0; B Mitchell 1, 0-0 2; Rutter 0, 0-2 0; Watt 8, 3-4 20; Reddish 3, 2-2 8; Evans 1, 2-3 4; Johnson 2, 0-0 5; R Mitchell 7, 3-5 17; Olmstead 0, 0-0 0; Pelegreen 3, 5-7 13. Totals 28, 21-32. BELLAIRE (38) – Steele 1, 0-0 2; Ramsey 1, 0-0 2; Kimbro 0, 0-0 0; Callarik 3, 0-0 6; Westlake 4, 1-1 9; Back 0, 0-0 0; Patrone 3, 0-0 6; Hall 0, 0-0 0; Hess 5, 2-2 12; Bentz 0, 0-0 0; Ellison 0, 1-2 1. Totals 17, 4-5.

Three Point Goals: Harrison – Pele green (2), Kowalski, Johnson Watt.