Martins Ferry unloads on Bellaire, 73-39

Purple perfection.

Martins Ferry was nearly just that as it was exceptional in all phases against homestanding Bellaire Tuesday night, en route to a lopsided 73-39 repeat triumph.

Coach Jeff Sabatino’s charges were on top 19-3 after one quarter and never eased up in winning for the eighth time in 13 starts. The Purple Riders welcome Union Local Friday before trekking to Steubenville Saturday.

“I am real happy with our performance. I wanted to come out and play with passion and intensity at the start of the game and we did that,” Sabatino said. “I also wanted to do the same at the start of the third quarter and we also did that.

“We executed in all phases. We don’t look at who we are playing as much as how we are playing,” he continued. “Cody (Schau) was a man amongst boys and our bigs did a real nice job inside.”

Schau was sensational with his 30 points and 10 rebounds. His numbers were even more impressive noting the fact he did not play in the final period.

Schau, averaging nearly 27 points a game, was no one-man show. Hard-working senior Tyler Strama and 6-6 junior stud Robert Vargo each netted 15 counters. Sophomore point guard Jake Barritt set the table with 12 assists.

Bellaire, while once again playing extremely hard, was just outmanned physically. The Big Reds dropped to 3-14. Things get no easier for J.R. Battista’s young Reds as they host St. Clairsville Friday.

“Schau is a very good player and even better athlete. Ferry’s size also presents a major problem,” Battista said. “They also defended us very well. They are a quality team, but I cannot fault the effort of my kids.”

Battista received a sparkling effort from Nathan Steele. The scrappy guard led the Big Reds with 14 points while Kenny Hess was next with eight counters.

Ferry was scorching from the floor, using its height advantage and countless transition hoops for a 58 percent shooting clip (31-of-54). Bellaire, meanwhile, meshed 15-of-39 field attempts for 38 percent.

Ferry stretched its 16-point first-quarter advantage to 37-18 at halftime and 58-23 after three rounds. The Purple Riders were guilty of 13 turnovers while Bellaire committed 16.

Vargo grabbed nine boards for Ferry while 6-8 frosh Emilio Appolloni had eight rebounds and four blocked shots.

Ferry won the reserve game, 49-31.

MARTINS FERRY (73) – Schau 12, 6-7 30; Barritt 0, 0-0 0; Strama 7, 1-4 15; Appolloni 2, 0-1 4; Vargo 6, 3-5 15; A. Burress 0, 0-0 0; Sears 0, 0-0 0; Agnew 0, 0-0 0; Edwards 2, 0-0 4; Rine 0, 0-0 0; J. Burress 1, 0-0 2; D. Schaus 1, 1-1 3. Totals 31, 11-18. BELLAIRE (39) – Patrone 2, 0-2 4; Hess 2, 4-7 8; Steele 5, 2-4 14; Back 2, 0-0 5; Westlake 2, 0-0 4; Ramsey 1, 0-0 2; Pickens 0, 0-4 0; Kovalyk 0, 0-0 0; Hall 1, 0-0 2; Bentz 0, 0-0 0. Totals 15, 6-17.

Three-point goals: Ferry – none; Bellaire – Steele (2), Back (1).

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