St. Clairsville prevails over Harrison by 5

Homestanding Harrison Central battled back in the second quarter and eventually took St. Clairsville into double overtime but came up short in the second extra frame, falling to the Red Devils by a 70-65 final tally Thursday night inside the John W. Stephenson Center in Cadiz.

Harrison Central trailed by 10 points at the half, 33-23, but sophomore Katie Ellzy scored 17 of her game-high 27 points after the break, bringing the hosts back to even with the Red Devils at 44-apiece with 3:38 remaining in regulation.

St. Clairsville’s Lauren Figura tacked on four more to take the visitors out to a four-point lead but the Huskies were not ready to concede.

Kara Dunfee drained a three-point aerial to make it a one-point deficit, then Harrison Central’s Ellzy tied it up, hitting the front end of a penalty pair.

Senior Jess Custer got a steal on the inbound and raced downcourt for a lay-up to give the Huskies a 50-48 lead with 21.3 ticks left in regulation.

The Red Devils got the ball and Figura drew a foul driving the back door off a pick. She netted the pair, accounting for all nine of St. C.’s fourth quarter points to send the game into extra frames.

In the first OT, Harrison Central jumped out with two quick buckets from Shannon Compher and Custer.

The Huskies led 57-54 after Dunfee made both ends of a double-bonus and the Red Devils would have just 13.2 seconds to try and match that total.

St. Clairsville worked the ball to Anna DeFillipo, who drained a clutch three from the corner, sending the contest into double-overtime.

“I have to give credit to coach (Kim) Clifford for that one,” said Red Devils head coach Alicia Freeman. “That play is called ‘winner.”‘

DeFillipo had just three points prior to that with all of those coming in the first half but Freeman had a hunch.

“I asked the girls who wanted the ball and she (DeFillipo) said she was feelin’ it.”

The Huskies would again get points from Custer to open the second overtime period. Alexis St. Clair put in a field goal at the other end to get the Red Devils back to even.

The Red Devils scored the next five points to cap a 7-0 run, but once again the hosts would rally.

Dunfee netted her third trey of the evening and Custer added a deuce to start fans thinking about a third OT as the scoreboard showed even numbers on both sides at 65.

Figura made good on three of four opportunities from the penalty stripe, then St.Clair picked off the inbound pass and sealed the deal with a perfect outing on her double-bonus at the foul line.

“Harrison did a good job taking us out of our comfort zone. We could not play our usual game, but the girls played hard tonight. They never quit hustling because they did not want to lose,” Freeman praised her team. “I told them that if I had to go into battle, I would not want to go with any other team.”

“I am disappointed in the loss but I am very proud of the way we battled back in the second half to get back into this game,” said Harrison Central coach Nick Yourkovich. “We had every opportunity to win this one.

“We missed the important ones tonight and St. Clairsville made them,” Yourkovich added. “We have some young players who have not been in these type game situations and Jess (Custer) really stepped up as a leader for us tonight. She was our spark.”

Custer finished with13 points, 12 rebounds, six steals and five assists for the Huskies. Kara Dunfee added 14 points, including three treys.

Harrison Central made good on 20-of-53 from short range, three-of-19 from long range and 18-of-29 on foul shooting opportunities.

Figura paced the Red Devils with 21 points. St. Clair finished with 18 while Brigee Mick chipped in 10.

St. Clairsville was 24-of-51 from two-point land and two-of-five from outside the arc. They were slightly less efficient than their hosts at the charity stripe with a 16-of-29 outing.

The Huskies are now 6-8 and will host Barnesville Saturday with a 2 p.m. jayvee tip. The Red Devils improve to 6-6 and welcome River on Saturday with a 1 p.m. jayvee tip.

St. Clairsville won Thursday’s jayvee contest, 46-33.

ST CLAIRSVILLE (70) – Mick 3, 3-5 10; Skukan 0, 0-0 0; Gillespie 3, 2-3 8; DeFillipo 2, 1-2 6; St.Clair 8, 2-3 18, Delguzzo 0, 1-2 1; Cenkus 1, 0-0 2; Moulder 2, 0-4 4; Figura 7, 7-10 21. Totals 26, 16-29. HARRISON CENTRAL (65) – Ellzy 13, 1-6 27; Custer 5, 3-5 13; Dodds 0, 0-0 0; Dunfee 3, 5-6 14; Compher 1 0-0 2; Richards 0, 1-4 1; Ledger 0, 4-5 4; Nameth 1, 2-2 4; Orr 0, 0-0 0. Totals 23, 16-28.

Three point goals – ST C – DeFillipo, Mick. HC – Dunfee (3).

Palmer can be reached at