Harrison eliminated in Div. II

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – It was just your typical Indian Creek vs. Harrison Central encounter Tuesday evening at Ohio University Eastern.

Whenever the Redskins and Huskies hook up there are certain things you know going into the game, including low scoring, physical as well as nip-and-tuck.

The only thing different about the latest matchup was the stakes were raised as it was for a trip to the third round of the Division II sectional tournament.

Another constant, in this year’s meetings, held true as well. The Redskins got the best of the Huskies. Indian Creek advanced by virtue of a 37-33 slugfest and will next meet Carrollton on Friday.

The victory gives the Redskins the season sweep of the Huskies. The scores of the prior meetings were 30-25 and 46-42.

“If you look at our scores, I don’t think, in the last three years, there’s a game with a bigger spread than five or six in favor of either team,” said a relieved Creek head coach Joe Dunlevy. “We’ve always had great games with Harrison. Our kids know their kids and their kids know our kids, so it’s just always a battle when we play them.”

That was the case once again as each team took the other’s best shots like a 10-round heavyweight boxing match.

“It’s always like that with us,” said Harrison Central head coach Justin Clifford. “Coach Dunlevy said, ‘I’d like to go in and draw something up, but you know what we’re doing and we know what you’re doing.’ These kids have been battling against each other for many years.”

The Huskies, who finish the season at 15-8, led only twice in the game at 1-0 and 11-10. However, the Redskins never held a lead bigger than eight and that came in the middle of the fourth quarter at 32-24.

“Harrison Central is a good program with three pretty darn good seniors,” Dunlevy said. “This was actually a scoring fest compared to some of our games.”

Harrison Central appeared to have gained a head of steam entering that final chapter when senior Fletcher Watt took an in-bound pass and went coast-to-coast for a layup just before the buzzer, making it a 26-22 game entering the fourth.

“Give Creek credit because they had an answer every time it seemed like we might be getting on a run,” Clifford said. “Shooting the ball cures a lot of things and we didn’t shoot it real well, but that’s a credit to Creek. Every last detail and every possession matters in these games.”

The Huskies got within five at 33-28 after Harrison Central senior Nick Pelegreen tallied on the interior, but they were in foul mode and the Redskins made enough.

Clifford opted to bring his three seniors – Watt, Pelegreen and Rashaen Mitchell – out of the game at the same time for one final round of applause.

“Those guys got the program back to where it is,” Clifford said. “They’re the second winningest class in school history, but it didn’t happen overnight or by accident. They never missed a day in the summer, morning or overnight. Not one day, for four years and that’s why they’ve been so successful.”

Watt and Pelegreen each had 13 to lead the Huskies. Pelegreen and Mitchell had a team-high seven rebounds.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleader-online.com