Bellaire turns up the pressure on Barnesville

BARNESVILLE – Moments after Keirstyn Kidder dropped in a layup to open the scoring of Monday night’s game between Bellaire and Barnesville, Shamrocks head coach Jamie Carpenter signaled for a quick time out.

It was only 24 seconds into the high school girls’ basketball encounter at Barnesville High School, but it was as if Carpenter knew what was about to unfold.

Even if he did, his team wasn’t ready for it on this night.

The Big Reds’ pressure sparked a 20-3 first-quarter explosion and Bellaire went on to top the Shamrocks, 61-38.

”Oh yeah, that’s our game,” Bellaire head coach Marci Quirk said smiling. ”We’re intense.”

”In the first half we played amazing. I was proud of our press and I was proud of our effort.”

Carpenter couldn’t say the same.

”I can put up with the bad shooting … we missed a lot of shots inside early on … but lack of heart and lack of desire, I can’t stand that,” he said.

”You have to at least show some life and act like you care out there and that really bothered me.”

Just like they did in their season-opening loss to St. Clairsville last Friday, the Shamrocks (0-2) hit a lull early. This time, it was mostly the result of a stifling Big Reds defense which forced them into a myriad of miscues, many of which resulted in easy Bellaire buckets.

”Against St. Clairsville we were in the spots we were supposed to be in,” Carpenter said of the pressure. ”(Monday), I don’t know where we were.”

For Bellaire, playing it’s opener, things went according to plan.

”We have depth so we can sub,” Quirk explained. ”So when we press, we’re intense. That’s what we’ll be relying on all year.”

Six players scored for Bellaire during the first quarter and that mirrored the team’s scoring output for the game.

Kidder led all scorers with 20 and Mary Garloch followed with 14. After that the Big Reds had four more players score at least five points or more. Cari Crozier and Nina Crook had six, while Elisha Gillespie and Aubrey Ryan both added five.

”Any night we could have a different leading scorer,” Quirk said. ”That’s what I like about this team.”

Kidder nailed two 3-pointers during a 9-0 spurt midway through the second quarter that gave Bellaire its largest lead at 31-6.

Miranda Plumly and Avery Hanlon stemmed the tide momentarily with back-back-buckets to trim the advantage to 21 moments later.

Plumly, who poured in a game-high 23 points against the Red Devils, was held to a team-best 12. Shayla Markovich followed with eight, six of which came from the free throw line.

”We were just flat the entire night,” Carpenter said. ”I didn’t see a bright spot at all. The defense wasn’t there … just all around it wasn’t good.”

Barnesville outscored Bellaire 19-12 in the third quarter, keyed by an 8-0 run to finish the period in which Plumly scored four points.

But by then, the Big Reds had all the cushion they needed.

”In the second half we got a little sloppy,” Quirk said, touching on her biggest concern coming out of the game.

”I told the girls we need to focus even when we’re winning. We just need to keep getting better.”

Barnesville was victorious in the reserve game.

BELLAIRE (61) – Garloch 6 0-0 14; Kidder 9 0-0 20; Smith 1 0-4 2; LeKanudos 1 0-0 2; Crozier 3 0-0 6; Gillespie 2 1-2 5; Ryan 2 1-4 5; Stoner 0 0-0 0; Duffy 0 0-0 0; Crook 3 0-0 6; Maupin 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 2-10 61. BARNESVILLE (38) – Ralston 2 0-1 4; Broomhall 0 0-0 0; Huntsman 2 0-0 5; Sleeth 1 0-0 2; Plumly 6 0-2 12; Hanlon 1 0-0 2; Jackson 0 0-0 0; Paboucek 1 0-0 2; Markovich 1 6-8 8; Toohey 0 3-4 3. Totals 14 9-15 38.

3-Point Goals: Garloch 2, Kidder 2; Huntsman.

Thorp can be reached at