Martins Ferry bests Barnesville, 59-42

MARTINS FERRY – Derek Edwards liked what he saw Friday night.

And why not?

Martins Ferry’s third-year coach watched his Purple Riders perform nearly flawless on Senior Night in pocketing a methodical 59-42 win over Barnesville before a nice-sized crowd at Tolbert Gymnasium.

The Purple Riders controlled the boards, exhibited balanced scoring and did a nice job defensively on high-scoring Luke Powell in improving to 15-5 on the season. Ferry returns to action Tuesday, hosting John Marshall in an OVAC consolation game.

Athletic sophomore Logan Smith led a trio of Purple Rider double-digit scorers with 16 counters. Massive senior post DeAndre Pugh delivered 14 tallies while junior guard Daysan Hores netted 12 counters.

Smith and Pugh also made the most of their decided height advantage by pulling down 10 and nine rebounds, respectively.

“I thought we really brought it defensively. We had to make him (Powell) work. We wanted to make him work hard on the defensive end, also,” Edwards said. “I thought our guards really stepped it up. They penetrated well.

“Our bigs did a nice job. I thought our size was a factor,” he continued. “We did a tremendous job at the foul line (17-of-22). It was a real nice all-around effort tonight.”

Ferry started in quick fashion, rolling to a 15-7 advantage after one period. Hores fueled the quick getaway with seven points, including a pair of treys.

Barnesville had to paddle upstream the rest of the night. The Shamrocks trailed 28-14 at halftime as they encountered shooting woes.

Coach Matt Johnson’s squad made a spirited charge in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to six at 30-24 with 4:09 remaining in the frame. The Red & Green, however, would draw no closer the balance of the night.

Ferry used four points each from Smith and Pugh to regain the momentum in building a 38-25 edge entering the final chapter. The Purple Riders stymied any Shamrocks comeback hopes by receiving scoring from all five of their starters during the final eight minutes.

Powell led all scorers with 19 points. Hard-working Tate Dowler was his chief support with eight counters.

“We didn’t play well. It is as simple as that,” Johnson said. “Martins Ferry had something to do with that. They are a quality team. They gave us match-up problems.

“But we need to make shots, especially when they try to take Luke away. We did not do that,” he added. “But we are excited about Tuesday. I think we got a good draw.”

Tuesday is when Barnesville travels to Fort Frye for an OVAC 3A semi-final contest. The Shamrocks are 11-8.

Martins Ferry also won the reserve contest.