St. C. girls storm past Harrison

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Stacey Agnew doesn’t like sitting around. What the St. Clairsville girls’ basketball coach does like is watching his team play defense.

After a week off, the Red Devils improved to 2-0 with a defensive-minded, 54-31, triumph over visiting Harrison Central in Buckeye 8 on John Jenkins Court.

“We looked like a team that hadn’t played in two weeks. We really did,” Agnew allowed, although it was only 7 days. “We may have won but we’ve got a lot of stuff to work on.

“I’ll be glad when we start playing on Monday’s and Thursday’s so we can get into a rhythm,” he added. “This playing once a week isn’t good.”

The Red Devils pressured the Huskies (1-3) into 30 turnovers, with at least five coming in each quarter. The Harrison Countians turned the ball over 12 times in the second quarter when the game got away from them.

“We came in expecting a lot more pressure than we got and that’s nothing against St. Clairsville because they did exactly what they needed to do to us by forcing us into turnovers, but most of our turnovers were unforced,” Harrison Central head coach Nick Yourkovich explained. “They were giving us token pressure and we were just throwing it right to them, throwing it out of bounds or forcing it wherever.

“We didn’t execute a single thing properly,” he continued. “Turnovers have been a problem for us so far, but most of them have been forced by teams pressuring us because they know we’re a little weak in ballhandling. Execution-wise we’ve been pretty solid in our sets offensively, but that wasn’t the case tonight.”

Freshman Megan Malin, making her first varsity start, netted nine first-half points and gave the hosts a spark. She finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.

“For a freshman, she played really well tonight,” Agnew said of the younger Malin. “She has a nice shot and works hard.”

Senior Keri Klinkoski came off the bench to led St. Clairsville with 14 points and nine rebounds. Classmate Katie Strama, who sat out the first quarter, added eight points, as did Alexis Thoburn.

“Our pressure got to them, but we’ve got to slow it down when we get the turnovers,” Agnew acknowledged. “Once we did that we started playing our style of basketball. We had nice balanced scoring.”

It was one of those kind of nights for the Huskies, who 13-of-41 from the floor and just 3-for-8 from the free throw stripe.

“Nothing was good for us tonight. Nothing at all,” he stressed. “I’ve never been more disappointed with an outcome, and that has nothing to do with the score. That has a lot to do with how we came out and played … our effort. We were scared for some reason. I don’t know why we were scared, but we walked onto the floor scared and it stayed with us the whole game. The effort from top to bottom just wasn’t there. That was very disappointing.”

McKayla Dunkle, a promising sophomore, recorded a double-double for Harrison Central. She scored a game-high 17 points and pulled down a dozen rebounds, also a game-best.

St. Clairsville dropped the JV game to Oak Glen. Harrison Central doesn’t have a JV squad.

The Red Devils take to the road for the first time Monday when they travel to Martins Ferry. Harrison Central, meanwhile, hosts Union Local the same night.


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