ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The Indian Creek Redskins made a conscious effort to defend better and own the boards in the second half of their game at St. Clairsville Thursday evening.
It paid dividends, too.
Using their significant size advantage on the interior, the Lady Redskins (1-1) were able to go on a 23-5 run in the second half to spoil the Lady Devils' 2012-13 debut on John Jenkins Court, 54-40.
"In the first half, I thought we were playing like in second gear or something," said Lady Redskins' head coach Erin DeSantis. "But, we were able to come out of it in the second half. We were getting out-scrapped, but I thought we hustled and made the little plays a lot better in the second half."
St. Clairsville, which struggled to score a season ago, was going bucket-for-bucket with the Lady Redskins, owning a 28-27 lead at the half and a 33-29 upperhand after Brigee Mick buried a triple in the middle of the third quarter.
However, the Lady Red Devils wore down despite Alicia Freeman utilizing a 10-girl rotation. On top of the fatigue, St. Clairsville simply had no answer for Creek sophomore Bre Berryman, who was a one-girl wrecking crew on the interior with her 6-foot-5 frame.
"The bottom line is we didn't do the things that make us a good ball team," Freeman said. "We didn't push their big girls and we didn't challenge them enough. We gave them too many easy buckets and allowed them to get comfortable, which really cost us the game. We ran out of gas in the second half and that won't happen again."
Berryman, who has added a soft baby hook shot to her impressive arsenal of moves on the block, scored 27 points, grabbed 22 rebounds and for good measure swatted five shots.
The other half the Lady Redskins' twin towers - Kiarra Kamarec - scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
But, it was Berryman who sparked the aforementioned second-half run. She scored nine points in the third quarter.
"It definitely helps to have Bre," DeSantis said. "We also mixed up our defense a couple of times, which I thought was a big key. We showed some different things and it kind of got them out of rhythm. But, St. Clairsville is scrappy, quick and they're going to win some games."
The Lady Devils scored only 12 points in the second half, including just four in the final chapter.
Brooke Mains - who transferred from Buckeye Local - handled the floor game well. She scored six points, but controlled the game, which allowed the Lady Redskins to avoid being significantly bitten by the turnover bug. Bethany Davis donated eight points in the game.
Both teams took relatively good care of the ball. Creek overcame 10 miscues, while St. C. was charted for just seven turnovers.
St. Clairsville (0-1) was led by Lauren Figura's 10 points. Alexis St. Clair added eight. Ashleigh Moulder was solid with eight points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
"There were a lot of positives we can take from this game," Freeman said. "We're still building. Our plan is to get better every game."
The Lady Devils return to action Monday at Union Local. The Lady Redskins host the Lady Jets in a varsity only contest Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Indian Creek 54, St. Clairsville 40
Indian Creek 11 16 15 12 - 54
St. Clairsville 11 17 8 4 - 40
INDIAN CREEK (1-1): Berryman 12 3-3 27; Davis 4 0-0 8; Kamarec 5 0-2 10; Mains 1 3-4 6; Shimko 0 3-6 3; Durbin 0 0-0 0; Totals: 22, 9-18 54. 3-pointers: Mains.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE (0-1): Mick 2, 0-0 6; Gillespie 2, 1-2 6; DeFillipo 0, 0-0 0; St. Clair 4, 0-0 8; Delguzzo 1, 0-0 2; Cenkus 0, 0-2 0; Avila 0, 0-0 0; Moulder 4, 0-1 8; Figura 3, 2-2 10; Totals: 16, 3-7 40. 3-pointers: Mick 2, Figura 2, Gillespie.