WINTERSVILLE - With three senior starters missing from Indian Creek's lineup it was up to junior Bre Berryman and sophomore Bethany Davis to step up and lead the Redskins Monday night against Harrison Central.
The pair was up to the task as they combined for 41 points - 26 for Berryman and 15 for Davis - to lead the Redskins to a 49-40 win over the visiting Huskies.
"Bethany is playing with a bad ankle and has been sick the past two or three days," said Indian Creek head coach Erin DeSantis. "At halftime I didn't know if I was going to be able to put her back in, but that's just the kind of kid she is.
DEFENSIVE PRESSURE — Indian?Creek’s Bethany Davis dribbles upcourt against the defensive pressure of Harrison?Central’s Paige Richards during Monday’s 49-40 win by the host Redskins.
-- Fred Younce
"She's tough, and she isn't going to let that kind of stuff hold her down. She understands what we need out of her and she stepped it up."
Things didn't start off great for the Redskins. After Davis scored the game's first bucket the Huskies ran off 10 straight points and secured a 17-10 after the opening eight minutes. Six Huskies scored in the quarter as pressure defense and unselfish offense keyed the early run.
The Huskies' defensive pressure continued to cause the Redskins problems through most of the second quarter, but things slowly turned Indian Creek's way at the close of the stanza as fouls began mounting against the visitors and the pressure lost some intensity. Harrison still led, 25-21, at intermission, but the Redskins had momentum they'd use during a game-changing third quarter.
"The last two minutes of the second half we lost our intensity on defense and that carried over to probably the first six minutes of the third quarter," said Harrison Central head coach Nick Yourkovich. "When we were in our press and we were intense and doing what we were supposed to be doing it worked. It worked all night.
"They couldn't handle the ball, but we let up for eight minutes of game action and that was the difference."
Defense became the key to the Redskins success in the third quarter as the Huskies were held without a point until Shianne Nameth's bucket with 1:09 left in the stanza and were able to score just five points in the eight minutes to the Redskins 16.
Davis' basket just over four minutes into the quarter made the score 27-25 Creek. It was the first lead the Redskins had since opening 2-0 and they never surrendered it again.
""I couldn't be more pleased," said DeSantis. "I told them at halftime this is a gut check. You have to step up because they were not going to back off so we need to rise to the occasion. I was so impressed with our defense.
"They went a long stretch where they didn't score. Defensively we brought it tonight."
Indian Creek shot 5-of-6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter to help seal the deal, and outscored Harrison 12-10 during those final eight minutes.
Overall the Redskins shot 16-for-26 to claim a huge advantage at the charity stripe over the Huskies, who shot just 1-for-2.
"It's a big difference," said Yourkovich. "When one team has 18 fouls and the other team has five that's a major difference. I understand we foul, but I told the officials they foul too. I believe they sort of got that home- court advantage tonight with the officiating. That seems to happen. The fouls were a major difference. I think it affected how the girls played a little bit. It shouldn't. I should be the one worrying about that.
"They shouldn't, they should just go out there and play, but I think that differential hurts a little bit."
Ashley Durbin helped out with seven points for Indian Creek while Karli Celestin knocked down a free throw to round out the scoring.
"Ashley Durbin was playing through pain," said DeSantis. "This is the first day we've had her all season and she played well for us."
Katie Ellzy's 10 points led the Huskies attack with Paige Richards and Kara Dunfee each adding eight a piece. Nameth contributed seven points as well.
Indian Creek 49, Harrison Central 40
Harrison Central 17 8 5 10 - 40
Indian Creek 10 11 16 12 - 49
HARRISON CENTRAL: Ledger 1 0-0 3, Yoho 1 0-0 2, Richards 3 0-0 8, Nameth 3 0-0 7, Dunfee 3 1-2 8, Kesey 0 0-0 0, Orr 1 0-0 2, Ellzy 5 0-0 10. TOTALS: 17 1-2 40. 3-pointers: Richards (2), Ledger, Nameth, Dunfee.
INDIAN CREEK: Berryman 8 10-16 26, Davis 6 2-2 15, Callahan 0 0-0 0, Taylor 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-2 0, Celestin 0 1-2 1, Mazzaferro 0 0-0 0, Durbin 2 3-4 7. TOTALS: 16 16-26 49. 3-pointers: Davis.