Huskies romp Union Local
MORRISTOWN – Harrison Central ran its offense to near perfection Friday in putting it to Buckeye 8 rival Union Local on the Jets’ home floor.
The Huskies (11-2) shot nearly 52 percent from the floor and finished one Nate Olmstead point shy of placing four players in double figures.
Nick Pelegreen’s game-high 22 points led a trio of double digit performers as Rasheen Mitchell and Fletcher Watt evenly divided 32 points.
But lost in the offensive explosion was the visitors’ defensive effort in the 76-50 romp – especially the one put forth by Kaleb Mitchell.
Drawing the tough task of containing ace Jets’ senior Jacob Bailey, the younger Mitchell continually hounded Bailey all over the court.
Bailey sat a good portion of the second half in foul trouble before eventually fouling out midway through the fourth. But his stat line told the tale. Nine points, only 1 of 8 shooting from the field.
Mitchell, who rarely dents the scoring column for more than a few buckets, had done his job. And he did it well.
“Kaleb is a tough player and he takes a lot of pride in his defense,” Harrison coach Justin Clifford said. “He’s always on the team’s best player and he did a great job of containing Bailey. He’s a team guy and went out and did his job.”
After an early outside shooting barrage opened the paint – at one point, Harrison was 6 of 8 behind the arc – the tandem of Pelegreen and Rasheen Mitchell went to work inside and there was little the smaller Union Club could do to stop it.
“We had to get out on their shooters and that opened it up inside,” Union Local coach Vaughn Butler said. “We had too many turnovers, too many missed opportunities and they just whipped us in every phase of the game.
‘”They are a good team. Harrison, St. Clairsville, Indian Creek that is where we need to be and we’ll get there eventually.”
The Jets had 18 turnovers to 10 for Harrison and was outrebounded 30-27.
“We played well offensively and defensively, we didn’t give up many second shots or good looks,” Clifford said. “We really played well and we were patient offensively, looking to make that extra pass to get a good shot.”
The first half was all Harrison Central from tipoff to halftime horn.
Watt was on fire early, hitting his first five shots – four 3-pointers – finishing with 14 points after the first. He dished out three assists, aiding Mitchell and Pelegreen, who had 10 and 8 points respectively at the break.
Conversely, the Jets were an abysmal 4-of-22 from the floor in the first half. Leading scorer Jacob Bailey was limited to five points and UL had one fewer turnover (11) than point (12) at the break.
Cody Tipton led the Jets with 11 points while Bailey and Kaleb McDiffitt each supplied nine points.
Pelegreen added eight rebounds to go with his points.