Huskies’ strong finish tops Panthers

RAYLAND – Coaches preach the importance of playing four quarters of basketball. Nick Yourkovich’s ladies from Harrison Central emphasized that lesson with a strong finish to defeat host Buckeye Local, 48-36, Monday.

The game was still up for grabs with 4:45 left in the final frame as the Panthers trailed 34-32. The Huskies finished with a strong 11-1 run and Katie Ellzy was a big part of their 14-4 closing session, netting 10 of her game high 15 points.

“Katie has proven she has the capability to be a team leader, but we do not tend to rely on just one player and as a result everyone feels confident,” said Yourkovich. “We had some key threes by (Jesse) Ledger and (Shannon) Compher and (Kara) Dunfee hit one in the fourth quarter which was very helpful in putting the game away.”

The Panthers led 10-9 after the opening frame, but the Huskies outscored their hosts 13-5 to take a 22-15 lead into the intermission.

“I felt that while we were active and aggressive on defense in the first half, I thought we fell asleep in the third quarter,” said Yourkovich. “I think we got back and played solid ‘D’ again at the end of the game.”

Amy Balk came out and put in the first four points of the second half for Buckeye Local, narrowing the game to a single possession. The Panthers outperformed the Huskies by a narrow 11-9 margin, but were frustrated by turnovers when opportunities to regain the lead presented themselves.

“It seemed like every time we made a mistake they capitalized on it,” said Buckeye Local head coach Willie Luther. “We got every shot look we wanted, but unlike Harrison we just could not capitalize on our opportunities.

“We started well, I thought we did a good job in the second quarter; but you also have to finish well. We need to get tougher mentally so we can stay in games.”

Ellzy paced the Huskies, adding 12 rebounds to her 15 points. Jesse Ledger and Shannon Compher both connected on three treys accounting for their nine points. Harrison Central made good on 12-of-36 two-point and 7-of-21 three-point shots while shooting 3-of-5 from the charity stripe.

The Huskies pulled down 27 rebounds, committed 18 turnovers while garnering 13 steals.

Amy Balk was the sole player breaking the double-figure ceiling for the Panthers with 11 points. Buckeye Local netted 15-of-43 action shots and 6-of-11 foul shots. The Panthers also gathered in 27 caroms led by Kayla Fillopovich with nine.

Buckeye Local turned it over 24 times with 15 steals.

Buckeye Local falls to 2-9 and will host East Liverpool Wednesday, followed by a varsity-only contest with Martins Ferry Thursday at 6:15 p.m. Harrison Central improves to 6-7 and will host St. Clairsville Thursday in Cadiz.

Harrison Central 48, Buckeye Local 36

Buckeye Local 10 5 11 10 – 36

Harrison Central 9 13 9 17 – 48

BUCKEYE?LOCAL: Zeroski 2, 3-4 7; Swiger 2, 1-2 5; Smith 0, 0-0 0; Fillipovich 3, 0-0 6; Valuska 0, 1-2 1; Czuchran 3, 0-0 6, Balk 5, 1-3 11. Totals 15, 6-11.

HARRISON?CENTRAL: Ledger 3, 0-0 9; Compher 3, 0-0 9; Dodds 0, 0-0 0; Richards 3, 0-0 6; Dunfee 1, 2-4 5; Ellzy 7. 1-1 15; Custer 2, 0-0 4. Totals 19, 3-5. 3-pointers:? Compher 3, Ledger 3, Dunfee.