HC tops Bellaire before buzzer

CADIZ – For the second time in a week the John W. Stephenson Center witnessed a comeback win by a Harrison Central team as Thursday night it was the Lady Huskies fighting back from an 11- point deficit to garner a 44-42 win in the closing seconds over Bellaire.

Harrison Central would use the long ball as Jesse Ledger and Shianne Nameth netted treys to boost the home team to a 12-6 lead with 2:34 remaining in the opening frame.

The Lady Big Reds would take back the momentum closing the gap to 12-11 by the end of the quarter. In the second stanza, Bellaire would hold Harrison Central to just four points while scoring 12.

Keirstyn Kidder drained her second three-pointer and team mate Nina Crook dropped one in from outside the arc to give the visitors a 23-16 advantage at the intermission.

Bellaire had gone 4-4 from the foul line in the second and duplicated the effort in the third quarter, showing a perfect 8 for 8 and extending their advantage to 33-24 going into the final frame.

As the first quarter began, the Big Reds seemed to be in control, however the Huskies defense began to turn the tide, forcing miscues and eroding the lead. Paige Richards scored her only points of the game making good on a three-point shot, but the rest of the damage was done in the paint and at the charity stripe by the inside duo of Katie Ellzy and D.J. Keesey.

Bellaire’s defense had effectively taken Ellzy out of the game in the first half but the junior post scored 14 of her game high 22 points in the second half. Ellzy was perfect at the line in the half going 8-of-8, including two critical one-and-one opportunities in the fourth.

Ellzy fought in two buckets to make it 39-40 then dropped in both charity shots on the next possession to take back the lead with 46.2 ticks left.

At the other end of the court, Kidder was making crucial buckets for the Big Reds. The junior point guard had scored a three-point goal and at The foul line would give her team back the lead 42-41 with just 37.9 showing on the game clock.

Nameth missed the front end of a double bonus but put the back end through the hoop to knot the contest at 42 with just 14.3 seconds to play.

The Big Reds in-bounded successfully but dribbled out of bounds on the pass and the Huskies seemingly returned the favor on the following possession, but the whistle was followed by a pointed finger back toward the home goal.

The ball ended up in the hands of Keesey and her jumper found the mark to send the Huskies bench jumping into the court in celebration. The final buzzer had not sounded and Bellaire would get one last pass and catch opportunity.

The long inbound was intercepted by Keesey and that would seal the comeback victory for Harrison Central.

“I wish we could have played four quarters like that instead of one,” Harrison Central head coach Nick Yourkovich said, “It is always our plan to get it inside, whether it is to Katie or to D.J.”

“D.J. Is capable inside, I thought she showed that tonight. She came in and made some big buckets for us, before the last one.”

Harrison Central 44, Bellaire 42

Harrison Central 12 4 8 20 44

Bellaire 11 12 10 9 42

HARRISON CENTRAL: Ledger 1 0-0 3, Yoho 1 0-0 2, Richards 1 0-2 3, Nameth 1 1-2 4, Dunfee 2 0-0 4, Keesey 3 0-0 6, Ellzy 7 8-8 22. TOTALS: 16 9-12 44. 3-pointers: Ledger, Richards, Nameth.

BELLAIRE: Garloch 2 2-4 6, Kidder 5 6-10 19, Gillespie 1 3-4 5, 2, 2-2 6; Crook 2 1-2 6. TOTALS 12 14-22 43. 3-pointers: Kidder 3.