Harrison Central girls pull away from Catholic Central, 53-40
CADIZ — Three players reached double figures, and Harrison Central rode a big third quarter to a 53-40 victory over Catholic Central on Saturday.
Junior dandy McKayla Dunkle paced the now 9-4 Huskies with 22 points. Aubrey Corder contributed 14, while Britton Positano added 11, nine coming on connections from behind the arc.
Central, which fell to 1-5, grabbed a 9-7 lead after the opening quarter, but Nick Yourkovich’s club rallied in the second and was up, 19-16, at the break.
The Huskies then caught fire in the third, outscoring the Crusaders 22-9. Dunkle, who was held to six points in the opening half, was a dominant force inside, netting 12 of her game-high total. Corder added three baskets, all coming from close range.
The Crusaders did battle back in the fourth and trimmed the deficit to single digits before Harrison put the game on ice thanks to eight points from Dunkle and Corder.
“In our past three games, we have been tremendous defensively,” Yourkovich said. “It has probably been the best three-game stretch we have had in a long time. The problem has been we have not been able to put the ball in the basket.
“That started again in the first half today. In the second half, we did much better on the offensive end. We had some good looks, found McKayla inside for several easy looks and that got us going. Everyone feeds off seeing the ball go into the basket. That’s big — everyone gets more confidence, and it almost seems like that shoots some adrenaline into you.”
Junior guard Katie Zatta had another solid game for Central, netting 20 points. Junior forward Clara Symington scored six points, collared a team-leading seven rebounds and blocked three shots.
“Coming in, we knew we were in for a major challenge. Harrison Central is a solid team with a couple of really good players,” Central coach Jess Looman said. “We are struggling right now. Several of the girls in our rotation are getting expanded varsity minutes for the first time. (Saturday), we asked our girls to focus on competing for four quarters.
“I thought we played really well in the first half and again in the fourth quarter. We just kind of fell apart in the third. We did not play good interior defense, we turned the ball over and we started rushing shots on the offensive end. We are getting closer. For us to be successful, we have to play solid defense, take care of the ball, share it offensively and be patient. In the third quarter, we did not do any of those things. If we can put four quarters together, we’ll be OK.”
Emma Fischer netted nine points, while Cali Lewis and Angi Ferri added six points each, as the hosts notched a 21-17 win in the junior varsity contest.
Maria Meyer paced Central with five. Jackie O’Karma and Theresa Kerker had four each.
Catholic Central: Tentatively scheduled to visit Beallsville Monday. The junior varsity game will start at 1 p.m.
“We’ve had to make a lot of changes to our schedule, so we are looking another busy week,” Looman said. “We will have our hands full Monday against a very good Beallsville team. Again, we will focus on playing up to our capability for an entire game.
“We have St. Clairsville at home Thursday, then go to Southern Local Saturday. The girls are working hard. If we keep doing that, we’ll get better.”
Harrison Central: Tentatively will return to the floor Wednesday with a home game against Buckeye Trail.
“We are thrilled to be sitting at 9-4, but we definitely are not satisfied,” Yourkovich said. “We think we let a couple get away early in the year and there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
“I’m really proud of these girls. Our first five or six have really matured and have taken a lot of pressure off me to be the only leader out there. They lead themselves and hold each other accountable. I think that’s the biggest difference for us this year.”
Harrison Central 53, Catholic Central 40
Central 9 7 9 15 — 40
Harrison 7 12 22 12 — 53
CENTRAL (1-5): Zatta 7 4-5 20; Rice 0 0-0 0; Symington 3 0-0 6; Green 1 1-2 3; Rohde 0 2-2 2; Kerker 0 0-0 0; Grimm 1 0-0 3; Meyer 0 2-2 2; Kirkpatrick 1 0-0 2; Dong 0 0-0 0; DeChristopher 1 0-3 2. TOTALS: 13, 9-14: 40.
HARRISON CENTRAL (9-4): Rensi 0 0-0 0; Positano 4 0-0 11; Corder 7 0-0 14; Beadling 0 0-0 0; Dunkle 10 2-2 22; Fischer 1 0-0 2; Butler 1 2-4 4; Harbold 0 0-0 0; Lewis 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 23, 4-6: 53.
3-POINT GOALS: Catholic Central 3 (Zatta 2, Grimm); Harrison Central 3 (all by Positano).