WINTERSVILLE - The offense pieced together a key third quarter scoring run, the defense put on its usual clinic and Indian Creek stayed unbeaten before an overflow crowd Friday.
Shane Winland's inside play and Jonathan Haught's connection from behind the arc keyed the 10-0 burst as the Redskins held off Harrison Central 30-25 in what Joe Dunlevy described as "just another night in the Buckeye 8."
"These kids have been playing against each other for three years, so they know each other really well," Dunlevy said. "Both coaching staffs know what the other team wants to do and that leads to good defense.
IN FOR 2 — Indian Creek’s Shane Winland goes in for two of his seven points in front of Harrison Central’s Nick Pelegreen during the third quarter of Friday’s 30-25 win by the Redskins in Wintersville.
"You can talk about guys missing shots but great defense both teams caused that."
Creek, now 3-0, held a 14-13 lead at the intermission. Fletcher Watt put the Huskies ahead by one when he drove hard to the hoop. That's when Winland went to work.
He grabbed an offensive rebound, powered his way up for a deuce and drew a foul. His conventional three-point play made it 17-15 Creek. Frank Kamarec got a pair on a nifty baseline drive. Winland scored again after grabbing a Kamarec miss. Haught drilled his triple to finish the run and give the Redskins a 24-15 advantage.
Indian Creek 30, Harrison Central 25
Harrison Central6 7 3 9 - 25
Indian Creek4 10 10 6 - 30
HARRISON CENTRAL (3-1): K. Mitchell 1 0-0 2; Kowalski 3 0-0 6; Rutter 0 0-0 0; Watt 4 1-2 10; R. Mitchell 1 2-2 4; Olmstead 0 0-0 0; Pelegreen 1 1-2 3. TOTALS: 10 4-6 25. 3-pointers: Watt; Rebounds: 23 (R. Mitchell 12); Turnovers: 10.
INDIAN CREEK (3-0): Kamarec 3 3-4 9; Furda 1 0-0 2; Roar 1 0-0 3; Haught 1 0-1 3; Durbin 0 0-0 0; Sullivan 1 0-0 2; Winland 3 1-3 7; Young 1 2-2 4. TOTALS: 11 6-10 30. 3-pointers: Roar, Haught; Rebounds: 24 (Kamarec 10); Turnovers: 7.
"Shane got a couple of big baskets inside and that really was the key in that stretch," Dunlevy added. "He's just a heady guy who does a great job. We made a couple of other plays and that one run was the difference."
Winland's bucket to start the final frame put Creek ahead by 10 (26-16). The Huskies then staged a little run of their own.
Watt drained a three-ball, Rashean Mitchell got a put back and Watt hit a floater in the lane. The 7-0 Harrison run was keyed by three consecutive Creek turnovers. Kamarec and Alex Young sealed the deal as they were money down the stretch from the free throw line.
"It was a great win," Dunlevy noted. "There's nothing better than playing in the league before a packed house. The kids on both teams were playing extremely hard."
In two games this week, Creek held both opponents under 30 points, a development Dunlevy "can't remember happening before."
"We beat two good teams in Buckeye Local and Harrison," he said. "Our guys worked extremely hard on the defensive end. Buckeye has a solid group of seniors and these guys tonight (Harrison) are tough."
Justin Clifford, who saw his Huskies lose for the first time after three victories, called the game one of "ebbs and flows."
"We made a couple of runs, they made their run and we had another one," he said. "Both teams played their guts out and played great defense. It's going to be hard to score in a game like that.
"It was a physical game. We know them and they know us. That's what so great about the league. It was two teams going after each other with everything they have. Tonight, they got one more bucket than we did."
Kamarec paced Creek in scoring with nine. Winland finished with seven. As a team, Creek 11 of 44 from the floor and collected 24 rebounds (Kamarec hauling down 10).
Watt had 10 for the Huskies and Austin Kowalski six. Harrison Central hoisted 34 field goal attempts, making 10. Rashaen Mitchell (he also had six blocks) snared 12 of his team's 23 rebounds. Nick Pelegreen grabbed nine.
"Give them credit, they do that to a lot of teams," Clifford explained of his team's shooting performance. "We really haven't shot the ball well yet but that's no excuse. We stayed in this game with our defensive effort. We held a really good player (Young) to four points. That's a testament to our kids. They had other kids step up and make points."
Dunlevy praised the defensive end of Blake Roar who drew the assignment of keeping Watt in check.
"I don't think he realizes how important he is to us," Dunlevy noted. "He did a solid job tonight. He really is the guy who spearheads our defensive effort."
Both teams resume Buckeye 8 play Tuesday. Indian Creek travels to Bellaire while Harrison Central entertains Martins Ferry. Originally, the Huskies were scheduled to visit Ferry but the game was moved to accommodate a school function.