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Huskies win a thriller in last trip to Creek’s old gym

WINTERSVILLE — The Harrison Central boys basketball team’s last trip to the current Indian Creek gym was one for the ages.

The Redskins led the Huskies by 15 points in the second quarter, however, the Huskies ripped off a 39-16 run and took an eight-point advantage into the fourth. Indian Creek outscored Harrison Central by seven in the fourth, but it was not enough as the Huskies held on for a 59-58 victory Tuesday night against their Buckeye 8 North Division opponents.

The Huskies trailed 26-11 in the second, but the Huskies regrouped and, thanks to a barrage of 3-pointers, took a 50-42 lead after three quarters.

“The press bothered them a bit,” Harrison Central (1-1) head coach Justin Clifford said. “I think it was our energy more than anything. We stopped looking for someone to make a play, and we went out and made plays.”

Indian Creek committed 20 turnovers on the night.

“They put pressure on us, we turned the ball over and fouled,” Indian Creek (0-1) head coach Joe Dunlevy said. “We fouled with the lead. What it really amounts to, in basketball turnovers basically come from your work ethic. In practice you go over simple things like stepping to the ball when someone throws you a pass. You tell kids to do that, because if they don’t those things are going to cost you games. With the final score being 59-58, you can take that to the bank.”

The visitors held the lead early in the first, but the hosts started shooting well from the inside and the outside enabling the Redskins to take a 19-11 lead at the end of the first.

“They had some guys make some shots early,” Clifford said. “I tip my hat to them. That is on me. We did what we did later in the game better than what we did at the start of the game.”

Indian Creek continued to shoot the ball in the second as the Redskins recorded the first seven points of the stanza to go up 26-11.

“We have kids who can make shots,” Dunlevy said. “When you play a 2-3 zone, we have kids who can really shoot the ball.”

Down by 15, Clifford turned on the pressure, and his team responded. The Huskies began to scratch and claw their way back into the game as they pulled to within 32-24 at halftime.

The Huskies carried the momentum over the halftime break and into the third quarter.

Harrison Central hit three 3-pointers in the quarters to spark a big third as the Huskies outscored the Redskins, 20-10, in the quarter to take an eight-point lead.

The Redskins hit a pair of 3-pointers late in the fourth, but the hosts were unable to complete the comeback.

“They play physical,” Clifford said. “It was a good high school game.”

The Huskies had a balanced attack on the offensive end. Hayden Cassidy scored a team-high 15 points, Jace Madzia contributed 12 points and Joenus Jones and Mykel Quitto tallied eight points apiece.

“They ran a lot of different sets,” Dunlevy said. “Their three guards all played well for them.”

Two players also produced double digits in scoring for Indian Creek. Logan Schaffer finished with a game-high 21 points, Lucca Morelli collected 10 points and Landon Pownall tallied nine on three 3-pointers.

“Our attitude made the difference,” Clifford said.

The Redskins battled, but they came up one point short in the end.

“We haven’t beaten them going on five years,” Dunlevy said. “It was a good night, but we just could not get it done.”

Clifford has made plenty of memories in the Indian Creek gym through his years.

“This is my 11th year,” Clifford said. “This is the last time we are going to play here. I have got a lot of memories from this place. I think we played a 23-19 game one time. We have gone back and forth. This was a typical Harrison Central-Indian Creek game.

“I have been coming here since 1996,” Clifford said. “I have played here, and I have coached here.”

The two teams will continue their rivalry next season in Wintersville inside the new high school.

Harrison Central recently moved into a new school and a new gym.

“It is exciting for people,” Clifford said. “It is hard because you get used to playing to playing in a gym. You grow up shooting in a gym. It is exciting. It is an exciting time. I am happy for them.”

Harrison Central is scheduled to play Edison Friday night at home. The JV game will start at 6 p.m.

Indian Creek is slated to play Edison Tuesday on the road. The JV game is set to start at 5:30 p.m.

Harrison Central 59, Indian Creek 58

Harrison Central 11 13 20 9 – 59

Indian Creek 19 13 10 16 – 58

HARRISON CENTRAL (1-1): Jones 3 0-0 8, Cassidy 3 7-9 15, Madzia 4 3-5 12, Quitto 3 2-3 8, N. Fluharty 2 1-3 7, C. Vermillion 1 4-5 6, Ody 1 0-0 3. TOTALS: 17 17-25 59.

INDIAN CREEK (0-1): Francis 1 0-0 2, Kuczykowski 1 4-6 6, Morelli 5 0-0 10, Vandeborne 0 0-0 0, Pownall 3 0-0 9, Irizarry 0 0-0 0, C. Bodo 1 0-0 3, Freshwater 1 0-0 2, Smith 2 0-0 5, Schaffer 9 3-6 21. TOTALS: 23 7-12 58.

3-POINTERS: Harrison Central 6 (Jones 2, Cassidy 2, Madzia, C. Vermillion); Indian Creek 5 (Pownall 3, C. Bodo, Smith). REBOUNDS: Harrison Central 24 (Quitto 8); Indian Creek 32 (Morelli 9). TURNOVERS: Harrison Central 14; Indian Creek 20.

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