Shenandoah High used a five-minute fourth quarter surge to pull away from host Barnesville for a 50-36 victory in the season opener for both teams on Tuesday.
The teams were locked in a typical first night of sloppiness and less-than-stellar shooting for three quarters-plus, with the Lady Zeps managing a 30-35 lead with 6:30 remaining.
Shenandoah turned it up a notch and things went completely south for Barnesville at that point, however, and the visitors reeled off 12 points in a row and 20 of the next 24 to win going away.
The Lady Zeps led 8-4 after one quarter, and then gained a 10-6 edge in round two to head to the locker room with an 18-10 upperhand.
Each side tacked on a dozen tallies in the third period, leaving Shenandoah in front by eight, 30-22, heading to the final frame.
Barnesville got a rebound bucket and a free throw from freshman Shaela Markovich to pull within five, 30-25, with 6:30 to play.
Two free throws and a three-point goal by Raechel Rossiter ignited Shenandoah’s decisive 12-0 run which pushed the lead out to 42-25 with just over four minutes to play, and an 8-4 spurt after that put it away at 50-29 before the Lady ‘Rocks scored the game’s final seven points to pare the final margin to 14.
“We have been having some trouble getting started, even in our scrimmages,” related Shenandoah coach Lynn Werry, “but we did pick it up in the fourth quarter and played a lot better.
“We seem to act like we’re behind all the time,” she added. “I guess we just don’t have enough confidence yet, but we’ve got a lot of young girls with very little varsity experience. They’re still learning to play together.”
Rossiter finished as the Lady Zeps’ leading scorer with 16, with Blake Hall providing top support with a dozen and Taylor Arick adding nine. Ashlee Wukelich led all rebounders with nine retrieves while Hall had five steals and Arick had four.
SHS connected on 16-of-42 field goal attempts (37.2 percent); had 32 rebounds and 24 turnovers.
Despite the loss, Barnesville coach Jamie Carpenter saw some encouraging signs, but knows his team need a lot of work particularly in holding onto the basketball as the Lady ‘Rocks were guilty of 32 turnovers.
“I looked up with about six minutes to go and we were only down five,” said Carpenter. “We’ve switched to man-to-man defensively this year because we got lazy and stood around too much in the zone last year, and we’re still adjusting.
“We know we don’t have a lot offensively, so we have to play defense,” the BHS coach continued, “but we had way too many unforced turnovers. They went to a diamond press and we acted like we’d never seen it before.”
Markovich was the lone double digit scorer for the Lady Shamrocks with 11 and she also collected five rebounds. Miranda Plumly tallied six points and Marrissa Burga contributed five points and six caroms.
BHS was 14-of-46 on action shots (30.4 percent) with 36 boards and the 32 miscues.
NEXT — Shenandoah is back in action Thursday at Shadyside while Barnesville’s next game is Monday at Buckeye Trail. JV tip-off at both sites is at 6 p.m.