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Its not often that a team which loses by 28 points can feel good about its performance.
That was the case for the short-handed Barnesville High boys team on Tuesday, however, as the depleted Shamrocks battled high-flying Monroe Central point-for-point for a little more than two quarters, actually leading by two with six minutes remaining in the third quarter before the gas tank went to E and the Seminoles pulled away for an 87-59 victory.
A 101-61 victim in the earlier match-up at Woodsfield, Barnesville found itself facing an uphill task with one regular still sidelined by a concussion; the sixth man home with the flu and another regular playing despite a nasty ear infection, but Coach Chris Packs squad scratched and clawed as long as it could, turning a 39-35 halftime deficit into a 41-39 lead with a six-point surge to open the third quarter on two free throws by Dylan MacMillan and consecutive goals by Brandon Burkhart.
From there, however, it was all Monroe Central as the visitors waxed hot with a whopping 30 points over the final six minutes of the round to seize control.
Zach Jorris sparked the onslaught with an 11-point quarter as the Seminoles moved out to a 69-51 lead. Monroe hit 12-of-18 field goal attempts in the round while forcing BHS into another eight turnovers.
The fourth quarter turned into a battle of the junior varsity squads for the most part, with Monroe posting an 18-8 advantage to claim the 28-point triumph.
Im as happy as I can be with a 28-point loss, veteran Barnesville coach Chris Pack offered. The final score didnt indicate how hard we played despite facing a lot of adversity.
When they put it on us down there, the Shamrocks coach continued, I thought wed have a chance to turn it around here, but we were just too short-handed. There wasnt enough gas in the tank at the end. We had kids who went from not dressing to playing and theyre a very deep team.
Both sides were aggressive and sloppy in the first quarter, with Barnesville managing a 21-20 lead in the fast-paced eight minutes. Burkhart tallied six in the round to lead the Rocks while Korey Lafferre got what proved to be a big night off to a good start with nine tallies for the Noles, with Zach Jorris adding five. Monroe had eight turnovers and Barnesville had seven in the first period.
A seven-point quarter by Lafferre helped Monroe to a 19-14 edge in the second period as the visitors settled down a bit with only four turnovers while Barnesville continued to give the ball away with nine more miscues. MacMillan had five points in the period, but he also picked up his third and fourth personal fouls and was forced to sit for several minutes.
It was promising in the first half, Pack commented, and if we dont turn it over so much, we probably could have been up 10 instead of down four and it might have changed things.
Lafferre was the big gun for Monroe (10-3) with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Zach Jorris contributed 16 tallies while Cameron Jorris, Chandler Kuhn and Josh Guiler all had eight markers. Guiler and Kuhn also had six rebounds apiece while Levi Brown recorded eight of Monroes 22 steals, with Bryan Duffy getting four.
The Seminoles, who were playing the first of four games in five nights, connected on 33-of-73 field goal tries (45.2 percent) and after a dismal first half, they ended up 18-of-28 at the charity stripe (62.3 percent). Monroe had 42 rebounds and 19 turnovers.
Barnesville (5-11) got 15 points and nine rebounds from Burkhart; 13 tallies and eight boards from Zach Houston; and 11 points, four steals, three rebounds and three assists from MacMillan before he fouled out. Isaac McGee and Eric Nicholson both chipped in seven points and David Stewart had six.
The Rocks hit 24-of-53 action shots (45.3 percent) and 11-of-20 at the foul line (55 percent) with 39 caroms and 31 miscues.
MONROE CENTRAL 87, BARNESVILLE 59
Monroe Central (10-3)
Cameron Jorris 4-13 0-0 8, Kordell Antill 2-7 0-0 4, Zach Jorris 5-10 4-5 16, Korey Lafferre 10-15 4-6 24, Levi Brown 1-4 0-2 2, Bryan Duffy 0-3 0-1 0, Josh Guiler 2-3 4-6 8, Chandler Kuhn 4-6 0-0 8, Tanner Burkhart 0-2 4-4 4, Jake Schuerman 0-3 1-2 1, Camden Hill 5-5 0-0 11, Seth Alleman 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 33-73 18-28 87.
Brandon Burkhart 7-13 1-1 15, Dylan MacMillan 4-6 3-4 11, David Stewart 2-8 2-4 6, Isaac McGee 3-8 1-3 7, Zach Houston 5-10 3-4 13, Dylan Kernon 0-2 0-0 0, Brady Rockwell 0-1 0-1 0, Chase Mankin 0-2 0-0 0, Lucas Wells 0-0 0-0 0, Eric Nicholson 3-4 1-1 7. Totals 24-53 11-20 59.
Monroe Central 20 19 30 18 87
Barnesville 21 14 16 8 59
Three point goalsMCHS 3-17 (Z. Jorris 2, Hill); BHS 0-7. ReboundsMCHS 42 (Lafferre 11, Kuhn 6, Guiler 6, Schuerman 4); BHS 39 (Burkhart 9, Houston 8, Stewart 4, McGee 4, MacMillan 3). AssistsMCHS 13 (C. Jorris 3, Antill 2, Z. Jorris 2, Duffy 2); BHS 8 (MacMillan 3, Stewart 2). StealsMCHS 22 (Brown 8, Duffy 4); BHS 9 (MacMillan 4, Burkhart 2). Blocked ShotsMCHS 2; BHS 4. FoulsMCHS 22; BHS 19. Fouled OutMCHS (none); BHS (MacMillan, Stewart). TurnoversMCHS 19; BHS 31.