Barnesville drops 68-49 road setback to Caldwell
CALDWELL — Caldwell kicked off its season by beating Strasburg 31-24 on Monday. And while head coach Eli Svercek enjoyed the end result...what he didn’t like was senior Cayton Secrest having to score all but seven of the team’s points.
The coach stressed better offensive balance in the days leading up to Thursday’s home contest with Barnesville, a scoring balance he received with a 68-49 victory..
Secrest still had a team-high 22 points, but five other CHS players contributed between seven to nine points each in the home curt win.
“We’d been preaching that all week,” Svercek said. “At practice Tuesday I pulled out the stat sheet (from Monday) and told them we have to fill this out more if you want to compete against good teams.
“Hats off to Barnesville, they are going to be a good team. They have some solid posts. They are physical, aggressive, and (Rylee) Stephens is always hard to beat. But I’m proud of our girls for filling up the stat book.”
And fill it they did. Secrest had nine of her total in the first quarter. But Jules Hood, in her first game back from quarantining, scored five of her nine in the first. Her speed was a welcome return both defensively and in the transition game.
Caldwell took a 23-2 lead after the first quarter. Shots were falling, the transition game was working, and the defense was forcing turnovers.
Barnesville, meanwhile, couldn’t buy a bucket. Multiple trips down the floor the Shamrocks had second and third shot opportunities thanks to a team effort on the offensive glass early. But coach Jason Perkins’ club had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
“We just couldn’t make a shot,” Perkins said. “We were stale, we were getting looks but couldn’t convert and we have to do a better job of that and take advantage of our opportunities."
“If we continue to not do that, we’ll continue to play poorly and that’s on me," Perkins added. "I’ll take responsibility for that, but I’m confident we’ll get there.”
Barnesville finally started chipping away at the sizable lead in the second as Stephens went for seven of her team-leading 14 points in the quarter. The visitors actually outscored Caldwell 13-9 in the second, but still trailed 32-15 at the break.
The second half saw Caldwell continue to work the transition game with Secrest helping get the team out quickly and finding open teammates for buckets. The all-Ohio guard finished with a double-double, adding 11 assists to her point total.
Hood, Allison Egnot, and Madi Mumaw each totaled nine points while Sheridan Archer added eight and eight rebounds. Klaudia Rayner chipped in seven points.
“We came in at halftime and I told them if you want to win this game, we have to rebound,” Svercek said. “We knew they were going to respond. But I thought Sheridan and Claudia and Allison came in and knocked down shots and got rebounds.
“And it helps having Hood back. We love getting in transition and getting her the ball.”
Stephens was backed by Blayne Carpenter, who also totaled 14 points for Barnesville. Perkins was pleased to see freshman Ellie Thompson come off the bench to knock down three triples in the fourth quarter.
Leading scorer Halle Markovich was limited to three points as she battled foul trouble all game and picked up her fifth early in the fourth.
Caldwell captured the junior varsity contest by a 17-4 final score. Gabby Guiler and Sydney Sailing each scored five points to lead the Redskins. Ava McFarland and Kendal Lucas had two apiece for the Shamrocks.
NEXT — Caldwell travels to Beallsville on Monday, while Barnesville will look to get back on track on Thursday at Buckeye Trail.