Barnesville converts from charity stripe to collect 41-30 win over Buckeye Trail

Kevin Sutton
Barnesville Enterprise
Barnesville's Rylee Stephens (30) brings the ball up court against Buckeye Trail's Abby Wayble (31) during Thursday's girls' basketball game at Buckeye Trail High School.

OLD WASHINGTON — Basketball games are often times decided at the charity stripe...the ability to convert opportunities at the foul line can be the difference between winning and losing ball games.

A perfect example is Thursday's 41-30 victory by Barnesville over host Buckeye Trail with the Lady Shamrocks stepping up with a clutch performance from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to pick up the win.

In the decisive fourth stanza, led by the clutch shooting of sophomore Blayne Carpenter the Lady 'Rocks hit on an impressive 10-of-14 foul shots to collect the win to even their record at 3-3 on the season.

"In the fourth quarter I think we were 10-14," Barnesville head coach Jason Perkins explained. "I preach to them all the time about foul shots, and tonight we were able to make them."

With just 2:40 left in the game, Barnesville clung to a slim 33-30 lead when Carpenter began an impressive performance at the foul line which led directly to the Lady 'Rocks victory.

Buckeye Trail senior Brooke Baird (35) goes up for a shot against Barnesville's Alyssa Carter (23) during Thursday's girls' basketball game at Buckeye Trail High School.

Carpenter stepped up and knocked down six consecutive free throws, the last two coming with just 51.0 seconds left to play which gave Barnesville a 39-30 advantage.

"Blayne hit some big free throws down the stretch for us...she stepped up big time," Carpenter added. "Some big shots in a row that just sparked everything for us."

Then for good measure, Barnesville senior Rylee Stephens sank a pair of foul shots with 23.1 seconds left in the game to seal the 41-30 road win.

For the game, Barnesville finished with a 13-for-20 foul shooting performance with Carpenter connecting on 7-of-10 free throws, Stephens hitting on 4-of-8, and sophomore Halle Markovich added a perfect 2-for-2 effort.

"Basketball is a game of runs, we keep telling the girls you have to counter to attack and close out defensively without fouling," Buckeye Trail assistant coach Miranda Redden, who was filling in for head coach Tim Leppla offered. "We sent them to the foul line and they made the foul shots so give them credit."

"We started strong tonight, but seems like we are having hard times closing things out in the end," Redden continued. "We had a week or so off, so it's tough to come back and play after one practice. But the girls gave good effort tonight, and that was good to see."

Carpenter finished with 12 points to lead the Barnesville scoring, with Markovich and sophomore Alyssa Carter each adding nine markers. Stephens finished with seven points and 10 rebounds.

Buckeye Trail (0-2) was led by senior Brooke Baird with a game-high 6 points effort, with juniors Bella Gray and Abby Wayble each chipping in with four points.

"Tonight was a good win, the girls are pretty happy right now," Perkins offered. "Good night for Barnesville, the junior varsity also got a win. Now we just need to build off this win tonight moving forward."

Barnesville picked up a 36-20 win in the junior varsity match-up with Meredith Schaffer leading the way with 13 points, Alyssa Carter added eight and Rilee Lucas scored seven points. Morgan Watson and Brittyn Miller each tallied four points for the Lady Warriors.

NEXT — Buckeye Trail will host East Canton on Saturday at 1 p.m., while Barnesville will host Shenandoah on Monday at 6 p.m.

Cambridge 36, Steubenville Catholic Central 33

Host Cambridge High overcame the absence of three starters and a feisty Steubenville Central Catholic team to post a come from behind 36-33 home victory on Thursday evening.

The Lady Bobcats were led in scoring by the duo of junior Camryn Gebhart’s and sophomore McKinzi Linscott with 10 points each. Junior Jenna Murrey added eight points while sophomore Nevaeh Smith tallied six markers.

The Cambridge defense led the fourth quarter charge as they limited the visitors to just four points in the quarter while the offense scored 11 points to offset the four point deficit at the end of the third.

Murrey knocked odwn a key triple during the quarter then Linscott drilled a three-pointer from the left corner to put the Lady 'Cats ahead 34-33. CHS finished with a deuce from Smith off a fine assist from Gebhart.

Cambridge improves to 3-2 on the season with the home court win.

 NEXT — Cambridge treks to Marietta on Monday at 6 p.m. with JV action.