WINTERSVILLE - Oh what a difference a Bre makes.
When the girls basketball teams representing Indian Creek and Harrison Central collided earlier this season, Bre Berryman was on the bench, recovering from an injury. The result a 59-55 victory for the Huskies.
The sophomore standout was back for Thursday's clash and played a huge role in reversing the outcome.
GRABBING A BOARD — Indian Creek’s Kiarra Kamarec secures a defensive rebound in front of Harrison Central’s Shannon Compher as teammates Brooke Mains and Bre Berryman look on during the Redskins’ 65-35 win Thursday.
-- Fred Younce
Berryman recorded a double-double (20 points and 13 rebounds) and keyed a second quarter surge as the Redskins rolled to a 65-35 Buckeye 8 triumph.
With the win, Erin DeSantis' club moves to 12-5 on the season and remains firmly in the hunt for a league title. Harrison Central, meanwhile, falls to 8-10.
Freshman Bethany Davis had a career night for the winners, scoring 17 and dishing out four assists. She was extremely efficient from the floor, knocking down seven of her nine attempts.
Creek held an 8-5 lead after the opening stanza but Harrison's Kara Dunfee started the second with a triple to knot the score. Kiarra Kamarec answered with a three of her own to put the hosts up 11-8. Shannon Compher countered with a swish from behind the arc. Three of the first four Huskie field goals came from downtown.
Following Compher's make, Creek took control.
Held scoreless in the first period, Berryman converted a Kamarec feed into points. She got a second hoop off an offensive rebound. A Kamarec free throw and another Berryman deuce, this one off a Davis assist, put the Redskins ahead 18-11.
Huskie Ronna Orr and Berryman exchanged buckets before Davis recorded a conventional three-point play, going coast to coast after a Berryman block. Berryman's next hoop came off another Davis pass. Kamarec got a pair then fed Davis for two more and the hosts were up 29-13, having outscored the Huskies 18-2.
Ten of Berryman's game-high 20 points came during the second frame. Creek held a 29-15 advantage at the intermission.
"We did OK in the first quarter but we were making it too easy on them," DeSantis said. "We were forcing our shots and not being patient. In the second quarter, we were a little more patient, probably the most patient we have been all season. We were able to get good looks and make our shots."
Creek hoisted 27 field goal tries during the first 16 minutes, making 13. Harrison Central, meanwhile, struggled, netting just six of 30 (three connections coming from behind the arc).
"I think tonight was more about us than it was about them," Harrison Central's Nick Yourkovich said. "They are a good team but we came out with a complete lack of enthusiasm. When we don't play with enthusiasm, we are not very good and it doesn't matter who we are playing."
The Huskies did show some life in the third frame, running off seven straight points to climb within nine at 31-22. Post player Katie Ellzy sparked the run with four markers. Creek, thanks to eight points from Berryman and four from Brooke Mains, outscored the visitors 16-4 from there and led by 21 (47-26) heading into the final stanza.
"We know what's on the line now and we're trying to work to make a statement regarding how we have improved from last year to now," DeSantis noted. "We have made great strides. We have more confidence and the girls understand what we are trying to do.
"It's clicking and I'm really excited. I see us getting a little better each game and that's what you want."
Like Berryman, Kamarec recorded a double-double for the winners. She scored 12 points and collected 11 rebounds. As a team, Creek grabbed 40 missed shots. Berryman also swatted away six Huskie field goal attempts.
Ellzy led Harrison Central with nine. Compher and Orr combined for 12. The Huskies had 26 rebounds (Compher grabbing five) and were just 14 for 65 from the floor.
"We stressed all week they have two big girls inside," Yourkovich said about his team's shooting performance and reliance on the three-ball. "But I think the girls took that a little far. We have a pretty good post player too and for a while, we quit throwing it in there.
"Granted, they have Bre down there but I think that really hurt us offensively."
The large lead allowed DeSantis to sit her four upper class players and give some fourth-quarter playing time to her freshmen.
"It's a whole new experience for them, going from eighth grade to the varsity" she added. "The game is so much faster and the girls are much more physical. But I see them gaining confidence and realizing they can compete. Plus it was touching to see our older kids cheering for the younger girls. That to me is a team."
DeSantis and her team face a major Buckeye 8 challenge Monday, going on the road to face Union Local. Harrison Central will celebrate senior night Monday when Bellaire makes the trip to Cadiz.
Indian Creek 65, Harrison Central 35
Harrison Central 5 10 11 9 - 35
Indian Creek 8 21 18 18 - 65
HARRISON CENTRAL (8-10): Ledger 0 0-0 0; Compher 2 0-0 6; Dodds 0 0-0 0; Richards 1 0-0 2; Kuryn 0 0-0 0; Hatfield 0 1-2 1; Dunfee 1 0-0 3; Nameth 1 0-0 3; Keesey 0 0-0 0; Orr 3 0-0 6; Ellzy 4 1-2 9; Custer 1 1-2 3. TOTALS: 14 3-6 35. 3-pointers: Compher (2), Dunfee, Nameth; Rebounds: 26 (Compher 5); Turnovers: 12.
INDIAN?CREEK (12-5): Berryman 10 0-0 20; Davis 7 3-4 17; Kamarec 3 5-9 12; Mains 2 1-4 6; Shimko 1 0-0 2; Callahan 0 2-2 2; Durbin 0 0-0 0; Ruckman 2 0-0 4; Taylor 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 26 10-19 65. 3-pointers: Kamarec, Mains; Rebounds: 40 (Berryman 13, Kamarec 11); Turnovers: 15.