WINTERSVILLE - The outcome of the game came down to one final shot.
The Indian Creek boys' basketball team had possession of the ball trailing St. Clairsville by three points with 8.5 seconds left to play in the fourth quarter. The Redskins' desperation 3-pointer hit harmlessly off of the backboard, however, allowing the Red Devils to hold on for a 43-30 victory Tuesday night on the road.
"We had to shoot a 3," Indian Creek coach Joe Dunlevy said. "We were down by three. We ran a play, but it didn't work."
As it did earlier in the season in a game out at Edison, St. Clairsville (7-4) elected not to foul on Indian Creek's final possession.
"We did pretty much the same thing," St. Clairsville coach Kim Clifford said. "We wanted to make them take a tough shot. We did not want to foul."
On the final sequence, the Redskins (4-8) inbounded the ball, and the ball found its way to Jonathan Woodbury at the top of the key. Woodbury was well defended as time ticked off the clock, and the senior was forced to take an off-balance 3-pointer. The shot missed the rim, and the ball was knocked out of bounds off of the Redskins with .8 seconds showing on the clock.
"We talked about them maybe running some down screens and running to the corner," Clifford said. "With eight seconds left, you are in a tough spot. You can go for a quick two and then foul, but once you throw it back out you can't do that. You have to go for the 3."
The Red Devils successfully inbounded the ball, and time ran out.
Two players scored in double digits to lead the way for the Redskins. Johnny Haught tallied a game-high 11 points, and Woodbury recorded 10. Haught and Woodbury each hit a 3-pointer in the game.
Also, Cody Durbin delivered six points, Aaron Foldi and Andrew Anderson each added four points and Blake Roar recorded three points. Finally Tran Huynh netted two points.
Patrick Buchanan netted a team-high 10 points to lead the way for the Red Devils.
Also, Daniel Trouten tallied eight points, Joel Giffin and Michael Scarnecchia each contributed seven points and Brendan Ferns recorded five points. Finally, Jared Derosa and Dylan Panepucci each produced three points.
Both teams made 13 field goals. The Red Devils made six 3-pointers, while the Redskins made two. Buchanan and Scarnecchia both made two from beyond the arc for the victors, while Trouten and Derosa each made one shot from long distance.
"I have been coming here for many years, and it is always a battle," Clifford said. "There is no quit in either team. Games like this have happened a lot through the years. It is always a battle until the end. It comes down to if we can make a free throw, make a shot or get a stop."
Woodbury's 3-pointer gave the hosts a 28-25 advantage with 3:31 left to play in the third quarter, but the boys from Belmont County tallied 14 of the next 15 points to take a 39-29 lead with 6:35 left to play in the game.
Undeterred, the boys from Jefferson County ran off nine straight points to pull within 39-28 with 2:22 showing on the clock.
A bucket by Ferns made the score 41-38, but Woodbury made two foul shots with 42.6 seconds left to make it 41-40. Two foul shots by Buchanan with 19.2 seconds left capped the scoring.
"I always expect it to be a low-scoring game when we play here," Clifford said. "There are two reasons or that. First, we play good defense, so teams hold the ball longer. Two, we hold on to it longer too."
With the win, the Red Devils swept the season series. Indian Creek will play at home against Buckeye Local on Friday, while St. Clairsville will play at Martins Ferry. Indian Creek will also play Saturday afternoon at home against Brooke in the Redskins' fourth game of the week.
"My dad worked 40 years in the mill, he raised eight kids and I can't remember him complaining a day in his life," Dunlevy said. "We are just playing basketball. It doesn't matter if we are playing four games, five games or every day of the week."
Indian Creek opened the week by defeating Weir Monday night.
St. Clairsville 43, Indian Creek 40
St. Clairsville 16 8 9 10 43
Indian Creek 7 14 8 11 - 40
ST. CLAIRSVILLE (7-4): Trouten 2 3-4 8, Derosa 1 0-0 3, Coleman 0 0-0 0, Giffin 2 3-4 7, Ferns 2 1-5 5, Buchanan 3 2-2 10, Scarnecchia 2 1-2 7. Totals: 13 10-17 43. 3-Pointers: Buchanan 2, Scarnecchia 2, Trouten, Derosa.
INDIAN CREEK (4-8): Foldi 1 2-2 4, Roar 0 3-4 3, Wade 0 0-0 0, Haught 5 0-1 11, Huynh 1 0-0 2, Anderson 1 2-2 4, Durbin 2 2-2 6, Woodbury 3 3-5 10. Totals: 13 12-16 40. 3-Pointers: Haught, Woodbury.