Beallsville holds off Barnesville

BEALLSVILLE – One of the biggest keys to any successful team is a level of perseverance.

The homestanding Beallsville Blue Devils showed that quality time and time again Tuesday evening.

Each time that it appeared that Barnesville’s Shamrocks were about to take control of the game with a run, the Blue Devils had the answer and went on to post a 71-65 victory before a large turnout at the new Devils’ Den.

“We knew Barnesville was going to make a run, but we told the kids that we just had to withhold through adversity a little bit,” said rookie Blue Devils’ head coach Casey Tolzda, who watched his team improve to 2-2.

“There are highs and lows through the course of a game, but the kids persevered and made big plays down the stretch when we needed them.”

There were stretches in the second half when Beallsville had chances to run away and hide from the Shamrocks (2-2). The lead swelled to as many as 13, at 59-46, after back-to-back buckets by senior Teryn Jarrett and Mikey Palmer.

“We were in a fog early (defensively),” said Barnesville head coach Chris Pack. “We were always a day late and a dollar short. We didn’t react well and didn’t play our normal defensive game.”

However, the Shamrocks then turned up the pressure in the full court and began forcing the Devils into several turnovers.

“It can get a little scary at times when you’ve got a team that only has one returning letterman,” Tolzda said. “You think, are they going to fold under the pressure? Are they going to be able to play through this? We knew we needed one more stop.”

Barnesville got within five three times at 60-55, 62-57, 64-59 as Brandon Burkhart caught fire in the fourth, scoring 11 of his team-high 19.

“We responded well and gave ourselves a chance to win,” Pack said. “We just missed too many shots.”

After frosh Chase Mercer hit one-of-two at the foul line, Barnesville made it a three-point game when David Anderson dialed long distance from the right corner with 60 seconds to play.

Barnesville missed the front end of a bonus situation, collected the offensive rebound, but couldn’t capitalize before the Blue Devils collared the rebound.

“That was a chance for a tie ball game right there because he got bumped going up, the ball should have went in and it should have been an and-one situation,” Pack offered. “But, it didn’t happen.We needed to make a few of the two-footers we missed earlier in the game and not get in that situation.”

It was as if the clock was standing still at times for Tolzda.

“I was thinking, ‘Here we go,'” Tolzda said of the Shamrocks’ late chance on the offensive glass. “We’re thanking our lucky stars that he missed it and we rebounded. It wasn’t pretty in the fourth quarter, but we’ll take it.”

As they’d done all evening, the Blue Devils answered. They did it this time at the foul line, pushing the lead back to seven at 69-62 to all but salt it away.

For the game, the Devils were strong at the line. They connected on 23-of-33 charity tosses.

The Blue Devils had all five starters reach double figures. Jarrett, who faced a myriad of different defensive looks, put forth a strong floor game with 15 points, five assists and five rebounds despite battling foul trouble.

Palmer finished with 14, including eight in the third quarter. Smooth-shooting junior Logan Nippert finished with 13, while blue-collar pivot Dalton Secrest notched 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Barnesville was led by Burkhart’s game-high 19. Dylan MacMillan added 15 for the Rocks.

Beallsville is on the road Friday at Frontier, while Barnesville continues its Monroe County tour of Tolzdas when it treks to Woodsfield to take on Monroe Central.

The Blue Devils made it a sweep by capturing the jayvee encounter.

BARNESVILLE (65) – Anderson 2, 2-4 7; Burkhart 9, 1-1 19; MacMillan 6, 3-3 15; Clark 1, 3-3 5; Stewart 2, 1-2 6; McGee 2, 1-2 6; L. Wells 0, 0-0 0; Houston 3, 1-3 7; Totals: 25, 12-18 65. BEALLSVILLE (71) – Rush 0, 0-0 0; Palmer 7, 0-1 14; Groves 4, 5-7 13; Mercer 1, 2-6 4; Susac 0, 0-0 0; Jarrett 4, 6-6 15; Nippert 5, 2-2 13; Secrest 2, 8-11 12; Totals: 23, 23-33 71.

Three-Point Goals: Ba – Anderson, Stewart, McGee. Be – Jarrett, Nippert.