BYESVILLE - A couple of weeks ago, Martins Ferry's Cody Schau received two technical fouls in a game against Indian Creek which drew an automatic 2-game suspension by the OHSAA.
Since his return, the 6-2 senior has been unstoppable in a pair of contests.
Tuesday night here at Meadowbrook High School, he turned in his second straight 30-point effort in leading the Purple Riders (11-8) to a 71-47 rout of Bellaire (3-20) in Division III Sectional tournament action.
MARTINS FERRY’S Jake Barritt brings the ball up the court against Bellaire’s Nathan Steele during Wednesday’s Division III?sectional game at Meadowbrook High School in Byesville. The Purple Riders rolled to a 71-47 victory. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
"Sitting out those two games made me hungrier when I came back," Schau admitted. "The first game (vs. Harrison Central) back I came really hard, but I still feel I can play a little better than I did."
That comment came after a 13-for-23 performance from the field, and a floor game that included half-a-dozen rebounds, five assists, four steals and a blocked shot.
In the process, Schau surpassed the 1,000-point mark with a layup down the lane midway through the fourth quarter, which drew a well-deserved standing ovation from the very sparse Martins Ferry contingent that made the trek to Guernsey County.
"That was special. I've been working for this my whole life," Schau said of reaching the milestone, which came in basically two seasons. "It was also nice to do it in a win.
"I don't think we played as well tonight as we are capable of," he continued. "I think we'll play better next game."
With Schau scoring 16 of his game-high total in the first half, the designated hosts built a 28-17 lead, but veteran Martins Ferry head coach Jeff Sabatino was less than satisfied.
"I wasn't happy. Even though we were winning, I wasn't happy because we want to get better. It's tournament time," Sabatino offered. "I understand the survive and advance thing, but we want to play better and I didn't think we played very well.
"I thought Bellaire played really hard in the first half," he continued. "It's hard to play against a team that you've beaten twice and had a lot of success against, but I thought Bellaire played a lot better."
Bellaire head coach J.R. Battista agreed with his counterpart.
"We played about as well as we could have in the first half," he said. "We missed some shots that I'm not saying we normally make, but they were makeable, good attempts."
Whatever Sabatino told his troops during the halftime break, they took to heart as the Purple Gang outscored the Big Reds by 43-30 count in the second 16 minutes.
Schau connected for eight more counters in the third frame as Martins Ferry exploded for 23 points in grabbing a commanding, 51-32, advantage heading into the final chapter.
"Ferry has a very good player in (Cody) Schau. I think he scored his 1,000th point tonight. Those guys are different. It takes a lot of time and effort with the ball to score 1,000 points," said Battista, a 1,000-point scorer himself in just two years in his Big Red days.
Junior power forward Robert Vargo continued to turn in double-double after double-double. The 6-4 banger finished with 13 points and a dozen rebounds. The Purple Riders other three starters - Tyler Strama, Jake Barritt and Emilio Appolloni - all scored eight points apiece.
Bellaire was paced by sophomore Nathan Steele who pumped in a dozen points. Classmate Tyler Ramsey came off the bench to net a career-high 11 points and grab a team-best five boards.
"He's only played basketball for two years," Battista noted. "If he puts in the time and effort, he can get better."
Martins Ferry, which led 32-23 off the glass and had seven less turnovers at 22-15, returns to Byesville on Friday, March 1 to meet Fort Frye.
BELLAIRE (47) - Steele 4 2-2 12; Ke. Hess 1 2-4 4; Callarik 2 0-0 4; Back 3 0-0 6; Patrone 1 0-0 2; Westlake 3 0-0 6; Ramsey 5 1-2 11; Pickens 0 0-0 0; Kovalyk 0 0-0 0; Hall 0 0-0 0; Kimbro 0 0-0 0; Bentz 0 0-0 0; Ky. Hess 1 0-0 2; Totals: 20-47 5-8. MARTINS FERRY (71) - C. Schau 13 4-5 30; Vargo 5 3-3 13; Strama 2 4-6 8; Barritt 2 4-4 8; Appolloni 4 0-1 8; A. Burress 0 0-0 0; Sears 0 0-0 0; Agnew 0 0-0 0; Edwards 0 0-0 0; J. Burress 1 0-0 2; Rine 0 0-0 0; Shane 0 0-0 0; D. Schau 0 0-0 0; Barbour 0 2-2 2; Baire 0 0-0 0; Totals: 27-57 17-21.
Three-Point Goals: Bellaire 2 (Steele 2)
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