CADIZ - It was a banner night for Harrison Central basketball coach Justin Clifford.
The baseball team he coached to the Division II Final Four State Tournament in Columbus was honored before the coach spurred his basketball Huskies to a victory over visiting Shadyside at the John W Stephenson Center Saturday night.
"More so the win over Shadyside," quipped Clifford when asked about the 66-48 win over the Tigers. "We have not been playing well.
Shadyside's Shane Johnson draws the foul as Harrison Central's Austin Kowalski and Cory Yoho defend during Saturday's game in Cadiz.
"Credit the teams we played, but we always talk about we want to work on us," Clifford added. "We had a little practice before today's game, which we have never done before.
"It was not to run them or punish them, it was more to get back into what we do," the coach explained. "I think they responded."
The roller coaster ride season for the Tigers continued. They'd won two games last week in decisive fashion.
"Harrison played really well and they deserved to win. I feel like we got beat by forty," Shadyside head coach Ed Andes said. "They worked twice as hard as us."
"We did not shoot the ball real well against Bellaire and Edison, but more so I thought we got out hustled," Clifford said his team had lost its identity.
Early in the contest, the coach may have wondered if his pre-game practice had helped as Shadyside put up 12 unanswered after an early three-point bucket by the Huskies.
Having little success in the paint, Harrison Central went back to the perimeter raining threes on the Tigers. Austin Kowalski, Josh Christian, Cory Yoho netted a pair, but it was Nate Olmstead with the hot hand draining four treys in the first half. Olmstead's effort pushed the Huskies ahead midway through the second quarter giving the hots an 18-16, then a 21-16 lead.
"That was the turning point," Shadyside's Andes confirmed. "It seemed like that took the fire out of us, and we never came back.
"They were guarding us. I don't know if we scored a field goal in the second half, the Tigers coach said, referencing his scorebook. "I wonder why? Four field goals in the second half?"
Shadyside netted just one bucket in the second quarter, relying on an 8 of 9 performance at the foul line to keep it a 33-26 game at the intermission.
The second half saw more of the same as Shadyside netted just two from the floor in both the third and fourth quarters. The half was shaping up to be a war of attrition and with just six on the varsity roster the Tigers were facing extinction as they were whistled for 14 fouls in the second half.
The Huskies were not immune to the whistle as they racked up 15 violations in the half. Harrison Central went 20-25 from the foul line and Shadyside 22 of 29. The difference was the Huskies trio of double digit scoring.
Yoho finished with 14 points, Dustin Redish added 16 and Olmstead 17 points for the Huskies as they even to 5-5 on the season.
Shane Johnson paced the Tigers with a game high 19 points. Luke Nardo joined him in double digits with 11 points as Shadyside falls to 5-5.
The two teams are back on the hardwood Tuesday as the Tigers travel to Bridgeport while the Huskies will visit Bellaire.
SHADYSIDE (48) Nardo 2, 7-9 11; Johnson 5, 9-9 19; Cline 1, 1-2 4; Frizzi 1. 0-2 2; Schuetz 1, 5-5 6; Fulton 2, 2-2 6. Totals 2, 22-29. HARRISON CENTRAL (66) K. Mitchell 2, 1-1 5; Kowalski 3, 0-0 8; B. Mitchell 1-2 1; Rutter 0, 0-0 0; Redish 4, 8-11 16; Evans 0, 0-0 0; Yoho 3, 6-7 14; Olmstead 5, 2-2 17 Christian 1, 2-2 5. Totals 18, 20-25.
3-point goals: Shadyside - Cline, Schuetz. Harrison - Olmstead 5, Yoho 2, Kowalski 2, Christian.