Belpre falls in shootout to Williamstown

Barker scores 37 in 80-75 loss to ’Jackets

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Belpre’s Cheyenne Barker, left, handles the ball as Williamstown’s BreeAnn Reynolds defends during a high school girls basketball game Wednesday. Williamstown won, 80-75.

BELPRE — Williamstown’s Ashley Morris and Belpre’s Cheyenne “Chey” Barker are two of the better senior backcourt players in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

On Wednesday Senior Night at BHS, the duo put on a show.

The 5-foot-1 Morris scored a team-high 23 points, including four freebies at crunchtime, to help the Class A sixth-ranked Yellowjackets defeat the host Golden Eagles, 80-75, in non-conference girls’ basketball action.

“That’s the only time that I shoot them (foul shots) in a game,” said Morris, who also had eight assists and three steals. “My coaches always tell me I’m probably 90 percent in the fourth quarter and 68 percent in the rest of the quarters for the season.”

On the other side, the 5-5 Barker scored a career-high 37 points, including 20 in the third quarter, in a losing cause. She finished with four triples and was 9-for-9 at the charity stripe.

“I didn’t even know,” she said. “I thought I only had 20 points. I wasn’t really counting.

“It was crazy, but I wish we would have won the game, though.”

Barker, who’s planning to play at Marietta College after high school graduation, said that she’d never scored 30 or more in a game during her career.

“She’s probably the best player I’ve ever went up against,” Morris said.

Williamstown improved its overall record to 16-5. Samantha Dedrick added 20 points, while 6-1 sophomore Bethany Arnold had a double-double with 14 markers and 18 rebounds.

“We just kind of let our kids play,” said Williamstown head coach Fred Sauro.

“We’re kind of a quick attack, transition team. We’ve got a couple of set plays but we’ve taught our kids to attack.”

Belpre fell to 15-7. Kyna Waderker, a 5-11 frosh, chipped in with 16 points, while senior guard Trinidy King netted 11 points.

“Cheyenne kind of kept us in the game,” said Belpre boss Chris Murray. “And, Kyna was great tonight. I know she’s a little upset, because we had something open (late in the fourth quarter) on that backside. It probably would’ve sealed the deal and the ball goes through her hands.

“We just didn’t do a real good job on the boards. Williamstown got too many second chances. But it was still a great game, and a lot of fun being here, if you like scoring.”

Sparked by Dedrick’s 12 first-quarter points, Williamstown staked itself to a 20-16 advantage. Keeping Belpre close, Waderker came off the bench to score eight points.

In the second period, Arnold, also a non-starter, tallied eight points as the Yellowjackets stretched their lead to 41-31 at halftime.

At the half, Barker only had seven points.

“I think I was nervous, because it was Senior Night,” said Barker of her first-half performance. “And, I didn’t really feel good. In the locker room, I just decided to suck it up, because this was my last time on this court.”

Barker was red-hot in the third quarter, scoring 20 points. Waderker had eight points herself, including one late that put Belpre in the lead, 59-57, going into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter featured four lead changes and two ties. Early in the stanza, BHS had a five-point lead, 65-60. But WHS came back and stayed close.

At the 1:51 mark, Barker buried two foul shots to give the Eagles a 75-72 lead. But the Yellowjackets closed out the game with an 8-0 run on two Dedrick buckets and four Morris freebies.

“At the end, Ashley driving on us killed us,” Barker said.