Belpre turned a three- point lead into a 13-point advantage with a 12-2 run in the final three minutes of the first half, and then went on to defeat the Caldwell Lady Redskins 52-39 Saturday at Marietta College's Ban Johnson Arena.
Junior guard Sierra Barker tossed in 22 points and Katelyn Hughes added 10 as the Lady Golden Eagles won their second consecutive game to open the 2013-2014 campaign.
Belpre led 16-9 after one period before Caldwell strung together a 10-6 run to reduce the deficit to 22-19 five minutes into the second quarter.
Barker's threeball and a rebound and score by Rachel Packard increased the Lady Eagle lead to eight and after a Megan Devol field goal made it a 27-21 game, a three-pointer by Kenzie Reed and back-to-back buckets by Sierra and Cheyenne Barker gave Belpre a 34-21 lead at intermission.
Caldwell head coach Ashley Dailey felt the final three minutes of the half proved to be the difference for her Lady Redskins.
"We played well at times but we just had a couple of big let downs that really cost us," said the third-year Caldwell head coach. "We do some really good things on the court, but we just are making too many mistakes at the same time."
at Ban Johnson Arena
Belpre 52 Caldwell 39
at Marietta College
Caldwell 9 12 10 8 - 39
Belpre 16 18 13 5 - 52
Anna Weisend 4 0-0 8, Laken Figal 1-3 1-3 3, Megan Devol 8 1-2 17, Lexy Schell 2 0-0 5, Kristen Whetzel 0 0-0 0, Taylor Crawford 0 0-0 0, Tiffany Yerian 2 2-4 6, Totals: 17-44 4-9 39.
Alexandria Williams 0 0-0 0, Daisy Cowdery 0 0-0 0, Trinidy King 0 0-0 0, Kenzie Reed 1 0-0 3, Cheyenne Barker 2 1-1 5, Sierra Barker 8 2-2 22, Katelyn Hughes 3 4-6 10, Jackie Cunningham 1 0-0 2, Rachel Packard 1 0-0 2, Hannah Lawrentz 2 0-0 4, Lexus Cunningham 1 1-4 4, Totals: 19-59 8-13 52.
Shooting: 17-44 (38.7 percent), Three-Point Shooting: 1-4 (25 percent) (Schell 1), Rebounds: 40 (Schell 12, Devol 7), Assists: 7 (Schell 4), Steals 4 (Devol 2), Turnovers: 25, Team Fouls: 14.
Shooting: 19-59 (32.2 percent), Three-Point Shooting: 6-23 (26 percent) (S. Barker 4, Reed 1, L. Cunningham 1), Rebounds: 27 (Lawrentz 7, L.Cunningham 5), Assists: 9 (Hughes 5), Steals: 20 (Hughes 5), Turnovers: 9, Team Fouls: 15.
Next Games: Monday, Belpre at Trimble, Wednesday, Caldwell at Frontier.
Sierra Barker picked up in the second half much the way she ended the first as she drilled a pair of triples and scored another basket after coming up with a steal to push the Lady Eagle lead to a game-high 19 points at 42-23. "She (Barker) got a couple of fouls early on in our opener and had to sit out most of the first half," said Belpre boss Scott Miller. "I was very pleased with the way she was able to run the floor and she is capable of scoring at any time."
The Lady Skins attempted to chip away at the Belpre lead on Tiffany Yerian's basket late in the third quarter which trimmed it to 14 but they were unable to pose a real threat against Belpre in the final quarter.
While Barker was the leading the way for Belpre in scoring, Hughes was a major contributor as well as in addition to her 10 points, the sophomore guard dished out five assists while also coming up with five steals.
Devol led the way for Caldwell with 17 points while Anna Weisend added eight. Caldwell won the battle of the boards 40-27 with senior Lexy Schell yanking down a game-high 12 boards.
The game was part of the annual Turkey Shoot tournament at Marietta College and Miller felt the experience was an extremely positive one for his young team. "This was just a phenomenal experience for our girls and I recommend it for any local team," said Miller, who is in his fourth year as head coach of the Lady Eagles.
"To get to watch the college game and then get to play on the college floor, this whole experience is just top notch."
Belpre improved to 2-0 on the young season while Caldwell slipped to 0-2.
The Lady Eagles will open play in the Tri-Valley Conference (Hocking Division) Monday night when they travel to Glouster to face Trimble, while Caldwell pays a visit to Frontier Wednesday night.