By Michael Beaven
Beacon Journal sports writer
MOGADORE: Senior guard Ashley Barker didn’t need to reach her scoring average Wednesday night when the undefeated Mogadore girls basketball team met Southeast.
Barker entered the game averaging 16 points per game. She scored eight Wednesday, but the host Wildcats were still able to secure a 52-50 victory because three of Barker’s teammates scored in double figures and she made contributions in other ways.
Senior Brinkley Harvey led Mogadore (11-0, 5-0) to the Portage Trail Conference-County Division victory with 13 points. Freshman Lexi Pierce and junior Grace Reilly both scored 10 points.
“Barker is our leading scorer and they shut her down a little bit, but we had girls step up,” Mogadore coach Tom Pollock said. “We try to emphasize that everyone know their role and accept their role, and for the most part they do. … Harvey had a nice game for us.”
Southeast (9-2, 5-1) nearly won the game at the final buzzer when senior Lydia Wallbrown fired a 3-pointer from the top of the key that caromed off the rim. She took the shot after grabbing a deflected Mogadore inbounds pass.
“They gave us a game,” Barker said. “At the end, it was crazy. I thought we lost the game on that last play. My team played great tonight. I score a lot more usually, but Brinkley Harvey came up big for us tonight. She did well and was hot shooting the 3.”
Freshman Emma Rankin helped the Pirates build a 23-18 lead after one quarter, but the Wildcats rallied behind the play of Reilly and others. Mogadore outscored Southeast 15-2 in the second quarter and led 33-25 at halftime.
“Our girls just settled down a little bit,” Pollock said. “We stayed in the same defense. I think that the excitement might have worn off and they just got a little cold. We didn’t change anything defensively. We picked up the intensity a little bit.”
Mogadore led 43-37 after three quarters and relied on Pierce, Barker, Reilly, Harvey and sophomore Madi Morris (seven points) in the second half.
“That was a good high school basketball game,” Pollock said. “I thought both teams played well, both teams made mistakes and both teams’ players that were supposed to picked it up.”
Barker finished with eight points, nine rebounds, five steals and four assists. Senior Naomi Pollock scored four points. Reilly grabbed seven rebounds.
Rankin paced Southeast with 16 points and six rebounds and junior Madison Dunn had 11 points and four rebounds. Freshman Danielle Norquest had 10 points and 16 rebounds.
“I am really proud of our girls’ effort,” Southeast coach Bob Dunn said. “They came into a hostile environment with an undefeated team and an outstanding team. We had just come off of a 20-point loss [to Ravenna on Saturday]. I am proud of all of them. We came back and fought through adversity after a second quarter where we only scored two points. That is obviously a focus of our attention for why we didn’t win the game, but our kids came out in the second half and played really well after being down.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.