WINTERSVILLE - Revenge is a dish best served cold.
The Indian Creek girls basketball team avenged 79-66 loss to Wheeling Park just over two weeks ago by dispatching the Patriots, 71-57, on frigid Thursday evening.
"Amazing," said Indian Creek head coach Erin DeSantis about the win. "We gutted it out because that was our third game this week. Monday out at Union Local was a battle, and last night against Cambridge was rough. We have kids with the flu, and we've got kids with back, ankle and knee injuries.
UP STRONG — Indian Creek’s Kiarra Kamarec goes up for two of her game-high 25 points during the Redskins’ 71-57 victory over Wheeling Park Thursday in Wintersville.
-- Fred Younce
"We're just beat up, and for them to put out that kind of effort, I couldn't be prouder. I know we can be competitive, but I am just so pleased with their progress."
Much like the Patriots used a big second quarter to take control of the first encounter, the Redskins grabbed control of Thursday's matchup in the second stanza.
With Park leading 23-22, Indian Creek went on a 10-0 spurt to close the opening half to hold a 32-23 advantage at intermission.
Bethany Davis led Creek in the second quarter with eight of her 14 points. The freshman went 4 for 4 from the foul line in the stanza and 8 of 8 for the game.
"That's been the best part about this year," said DeSantis. "It hasn't always had to be our bigs (Bre Berryman and Kiarra Kamarec) trying to get it done.
"We've got the personnel to go along with them. There were a couple of times we kicked it out and our guards were able to take advantage of it. They'd drive to the hoop and make something happen. That was to our advantage."
The Redskins pushed their lead to 50-36 after three quarters. Kiarra Kamarec was near unstoppable in the quarter, scoring 12 of her game-high 25 points, including knocking down a pair of shots from behind the arc.
Park pulled no closer than eight the rest of the way as Creek continued to have success offensively. The Redskins lead reached as high as 19 with two minutes left.
Bre Berryman was Bre Berryman for Indian Creek, joining Kamarec and Davis in double-figures with 22 points while adding 21 rebounds.
Brooke Mains added eight points and five assists for the Redskins. The junior point guard's ball-handling was key to Creek beating Park's press.
"I think she got a little frustrated a of couple times because she didn't feel she was doing her best," said DeSantis of Mains. "I told her, 'Brooke, we have to have you on the floor. You're in charge out there. Whether or not you're scoring or not you make the offense go.' She gutted through that because she was hurt.
"There were times I almost pulled her out because of the injury a couple times, but she said, 'No I'm staying in.' As a point guard that's what you want. You want that toughness."
Emily Puskarich was top scorer for the Patriots with 21 points. Haley Robb added 15 - all in the second half. Both sharpshooters knocked down five three-pointers.
Wheeling Park head coach Dee Davis replied, "no comment," when approached after the contest.
The win gets Indian Creek (15-5) ready to travel to Morgantown Monday for the semifinals of the OVAC Class 5A Tournament.
"They should have been in, and had they had a game Monday night they probably would have been in the tournament," said DeSantis of the Patriots. "The biggest thing is these schools are much bigger, but we're competing against them. University, Morgantown, John Marshall, Wheeling Park have 900-1,200 kids. We have 500 kids here.
"To me that's more a win than anything. It doesn't matter how small you are, it's how much heart you have. They had the heart tonight.
"It's what drove them tonight. I don't care if we only have eight kids. I'll take our eight kids versus anyone else's kids because they have heart and they gutted it out."
Indian Creek 71, Wheeling Park 57
Wheeling Park 16 7 13 21 - 57
Indian Creek 16 16 18 21 - 71
WHEELING PARK: Puskarich 8 0-0 21, H. Robb 5 0-0 15, Tucker 3 2-4 9, O'Neal 2 4-5 8, Kel. Johnson 0 0-0 0, C. Robb 0 0-0 0, Kutrovac 2 0-0 4, Ken. Johnson 0 0-0 0, Slater 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 20 6-9 57. 3-pointers: Puskarich (5), H. Robb (5), Tucker.
INDIAN CREEK (15-5): Mains 3 2-3 8, Davis 3 8-8 14, Shimko 0 0-0 0, Kamarec 10 3-4 25, Berryman 10 2-2 22, Durbin 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 27 15-17 71. 3-pointers: Kamarec (2).