MARTINS FERRY - Experience paid big dividends for Indian Creek on Friday night.
The senior-laden Redskins delivered one clutch play after another down the stretch en route to a 64-60 against a game, but youthful Martins Ferry squad.
The victory was the ninth in 12 starts for Coach Joe Dunlevy, whose charges were coming off a last-second loss to powerful Dover.
The Purple Riders, who played two freshmen and two sophomores at times, dropped to 5-4 despite playing their best game of the campaign.
''We had the lead with 1:30 to play. But we hurt ourselves by missing a layup and the front end of two one-and-ones,'' Ferry coach Jeff Sabatino said. ''Indian Creek, meanwhile, made nine straight free throws down the stretch by role players.''
The loss spoiled another brilliant effort by Martins Ferry's Cody Schau. The 6-foot-3 leaper knocked down a game-high 29 points, 11 coming in the final quarter. Junior Robert Vargo was strong support with 18 points.
''Ferry is a load. They have size and a super player in Schau, and they are always so well-coached,'' Dunlevy said. ''A big key was when the game was on the line we had seniors on the floor and Ferry has much younger kids out there.''
Dunlevy coached the game with a heavy heart, as his mother died Thursday. She was 92. He arrived Friday just prior to tipoff.
Senior standout Alex Young was his usual self for the Redskins. He poured in 23 points, 11 coming in the third quarter. Southpaw Frankie Kamarec delivered excellent support with 14 points while Matt Furda added nine.
Creek led the entire first half, owning a 17-14 edge after one quarter and a 28-22 halftime advantage.
Ferry emerged energized after intermission, cutting the margin to two late in the third quarter before Creek escaped with a 44-39 lead entering the fourth.
Back-to-back buckets by Schau and 6-8 freshman Emilio Appolloni brought Ferry to within 44-43. Young countered with a hoop before Vargo delivered two success buckets off feeds from sophomore Jake Barritt, staking the Riders to a 47-46 lead with just over five minutes to play.
Ferry continued its fine play and after Schau scored off another Barritt dish, the hosts found themselves holding a 54-49 advantage with 3:20 remaining.
Kamarec drained a trey, drawing Creek to within two. The next three Purple Riders possessions came up dry, missing the front-end of two 1-and-1s combined with a turnover. In the interim, Creek was going to work at the foul line, punctuated by two Furda freebies with 55 ticks left for a 59-54 Creek advantage.