STEUBENVILLE - Big Red's girls closed the first quarter with a 14-2 run, outscored Brooke 20-5 in the second and cruised to a 72-55 victory Thursday inside the Crimson Center.
Junior floor general Emiley Masloski put 35 in the book as Phil Casinelli's club won for the second time in as many starts. Sophomore standout Angela Staffileno threw down 39 to pace Ryan Scherich's Bruins, who were making their season debut.
Three quick buckets by Staffileno combined with a Michaela Hinerman free throw gave the visitors a 7-2 lead early in the opening stanza. That's when the Lady Red got hot. Masloski drained a triple, nailed a foul shot and canned a deuce to put the hosts ahead to stay. An Abby Taylor three-ball and another Masloski hoop gave Big Red a 16-9 advantage heading into the second period.
BATTLE FOR THE BALL — Brooke’s Juliet Casinelli grabs a rebound in front of Steubenville’s Dominique Wilson and Abby Taylor (24), while teammates Angela Staffileno, Paige Farmer (10) and Emily Stuck (42) look on during Thursday’s game in the Crimson Center. Big Red won, 72-55.
-- Mike Mathison
Six of Masloski's points came during the decisive stanza while Taylor and Taylor Young both connected from behind the arc. Two Dominque Wilson baskets sent Big Red to the locker room with a commanding 36-14 lead.
A combination of Big Red's defense and Brooke's foul problems (Staffileno and Juliet Casinelli both spent extended time on the bench) fueled the first half turn of events.
"Our defense was huge," Casinelli said. "Our full-court pressure led to some easy buckets in transition and that helped us out. Because of our size, we want to jump out quick.
"We want to push the ball and keep it a fast-paced game.
"That's worked out in our first two games and we hope it continues."
Brooke was guilty of 14 turnovers during the first 16 minutes.
"Foul trouble," Scherich quickly replied when discussing the early swing. "I have a few kids I need to count on and they picked up some fouls in the first quarter. When that happens, it puts us in a rut.
"The turnovers we had you can attribute to their defense. They (Big Red) work hard on their pressure defense. But I saw improvement from last season. There were no horrible passes. We just need to take better care of the ball.
"I told my girls teams are going to pressure us because they know we'll crack."
Masloski finished the first half with 15 points, then added 20 in the final two periods. She had four three-balls and went 13 of 14 from the line. She also dished out six of her team's 11 assists.
"That's Emiley," Casinelli noted. "She plays hard and distributes the basketball. That is expected of her and her point total might be her career high."
Taylor added 11 for the winners, nine coming from behind the arc.
Big Red hit on 21 of 58 field goal tries and was 22 of 28 from the line.
"We did have some problems in the second half defending Staffileno," Casinelli admitted.
"That's something we need to work on. Plus, we're not pleased giving up 50 points. We're scoring a lot and pushing the ball but we still need to work on our half-court defense. That's a weakness right now. That's too many points for us to be giving up."
Held to 10 points in the first half, Staffileno exploded for 29 in the second.
The Brooke post player took 23 shots, canning 18. She also collected a game-high 20 rebounds and rejected four Big Red shots.
"We need Angela to play aggressive and strong," Scherich noted. "She was going to the basket hard tonight and if she continues to do that, the sky is the limit."
Hinerman contributed eight points to support Staffileno. The Bruins took 43 shots from the floor, hitting 23. They went to the line 15 times, converting eight. Brooke won the rebounding war 38-24.
"It was a total team effort," Casinelli said. "All 10 girls who played know their roles and we really have a good flow going with our substitutions.
"It's still early in the season, but right now it's working out.
Big Red will return to the Crimson Center floor Saturday, hosting Cleveland MLK. The junior varsity game will start at 1 p.m.
"I was happy with some of the younger girls who came off the bench," Scherich noted. "They showed some real spunk and I was pleased with that."
The Bruins host Morgantown today.
Big Red 72, Brooke 55
Brooke 9 5 20 21 - 55
Big Red 16 20 23 13 - 72
BROOKE (0-1): Cline 0 1-3 1; Farmer 1 0-0 2; Alotbell 0 0-0 0; Hinerman 2 3-4 8; Casinelli 0 0-0 0; Sherman 0 1-2 1; Duffy 0 0-0 0; Stuck 1 0-2 2; Preston 0 0-1 0; D'Ulisse 1 0-0 2; Staffileno 18 3-4 39. TOTALS: 23 8-15 55. 3-pointers: Hinerman; Rebounds: 38 (Staffileno 20); Turnovers: 23.
BIG RED (2-0): E. Masloski 9 13-14 35; H. Masloski 0 1-2 1; Young 1 0-0 3; Poole 1 2-2 4; Wilson 2 1-2 5; Barker 2 5-7 9; Rice 0 0-0 0; Bodo 2 0-1 4; Taylor 4 0-0 11; Porter 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 21 22-28 72. 3-pointers: Masloski (4), Young, Taylor (3); Rebounds: 24 (Poole, Wilson, 6); Turnovers: 13.