MORRISTOWN - The Steubenville girls basketball team survived an injury to the team's leading scorer, and a Super Bowl-like blackout, to defeat East Liverpool 59-47 in the Ohio Division II Sectional Semifinals at Union Local High School Wednesday.
Emiley Masloski left the game with an injury early in the third quarter, but her Big Red teammates were up to the challenge of advancing to Tuesday's sectional final.
"Emiley got hurt and came out early in the third quarter," said Big Red head coach Phil Casinelli. "It was only about two minutes into the second half. We don't know right now about the extent of the injury.
"She didn't go back in, and we'll evaluate her in the morning."
With around two minutes left in the third, and Big Red holding a slim lead, the gym lights went out, causing a 30-minute delay.
"The lights went out, and they had to warm up again before they came back on," said Casinelli. "The girls responded well to the delay. We got about two minutes to warm back up, and we were ready."
The key to Steubenville's win was a change in its effort on the defensive end of the court, led by Dominique Wilson.
"East Liverpool got to the foul line in first half more than we wanted," said Casinelli. "The girls were trying to defend with their hands and not moving their feet.
"We changed some things in the second half. Dominique Wilson didn't score, but we put her on their point guard, Kayla Edgell, in the second half and she did an outstanding job.
"She (Edgell) scored 19, but only four of those came in the second half. Dominique kept her off the line in the second half."
Mytia Barker led Big Red with 15 points on the evening. Emiley Masloski joined her in double-digits with 11 points despite her injury.
"All the girls responded well when Emiley went out," said Casinelli. "Mytia especially responded late. Emiley was out and Hanna (Masloski) fouled out so Mytia took over the guard position in the fourth and stepped up for us."
Taylor Young and Abbey Taylor each scored nine for Big Red.
"Mytia, Taylor (Young), and Abbey Taylor all got to the line in the second half," said Casinelli. "We played much better as a team on both ends of the court in the second half."
Awaiting Steubenville (16-7) in the Ohio Division II Sectional Final is No. 1 seeded Carrollton.
"We're just going to have to try and play a mistake-free game," said Casinelli. "We can't have any turnovers against that team. They like to speed the game up.
"They force you to turn it over for transition baskets. We have to take care of the basketball. We'll also have to do a better job on the defensive end to stop penetration. A better job defending the perimeter."
Big Red 59, East Liverpool 47
Big Red 15 14 14 16 - 59
East Liverpool 9 8 9 12 - 47
BIG RED: E. Masloski 3 3-3 11, H. Masloski 2 0-0 6, Young 3 2-4 9, Barker 5 5-14 15, Rice 1 5-10 7, Bodo 1 0-0 2, Wilson 0 0-0 0, Taylor 2 3-4 9. TOTALS: 17 18-35 59. 3-pointers: H. Masloski (2), Taylor (2), E. Masloski (2), Young.
EAST LIVERPOOL: Edgell 5 8-10 19, Davis 0 0-0 0, Nevell 4 2-4 12, Holmes 0 0-0 0, Cowart 5 0-0 10, Bassage 0 0-0 0, Holmes 1 0-2 2, Morell 0 2-4 2, Davis 0 2-2 2. TOTALS: 15 14-23 47. 3-pointers: Nevell (2), Edgell.