STEUBENVILLE - Three Crusaders struck for double-digits led by Ryan Fletcher's 26 point outburst as Steubenville Catholic Central rolled to a 79-55 win over Beaver Local Friday at Mickey Barber Gymnasium.
"First off we went up against a very great ball club," said Central head coach Sean Tucker. "Beaver Local is rich in tradition in basketball. They do a fantastic job. We tried throwing everything at them at the beginning part of the game and our guys hung in there. They have a couple of really good scorers. They're really good players. We prepared for their top scorers and we did a phenomenal job.
"We got No. 0 in foul trouble early and it benefitted us late in the game."
TO THE BUCKET — Steubenville Catholic Central’s Ryan Fletcher goes to the basket for two of his game-high 26 points as the Crusaders defeated visiting Beaver Local, 79-55, Friday.
The first half was a tight, back and forth affair until, with about 1:30 left in the second quarter, Fletcher connected on a three consecutive three-pointers and Tony Barber put in a fast break layup as Central closed on an 11-0 run and held a 37-27 lead at intermission.
"It took a little wind out of our sails, but we worked at halftime at getting back to our game plan," said Beaver Local head coach Jeremy Christen. "We got away from that a little bit and that's what got them a couple quick buckets at the end of the quarter. We came out refocused and were back and forth with them for most of the third quarter."
The Beavers did come back, pulling as close as four points in the third quarter, but Central was just too much as John Paul Dombrowski scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half and Matt Martello added nine of his 13 after intermission to pick up the scoring for Fletcher who, after scoring 20 points in the first half, was asked to focus on defense in the second half.
Central 79, Beaver Local 55
Beaver Local 14 13 12 16 55
Central 16 21 18 24 - 79
BEAVER LOCAL: 19 12-17 55 (Hilliard 6 0-0 14, Lyder 5 6-8 16, Grafton 0 0-1 0, Cooper 0 1-2 1; Campbell 1 3-3 6; Wilcox 1 0-0 3, Andrews 0 2-2 2, Cornell 1 0-0 3, Underwood 5 0-1 10). 3-pointers: Hilliard (2), Campbell, Wilcox, Cornell.
CENTRAL: 30 13-18 79 (M. Barber 2 1-1 5, Colabella 3 1-2 7, T. Barber 3 2-2 9, Rigaud 0 1-4 1, Manfresca 0 0-0 0, Fletcher 9 5-6 26, Fischer 1 0-0 2, Svec 1 0-0 2, Martello 5 1-1 13, Dombrowski 6 2-2 14). 3-pointers: Fletcher (3), Martello (2), T. Barber.
"When you take away one of your top scorers at halftime to put him in a defensive situation other kids have to step up," said Tucker.
"When we went in at halftime we had to move some personnel around to adjust to their scorers, and in order to do that we have to rely on some other guys to step up.
"That's exactly what happened in the second half.
"Any of these guys can step up. That's one thing about this team, if we have to take someone and stress to him he has to focus on playing defense and sacrifice at the offensive end they will."
Central pulled away to a 55-39 lead after three quarters before outscoring the Beavers 24-12 in the final eight minutes to claim the 24-point win.
Beaver Local also had three players in double figures with Jared Lyder scoring 16, Dalton Hilliard 14, and Josh Underwood 10.
The Crusaders moved to 2-0 on the year with the victory.