STEUBENVILLE - Big Red used its defensive pressure to build an early lead and cruise to a 63-49 victory over Edison in girls basketball action Wednesday at the Crimson Center.
The now 8-0 Big Red recorded 10 first-quarter steals in racing out to a 20-9 advantage. An Abby Fonow hoop gave the Wildcats their only lead of the evening at 3-2. Phil Casinelli's club then reeled off 10 straight and never looked back.
Brittany Bodo started the decisive run with a hoop from the paint and Lysiah Rice finished it with four points. Eight of the 10 markers came off swipes on the defensive end.
"We've been playing a lot of teams that use the jump trap," Edison coach Jason Ensinger commented. "I think we were trying to play quick and get the ball down the floor. We didn't adjust well.
"Steubenville is a rivalry for us and I think maybe we were a little too amped up and weren't playing within ourselves against their zone press."
Edison did settle down in the second stanza and outscored Big Red 12-8. Senior Katelyn Pollock netted 10 (she canned all four of her field goal tries) to pace the Wildcats. Big Red, thanks to six Rice tallies, led 28-21 at the intermission.
"We turned the ball over way too much early," Ensinger added. "In the second quarter, they settled down some and we did what we needed to do against their press.
"But we have to execute from the get go. When you turn the ball over that much, you're putting yourself at a serious disadvantage."
Big Red had a 7-0 burst powered by Dominque Wilson, Barker and Rice early in the third quarter to build another a double-digit lead and was up 14 (45-31) heading into the final frame.
"In the first half, we definitely liked the way the girls played defense but we weren't scoring enough in transition," Casinelli said. "We were getting the steals we wanted on the defensive end but weren't capitalizing as much as we would like on the other end.
"We talked to the girls about that at halftime and eventually we were able to make more shots in transition. Defensively, we got more stops and it went from there."
Big Red recorded 22 steals (Edison finished with 29 turnovers) on the night. Hannah Masloski, Bodo, Rice and Mytia Barker all had four each.
Rice had another huge offensive night for Big Red, scoring 20 points. Barker added 15 and Bodo contributed 10. Wilson added seven.
"Lysiah had another outstanding game for us," Casinelli noted. "She's a little banged up from Monday's game. A lot the girls came in tonight sore and tired. Two games in three nights takes a toll on them.
"We're fortunate to have girls who can score. We have some nice penetration from Hannah, she's going a great job of distributing the ball to girls on the block and we capitalized."
Pollock took game-scoring honors with 24. She also dished out a handful of assists. Kayli Stewart added 12 for the Wildcats, who are winless in five starts.
"She's coming along," Ensinger said of Pollock. "She had some ankle problems and missed two games.
"She's really been picking it up here lately.
"All of our girls are coming along. I think we can be a strong second-half team. I like the girls we have because they work hard every day.
"There are good things on the horizon for them because they put in the work."
The Wildcats won the rebounding battle 30-28. Pollock hauled down seven and Fonow six. Rice had nine for Big Red and Wilson six.
Edison is back at it today, hosting Buckeye Local.
Big Red will return to action Saturday, visiting East Liverpool. The junior varsity game is set for an 11 a.m. start.
"This was a very physical game," Casinelli stated. "Our girls are banged up and we're going to need to get them rested up for the next one."
Big Red 63, Edison 49
Edison 9 12 10 18 - 49
Big Red 20 8 17 18 - 63
EDISON (0-5): Martin 0 0-0 0; Pollock 8 7-9 24; Proffitt 1 0-0 3; Scott 2 0-0 4; Jolly 0 0-0 0; Frankhauser 0 0-0 0; Reynolds 0 0-0 0; Drabick 0 0-0 0; Miller 0 0-0 0; Fonow 1 0-0 2; Stewart 5 2-2 12; Morrison 2 0-0 4. TOTALS: 19 9-11 49. 3-pointers: Pollock, Proffitt. Rebounds 30 (Pollock 7, Fonow 6); Turnovers 29.
BIG RED (8-0): Porter 0 0-0 0; H. Masloski 2 0-1 4; Young 1 0-0 2; T. Barker 0 0-0 0; Wilson 3 1-4 7; M. Barker 7 1-3 15; Rice 6 8-9 20; Bodo 5 0-0 10; Taylor 2 0-0 5; Herrin 0 0-0.TOTALS: 26 10-17 63. 3-pointers: Taylor. Rebounds: 28 (Rice 9, Wilson 6); Turnovers: 19.