WELLSBURG - Basketball is a team sport, but the spotlight can shine down on one or two players.
Fans on both sides of the river braved the elements Thursday night to watch two of the top players - Big Red senior Emiley Masloski and Brooke junior Angela Staffileno - in the valley battle it out at Brooke High School. The highly anticipated showdown never materialized, however, as neither standout was able to fully show off her skills.
Masloski, who scored two points, left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return, while Staffileno was saddled with foul trouble in the first half. In the end, the Big Red girls' basketball team was able to shake off a slow start and pull away from the Bruins en route to a 59-41 victory.
REBOUND — Big Red’s Mytia Barker, center to rebound the ball between two Brooke defenders on Thursday. Steubenville beat the Bruins 59-41.
-- Matthew Peaslee
Staffileno netted a game-high 32 points, including scoring all 14 of her team's points in the first quarter enabling the Bruins to lead 14-9 after the first eight minutes, but Big Red gained the lead and the momentum in the second quarter on its way to a second victory over Brooke this season.
"We did a much better job fronting Angela in the second quarter and in the second half," Big Red head coach Phil Casinelli said. "We used three girls on her - Lysiah Rice, Abby Taylor and Rhiannon Petrisko. Rhiannon Petrisko, a freshman, played a really-good game. We did a good job of guarding her and fronting her."
Staffileno scored her team's first 16 points of the game before missing the final few minutes of the first half after picking up her third foul.
"Angela picked up that third foul and had to sit," Brooke head coach Ryan Scherich said. "The game was back-and-forth. Then, she got her third foul and had to sit for the final three or four minutes of the half.
"We played real well without her for about a minute. It was 22-20, and then they went on a 5-0 run over the final two or three minutes of the half to take a 27-20 lead. We went brain dead. We lost our mental focus. We had to play catch up from there."
Playing catch up is not something the Bruins do well, and coming back against Big Red was made more difficult due to a lack of offensive support. Staffileno was just one of three Bruins to score. Michaela Hinerman netted eight points, while Gabriella Velegol tallied one.
"We have a hard time playing catch up," Scherich said. "We only had three players score tonight. We are not built to come back against team. It is hard for us to comeback."
Nine players scored for Big Red (17-1), including two in double digits. Mytia Barker recorded a team-high 22 points, and Rice contributed 12 points.
Also, Taylor tallied nine points, Taylor Young ended up with five points and Hannah Masloski collected four points.
Brittany Bodo and Petrisko each collected two points.
Big Red entered the game coming off of its first loss of the season.
"We talked about that," Casinelli said. "We talked about how important it was to respond after a loss. The girls responded well. They responded in the best way you can. They were focused on the defensive end. They did a great job."
Big Red scored the first 10 points of the second quarter to take a 19-14 lead. A 3-pointer by Hinerman pulled the hosts to within 20-19, and she tied the score at 20 with a foul shot with 2:14 showing on the clock.
Big Red broke the tie en route to scoring seven-straight points to end the half.
Staffileno netted the first six points of the third quarter to pull Brooke (3-10) within one point, and after the teams traded 3-pointers the score was 30-29 following Hinerman's shot from long range.
Big Red regrouped and ended the quarter on an 11-3 run to take a 41-32 lead entering the fourth quarter.
"We didn't change anything," Casinelli said about his team's play following Emiley Masloski's injury. "Unfortunately, she has been injured a lot. It is terrible to see.
Brooke is scheduled to play East Liverpool Saturday afternoon at home. The JV game is scheduled to start at noon. Big Red is scheduled to return to the court Monday night at home on Senior Night against Youngstown East.
Big Red 59, Brooke 41
Big Red 9 18 14 18 - 59
Brooke 14 6 12 9 - 41
BIG RED (17-1): E. Masloski 1 0-0 2, H. Masloski 0 4-5 4, Young 2 0-0 5, Wilson 0 1-2 1, Barker 6 8-11 22, Rice 5 2-4 12, Bodo 0 2-2 2, Taylor 3 1-2 9, Petrisko 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 18-29 59. 3-Pointers: Barker 2, Taylor 2, Young.
BROOKE (3-10): Wensyel 0 0-0 0, Farmer 0 0-2 0, Hinerman 2 2-6 8, Velegol 0 1-4 1, Reynolds 0 0-0 0, D'Ulisse 0 0-0 0, Staffileno 13 6-8 32. Totals: 15 9-18 41. 3-Pointers: Hinerman 2.