Big Red drops Potters

EAST LIVERPOOL – The East Liverpool boys’ basketball committed 35 turnovers enabling Steubenville to pull away for a 56-39 victory Friday night at Potter Fieldhouse.

“We came out and played well defensively,” Big Red head coach Mike Haney said after his squad moved to 8-3. “We weren’t happy with our turnovers. We also had a lot of miscues. We had some turnovers on some fastbreaks. We missed some layups.”

The Potters dropped to 3-11.

“It was a rough night,” third-year East Liverpool head coach Nate Conley said. “We are just going to forget about it and move on. It just wasn’t our night.

“We threw the ball all over the place. The whole team did. It just wasn’t one person.”

Big Red’s Perigon West tallied a game-high 19 points to lead the way, while Mylik Young netted 14 points.

Hayden Cunningham was the lone Potter to reach double digits, scoring 14.

Emmerling opened the game to give East Liverpool a 2-0 advantage. Unfortunately for the Potters, that was the only time they held the lead in the game.

Big Red led by as many as 21 points in the fourth quarter.

“We hang our hat on our defense,” Haney said. “You can play defense every game. Offensively, sometimes you are cold and your shots are not dropping, but you can always play good defense. We want to get after it defensively, and hopefully good things will come from that.”

A basket by TaJuan Lawson put Big Red up 16-6 forcing Conley to call a timeout with 1:46 left to play in the first quarter. At that time, the Potters had already committed eight turnovers.

The Potters scored the final four points of the first quarter to cut their deficit to 16-10 at the end of the quarter.

East Liverpool managed to hang around for most of the second stanza. A basket by Thompson made the score 22-16, but Big Red finished the half on a 5-0 spurt to take a 27-16 lead into the locker room.

“We knew their press was coming,” Conley said. “We thought we made the right adjustments for it, but that wasn’t the case.

“We are a young team. I don’t want them to get negative attitudes. They are great kids.”

Big Red extended their lead in the quarter.

A basket by West made the score 35-21. The Potters closed the gap to nine points (35-26) thanks to a three-point play by Emmerling and a pair of foul shots by Cunningham.

Big Red countered with a 9-0 surge to push the lead out to 44-26 on a basket by Sterling. Big Red led 44-29 entering the fourth.

“It was nice to come back and play with a lot of energy,” Haney said. “We talked about how the last time we played them they really beat us on the boards.

“Tonight, we did a good job on the boards.”

With all that is going on around them, Haney said his players have been able to focus in on the task at hand.

“When they step on to the basketball court they are focused,” he said. “They are focused during practice. They are focused during games.”

Big Reds visits Minerva Tuesday and crosstown rival Steubenville Catholic Central on Friday.