Central cruises over Oak Glen

STEUBENVILLE – It was a game of contrasting styles.

The Catholic Central boys’ basketball team used full-court pressure Wednesday night against Oak Glen, while the Golden Bears sat back in a 2-3 zone. In the end, the Crusaders were the aggressors as they took it to Oak Glen en route to a 66-29 win at home.

The Crusaders led by as many as 38 points late in the fourth quarter.

Catholic Central head coach Sean Tucker said it is always a good night when you beat a team by more points than it scores.

The Crusaders (12-5) scored in double digits in all four quarters, while the Golden Bears scored single digits in three of the four.

Oak Glen head coach Dave Smith he said he hopes it was just one of those nights for his team.

“We haven’t played in two weeks, and it showed,” he said. “We have practiced for the last two weeks, and all of the stuff we had gone over did not help.

“We were unmotivated. That is the most unmotivated effort by our team this year.”

The Crusaders were balanced on offense as nine players registered a point in the game, including three players who scored in double digits. Ryan Fletcher collected a team-high 15 points to lead the way, while Michael Barber recorded 12 points and Tony Barber contributed 11 points.

Also, Matt Martello tallied nine points, John-Paul Dombrowski delivered eight points and Brenton Colabella and Brandon Sveck each scored four points Finally, Austin Fowkes finished with two points, and Matt Fisher added one point.

“Catholic Central is a good team,” Smith said. “They are a very-good team. They play as a team. They play together. They commit to each other.

“We were missing our two guys inside – David McGraw and Kyle Woodruff – because of injuries, and that hurt us.”

The Golden Bears (2-10) made just nine field goals in the game. Tyler Click and Bub Haddox each collected a team-high seven points, Bryan Congo contributed five points and Brennan Smith tallied four points.

The Crusaders nearly led from start to finish. The only tie of the game came at 2-2 after Catholic Central and Oak Glen each netted a basket.

A three-point play by Martello with 1.5 seconds left in the first quarter, gave the hosts a 13-5 lead after the first eight minutes.

The boys from Jefferson County extended their lead in the second stanza. A basket by Tony Barber gave Catholic Central a 28-12 advantage. The victors led 28-13 at halftime.

“Our bench played well,” Tucker said. “One of our sophomores – Tony Barber – played a key role. He gave us a spark that we needed. He is a great role player. He continues to improve daily.”

The Crusaders doubled up the Golden Bears in the third quarter as Catholic Central took a 48-23 lead into the fourth quarter.

The victory enabled Catholic Central to sweep the season series from Oak Glen. The Crusaders defeated the Golden Bears, 60-50, in a game played on Dec. 17 at the Oak Glen Fieldhouse.

“We attacked the bucket,” Tucker said. “That is something we have worked on since the last time we played them. They were without two varsity players, and that played a factor. We did a great job on (Brennan) Smith.”

Oak Glen is scheduled to play Friday against East Liverpool at Potter Fieldhouse. Catholic Central is slated to play Malvern Saturday at home.

Catholic Central 66, Oak Glen 29

Oak Glen 5 8 10 6 – 29

Catholic Central 13 15 20 18 – 66

OAK GLEN (2-10): Stipec 0 0-0 0, Click 2 2-4 7, Ford 1 0-0 3, Haddox 3 0-1 7, Perez 0 1-2 1, Bryan Congo 1 2-2 5, Smith 1 2-4 4, Cole Beaver 0 0-0 0, Chase 0 0-0 0, Aaron Gray 1 0-0 2. Totals: 9 7-11 29. 3-Pointers: Click, Ford, Haddox, Congo.

CATHOLIC CENTRAL (12-5): Barber 3 5-5 12, Colabella 2 0-1 4, Tony Barber 6 0-0 11, Rigaud 0 0-0 0, Fowkes 1 0 0-0 2, Manfresca 0 0-0 0, Fletcher 5 4-6 15, Fisher 0 1-2 1, Sveck 1 2-2 4, Martello 4 1-1 9, Dombrowski 2 4-4 8, Sanford 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 16-20 66. 3-Pointers: M. Barber, T. Barber, Fletcher.