Indian Creek stifles East Liverpool defensively, splits season series

CHARGING UP — Indian Creek’s Trevor Fante draws the offensive charge against East Liverpool’s Gabe Roach while Nick Woodyard (35) watches on Tuesday. (Photo by Joe Catullo)

WINTERSVILLE — The Indian Creek boys basketball team’s defense stifled East Liverpool for three quarters Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, the Redskins got off to a fast start offensively and did not look back during their 59-38 victory in a Buckeye 8 north division matchup at home to split the season series.

Indian Creek scored the first eight points of the game, and the Redskins led by as many as 27 on two occasions en route to winning their sixth straight.

“They have had our number lately,” Indian Creek (6-3) head coach Joe Dunlevy said. “Nate (Conley) does a great job with them. They have a very young team. They are going to be a force to reckon with in a couple of years.

“They beat us up there. They forced us to make a lot of mistakes. We have been working really hard on our ball security, taking care of the ball. We had a lot of turnovers up there. Tonight, we did a better job of taking care of the ball.”

A 17-0 run by the Redskins broke the game open. The run turned a 10-point advantage into a 27-point advantage in the third quarter.

“Indian Creek is really good,” East Liverpool (5-3) head coach Conley said. “A lot of teams may not know that yet. We know it is going to be a test every time we come down here. They picked us apart. We have a lot of work to do.”

After winning five straight games after a season-opening loss at Steubenville Catholic Central, East Liverpool has now lost back-to-back games.

“Rocky River is on another level,” Conley said. “Indian Creek is in our conference and in our district. They are well-coached, and they are a senior-laden team. They played well.”

Five players scored in the game for the Redskins, three of whom reached double digits. Austin Yaich tallied a game-high 24 points, while Derrick Eakle and Austin Judson each collected 12.

“We shot the ball well tonight,” Dunlevy said. “They had some open shots early, but they did not make them. They shot the ball well in the fourth. They showed what they are capable of.”

Five players produced points for the Potters, two of which reached double figures. Gabe Roach recorded a team-high 14 points, while Peyton Reed delivered 13.

“We split the season series,” Conley said. “We have to handle our business in the Buckeye 8. We hold the tiebreaker for making it to the championship game.”

Indian Creek took an 18-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, and the Redskins extended their advantage to 32-14 at halftime. The winners added to their lead in the third as they built a 44-19 lead entering the fourth.

“Certain teams have an identity, and we hope our identity is playing hard defensively,” Dunlevy said. “Our kids are not only playing hard, but they are also playing more intelligently.

“We lost two really good guards last year, and our guards this year are playing at that level. Nick Crawford is our point guard. He handles the ball for us, and he plays great defense. All four of our guards are playing much better. We played good defense tonight.”

The Potters defeated the Redskins, 51-47, on Dec. 8 at Potter Fieldhouse.

“They hit shots tonight,” Conley said. “We knew what they were going to do. They did not do anything different. The difference was they hit shots. My hat is off to them.”

Indian Creek committed 13 turnovers Tuesday.

“Both teams did the same thing,” Dunlevy said. “Our kids are comfortable playing at their positions. When we don’t turn the ball over, we have a chance. It was a nice team victory. We play a lot of kids. We did a nice job tonight.”

Both teams are scheduled to play north division opponents Friday night. Indian Creek is slated to play Beaver Local at home.

“We have seen Beaver Local,” Dunlevy said. “They can shoot lights out. We are going to have to be prepared to play defense in that game.”

Meanwhile, East Liverpool will play Buckeye Local on the road.

“We have a young team,” Conley said. “We have to get better ourselves before we worry about Buckeye Local.

“It was nice to see Peyton Reed hit some outside shots tonight. Our bench played hard. We just have to get better.”

Game notes:

¯ East Liverpool won the JV game, 43-41. Sobaan Rozi recorded a game-high 21 points to lead the way for the Potters, while Brock Lucas scored 11 points to lead the Redskins.

Indian Creek 59, East Liverpool 38

East Liverpool 9-5-5-19 – 38

Indian Creek 18-14-12-15 – 59

EAST LIVERPOOL (5-3): O’hara 0 0-0 0; Roach 6 2-4 14; Torma 0 0-0 0; George 1 0-0 3; Jackson 1 3-4 6; Reed 5 0-0 13; Rozi 0 0-0 0; Browning 1 0-0 2; Woodyard 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 14, 5-8: 38.

INDIAN CREEK (6-3): Lucas 0 0-0 0; Allen 0 0-0 0; Norris 0 0-0 0; Eakle 4 4-6 12; Yaich 9 4-6 24; Judson 5 2-4 12; Crawford 3 0-1 8; Robinson 0 0-0 0; Fante 0 0-0 0; Pugh 1 1-1 3. TOTALS: 22, 11-18: 59.

3-POINT GOALS: East Liverpool 5 (Reed 3; George; Jackson); Indian Creek 4 (Yaich 2; Crawford 2)