Big Red dominates city rival

SETTING UP — Steubenville’s Nicco Bracone sets up a play while Catholic Central’s Isaac Hough guards him on Friday. (Photo by Joe Catullo)

STEUBENVILLE — For roughly 10 minutes of Friday’s game inside a packed Mickey Barber Gymnasium, Catholic Central gave Big Red all it could handle.

Then, the walls came tumbling down.

Thanks a Ryan Rauch triple, Big Red led by eight points after the opening eight minutes. The Crusaders, however, battled back and cut the deficit to two when Ryan Gorman scored off a nice pass from Vince Carapellotti. From there, Mike Haney’s club took control and scored 20 of the next 24 to lead by 18 at the break.

The point onslaught continued in the second half, as Big Red grabbed an 82-42 victory in round one of the annual city championship series.

“Credit to coach (Mike) Holmes, his staff and players, Central really got after it early as we did,” said Big Red coach Mike Haney. “I think the emotion of the game got to us early. It seemed like we were trying too hard and making some mistakes we generally don’t make.

“We started to settle down in the second quarter. Our defense got better, we started to get steals and we scored points in transition.”

Senior forwards Jorian Jones and James Roundtree keyed Big Red’s second quarter scoring run. Jones scored nine of the 20 points while Roundtree added four and grabbed some key rebounds.

Big Red, now 2-0, outscored the Crusaders 27-11 during the third period to put the victory on ice. Forward Calvin Bickerstaff had 10 of the 27 points as Haney’s crew pounded the ball inside.

Bickerstaff and Jones tallied 15 each to pace Big Red. Bickerstaff, just a junior, also snared a team-high nine rebounds. Roundtree finished with 14 to go with eight boards.

“We thought our bigs did a great job tonight,” Haney said. “Our guards did a nice job of feeding them and they were really hitting the boards hard.”

Steubenville outrebounded Central 46-25.

Rauch joined the double digit club with 13, connecting three times from behind the arc.

Gorman, only a sophomore, scored 13 to pace Central (0-2). Senior Dom Argentine contributed 12 and junior Lucca Connor 8. Carapellotti had seven rebounds for the Crusaders.

“That’s our second game out and obviously we faced one of the more talented and mature groups we will play this season,” Holmes said. “I thought we took some steps forward. We still made mental mistakes we can’t afford to make. When you make mental mistakes against a team that talented, they will make you pay for them. But that’s OK, we can analyze our mistakes on film.

“Guys are starting to feel like this is the game we have to play to be successful. I liked our defensive energy, we did kind of die out in the fourth quarter. Given the discrepancy of bodies, I thought our guys did a nice job. We executed our game plan. We made mistakes but there definitely was movement the right way.”

Big Red returns to action Tuesday with a home game against East Liverpool. Central hosts Madonna Friday.

“We’ve been talking to our guys about staying out of foul trouble,” Haney said. “We didn’t let Central get into the one and one situation in ether half tonight. We don’t want to give opponents any free buckets.”

GAME NOTES

≤ Big Red rolled to a 79-15 victory in the junior varsity contes. Chase Zimmerman led the winners with 23 while Cade Kernahan added 12. Ryan Anderson netted 6 to pace Central.

Big Red 82, Central 42

Big Red 15-22-27-18 — 82

Central 7-12-11-12 — 42

BIG RED (2-0): Rauch 5 0-0 13; Wallace 2 0-0 4; Biasi 1 0-0 3; J. Jones 7 1-3 15; Bickerstaff 6 3-5 15; Zimmerman 2 2-2 6; Krause 1 0-0 3; Roundtree 5 4-4 14; Duggan 1 0-0 2; Bracone 1 0-0 3; T. Jones 2 0-0 4; Clevenger 0 0-0 0. Totals 33 10-18 82.

CATHOLIC CENTRAL (0-2): Connor 3 1-2 8; Hough 2 0-0 4; Gorman 6 1-1 13; Carapellotti 2 1-4 5; Argentine 3 4-4 12; Rook 0 0-0 0; Asci 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 16 7-11 42.

3-POINT GOALS: Big Red 6 (Rauch 3; Biasi; Krause; Bracone); Central 3 (Argentine 2; Connor); REBOUNDS: Big Red 46 (Bickerstaff 9; Roundtree 8); Central 25 (Carapellotti 7); TURNOVERS: Big Red 10; Central 22.

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