Brooke boys fall to St. Clairsville

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — It’s difficult to imagine that even Ryan Clifford ever envisioned his first game as the head coach of the St. Clairsville Red Devils going quite this well.

It doesn’t matter the aspect of the game in which Clifford examined. His team was far superior than Brooke and that was further proven by the 101-44 final score that included the Red Devils knocking down 17, 3-point goals, breaking a school record that stood since the 2011-12 campaign.

“It was a dream start,” Clifford said.

Though he never thought about the century mark for points or any school records, Clifford did acknowledge that he had a feeling his team would shoot the ball well. It probably shot it better than well. It was on fire, actually.

“We have guys who can shoot the ball, they have a million hours (invested) and they deserve to make them,” Clifford said. “We were hyped early for the opener and played with a lot of energy.”

The Red Devils shot the ball well and debuting Brooke head coach Mel Coleman applauded the St. C. shooting. He pointed out there wasn’t much resistance being offered by his Bruins.

“They shot the heck out of the ball, but there wasn’t any pressure defense, so what are you supposed to do?” Coleman said. “My point of contention is there wasn’t enough (defense). Everyone has a hot night (shooting), which is part of life and part of the game, but you have to disrupt them as much as possible. In this case, I don’t think we did that.”

If the Devils getting seemingly clean look after clean look in the half-court offense wasn’t enough, they also got going early on the strength their defense, which led to countless run-out chances.

Add the shooting with the defense and it equated to a 28-6 lead after one. It only got progressively worse for the Bruins from there. St. Clairsville outscored Brooke, 56-26, in the middle two quarters.

“We made every pass difficult for them,” Clifford said. “The defense led to a lot of our offense. If you have to take the ball out of the net, you can’t play in transition. And, we got a lot of stops which led to a lot of baskets.”

Clifford, who emptied his bench with upwards of five minutes to go in the third quarter, saw all but two of his players crack the scoring column.

“We play all summer and we play a lot of guys, so we have confidence that all of those guys can contribute,” Clifford noted. “We played some young guys and had several freshmen contribute. It was an exciting night, and it’s probably a little naive to think we’re going to fill it up like that every night, but we’ll take it when it happens.”

Matt Busby led the Devils with 23 points, while Brett Vike had 17 and senior Craig Bober added 16. Senior David Lane poured in 14.

Freshman Drew Sefsick cashed in a corner trey to give the Devils the 100-point barrier.

Of their bonus goals, seven different players knocked down at least one.

Brooke produced nary a double-figure scorer. Senior Jimmy Willis finished with eight off the bench to lead the way.

The Red Devils, who got a late start due to their extended football season, will return to action Tuesday on John Jenkins Court against rival Union Local.

St. Clairsville 101, Brooke 44

Brooke 6-14-12-12 — 44

St. Clairsville 28-22-34-17 — 101

BROOKE (44) — Pannett 2, 0-0 4; Williams 2, 2-2 6; Rose 1, 4-4 6; Lilly 1, 0-0 2; Yost 2, 2-2 6; Silver 2, 0-0 4; Coursin 2, 0-0 4; Willis 4, 0-0 8; Brown 1, 2-2 4; Buckmelter 0, 0-0 0; Totals: 17, 10-10 44. ST. CLAIRSVILLE (101) — Busby 8, 3-4 23; Bober 6, 3-4 16; Lane 5, 0-0 14; Vike 7, 0-0 17; Harris 2, 0-1 4; Crist 2, 0-1 4; Norman 2, 1-1 6; Henry 0, 0-0 0; Balgo 2, 0-0 4; Wolfe 1, 0-0 2; Lyons 0, 1-2 1; McCort 2, 0-0 5; Oberdick 0, 0-0 0; Sefsick 2, 0-0 5; Totals: 39, 8-13 101.

3-POINT GOALS: Brooke none. St. C. 16 (Busby 4, Bober, Lane 4, Vike (5), Norman, McCort, Sefsick).