Big Red clips Crusaders, 57-56
STEUBENVILLE — Big Red saved the best for the last during its season opener Friday night.
Trillyun Jones sank a 3-pointer from the corner with 12 seconds left to lift the Big Red boys basketball team to a 57-56 victory against city-rival Catholic Central inside the Mickey Barber Gymnasium.
“We found a way,” Big Red head coach Mike Haney said. “Our kids were resilient. They kept fighting.
“We did not play very smart. We did not take care of the ball, and we had too many fouls. The kids kept fighting and fighting.”
After the 3-pointer by Jones gave Big Red the lead, the Crusaders had a final chance to win the game. However, the shot was off the mark, and Big Red grabbed the rebound as the final seconds ticked off the clock, resulting in the players, cheerleaders and fans storming the court once the game was over.
“It was there for the taking,” Catholic Central head coach Don Ogden said. “We had it, and then we let it go. That is what makes the game exciting. Give Big Red credit. They made the plays when they had to. We had an opportunity at the end. We got a shot, but it did not go in. End of story.”
Jones, who hit three 3-pointers in the victory, netted a team-high 17 points, while Calvin Bickerstaff finished with eight.
Luca Connor contributed a game-high 24 points to lead the way for Catholic Central (0-3), while Charles Miller collected 15.
The Crusaders led 41-40 entering the fourth quarter, and they extended their advantage to 54-50. But, Big Red battled back and tied the score with two minutes remaining.
Miller hit two foul shots with 21.9 seconds left to give Catholic Central a 56-54 lead, but Big Red pushed the ball up the court without calling a timeout. Jones then was able to get open in the corner for the game-winning 3-pointer.
“The 3 was not by design,” Haney said. “We told the kids if they made a basket that we wanted to push the ball up the court. We didn’t want to call a timeout, so they wouldn’t have a chance to set up their defense. We wanted to get a good shot.”
Catholic Central led 15-12 after the first quarter, and 33-29 at halftime.
“They key for us is I told them to go home and feel sorry for themselves tonight, like I am going to do,” Ogden said. “We have to refocus. We have to take this loss and learn from it.”
Both teams play Tuesday on the road. Big Red is at Brooke, while Catholic Central plays up at Southern Local.
Big Red 57, Catholic Central 56
Big Red 12-17-11-17 — 57
Catholic Central 15-18-8-15 — 56
BIG RED (1-0): Kernahan 2 1-2 5; Jones 7 0-1 17; Sawyer 3 0-0 6; Gresco 2 2-4 6; Bickerstaff 3 2-2 8; Zimmerman 1 4-4 6; Krause 0 2-4 2; McCartney 1 0-0 2; Rook 0 0-0 0; Jackson 1 1-2 3; McCoy 1 1-2 3. TOTALS: 21, 12-22: 57.
CATHOLIC CENTRAL: Rook 0 2-2 2; Connor 5 13-15 24; Lefever 1 0-0 2; Anderson 0 2-2 2; Hough 0 3-4 3; Miller 5 5-10 15; Maragos 2 4-5 8; Lesnesky 0 0-1 0; Dorsey 0 0-2 0. TOTALS: 13, 29-41: 56.
3-Pointers: Big Red 3 (Jones); Catholic Central 1 (Connor).