Big Red puts the pressure on Creek, escapes with win
WINTERSVILLE — Defensive pressure fueled a second-quarter scoring run and helped lift Steubenville to a 57-40 victory over home-standing Indian Creek on Tuesday.
Things were looking good for the winless Redskins after the opening period, as they took a 15-11 lead thanks to three long-distance bombs by junior Isaiah Vandine.
Big Red started the second with back-to-back buckets in the paint by talented senior Calvin Bickerstaff. Cade Kernahan got a deuce off a steal, then Michael Rook swished a trifecta to cap a 9-0 scoring run and give the visitors the lead for good.
The Steubenville advantage grew to nine later in the quarter following a Chase Zimmerman hoop. Vandine cut it to seven with a pair of freebies, but Big Red closed the half with points by Nasari Jackson and Micah Krause and took a 32-22 lead into the intermission.
“We had a slow start for some reason and just didn’t the job done,” Big Red coach Mike Haney said. “In the second quarter, we put some of our second group in, and they picked up the intensity and the defensive pressure. The defensive pressure seemed to get our offense going.
“We held Creek to just one field goal. Credit the guys on the bench for coming in and giving us life.”
Big Red (9-6) outscored the Redskins, 21-7, during the second quarter and forced Indian Creek into nine turnovers.
“We played as hard as we could,” Indian Creek coach Joe Dunlevy said. “We had some tough turnovers against them because they turned those into points. We just have to keep working. We had a lot of good shots tonight that just didn’t go down.
“We need to keep working on making shots at game speed. Big Red created a different level of game speed. The effort was there, and it’s coming. I’ve been doing this for a long time and, in our last two games, I see it coming.”
Haney’s club continued to extend its lead in the third thanks to triples by Andrew Gresko and Krause and four points each from Bickerstaff and Zion Sawyer. Big Red led 48-34 heading into the fourth.
Bickerstaff paced Big Red in scoring with 11 points. Zimmerman finished with eight, while Krause and Kernahan evenly divided 14.
“A win is a win, and we’ll take it,” Haney said. “But, we have to keep working and keep improving going forward.
“We’re calling offenses and out-of-bounds plays, and guys are not lining up and getting in the right spots with any sense of urgency. You have to play with urgency, and we are lacking that right now. We have to figure that out, or it’s not going to be a long stay in the tournament.”
Creek’s Vandine took game-scoring honors with 15 points. Freshman point guard Logan Kuczykowski tallied 12.
“You want your guys to give you everything they have, and he did tonight,” Dunlevy said when discussing Vandine’s performance. “I told him before I don’t care if he scores one point or 100 as long as he gives me everything he has.”
Big Red won the rebounding battle, 36-17. Jackson and Quinn McCoy hauled down seven each. Vandine had six to pace the Redskins, who were guilty of 22 ball-handling miscues.
Neither team shot it very well from the line. Big Red was 10 for 18, while Creek finished 12 of 22.
Brenton Jones netted 12 points and J.T. Thompson contributed 11, as Steubenville rolled to a 59-18 victory in the junior varsity contest. Indian Creek’s Trevor Francis, Logan Schaeffer, Bryson Bodo and Lucca Morelli all scored four.
Steubenville: Hosts Weir High Thursday as part of a boys/girls doubleheader. The girls game tips off at 5:30 p.m., with the boys to follow at 7 p.m. Big Red will observe senior night prior to the boys contest.
Indian Creek: Visits Brooke Friday, then faces Bellaire at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Buckeye 8 tournament at Edison.
Steubenville 57, Indian Creek 40
Steubenville 11-21-16-9 — 57
Indian Creek 15-7-12-6 — 40
STEUBENVILLE (9-6): Kernahan 3 1-2 7; Jones 2 0-0 4; Sawyer 3 0-0 6; Gresko 1 2-2 5; Bickerstaff 4 3-6 11; Zimmerman 3 2-4 8; Krause 3 0-0 7; Owens 0 0-0 0; Rook 1 0-0 3; Jackson 0 1-2 1; McCoy 2 1-2 5; Wickham 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 22, 10-18: 57.
INDIAN CREEK (0-15): Francis 0 0-0 0; M. Kuczykowski 1 0-2 2; L. Kuczykowski 2 7-12 12; Williams 0 0-0 0; Irizarry 1 0-0 2; Wright 1 0-0 2; Vandine 4 4-4 15; Schaeffer 3 0-2 6; Rothacker 0 1-2 1. TOTALS: 12, 12-22: 40.
3-POINT GOALS: Steubenville 3 (Gresko, Rook, Krause); Indian Creek 4 (Vandine 3, L. Kuczykowski). REBOUNDS: Steubenville 36 (Jackson, McCoy 7 each); Indian Creek 17 (Vandine 6). TURNOVERS: Steubenville 17; Indian Creek 22.