STEUBENVILLE - The Steubenville High School girls basketball team put up a dominant fourth quarter performance to claim a 63-46 win over Linsly Monday at the Crimson Center.
The hosts led 42-40 after three quarters, but blew past the Cadets in the final quarter to a 21-6 advantage and the 17-point victory.
"Coach (Angie) Forte, along with myself - with Coach (Phil) Casinelli not able to be here tonight - knew all our girls are veterans," said Big Red assistant coach Mark Masloski who filled in due to Casinelli missing Monday's game for personal reasons. "They've been together not just the past four years, but the past seven in the program. They know what it takes. We made a few adjustments against the zone, and we wanted to shorten the passing lanes, play with confidence, and dictate the game.
"I think our girls did a nice job with that."
Big Red was led by the trio of Lysiah Rice, Mytia Barker and Emiley Masloski. Rice picked up a double-double, scoring 14 points and collecting 11 rebounds with Barker putting up 17 points, pulling down seven boards and getting three steals. Masloski scored a team-high 18 points and added two steals on the defensive end.
Linsly was plagued by foul troubles in its season opener as starters Morgan Brunner and Jazzie Orth each had three first-half fouls and picked up their fourth fouls in the third quarter. Brunner ended the game with nine points on 3-for-4 shooting while Orth fouled out with 5:43 left in the game with five points.
"That definitely hurts, having two starters on the bench," said Linsly head coach Erica Hall. "It's our first game, and we knew we'd have to work through some jitters. We're a young team, and we have some growing to do.
"Opening up with Steubenville was going to be a challenge for us, but I think this was a good start in terms of learning what we need to improve and what we can build on for the rest of the season."
A bright spot for the Cadets was ninth-grader Vivian Allison who put up a game-high 20 points and in her high school debut.
"We are a team that doesn't need to rely on one or two people," said Hall. "We have girls who can score and step up, and she did a great job as a freshman, in her first game. I was really proud of her. We're going to be a team that improves through the season. It's early in the season with new girls on the floor. We only have two returning starters.
"We have a lot to look forward to, and I think today was a great game to show us what we're capable of and what we need to improve on."
Things started slowly for Big Red as Linsly scored the game's first seven points, but the home team rebounded quickly with a 12-0 run, and ended the quarter with a 21-11 lead. Masloski led the way with eight points while Rice scored six.
Allison led a second quarter charge by the Cadets with seven points. Linsly outscored Big Red 9-2 to start the quarter, and were within three at intermission as the scoreboard read 31-28 Steubenville.
The third quarter was the Barker and Allison show with the Big Red senior scoring nine of her team's 11 points and the Linsly freshman tallying eight of her squad's 12 points. Big Red held on to a two-point lead leading to their impressive fourth quarter surge.
"Mytia has worked so hard the last four years to get better," said Masloski. "She's made great strides over the past years. She's comfortable and we're comfortable getting her the ball. She's more than one dimensional, and it didn't surprise any of us that she did that.
"She plays with unbelievable confidence and has such faith in her teammates, and her teammates understood they needed to get her the ball."
Big Red (2-0) hosts Beaver Local Thursday.
Big Red 63, Linsly 46
Linsly 11 17 12 6 46
Big Red 21 10 11 21 63
LINSLY (0-1): 17-48, 10-17, 46 (Jackson 2-15, 1-2, 5; Brunner 3-4, 2-2, 9; McDonald 0-0, 0-0, 0; Petho 0-3, 0-0, 0; Allison 7-14, 6-12, 20; Vehola 2-3, 0-0, 4; Helmick 1-2, 0-0, 3; Orth 2-6, 1-1, 5). 3-pointers: Brunner, Helmick.
BIG RED (2-0): 20-46, 17-21, 63 (E. Masloski 5-15, 7-7, 18; Young 0-1, 0-0, 0; Taylor 1-3, 0-0, 3; Barker 6-10, 2-4, 17; H. Masloski 2-2, 0-1, 4; Rice 4-9, 6-6, 14; Bodo 1-4, 2-2, 4; Wilson 1-2, 0-0, 2). 3-pointers: Barker (4), E. Masloski, Taylor.