RAYLAND?- While Greg Haberfield's Buckeye Local boys basketball team kept battling back from large deficits, coach Kim Clifford's St. Clairsville squad didn't buckle under when they did.
The Panthers twice came back from 19-point margins, but the Red Devils came up with some timely defense and some even more timely foul shooting en route to a 69-60 win over the Panthers in Connorville Tuesday night.
The Panthers will take an 0-3 mark to Oak Glen tonight and travel to Edison on Friday.
"They (Buckeye) did a nice job of coming down and making their shots," Clifford said after the 3-1 start. "Of course, that's what you are supposed to do. But in the end, our guys did what they had to do. They made their free throws and they came up defensively to put themselves in good positions."
It appeared to be a dogfight in the opening minutes as the teams traded scores on their way to a 6-all draw. Buckeye had the handle on a brief 6-4 lead with the aid of a pair of scores by sophomore Ryan Moffo and one from Damion Beall. It was a lay-in by freshman Michael Scarnecchia that erased the last Panther lead and opened a 13-0 run by the Red Devils. Scarnecchia scored eight of the 13 for St. C. Buckeye closed the frame with a pair at the line as the visitors held onto a 17-8 lead at the first break.
St. Clairsville scored 15-straight points in the second and closed the half with a 34-17 lead.
It was an evenly played third period as each team tallied 19 and the Red Devils continued to lead by 17 at the final break holding onto a 53-36 lead.
"I was extremely pleased with our effort tonight and the fact that they never gave up," Haberfield said. "We knew they could shot well.
"We had three things that we wanted to accomplish tonight and we took care of all but one in our game plan."
In the final frame, the Red Devils held leads of 17, 19 and 15 before Buckeye started its late comeback attempt. Down 60-45, Czuchran converted a three-pointer and Beall scored off a steal to narrow the gap to 60-50. Scarnecchia netted one of two from the line before Czuchran converted a three-point play.
Trouten led all scorers with 19 points while Scarnecchia closed with 13 and Derosa added 10. Brenton Ferns led the winners with seven rebounds.
Czuchran had a team-high 18 for Buckeye while Borkoski finished with 15 and Moffo added 10. Czuchran led all rebounders with eight.
St. Clairsville 69, Buckeye Local 60
St. Clairsville 17 17 19 16 - 69
Buckeye Local 8 9 19 24 - 60
ST. CLAIRSVILLE: Truten 4 7-8 19, Derosa 4 0-0 10, Coleman 4 0-0 9, Giffin 2 2-2 6, Ferns 3 0-3 6, Buchanan 0 6-6 6, Monteroso 0 0-2 0, Scarnecchia 3 6-10 13. TOTALS: 20-49 21-31 . 3-pointers: Trouten, 4, Derosa 2, Coleman, 1.
BUCKEYE LOCAL: Donahue 2 0-0 5, Czuchran 6 4-5 18, Borkoski 4 3-6 15, Moffo 4 2-2 10, Beall 2 0-0 4, Dokes 2 4-4 8. Totals 20-41 13-17. 3-pointers: Borkoski 4, Czuchran 2, Donahue 1.