STEUBENVILLE - The Steubenville sweep is complete.
The Big Red girls' basketball team ripped off a 22-3 run to erase an early three-point deficit and never looked back en route to a 58-34 victory over city-rival Catholic Central Monday night at the Crimson Center.
The win, once again, gave Big Red the city championship. Big Red defeated the Crusaders, 58-15, on Dec. 12.
UNDER THE HOOP — Steubenville’s Abby Taylor gets ready to go back up after grabbing a rebound during Monday’s 58-34 win over Catholic Central to claim the city championship. Surrounding Taylor, along with teammate Emiley Masloski, are, from left, Central’s Miranda Parkinson, Brittany Bertoia, Micca Mirabella and Samm Simmons.
-- Mike Mathison
Big Red (14-0) head coach Phil Casinelli said it is always nice beating Catholic Central.
"They are a rival," he said. "You have no record when you play Central. The girls played hard the whole game. They are excited about getting the win. We are going to celebrate tonight, and then we are going to get ready for our next game (Wednesday, hosting East Liverpool)."
Catholic Central (4-10) head coach Tommy Winland said his team played a much-better game against Big Red the second time around.
"That is what I just told them," he said. "I am proud of them. In the first half, we fought well.
"We had a lull in the second quarter. A lot of times we will have a lull and we won't be able to recover from it. This time, we stepped up and continued to charge forward. A lot of times, teams go on runs and we are never able to recover, but tonight we recovered.
"In the third quarter, we had no energy. I don't know why."
Lysiah Rice led Big Red with a game-high 18 points, Emiley Masloski tallied 16 points and Mytia Barker recorded 11 points.
"They like to get out and run," Winland said. "They did a good job of running their secondary break. We did a good job of getting back. We talked, and we were able to see what they were doing. We have not played a team who runs a break like that, but we adjusted to it."
Hannah Ondos was the lone Crusader to score in double figures with 10 points. Micca Mirabella collected seven points.
"I don't think either team did anything different," Casinelli said. "They obviously played well. I think they played some different girls. They have improved. They have just gotten better. That is a credit to their coach. He has done a good job of preparing them."
A bucket by Ondos gave the visitors a 9-6 lead with 3:42 left to play in the first quarter.
Later, Ondos made one of two foul shots to tie the score at 10 with 1:25 showing on the clock.
"We were patient on offense," Winland said. "We moved well. We cut hard. That is something we have been working on. Defensively, we were helping each other.
"This is a learning experience for us. We have a young team. We are going to be up and down. The girls played hard. They always play hard. We are learning.
"Hopefully, we can continue to learn, and hopefully everything will click in the future."
Rice followed with a three-point play with 33.2 seconds left in the stanza, and Big Red was off and running. The victors led 15-10 at the end of the quarter.
"Our defensive pressure caused some turnovers, and that helped us get going on the offensive end," Casinelli said.
In the second quarter, a basket by Hannah Masloski gave the Red and Black a 28-12 advantage less than midway through the second quarter.
Catholic Central tallied eight of the next nine points, and two free throws by Mirabella pulled the Blue and Gold to within 29-20, but that is as close as Catholic Central got the rest of the way.
A 3-pointer by Emiley Masloski gave Big Red a 34-20 lead at halftime.
"We want to play fast," said Casinelli. "We want to get turnovers on defense and push it when we are on offense."
Catholic Central is scheduled to return to the court tonight at Weir.
"I don't know if this is the best start in school history, but I do know it is the best start in my 15 years here," Casinelli said. "We are going to take it one game at a time. We don't want to get complacent. We are going to keep working.
"Teams are going to keep improving, and we need to do the same.
"We are going to enjoy this one tonight, and then we are going to get ready for East Liverpool."
Big Red 58, Catholic Central 34
Catholic Central 10 10 7 7 - 34
Big Red 15 19 14 10 - 58
CATHOLIC CENTRAL (4-10): Stevens 0 0-0 0, Dziewtakowski 0 0-0 0, Torrance 0 0-0 0, S. Mirabella 2 0-2 5, Bertoia 1 0-0 2, Virtue 0 0-0 0, Parkinson 1 0-0 3, Simmons 0 0-0 0, M. Mirabella 2 3-4 7, McComb 1 1-2 3, Hunt 2 0-2 4, Ondos 3 4-10 10, Capaldi 0 0-0 0, Mastroianni 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12 8-21 34. 3-Pointers: S. Mirabella, Parkinson.
BIG RED (14-0): Porter 0 0-0, E. Masloski 6 0-0 16, H. Masloski 2 0-0 4, Young 2 0-0 4, T. Barker 0 0-0 0, Herron 0 0-0 0, Wilson 0 0-0 0, M. Barker 4 3-6 11, Rice 8 2-8 16, Bodo 0 0-0 0, Taylor 1 1-2 3. Totals: 23 6-16 58. 3-Pointers: E. Masloski 4.