Vintage victory for Creek over Weir

STEUBENVILLE – It was vintage Indian Creek.

“That was my biggest fear coming in,” Weir High boys basketball veteran head coach Mike Granato said. “And, not just tonight, but any time you play them. You don’t want to get in a situation where you’re behind by a lot early.”

That happened.

Nick Crawford scored a four-point play as the buzzer sounded to end the first quarter, giving the Redskins a 13-4 lead, and the hosts went on to win, 54-35, Thursday evening.

“I keep saying the kids have been playing really hard and playing really good defense all year,” longtime Indian Creek head coach Joe Dunlevy said. “Maybe it was somewhat unnoticeable because we didn’t always score a lot of points.

“We are getting better offensively and that helps not put so much strain on us defensively.

“Tonight, we did a really good job, for the most part, running our offense, being patient, and finding the open man.”

Yeah, the Redskins did that a lot.

“When you get behind early, you know you are going to have to defend the backdoor cut after two or three reversals,” Granato said. “Everyone always talks about when you play a team with speed, how it’s hard to simulate that speed in practice. And, that’s true. What’s also tough to do when you play a team like Creek is simulate the ball patience.

“That’s what got us tonight. There’s no question about it.

“Their passes tonight on the backdoor cuts were right on the money.”

The Redskins answered the bell every time Weir made a little run.

Marques Smith canned a three late in the third period to cut the lead to 38-28, but Creek’s Greg Wade answered with a bunny with 2.9 left for a 40-28 lead with eight minutes left.

Levi Mikula swished a trey to make it 44-33 75 seconds into the final period, but the Redskins scored the next 10 points (six by Adrian Greco and four by Wade) to put the game out of reach.

“We are starting to do a good job of limiting our turnovers and executing on offense,” Dunlevy said. “The effort has been there all year. What bothers me, as a coach, is that you want to get Ws for them. As a coach, you also notice that they are getting better. And, that’s been the case.

“They come and work hard every day.”

Greco led the Redskins (7-10) with a game-high 19 points (10 in the fourth quarter, all on backdoor cuts). Wade chipped in with 16, Jabari Taylor nine and Crawford eight.

“We try to stay in front of our man,” Dunlevy said. “You may have heard me say that 100 times, or 1,000 times tonight. What hurts you is dribble penetration and turning guys loose on the boards. We want to help, but we want to help earlier so there’s not that deep penetration.

“I didn’t reinvent the wheel or anything. We have gotten better at doing that during the year, and we did a nice job of that tonight.”

JoJo West led the Red Riders (7-9) with 13 points. Angelo Cassiadoro added seven. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak.

Weir, which had nine turnovers in an overtime win at Buckeye Local Tuesday, had nine turnovers inside the first 11 minutes against Creek.

“That’s a credit to Creek and the kind of defense they play,” Granato said. “They didn’t let us do a lot offensively.

“We had a difficult time getting the ball into guy’s hands. I give them all the credit in the world for how they play defense.

“I can’t fault our effort. We didn’t get frustrated at times when we could have.

“We just have to move on.”

Indian Creek meets Martins Ferry Saturday at Buckeye Local in the Buckeye 8 Tournament.

The Red Riders welcome Edison Tuesday.

Indian Creek 54, Weir 35

Weir 4 9 15 7 – 35

Indian Creek 13 11 16 14 – 54

WEIR: West 5 2-2 13, Cassiadoro 3 0-0 7, Carrigan 2 0-2 4, Smith 2 0-0 6, Mikula 2 0-0 5, Gilbert 0 0-0 0, Pierce 0 0-0 0, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Hudacek 0 0-0 0, Riggs 0 0-0 0, Faulkes 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 14 2-4 25. 3-pointers: Smith 2, West, Cassiadoro, Mikula.

INDIAN CREEK: Greco 9 1-3 19, Wade 7 2-2 16, Taylor 4 1-3 9, Crawford 3 1-1 8, Sinsel 0 0-0 0, Waggoner 1 0-0 2, Yaich 0 0-0 0, Pugh 0 0-0 0, Belt 0 0-0 0, Martin 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 24 5-9 54. 3-pointers: Crawford.