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Big Red boys keep rolling, sweep East Liverpool for 7th straight

iN HEAVY TRAFFIC — East Liverpool’s Jerone Deal attempts a layup against Steubenville’s Brenten Jones on Friday. (Photo by Justin Golba)

EAST LIVERPOOL — For every young team, getting over the hump and learning how to win is paramount for success.

For the East Liverpool boys basketball team, those circumstances are no different. The Potters fell to Steubenville, 72-66, in a closely-contested game on Friday.

The Potters previously lost to Big Red on Dec. 30, 64-63.

Steubenville moves to 10-3 and has won seven straight contests, while the Potters fall to 6-3.

“Steubenville is extremely good and extremely athletic,” East Liverpool coach Nate Conley said. “They work hard and they rebound the ball well. I thought we played solid through three quarters. I thought we played really good basketball for three quarters but just didn’t get that offensive rebound when we needed to.”

The Potters trailed, 36-32, at the half but came out strong in the second half and briefly took a 41-40 with five minutes remaining in the third quarter. However, Steubenville answered and took the lead back and never let it go from there.

“Their guard play is good,” Conley said. “We will get better from this. I still don’t think we are playing anywhere near our potential. We are getting there and playing a lot better, and these are the games you need. Steubenville, New Philly last week, those games are only going to make you better. Big Red is a top three team in our district. We were right there, and the kids wanted it. We have some things to work on and we will.”

“Both teams like to play the exact same way,” Steubenville head coach Mike Haney said. “We both like to get up and down the court, play a lot of defense and get after it. They are very athletic, long and lanky and can cause a lot of turnovers. They just battled. They fought, and they never hung their heads.”

For the Potters, Devin Toothman led the way with a game-high 23 points. Zavea Green added 15 points, and Cole Dailey and Cam Beverly each added 10 points.

For Big Red, Brenton Jones had 15 points, and Phaeton Hill and Chase Zimmerman each added 12 points.

“We just need to start gelling together,” East Liverpool’s Cole Dailey said. “And we all turned it over. We will get it going though, just work on turnovers and rebounds. We will be alright. We will come together. We will get ours and come together.”

“This was like a tournament type of game,” Haney said. “It just had that feel, and the whole game was pretty intense.”

For East Liverpool, it was one or two defensive rebounds away from having a great chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter but could not get that key board or defensive stop.

“We work on it at practice,” Conley said. “The kids are working hard at it. Steubenville is probably the best offensive rebounding team in the valley. They really go and get the ball. We really need to focus up and go find a body, and we are so tall and long that sometimes we get lazy with the box-outs and you can’t against Big Red. Unfortunately, we didn’t come out with a win, but it was a good basketball game that we will learn from.”

JV ACTION

East Liverpool won 55-48. For the Potters, Marquise Glenn had 12 points. Big Red’s Ty Pierce had 21 points.

UP NEXT

Steubenville: Tentatively travels to Union Local on Tuesday

East Liverpool: Tentatively hosts Carrolton on Tuesday.

Steubenville 72, East Liverpool 66

Steubenville 21 15 22 14 – 72

E. Liverpool 14 18 21 13 – 66

STEUBENVILLE: Kernahan 3-2-9, Sawyer 2-6-10, Gresko 4-1-9, Rook 1-0-3, Zimmerman 4-4-12, Hill 4-1-12, Buggs 0-0-0, Jones 7-1-15, McCoy 1-0-2. TOTALS: 26, 15-23: 72

EAST LIVERPOOL: Stull 1-0-2, Kerr 0-0-0, Dailey 5-0-10, Toothman 9-3-23, Green 5-4-15, Beverly 4-0-10, Deal 3-0-6, Ludwig 0-0-0. TOTALS: 27, 7-13: 66

3-POINT GOALS: Steubenville 5 (Hill, Kernahan, Rook); East Liverpool 5 (Beverly 2, Toothman 2, Green).