STEUBENVILLE - Mike Haney wanted nothing to do with it.
The Steubenville Big Red boys basketball coach didn't want to hear about the struggles of Weir High, its one win and margin of defeat.
"Our girls went out to Edison last week and they were 1-14 and our girls got beat," said Haney. "I'm not saying our girls didn't play hard, but they lost. I preached to our kids all week that we needed to take Weir seriously and we needed to come out and play hard and with some intensity."
JUMPER — Steubenville Big Red’s Glenn Perdue takes a jumper during the third quarter of Tuesday’s 77-49 win over Weir High inside the Crimson Center.
-- Mike Mathison
REVERSE — Weir High’s Michael Curtis hits a reverse layup during the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s 77-49 loss to Steubenville inside the Crimson Center.
-- Mike Mathison
Big Red kept its hold of second place in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class 4A standings behind St. Clairsville with a 77-49 victory over Granato's group Tuesday evening inside the Crimson Center.
All Haney knew was that the Red Riders were coached by Mike Granato and they would play hard.
"We knew Weir was going to come out and give us everything that they had," said Haney. "We just needed to be sure we were ready for them."
"Our kids came out right from the tip and played with a lot of intensity," said Haney. "Tajuan Lawson had a good game for us. He had 10 points in the first quarter for us by taking the ball to the basket. I thought we were passing the ball well, sharing with one another.
"I like our hustle and especially our unselfishness. Whoever is open has to be ready for the ball because we're going to share it."
Big Red leaped out to a 31-11 lead after eight minutes and never looked back.
"This is my 14th year as head coach and this is, by far, the best Big Red team I've seen," said Granato. "This is a team that reminds me of the old Big Red teams when I was a kid, when coach (Chuck) Watt was coaching them. They played eight, nine, 10 guys and they were all pretty much the same size with the same speed.
"They shoot the ball well and have great athleticism. I think Mike has done a great job with them and they deserve a lot of credit.
"There is not question about it that they get after you. I think they are playing great team basketball beyond anything else. You talk to other coaches and they all talk about Big Red's defense and their ball pressure. I think the thing that jumps out at me more than any of those other things is their ball movement offensively.
"(Big Red point guard) Periogn (West) does a great job of keeping guys in the flow, getting guys moving. You can tell they get along on the court and they hasn't always been the case.
"Hats off to them."
Steubenville's Adam Sterling led the way with a game-high 19 points. Lawson added 18, Mylik Young 10 and Brandon Herring-Hill nine.
Mike Curtis paced the Red Riders with 12 points. Andre Sims added 11 and Shane Davis eight.
"What was encouraging tonight is that we were 18-for-40 from the field, the best we have shot all year," said Granato. "The second thing that was most encouraging was that we really looked for each other in the second half. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but in the fourth quarter no one was in there trying to get theirs.
"We were passing, looking for one another. Those are the type of things as you get into February and toward March, and you're in this situation which we're certainly not used to and sure do not like, and you look at as positives - guys sticking together.
"We don't have anybody being selfish. You're never happy with a 20-something point loss, but there are positives to take from tonight."
The teams will get back at it inside the Carl Hamill Fieldhouse Thursday.
"We still have things to work on," said Haney. "We're going to watch tape and try to improve on those things and get ready for Thursday."
Steubenville 77, Weir 49
Weir High 11 10 12 16 - 49
Steubenville 31 11 24 11 - 77
WEIR HIGH: Curtis 4 4-6 12, Sims 5 1-2 11, Davis 4 0-0 8, Groves 2 1-2 7, Wood 2 0-0 6, D. Cassiadoro 1 0-0 3, A. Cassiadoro 0 2-2 2, Knight 0 0-0 0, Masters 0 0-0 0, West 0 0-0 0, Kirk 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 18 8-12 49. 3-pointers: Wood 2, Groves 2, D. Cassiadoro.
STEUBENVILLE: Sterling 8 1-1 19, Lawson 7 2-2 18, Young 5 0-2 10, Herring-Hill 4 0-1 9, West 2 0-0 6, Redmond 2 1-2 5, Smith 2 0-0 4, Perdue 1 0-0 2, Linn 1 0-0 2, Herrington 1 0-0 2, Bailey 0 0-2 0. TOTALS: 33 4-10 77. 3-pointers: Sterling 2, Lawson 2, West 2, Herring-Hill.