Steubenville bounces back, spoils Brooke’s senior night

UP AND OVER — Steubenville’s Jorian Jones nails a layup past Brooke’s Aleksey Rasz, left, and Alex Lilly on Friday. (Joe Catullo)

WELLSBURG — The Steubenville boys basketball team opened the game with the hot hand, scoring 47 first-half points and coasting to a 74-39 win over Brooke Friday night inside the Brooke Wellness Center.

Coach Mike Haney’s club seemingly couldn’t miss in the first half, but came out cold in the third quarter after going into the break in control, 47-20. Brooke, which was losing it’s 20th-straight game, got a spark at halftime and outscored Big Red, 15-8, in the third period to close the gap to 20 going into the fourth quarter.

“We talked about coming out starting fast right from the tip, and I thought we did a pretty good job of attacking,” said Haney, whose club now is 14-3 with the No. 3 seed in next week’s OVAC tournament. “Defensively, we got our hands in there and deflected a lot of balls and got some turnovers, but I thought we would have gotten more if we didn’t have such a hard time grabbing the ball.”

Big Red’s pressure defense forced 24 Brooke turnovers, 13 of them in the first half.

It was the season finale and senior night for the Bruins, who finish winless for the first time in school history at 0-20.

“I’ve never gone through a season like this,” said first-year Brooke coach Mel Coleman, who has been coaching high school and college basketball for more than 35 years. “I’ve never had a team go without a win. We hoped to get some victories along the way, but it didn’t happen that way because we didn’t put forth the effort that we had to put forth.

“All year long, we’ve been turning the ball over. We’ve averaged between 32 and 35 turnovers. Like coach (Bob) Huggins said at WVU, ‘We’re very generous at throwing the ball away.'”

Ryan Rauch led the first-half run for Big Red with three 3-balls in the first quarter, two of them back-to-back. He also led all scorers with 15 points. Josh Zimmerman backed him up with 11 points, while Jorian Jones (playing in his first game after serving a two-game suspension) and Trillyon Jones each scored 10.

Brooke junior Alex Lilly was the only Bruin in double figures with 10 points. Senior Aleksey Rasz followed with eight.

Brooke plays next at Bellaire on Tuesday in an OVAC consolation game, while Big Red travels Tuesday to Morgantown to play No. 2 seed University.

“We were disappointed in not getting the two seed and hosting that game Tuesday,” Haney said. “We had a game with East Liverpool postponed, and we tried for the last two weeks to make it up, but we just couldn’t get it done. If we could have played that game and won, we likely would have been the two seed.”

GAME NOTES

¯ The Big Red reserves outscored Brooke, 52-33, with sophomore Quinn McCoy scoring 17 points. McCoy played a good portion of the second half in the varsity game and wound up as Big Red’s leading rebounder with seven boards. Dalton Anderson scored nine for the Bruin reserves.

¯ The Brooke Middle School seventh grade team was honored at halftime, showing off the championship trophy it won in the Presidents Athletic Conference in Wheeling. They upset the top seed, Warwood, in the title game.

Big Red 74, Brooke 39

Big Red 25-22-8-19 — 74

Brooke 8-12-15-4 — 39

BIG RED (14-3): Rauch 6 0-0 15, Wallace 2 1-4 5, J. Jones 5 0-1 10, J. Zimmerman 5 1-2 11, Roundtree 3 0-1 6, Braccone 2 0-0 6, T. Jones 4 0-0 10, McCoy 2 0-0 4, C. Zimmerman 3 0-0 7. TOTALS: 32, 2-8: 74. 3-POINT GOALS: 8 (Rauch 3, Braccone 2, T. Jones 2, C. Zimmerman); REBOUNDS: 34 (McCoy 7); TURNOVERS: 14.

BROOKE (0-20): Brown 0 2-6 2, Anderson 1 0-0 2, Williams 2 0-0 6, Buchmelter 1 0-0 2, Rasz 3 0-0 8, Lilly 1 8-10 10, Silver 1 0-0 2, Yost 1 2-4 4, Coursin 2 0-1 4. TOTALS: 12, 12-21: 39. 3-POINT GOALS: 3 (Rasz 2, Williams); REBOUNDS: 29 (Williams, Lilly, Yost 6 each); TURNOVERS: 24.

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