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Jones, Gresko lead Big Red boys past Indian Creek

SHOOTING SKILLS — Steubenville’s Zion Sawyer attempts a shot over Indian Creek’s Isaiah Vandine during Thursday’s contest. Also shown is Creek’s Logan Schaeffer. (Photo by Joe Catullo)

STEUBENVILLE — One of, if not the, best parts of Steubenville’s game is crashing the boards.

It is a big reason why Big Red extended its winning streak to six Thursday night over Indian Creek. Its offense struggled, but it won the game in the paint, 57-38.

Steubenville head coach Mike Haney described the contest as ugly. And, in many cases, he was correct.

Bodies flew left and right, diving for loose balls. Big Red picked up a technical foul. However, even with Steubenville (9-3) surging and the Redskins (1-6) heading in the opposite direction, it still is a big rivalry.

“They have to take it one day at a time and focus on what’s at hand,” Haney said on whether or not he believed his team overlooked Indian Creek. “You have to throw all of the records out when you’re playing a rival. These guys see each other all of the time, so you definitely have to throw the records out.”

To their credit, the Redskins hung around as long as they could. Following a 21-13 deficit after the opening frame, they trailed 24-21 with roughly three minutes remaining before halftime.

That was when Big Red sprinted on a 10-3 scoring run and led, 34-24, at the break. It later built a 48-30 advantage after three quarters.

“We always break down quarters. The last few minutes in the second quarter and the first few in the third, you always want to stretch the lead,” Haney said. “At the end (of the second), we really needed a little run. The defense wasn’t very good. We were chasing a lot of guys, and they do a good job with their offense on passes.”

Overall, Big Red grabbed 20 more rebounds than the Redskins (37-17). It did commit one more turnover (16-15) but took advantage in transition more often than not.

“The biggest part is if we’re going to continue to score in the 30s, we’re not going to beat teams like that. They’re going to score,” Creek head coach Joe Dunlevy said. “We’re playing as hard as we can defensively. When we have turnovers, they turn them into two or three points almost every time.”

Steubenville’s Brenton Jones, known to everyone else as Inky, put forth another solid effort off the bench. He compiled 12 points (eight in the first quarter) and seven rebounds.

“They seemed to get more of the 50-50 balls when it would hit the ground. But, I thought we crashed the boards really well,” Haney said. “Jones got some really good rebounds. (Andrew) Gresko did, too, especially on the offensive side.”

Gresko also had a dozen points with nine rebounds and three assists.

Also for Big Red, Zion Sawyer produced nine points, three boards and two dimes.

Cade Kernahan had eight points, two rebounds and three assists. Quinn McCoy added seven points and four boards.

For Creek, Isiah Vandine returned after missing the previous two games due to an injury. Off the bench, he had 12 points and six rebounds.

“He’s a good player. He helps us rebound and score,” Dunlevy said. “He just has to get back into the shape he was in before all of this quarantine stuff.”

Also for the Redskins, Logan Schaeffer had 14 points. Hunter Rothacker chipped in five points and three rebounds. Logan Kuczykowski, competing in just his fourth game because of an injury early on, dished out a game-high six assists.

“We feel like we’re playing good team defense. We just hurt ourselves when we turn the ball over,” Dunlevy said. “If we give them points, it kills us.

“We’ll be all right. We just need to find a way to score more. We’re getting better, and that’s the main thing.”

JV ACTION

Steubenville won the two-quarter jayvee contest, 17-14. Big Red’s Kyjhaun Hopkins and Creek’s Lucca Morelli each scored five points.

UP NEXT

Indian Creek: Tentatively travels to Edison today. Another two-quarter JV game will begin at 6 p.m.

Steubenville: Tentatively travels to East Liverpool today, with a 5:30 JV tip. Big Red’s current win streak began with a 64-63 victory over the Potters on Dec. 30.

“They’re on a good streak. They shoot the ball well, especially at home. They’re long and get after it,” Haney said. “We have to get some rest, fluids and get ready for what may be a track meet (today).”

Steubenville 57, Indian Creek 38

Indian Creek 13 11 6 8 — 38

Steubenville 21 13 14 9 — 57

INDIAN CREEK (1-6): Francis 1 0-0 2; L. Kuczykowski 1 0-1 2; Williams 0 0-0 0; Schaeffer 6 2-4 14; Rothacker 2 1-2 5; Vandine 5 1-2 12; M. Kuczykowski 0 0-0 0; Morelli 1 0-1 2; Vandeborne 0 0-0 0; Smith 0 1-2 1; Pownall 0 0-1 0; Freshwater 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 16, 5-13: 38.

STEUBENVILLE (9-3): Kernahan 3 2-4 8; Sawyer 4 0-0 9; Gresko 4 3-4 12; Hill 1 0-0 3; McCoy 3 1-2 7; Jones 6 0-0 12; Zimmerman 2 0-0 4; Rook 0 0-0 0; Jackson 1 0-0 2; Thompson 0 0-0 0; Drakes 0 0-0 0; Hopkins 0 0-0 0; Feaster 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 24, 6-10: 57.

3-POINT GOALS: Indian Creek 1 (Vandine); Steubenville 3 (Sawyer, Gresko, Hill). REBOUNDS: Indian Creek 17 (Vandine 6); Steubenville 37 (Gresko 9). ASSISTS: Indian Creek 10 (L. Kuczykowski 6); Steubenville 17 (3 tied with 3 each). TURNOVERS: Indian Creek 15; Steubenville 16.

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