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Potters pull away from Creek late, 48-40

WINTERSVILLE — Down late in the game, the Indian Creek boys basketball team was forced to foul, and East Liverpool converted from the foul line as the Potters pulled away from the Redskins for a 48-40 victory in a Buckeye 8 North Division match up Friday night at Indian Creek.

The visitors from Columbiana County led by 11 before a late three-point play by the hosts completed the scoring.

“We’re working hard,” Indian Creek (6-9) head coach Joe Dunlevy said. “We’re getting better. We’ve had different kids step up on different nights. It was a heck-of-a game tonight. They are talented and well coached. I wish them luck in the tournament.”

East Liverpool (12-3) led 30-29 entering the fourth, and Redskins tied the score thanks to a pair of foul shots with 5:21 left to play. The Potters answered with an 8-0 run to build a 41-33 lead, but a 3-pointer pulled the home team within 41-36 with 1:47 left, however, that is as close as they were able to get the rest of the way.

“I think our guys played really, really hard,” Dunlevy said. “We played really good team defense. We have been working on it and working and working. We want to get better every day. That showed tonight. They’re athletic. It was a very good game.”

The Potters were 13 of 19 from the charity stripe, while the Redskins went 11 of 17.

After East Liverpool took a 34-33 lead with 4:17 remaining to be played, Indian Creek had an opportunity to tie or retake the lead, however, two misses from the foul line allowed the Potters to hold onto the lead – a lead they never relinquished.

“I’m so proud of our effort,” Dunlevy said. “We played really hard. We had good help defense. We played a great team tonight. (Trey) Armstrong did a great job for them at the foul line. We had to foul in the last minute. That’s why it got to be an eight-point game.

“Give credit to them. They played hard too. They block shots. I always say Nate (Conley) does a great job. His kids play hard.”

Armstrong netted a game-high 22 points to lead the way for the Potters, including going 10 of 15 from the line. Armstrong, who is a senior, came through for his team in a big way while dealing with a tragic event — Armstrong and his family lost their home to a fire Thursday.

Zavea Green added 10 points for East Liverpool.

Logan Kuczykowski and Logan Schaffer each finished in double digits for the Redskins. Kuczykowski collected a team-high 13 points, while Schaffer scored 12.

Indian Creek led 4-2 early on, but East Liverpool answered with a 9-2 spurt to take an 11-6 lead forcing Dunlevy to call a timeout with 3:12 left in the first. The Redskins regropued following the timeout, and the boys in white tallied the final six points of the quarter to take a 12-11 lead after one quarter of play.

Both teams struggled offensively in the second.

A 3-pointer by Kuczykowski gave Indian Creek its biggest lead of the game at 15-11, but East Liverpool ended the first half with an 8-3 run to take a 19-18 lead at halftime.

The victors came out of the gate strong to start the third as they scored the first nine points of the quarter to build a 28-20 lead with 5:04 left in the stanza resulting in Dunlevy calling another timeout.

The Redskins regrouped following the time as Indian Creek ran off the next nine points to take a 29-28 lead. The Potters produced the final basket of the quarter to take a one-point advantage into the fourth.

“I told the guys at one point during the heat of a battle that this was a fun game,” Dunlevy said. “It was a real good game. I asked them after the game, ‘Wasn’t that fun game?’ That is what we are trying to build. We are trying to get ready for the tournament. That is what we are trying to do.”

The Potters won the jayvee game, 65-32.

East Liverpool is scheduled to play Linsly Tuesday night at home up at Potter Fieldhouse. The jayvee game is set to start at 5:30 p.m.

Indian Creek is slated to play Jefferson County rival Big Red Tuesday night on the road inside the Crimson Center. The jayvee game will tip off at 5:30 p.m.

East Liverpool 48, Indian Creek 40

East Liverpool 11 8 11 18 – 48

Indian Creek 12 6 11 11 – 40

EAST LIVERPOOL (12-3): Irvine 1 0-0 2, P. Kerr 0 0-0 0, Dailey 2 1-2 5, Glenn 1 0-0 2, Armstrong 6 10-15 22, Toothman 2 2-2 7, Green 5 0-0 10, Smith 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 17 13-19 48.

INDIAN CREEK (6-9): Francis 0 0-0 0, Kyczykowski 5 2-2 13, Williams 2 2-2 6, Morelli 1 0-0 2, Pownell 0 0-0 0, Irizarry 2 0-0 6, Bodo 0 0-0 0, Freshwater 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 1-2 1, Schaffer 3 6-11 12. TOTALS: 13 11-17 40.

3-POINTERS: East Liverpool 1 (Toothman); Indian Creek 3 (Irizarry 2, Kuczykowski)

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