EAST LIVERPOOL - Jamel Turner's first foul shot followed by DeVonte' Jenkins' offensive putback of the Turner's second foul shot with 16 seconds left provided the margin of difference in Youngstown Ursuline's 59-56 win over the East Liverpool Potters in the championship game of the 14th annual Potter Holiday Classic. The win improves Ursuline's record to 5-0. The Potters lose for the fourth time in six outings.
The lead changed hands on a continual basis throughout the game, as the two teams battled the length of the court, with bodies being knocked to the floor all night long with the two teams being whistled for a combined 53 personal fouls. Subsequently, numerous players on both sides spent time sidelined with foul trouble. The Potters encountered this problem early in the second quarter when their leading scorer Jason Dickey was whistled for his second foul less than one minute into the quarter. He was soon joined on the Potter bench by teammates Travis Coon and Jason Bahen. Only one player, Ursuline's Dale Peterman, who is expected to announce early next week that he will be attending the University of Michigan to play football, fouled out.
"For a game that was that physical, it was an exceptionally clean game," said Potter head coach Matt Cashdollar. "There were no cheap shots and no mouthing by either team. They both came out and played."
"It was a great defensive battle by both teams," said assistant coach Rob Green. "We have grown up since the start of the season."
Turner led Ursuline with 15 points, followed by LaVance Turner 12 and Peterman 10. The Potters were paced by Marin Webb with 16, Dickey 15 and Marky Thompkins nine. Webb, who was unable to fully participate in Saturday morning' shoot-around due to illness saw more action than expected, due to Bahen and Coon's foul troubles.
"Marty has been our leader from Day One," Cashdollar said. "He's been our senior leader. The kids look up to him. He didn't want to come out of the game. He's a gamer."
Ursuline led 8-3 in the opening minutes of the game, before the Potters went on an 8-0, highlighted by Willie Leavell's three-pointer with 1:45 left on the first-quarter clock. The lead see-sawed back and forth in the second quarter before two foul shots by Brian Beverly, a three-pointer by Thompkins and two foul shots by Da Neil Prentice gave the Potters a 22-16 lead with 1:39 remaining in the first half. The Irish battled back to the cut the margin to one, 24-23 at the half.
The third quarter was more of the same until Ursuline's LaVance Turnage tallied eight points, mainly on drives from his guard spot to give the visitors a 38-32 lead with 1:26 left in the quarter.
"In the heat of the moments, we sometimes didn't jump switch. We were trying to run people at No. 20 (Turnage), but we weren't stopping him," said Cashdollar. "Our other problem, was that we didn't do a good job of boxing out on missed foul shots."
Down seven to start the fourth quarter, the Potters quickly struck back, pulling even at 49-49 on a basket and two foul shots by Webb. Webb scored nine points in the fourth quarter, with Dickey contributing seven in the final eight minutes.
With the game knotted at 56-all, Turner was fouled, setting up the final exciting 16 seconds.
"I feel much better about how we played tonight than I did on Friday," said Cashdollar. "Even though we got beat, we competed and played extremely hard."
Ursuline's Turner led all rebounders with 11 caroms. Jenkins and Turnage each pulled down seven missed shots. Webb led the Potters with five. Ursuline had 11 offensive rebounds.
Ursuline committed 22 turnovers compared to 11 by the Potters.
East Liverpool was 30 of 44 from the foul line. Ursuline was 18 of 34.
Turner and Peterman were selected to the all-tournament team as were East Liverpool's Dickey and Thompkins.
Former Potter head coach Nick Aloi was honored before the start of the championship game by the Rebound Club. Aloi coached the Potters from 1986-2006, taking four teams to the regionals. He received a lengthy standing ovation from the crowd and was joined on the court by many of his former players.
EAST LIVERPOOL 11-13-11-19-56
URSULINE SCORING: Craig Washington 0-0-0, DeVonte' Jenkins2-3-7, Justin Austin 1-0-2, Dominque Cole 0-4-4, LaVance Turnage 6-0-12, Marques Jones 0-0-0, Jamel Turner 6-3-15, Dale Peterman 3-3-10, Dakota Trosky 1-4-6, Christian Green 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 20, 18-34: 59.
EAST LIVERPOOL SCORING: Jason Dickey 4-5-15, Martin Webb 5-6-16, Brian Beverly 0-4-4, Marky Thompkins 1-6-9, Da Neil Prentice 0-3-3, Willie Leavell 1-3-6, Jason Bahen 0-1-1, Travis Coon 0-2-2, Michael Blankenship 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 11, 30-44: 56.
Three-point goals: Ursuline 1 (Peterman), East Liverpool 4 (Dickey 2, Thompkins, Leavell).