EAST LIVERPOOL - The Wellsville boys' basketball showed off their athletic talent by beating East Liverpool, 75-65, Saturday night at Potter Fieldhouse.
The victory pushes the Tigers record to 9-1, and caps off a two-game sweep of the Potters on the season. The Potters dropped to 3-10 on the year.
"This is a big game, a big win for our program," Tigers' head coach Bug Thompson said. "We have been playing them over the year, we just started playing them again, but I think we have won more than we have lost. It's a big win, but you always expect to win. If you didn't expect to win, you wouldn't come."
East Liverpool’s Austin Emmerling looks toward the basket as Wellsville’s Jordan?Sloan defends Saturday night at Potter Fieldhouse. (Photo courtesy Jimmy Joe Savage)
"I got a lot respect for their program. I have a lot of respect for Bug," Potters' head coach Nate Conley said of the Tigers. "We don't like to lose, I don't like to lose, my players don't like to lose, but we need to get back to the drawing board. We are far away from being a good basketball team."
The Tigers jumped out early, with Nate Scott and Seth Bradford both hitting 3-point jumpers to give them an early 6-0 lead. But the Potters would answer back and knot up the game at 8 with three minutes remaining in the first quarter. Junior guard D.J. Austin would hit the 3-pointer to tie it up, but the Tigers would close the first stanza by going on a 12-7 run, to lead 20-15 at the end of the quarter.
The Tigers would pull away in the second quarter as they would take command by going on a 23-12 run during the period. Again Scott, Bradford, and Jordan Sloan would power the Tigers' offensive effort during the quarter.
Scott would lead the Tigers on the night with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Bradford added 21 points and 10 rebounds. Sloan chipped in 12 points for the Tigers, while Camden Douglas contributed nine points and seven assists on the night.
"We have good players all around, so any one of us can be a team leader," Scott said. "Each one of us can have a big game."
"I just like playing as a team, and when my opportunity comes, when I get the ball in my hands I do what I have to do," Bradford explained.
"They had a big game tonight," Thompson confirmed. "But they have been playing like that. Scott was lights out tonight. He doesn't rebound like that normally. But tonight I'll take it, take what you can get, you know."
The Tigers kept the pressure on the Potters to start the second half as they would stretch their advantage to 19 points with a little more than four minutes remaining in the third quarter. To the Potters credit, they would cut it back down to a 14-point deficit by the end of the quarter with a 7-2 run.
The Potters were not able to cut into the deficit in the fourth quarter. The 10-point final score margin was all the closer the Potters would get when Owen Crawford hit a 3-pointer at the game ending buzzer.
"It is disappointing, but we got beat by in my opinion by a better team, a better coached team, a better played team," Conley said. "They were hungrier, they wanted it more. They came out and they got it. That's what it basically boils down to, they wanted it more than us tonight."
"It's a big game. I was out two games due to a football incident, but this game was important to me and my teammates," Bradford explained.
The Potters JV squad won by a score of 54-43, with sophomore Joey Bickerton scoring a game high of 19 points.
Wellsville gets back into league action Tuesday night when they travel to Western Reserve. The Potters next game will be Friday night when they host Steubenville.