EAST LIVERPOOL - The Painesville Harvey Red Raiders outscored the homestanding East Liverpool Potters 10-6 in overtime to claim a hard-fought 70-66 win in the nightcap of opening round action in the Potter Holiday Classic. The Potters (4-3) will face Steubenville in the consolation game at 6 p.m. Saturday evening. The Red Raiders (4-1) will face Youngstown Ursuline in the championship game on Saturday evening which will follow the consolation game.
Painesville's Markell Stokes scored seven of his nine points in the overtime, as the Red Raiders jumped out quickly to a 64-60 lead in the extra stanza. The Potters forced a tie at 66-all when Austin Emmerling made two foul shots with 1:06 remaining. Stokes scored on a lob to make it 68-66 in favor of the visitors. Following a Potter miss with 20 seconds remaining, Devin Hamilton drained two foul shots to clinch the win for Painesville.
Painesville's Tierra Gaston and Jayden Dixon tied for game honors with 21 points each. Gaston worked on the inside and Dixon worked on the outside, with all of his points coming from behind the arc. Lavelle Morgan, who scored Painesville's first seven points of the night, finished with 14. Morgan also grabbed 12 rebounds.
East Liverpool was led by Hayden Cunningham and D.J. Austin with 17 and 16 respectively. Kade Reynolds followed with nine and Isaac Davidson eight.
The Potters were plagued by poor shooting at the foul line, netting just 17 of 33 free throws.
"You are not going to win many games shooting 17 of 33 on free throws," said East Liverpool head coach Nate Conley.
The Potters went on a 6-0 run at the end of the first quarter to take a 22-13 lead after the first eight minutes. Austin, Davidson and Owen Crawford each scored during this run.
A Crawford free throw pushed East Liverpool's lead 13, 34-21 at the 2:42 juncture of the second quarter.
Painesville went on an 11-2 run in the first four minutes of the third quarter, trimming the locals lead to 42-40. Four points by Davidson and three by Cunningham pushed the lead back to nine, 49-40.
"Give credit to Harvey," said Conley. "They fought back from an early deficit and took the momentum away from us. We didn't do what we had to do to close it out."
The Red Raiders went on another scoring binge in the fourth quarter, turning a nine-point deficit into a two-point lead in the space of two minutes and 13 seconds. A three-point basket by Austin and a three-point play by Reynolds on a twisting drive, offset two foul shots by Gaston and a drive by Stokes, setting up the overtime.
"Their press really got to us in the second half," said the Potter coach. "They are extremely athletic. If we had made a few more jump shots, we win the game. It's that simple."
PAINESVILLE HARVEY: 13-16-16-15-10-70
EAST LIVERPOOL: 22-15-13-10-6-66
PAINESVILLE HARVEY SCORING: Devin Hamilton 0-2-2, Lavelle Morgan 6-1-14, Jayden Dixon 7-0-21, David Holbert 1-1-3, Trey Smith 0-0-0, Chris Spikes 0-0-0, Markell Stokes 3-3-9, Tieran Gaston 9-2-21. TEAM TOTALS: 26, 9-14: 70.
EAST LIVERPOOL SCORING: Owen Crawford 1-2-4, Isaac Davidson 2-3-8, D.J. Austin 5-3-16, Hayden Cunningham 5-4-17, John Rickerd 0-0-0, Zack English 2-1-5, Kade Reynolds 3-1-9, Austin Emmerling 1-2-4, Aaron Long 1-1-3. TEAM TOTALS: 20, 17-33: 66.
Three-point goals: Painesville Harvey 9 ( Dixon 7, Morgan, Gaston), East Liverpool 9 (Austin 3, Cunningham 3, Reynolds 2, Davidson).