EAST PALESTINE-It was a scrappy effort, but the East Palestine boys basketball team could not put together the full four quarters necessary to defeat a bigger Carrollton team on Saturday.
The Bulldogs gave up a number of transition buckets in the second half, allowing the Warriors to break open a single-digit game on their way to a 58-47 defeat at East Palestine High School.
East Palestine falls to 2-5 overall, while Carrollton improves to 3-8.
"We were a little slow on our defensive rotations at times tonight and they had guys who took advantage and made the shots," senior guard Billy Bibby said. "We had a couple of bad stretches where they were able to open up the lead."
"We did a lot of things that didn't help ourselves tonight," East Palestine coach Sean McKeown said. "We missed some point-blank shots, had some silly turnovers and had a couple of stretches where we didn't execute defensively. It put us into a couple of holes and made it tough to come back."
Bibby led the Bulldogs with 16 points, while Nick Monteleone had 12 points. The pair helped the Bulldogs stay in the game after falling behind 12-2 late in the first quarter. At halftime East Palestine had narrowed the deficit to 26-19.
"We got off to a very slow start offensively which happens," Bibby said. "We were able to get after them a bit defensively in the second which gave us some opportunities."
"They surprised us with their press defense," Carrollton coach Todd English said. "We didn't handle it very well and they were able to get back into it. They played harder than us in the second quarter."
English made the necessary adjustments at halftime and the Warriors were able to get some easier shots in the second half. Caleb Pasiuk led Carrolton with 23 points. He hit a driving layup and a pair of threes as Carrollton opened a 42-27 lead.
"I give them a lot of credit," McKeown said. "They did a great job moving the ball and making us work defensively and they knocked down shots when they had them. "
The Bulldogs closed the deficit back to nine early in the fourth quarter before a quick 8-0 spurt by the Warriors stretched the lead to 17 and removed all doubt.
"It seems like once we get down by a lot we get more aggressive, and we were able to make a little comeback," Bibby said. "We have to find a way to do that earlier in the game."
McKeown arrived for his first year as East Palestine head coach armed with wholesale changes for the Bulldogs and remains upbeat as the conference schedule begins to start back up.
"We are trying to go very quick on offense this year and also aggressively press on defense," McKewon said. "The terminology for our system is different from what they've had before and it is taking some time to adjust. As coaches we are being very patient. The kids are doing a great job, I'm excited to see where we go."
"It's different, but I feel like we are starting to get the hang of everything. I think it's going to take a little bit more time but I think we're getting there."
Carrollton won the jayvee game 48-30. David Weaver had 10 points for East Palestine.
E. PALESTINE: 5-14-10-18-47
CARROLLTON SCORING: Daniel Leary 3-1-7, Caleb Pasiuk 9-1-23, Zade Dietz 1-2-4, Tyler Krantz 4-0-12, Luke Clay 3-0-6, Lane Hartong 2-2-6, John Brown 1-0-2. TEAM TOTALS: 23, 6-11: 58.
EAST PALESTINE SCORING: Nick Monteleone 4-4-12, Billy Bibby 7-0-16, Grant Wagner 2-0-4, Alec Dumbauld 1-0-2, Steve Parker 2-2-6, Josh Pickett 1-0-2, Peyton Patterson 1-0-2, Colin Reidy 1-1-3, Jarod Spratt 0-0-0, Trevor Kimmel 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 19, 7-17: 47.
Three-point goals: Carrollton 5 (Pasiuk 4, Krantz), East Palestine 2 (Bibby 2).