Liverpool falls on the road

STEUBENVILLE — The Steubenville Big Red girls basketball team got off to what coach Jeff Lombardo described as a slow start Thursday facing East Liverpool on the the second day of the Chuck Watt/ John Nese Holiday Classic, but got on a roll in the second quarter and carried it to a 45-27 victory inside the Crimson Center.

“It was nice to get a win,” Lombardo said. “I thought the pace of the game was little bit slow. We came out slow. I told the girls we have got to create our own energy. It is quiet in the gym, how do we make it not quiet? Talk to one another. Be loud and communicate and it creates energy and creates enthusiasm.

“These girls are 15, 16, 17 years old. When I was that age I could have played every day. I don’t think (playing on back-to-back days) had anything to do with it. I just think there are times in a game where you get into kind of a funk.”

Off to the slow start, Big Red (4-5) needed someone to get the team going, and according to Lombardo that someone turned out to be senior Sarah Brown, who finished with four points, three assists and five rebounds.

“It’s up to someone on the team to step up and get the energy level going,” Lombardo said. “I thought that was Sarah Brown. She only had four points, but sometimes it’s more than just scoring points. She was involved in a lot of what we did. As coaches we noticed the things she was doing. I thought she was our MVP today.”

Sophomore Madison Fields won the player of the game award, finishing with a game-high 16 points, an assist and seven rebounds.

“Madison did a great job,” he said. “She scored and played well and was able to get the MVP.”

The Potters (0-9) turned the ball over 25 times in the contest compared to Steubenville’s 17 turnovers, something coach Bryian Burson attributed to being a young squad.

“We are very young and we played yesterday, too,” Burson said. “I’m obviously not happy with the result but I thought the kids played hard and competed the entire game. Overall I am pretty happy with today. Steubenville is a good team and they’re well coached so we knew we would have a tough time. We’re gradually getting better. For us right now it’s just about getting better possesion by possesion, quarter by quarter.”

After leading 9-6 at the end of the first quarter, Big Red went on a 14-2 run to open up a 23-8 lead late in the second quarter before leading by 13 at the break.

“When you make shots, things tend to start going your way,” Lombardo said. “We were just a little lackadaisical in the first quarter but in the second quarter we started hitting some shots. Once you start to see the ball going in the basket you’re usually able to score a little bit more going forward.”

Both sides scored seven in the third quarter, before both clubs put up their highest offensive totals in the final eight minutes, with Big Red out-scoring East Liverpool 15-10 in the fourth to pull away even further for the 45-27 win.

“It’s a great event,” Lombardo said. “Every team that comes I know enjoys it and asks to come back next year. It’s a time for us to honor two great coaches and bring recognition to basketball in the valley.”

Also for Big Red, freshman Makayla Abram scored nine points, an assist and pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds. Leah Ferguson finished with two points, three rebounds and a game-high six assists all of which came in the first half. Senior Seana Ragusa hit a pair of shots from beyond the arc and finished with 11 points.

East Liverpool was led by seven points, an assist and three rebounds from sophomore Makenzie McKinnon. Mikayla Reed, Emma Ludwig and Ciara Peachey each finished with six points.

East Liverpool is at home Saturday to face East Palestine. Big Red faces Weir at home next Thursday.

Game note

¯Burson was assessed a technical foul for arguing with the referee with 6:47 to go in the fourth quarter. Ragusa made one of two free throws.

“I guess I was getting a little frustrated,” he said. “I just want to make sure we protect and take care of our players. I want to make sure that when we come somewhere we at least feel like we’re on an even playing field so to speak.”

Steubenville 45, East Liverpool 27

East Liverpool 6-4-7-10 — 27

Steubenville 9-14-7-15 — 45

EAST LIVERPOOL (0-9): Foster 0 0-0 0; Reed 2 2-3 6; Ludwig 3 0-0 6; McKinnon 3 1-2 7; Stovall 0 0-0 0; Peachey 2 2-2 6; Ferrazzano 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 11, 5-7, 27.

STEUBENVILLE (4-5): Abram 4 1-2 9; Fields 7 1-4 16; Ferguson 1 0-2 2; Brown 2 0-0 4; Ragusa 4 1-2 11; Crownover 0 0-0 0; Minniefield 1 0-0 2; Larue 1 0-0 2; Thompson 0 0-0 0; Gulan 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 20, 3-10, 45.

3-POINT GOALS: East Liverpool 0; Steubenville 3 (Fields 1, Ragusa 2). REBOUNDS: East Liverpool 19 (Reed 5); Steubenville 32 (Abram 12). ASSISTS: East Liverpool 8 (Foster 2, Reed 2, Ludwig 2); Steubenville 13 (Ferguson 6). TURNOVERS: East Liverpool 25; Steubenville 17.