EAST LIVERPOOL - Trailing by nine points with 5:10 remaining in the game, the East Liverpool Potters rallied to defeat the Carrollton Warriors 64-61 last night at East Liverpool's Potter Fieldhouse.
The Potters are 1-0 on the campaign while the Warriors drop to 0-2.
The Potters went on a 10-0 run to take a 60-59 lead with 1:09 showing on the game clock, as Austin Emmerling, Isaac Davidson and D.J. Austin each hit for a basket and Austin drained three charity tosses. Two free throws each by Davidson and Hayden Cunningham in then final 26 seconds sealed the win for the Potters.
Davidson led East Liverpool's attack with 18 points followed by Cunningham 17, Emmerling 14 and Austin 11. Aaron Long chipped in with four. Kade Reynolds led the Potters on the boards with six rebounds, five of them coming on the offensive end. Emmerling pulled down four misses. Cunningham dished out four assists.
Carrollton had three players in double figures led by Caleb Pasiuk with 17. Daniel Leary scored 16 and Tyler Frantz 15.
Working almost exclusively from behind the arc in the first quarter, Carrollton jumped out to a 26-15 lead after one quarter. Of the 26 points, 24 came on three-pointers. Krantz led the way with four three-pointers for the Warriors who were a perfect nine-nine-from the floor in the first eight minutes. Cunningham kept the Potters' attack going with eight in the initial frame.
"They caught fire," said East Liverpool head coach Nate Conley of Carrollton's first quarter outburst. "We were playing good defense, but they just kept hitting the shots."
The Potter defense stiffened in the second quarter, limiting Carrollton to just 11 points, while tallying 18 on their own behalf to trail by four, 37-33 at intermission. Davidson came off the bench to spark the Potters with eight tallies as Long and Emmerling each pitched in four points during the second quarter.
"Isaac may be one of the smartest basketball players I have ever had the privilege of coaching," said Conley. "Defensively, he stepped up and played one heck of a game."
The Potters took their first lead of the night at 38-37 lead with 6:42 remaining in the third quarter on a three-pointer by Cunningham and post shot by Emmerling off of a Cunningham feed. A trey by Austin boosted the Potters' advantage to 41-38 before the Warriors fought back to a 54-48 lead at the end of the third quarter. Pasiuk had eight and Leary seven during the visitors' resurgence.
"We shot the ball well in the first quarter, and they shot it well in the second quarter," said Carrollton head coach Todd English. "If we don't make turnovers down the stretch, we have a chance to win."
The Potters were 19 of 21 from the foul line compared to four of seven for Carrollton, who shot primarily from behind the arc.
"Our seniors provided outstanding leadership," said Conley. "A year ago, we would have lost a game like this. I am very proud of our guys and how they fought back into the game."
East Liverpool shot 37 percent (18 of 49) from the floor. The Potters grabbed 21 errant shots.
"Give East Liverpool credit, they have a nice group of players who play well together," said English.
The Carrollton jayvees hung on to record a hard-fought 49-48 victory in the prelim. Jon Brown paced young Warriors with 17 points followed by Luke Leslie with 11. Zack Adkins led the Potters with 21. Zack Gill tallied eight, Brent Waggle seven and Aaron Bombich 6.
The Potters return to the hardwood on Dec. 11 when they host Wellsville. The Warriors host Marlington on Friday.
CARROLLTON SCORING: Isaiah Donohue 0-1-1, Daniel Leary 6-0-16, Lane Hartong 2-0-4, Caleb Pasiuk 7-0-17, Zade Deitz 2-2-7, Luke Leslie 0-0-0, Tyler Krantz 5-0-15, Luke Clay 0-1-1. TEAM TOTALS: 22, 4-7: 61.
EAST LIVERPOOL SCORING: Kade Reynolds 0-0-0, D.J. Austin 4-1-11, Austin Emmerling 4-6-14, Hayden Cunningham 3-8-17, Aaron Long 2-0-4, John Rickerd 0-0-0, Owen Crawford 0-0-0, Isaac Davidson 5-4-18. TEAM TOTALS: 18, 19-21: 64.
Three-point goals: Carrollton 13 (Krantz 5, Leary 4, Pasiuk 3, Deitz), East Liverpool 9 (Davidson 4, Cunningham 3, Austin 2).