EAST LIVERPOOL - Steubenville defeated the East Liverpool Potters 62-61 in the consolation game of the Potter Holiday Classic on Saturday at Potter Fieldhouse.
A Chris Smith foul shot with 1:06 remaining in the game was the difference, breaking a 61-61 deadlock. Steubenville improves to 3-2, while East Liverpool's ledger is now even at 4-4.
Steubenville's Brandon Herring-Hill led all scorers with 25 points. Charles Reeves tallied 13, while pulling down 14 rebounds. Reeves also had five steals. Lucas Herrington had 11 points and five rebounds.
D.J. Austin paced the Potters with 17 points and four assists. Owen Crawford had 11 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Austin Emmerling scored 10, Isaac Davidson eight and Hayden Cunningham eight.
Even though this was a consolation game, the intensity of the game was more like that of a championship game. Players were continually diving on the floor for loose balls and knocking one another around. As the game wore on, the Potter faithful got louder and louder, exhorting their team on.
"We competed," said East Liverpool head coach Nate Conley. We got down early, but then we fought back. It's very hard to get up to play in the consolation game of your tournament, but we did. It was a great consolation game."
Steubenville jumped out to a 15-2 lead, but the Potters regrouped to pull even at 15 in the latter seconds of the first quarter. Herrington-Hill found the hoop for 11 points in the second quarter as both teams were wasting little getting up and down the floor. A Herrington-Hill drive enabled Steubenville to lead 33-30 at intermission.
"We told our guys before the game that even though we had beaten East Liverpool a couple of weeks ago at our place, that it was tough to beat them on their own floor," said Steubenville head coach Mike Haney. "We got out to an early lead, but then we gave up a couple of easy buckets. After we didn't get a couple of rebounds, they hit a couple of threes, and suddenly, they were back in it."
The Potters kept battling in the third quarter, tying the score twice, but unable to snag the lead. A Crawford basket at the buzzer pulled East Liverpool to within one, 51-50 heading into the final frame.
"We played well the last three quarters," said Conley. "We have to learn how not to get that far down. Our seniors stepped up and really worked in the latter stages of the game. We had trouble with their press. We have to do a better job handling the ball versus the press."
East Liverpool committed 24 turnovers. Steubenville had 18 errors.
An Austin basket at the 7:40 mark of the fourth quarter put East Liverpool up 52-51. This was the only time the Potters led in the final quarter, even though they managed a tie at 61-61 on an Austin 16-footer with 2:11 remaining. The Potters missed on two close-range shots at the 1:20 mark and then had two turnovers in the final minute, thwarting their chances for a victory.
Potter Aaron Long blocked three shots in the fourth quarter.
Steubenville won the battle of the boards 31-28. Steubenville defeated East Liverpool 87-63 on December 13 at Steubenville's Crimson Center.
Steubenville hosts Martins Ferry on Thursday. The Potters will host Youngstown Cardinal Mooney on Friday.
EAST LIVERPOOL: 15-15-20-11-61
STEUBENVILLE SCORING: Brandon Herring-Hill 11-2-25, Dimitrius Collaros 0-0-0, Lucas Herrington 4-3-11, Charles Reeves 6-1-13, Khaliq Bougard 0-2-2, Adam Sterling 1-0-3, Chris Smith 1-3-5, Shakur Thomas-Miller 1-0-3.TEAM TOTALS: 24, 11-23: 62.
EAST LIVERPOOL SCORING: Owen Crawford 5-0-11, Isaac Davidson 2-2-8, D.J. Austin 7-1-17, Hayden Cunningham 3-2-8, John Rickerd 0-0-0, Zack English 0-0-0, Kade Reynolds 2-0-5, Austin Emmerling 3-4-10, Aaron Long 1-0-2,. TEAM TOTALS: 23, 9-11: 61.
Three-point goals: Steubenville 3 (Herring-Hill, Sterling, Thomas-Miller), East Liverpool (Davidson 2, Austin 2, Crawford, Reynolds).