EAST LIVERPOOL - The Youngstown Ursuline Irish's press forced the Painesville Harvey Red Raiders into numerous turnovers during the second and third quarters on their way to capturing the Potter Holiday Classic 78-51 at East Liverpool's Potter Fieldhouse.
Ursuline (5-2) used their zone press to score a number of breakaway baskets as they outscored the Red Raiders 42-24 over the middle quarters. Tournament Most Valuable Player Desmond McElroy netted 18 points to lead Ursuline to the win. He was joined in double figures by David Collins with 13, Gino Naples 11, Vito Penza 10 and Paul Jackson 10.
Harvey (3-2) was paced by Markell Stokes with 11 and Lavelle Morgan 10.
"Our zone trapping gave them problems," said Ursuline head coach Keith Gunther. "We wanted to take Number 4 (Jayden Dixon) out of the game for Painesville and our trap defense did that."
Dixon had scored 21 points Friday on seven three-pointers versus host East Liverpool.
Leading 43-29 at halftime, the Irish's press really started to pay dividends in the third quarter as they continually forced turnovers. They outran Harvey by a 20-5 margin in that quarter.
"We were flying around and that got us out and into our transition game," Gunther said. "We were getting our hands on the ball. As the third quarter went on, we started stretching our lead out further and further. Our defense was the reason we won."
Ursuline hosts Canton Central Catholic on Thursday.
This was the second consecutive Potter Holiday Classic title for Ursuline who defeated East Liverpool in the 2012 championship.
"We really enjoy coming down here," said the Ursuline coach. "This is a great place to play and the fans are so supportive of all the teams. I hope they invite us back again."
In addition to McElroy, the All-Tournament team consisted of Tieran Gaston (Harvey), D.J. Austin (East Liverpool), Brandon Herring-Hill (Steubenville) and Collins (Ursuline).
PAINESVILLE HARVEY SCORING: Devin Hamilton 3-0-8, Lavelle Morgan 3-4-10, Jayden Dixon 2-0-6, David Holbert 1-2-5, Chris Spikes 1-0-3, Markell Stokes 5-1-11, Tieran Gaston 3-0-6, Jalen Powell 0-0-0, Andrew Jones 1-0-2. TEAM TOTALS: 19, 6-9: 51.
YOUNGSTOWN URSULINE SCORING: Desmond McElroy 6-5-18, Mark Hughes 1-2-5, Vito Penza 2-6-10, David Collins 6-1-13, Vince Venzeio 0-0-0, Paul Jackson 4-2-10, Greg Parella 2-0-5, Gino Naples 5-1-11, Mike Hughes 0-0-0, Armon Nasseri 2-0-4, Anthony Protopapa 0-0-0, Dakota Hobbs 1-0-2. TEAM TOTALS: 29, 17-26: 78.
Three-point goals: Painesville Harvey 7 (Hamilton 2, Dixon 2, Holbert, Spikes, Stokes), Youngstown Ursuline 3 (McElroy, Mark Hughes, Parella).