WELLSVILLE - The Wellsville boys basketball team were ready to rebound, and rebound it did.
Less than a week after their first mishap of the season, the Tigers bounced back in a big way by knocking off Western Reserve 81-61 Friday night to remain atop of the ITCL Lower Tier.
The Tigers (8-1, 5-0) never gave up the lead as it started both halves with three-pointers from the Tigers' top shooters Camden Douglas and Jordan Sloan.
Douglas, who led with 23 points, five assists and four steals, felt the team needed to boost back from its loss to East Liverpool last Saturday.
"There was a big goal to bounce back from the loss to East Liverpool," Douglas said. "We wanted to set the tempo early and keep things rolling to get back on track."
Douglas noted the work from Sloan, who helped open up the lead in the second half with his three three-pointers in the third quarter.
"He (Sloan) has been playing really great for us this year," Douglas said. "The entire team has been stepping up and making a difference for us."
The Tigers also got big action from Seth Bradford, who scored 12 points and had 13 rebounds, along with Nate Scott's nine points and two steals.
The team continued to practice even as school wasn't in session due to the sub-zero temperatures.
"We've come out even when we weren't in class," Douglas said. "The time off from school didn't affect us. We practiced as much as we could."
Tigers coach David "Bug" Thompson felt that Christmas vacation did more damage to the Tigers than the last six days.
"The layoffs during Christmas break probably are what hurt us a little bit, but you still have to be ready for East Liverpool no matter what," Thompson said. "Having a chance to play a couple games over break would give us a little advantage."
The Blue Devils (2-5, 1-4) trailed by as much as nine in the first half, but they were able to rally a little bit in the second quarter and cut Wellsville's lead down to one courtesy of Nick Tobin, who led with 21 points, and later from Nolan Snyder with 12.
The second half gave the Blue Devils trouble due to Sloan, and Blue Devils coach Patsy Daltorio knew that a mix of strong Tigers offense and weak Blue Devil offense scoring caused the downfall.
"Coming out of the second half, I don't know if it was flat, but Sloan hit those shots early," Daltorio said. "Goodness gracious, we knew that coming off the boards, that was going to be our biggest thing. We have to limit them to one shot."
Both teams have little rest as they return to action this evening. Daltorio notes that the Blue Devils will try for the same tenacity against Rootstown.
"We're going to go for the same tenacity and fight as we had tonight," Daltorio said. "We played with some confidence tonight as a team fighting with some identity. Regardless, you want to be the team to go one way. Play hard and play smart."
Thompson also looks forward to playing back-to-back games as the Tigers' host Oak Glen.
"Some of the guys may not be as comfortable with back-to-back games this week," Thompson said. "I think we'll be fine once we get back into the swing of things."
The Tigers also won the junior varsity game 64-46.
Nigel Spann led the Tigers with 16 points, while Tommy Wolfe shot for 13 points for the Blue Devils.
Wellsville has set its make-up date for their road game at Lowellville for Feb. 21. Western Reserve has yet to determine make-up dates for four of its games.
W. RESERVE: 12-17-11-21-61
WESTERN RESERVE SCORING: Tristen Bova 1-0-2, Dan Zilke 1-0-3, Nick Tobin 10-1-21, Nolan Snyder 5-1-12, Joe Falasca 3-0-6, Walker Marlowe 1-3-6, Lance Dezee 4-0-8, John Clegg 1-0-3. TEAM TOTALS: 25, 5-10: 61.
WELLSVILLE SCORING: Camden Douglas 8-2-23, Tyshawn Franklin 1-0-2, Nate Scott 4-0-9, Antonio Fultz 2-0-4, Seth Bradford 6-0-12, Jansen Stokes 2-0-4, Jordan Sloan 7-1-19, Nigel Spann 2-0-5, Sam McIntosh 1-1-3. TEAM TOTALS: 33, 4-11: 81
Three-point goals: Western Reserve 4 (Zilke, Snyder, Marlowe, Clegg), Wellsville 11 (Douglas 5, Sloan 4, Scott, Spann).