Potters soar past Bears
EAST LIVERPOOL – The final home game for East Liverpool’s lone senior, Derek Thompson, went the way he planned.
“If you lose to Oak Glen or Wellsville Beaver Local, that’s the talk of the town,” Thompson said.
Thompson scored 10 points in leading East Liverpool past Oak Glen, 62-42, at the Potter Fieldhouse on Wednesday night.
“I had a fun year, even though people put us down sometimes,” Thompson said. “We still keep playing hard. I love my teammates and tonight it was good to go out with a win.”
The Potters improved to 7-14 on the season.
“It’s sad to see Derek Thompson leave,” East Liverpool coach Nate Conley said. “He had another good game here tonight so we will definitely miss him. But we have some young kids coming back and it’s always good to get a local win like this tonight.”
The Potters, who struggled from the field in a loss to Wheeling Park on Tuesday, found more success outside against the Golden Bears.
Conley wanted to see his team take positive steps on Wednesday and they did just that.
“We came out and our intensity was good right off the bat,” Conley said. “We didn’t continue to have the same intensity through the course of the game, but sometimes you’ll have that in games like this. They played hard we were able to execute early and we were able to get an early lead and it just coast from there.”
Kade Reynolds topped the Potters with 15 points. Hayden Cunningham added 11 and Ryian Burson eight.
Those jump shots that weren’t falling on Tuesday were going down more consistently on Wednesday. East Liverpool connected on five three-pointers in the first half.
“We hit five threes early and then of them were from Hayden Cunningham and that’s good because our three-point production has been down,” Conley said. “So that was nice to have that and we were able to get some touches down low. Oak Glen played man-to-man, they spread it out so we were pretty much able to run our offense. We dictated the tempo and that was our game plan for tonight.”
The Potters also stifled the Golden Bears with defense. During a timeout at the 2:29 mark of the second quarter, Conley instructed his team to not allow another point for the rest of the quarter.
The Potters allowed just three, and had allowed 14 for the entire half.
“Obviously I know they’re going to score, but our mentality is to say ‘you’re not scoring on me,'” Conley said. “That’s the type of mentality that you have to have and that’s what I’m trying to instill in these these guys, that their man is not going to score on them.
“I think we played great help side defense we got sloppy at the end. But if they play like they did in the first quarter, sometimes you have to take the fourth quarter like that.”
At halftime, the Potters had a 21-point advantage and led by as many as 28 in the third quarter.
“I was depressed at halftime, I just felt like we were flat and didn’t come out with a lot of energy So that might be a holdover from what we did last night against Toronto,” Oak Glen coach Dave Smith said. “But in the second half I thought we came out and play with a lot more energy. So at least we came out and we were competitive in the second half, and when you’re a two-win team, you have to take any positive you can get out of it.”
Taylor Kincaid paced the Golden Bears with 12 points. Carlos Sprott added 10.
Oak Glen drops to 2-16.
As the Potters righted the ship and begin preparations for tournament play, Conley could see a determination in his team when they arrived for a shoot-around before the game. The final tally was no surprise to him.
“We came in we shot around earlier today And the kids had a great attitude I could tell they were hungry,” Conley said. “So I had a feeling that this was going to happen tonight just because of our demeanor this afternoon.”
East Liverpool won the jayvee game 46-21. Zack Adkins led the Potters with eight points and Brent Waggle added seven points. Carlos Sprott paced the Golden Bears with five points.
OAK GLEN: 6- 8-13-15 – 42
E. LIVERPOOL: 19-16-11-16 – 62
OAK GLEN SCORING: Tyler Click 1-2-5, Taylor Kincaid 6-0-12, Cody Howell 2-0-4, Matt McLaughlin 1-3-5, David McGraw 1-0-2, Kyle Woodruff 1-1-4, Carlos Sprott 3-1-10. TOTALS: 15, 7-11: 42
EAST LIVERPOOL SCORING: Owen Crawford 1-0-2, D.J. Austin 3-0-6, Hayden Cunningham 3-4-11, Matt Hilditch 1-0-2, Ryian Burson 2-2-8, Kade Reynolds 5-2-15, Austin Emmerling 3-0-6, Aaron Long 1-0-2, Derek Thompson 3-4-10. TOTALS: 22, 12-14: 62
Three-pointers: Oak Glen 5 (Sprott 3,Woodruff, Click), East Liverpool 6 (Reynolds 3, Burson 2, Cunningham).