Beavers neutralize the Indians

SALINEVILLE – Number 1 of Beaver Local showed who is number one on Friday.

After a low-scoring first quarter, the Beaver Local boys basketball team opened up on Southern Local thanks to strong shooting from Jared Lyder on the way to a 52-38 victory.

The Beavers (7-4) never gave up the lead as Lyder, who scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half, saw a physical team in Southern Local.

“They banged down there, they have very physical players,” Lyder said. “They’re very intense. You should’ve heard them yelling at each other, and talking to each other.”

Lyder got bigger help from other players, which made a big difference as the Beavers opened their lead wider in the third quarter.

“The game changed, I thought, in the second half when Chase Hilliard and Hayden Grafton got two key steals and two big layups,” Lyder said. “Once we got that momentum, we just carried it in the second half.”

Beaver Local coach Jeremy Christen was happy with the results from the team despite the sluggish first quarter.

“We started a little slow at first, but we just picked up the pace,” Christen said. “We switched up our defense to a more jump-trap, and saw that it worked. Eventually they got themselves under control, and we just handled it from there.”

Josh Underwood also gave the Beavers a boost with his 10 points. Underwood, who went 4-for-4 at the foul line, has seen improvement as noticed by Christen.

“With his post presence, he’s going to see a lot of contact fouls,” Christen said. “We’ve been focusing on his foul shooting, and with him going 4-for-4 at the line tonight, it speaks volumes as he continues to work hard at that.”

The Indians (4-4) kept the game close in the first half, especially with strong defense inside the paint, forcing major turnovers throughout the game. Jared Shilot and Andrew Russell had a big night on defense as each had eight rebounds.

“We’re not a big shooting team,” Southern Local coach George Whittaker said. “We need to make sure we’re shooting better and more consistently. Sure it’s good to hold a team to eight points a quarter, but you can’t score in the 30s and expect to win every game.”

One shining light for the Indians was Michael Shope, who led the Indians with 13 points, and Whittaker took note of the improvement from the freshman guard.

“Shope played his best game tonight,” Whittaker said. “He has been improved well thoughout practice and continues to do well here.”

Troy Holden also boosted the Indians with nine points and six rebounds.

The junior varsity game had a different outcome with Southern winning 55-37.

Dominick Michael led the Indians with 18 points, while Chase Wilcox scored 13 for the Beavers.

Both teams are at home on Tuesday as Beaver Local hosts Struthers, and Southern hosts Columbiana.

BEAVER LOCAL: 8-15-12-17-52

SOUTHERN LOCAL: 6-10-9-12-38

BEAVER LOCAL SCORING: Chase Hilliard 2-3-7, Jared Lyder 8-4-20, Hayden Grafton 4-0-9, Ethan Campbell 1-0-2, Bryce McKenzie 1-0-2, Chandler Cornell 1-0-2, Josh Underwood 3-4-10, Logen Andrews 1-0-2. TEAM TOTALS: 20, 11-19: 52

SOUTHERN LOCAL SCORING: M.J. Williams 1-0-2, Jared Shilot 2-0-4, Tim Thrasher 0-0-0, Caleb Gotschall 1-0-2, Troy Holden 3-3-9, Andrew Russell 1-3-5, Michael Shope 6-1-13, Chrsitian Adkins 0-0-0, Josh Brown 1-0-2, Domanick Michael 0-0-0, Jaret Dowling 0-1-1. TEAM TOTALS: 15, 8-13: 38

Three-point goals: Beaver Local 1 (Grafton).