Golden Bears overthrown by Crusaders, 66-29
STEUBENVILLE – It was a game of contrasting styles.
The Steubenville Catholic Central boys’ basketball team used full-court pressure Wednesday night against Oak Glen, while the Golden Bears sat back in a 2-3 zone. In the end, the Crusaders were the aggressors throughout the night as Catholic Central took it to Oak Glen en route to a 66-29 victory.
The Crusaders led by as many as 38 points late in the fourth quarter.
Catholic Central (12-5) head coach Sean Tucker it is always a good night when you beat a team by more points than it scores.
“Absolutely,” he said.
The Crusaders scored in double digits in all four quarters, while the Golden Bears scored single digits in three of the four.
Oak Glen (2-10) head coach Dave Smith he said he hopes it was just one of those nights for his team.
“Definitely,” he said. “We have had a two-week layoff. We haven’t play in two weeks, and it showed. We have practiced for the last two weeks, and all of the stuff we had gone over did not help.
“We were unmotivated. That is the most unmotivated effort by our team this year.”
The Crusaders were balanced on the offensively as nine players registered a point in the game, including three players who scored in double digits. Ryan Fletcher collected a team-high 15 points to lead the way, while Michael Barber recorded 12 points and Tony Barber contributed 11 points.
“Catholic Central is a good team,” Coach Smith said. “They are a very-good team. They play as a team. They play together. They commit to each other.
“We were missing our two guys inside – David McGraw and Kyle Woodruff – because of injuries, and that hurt us.”
The Golden Bears made just nine field goals in the game. No Oak Glen player reached double digits in scoring.
Tyler Click and Bub Haddox each collected a team-high seven points, Bryan Congo contributed five points and Brennan Smith tallied four points. Also, Jakob Ford finished with three points, Aaron Gray recorded two points and Cyle Perez produced one point.
The Golden Bears were able to slow down the Crusaders early in the game, but once Catholic Central got going Oak Glen did not have an answer.
“Oak Glen did a really-good job running the 2-3 zone,” Tucker said. “I think it took us the first 1:30 of the game before we got our first shot off. We had to adjust. We were not attacking and getting inside, but I knew we would adjust soon.
“We got the zone figured out. Our shooters weren’t making any 3-pointers, but then we got our spacing right and we started attacking. We played to our strength. We played a lot better.”
The Crusaders nearly led from start to finish. The only time of the game came at 2-2 after Catholic Central and Oak Glen each netted a basket.
A three-point play by Martello with 1.5 seconds left in the quarter, gave the hosts a 13-5 lead after the first quarter.
The boys from Jefferson County extended their lead in the second stanza. A basket by Tony Barber gave Catholic Central a 28-12 advantage. The victors led 28-13 at halftime.
“Our bench played well,” Tucker said. “One of our sophomores – Tony Barber – played a key role. He gave us a spark that we needed. He is a great role player. He continues to improve daily.”
The Crusaders doubled up the Golden Bears in the third quarter as Catholic Central took a 48-23 lead into the fourth quarter.
The victory enabled Catholic Central to sweep the season series from Oak Glen. The Crusaders defeated the Golden Bears, 60-50, in a game played back on Dec. 17 at the Oak Glen Fieldhouse.
“We attacked the bucket,” Tucker said. “That is something we have worked on since the last time we played them. They were without two varsity players, and that played a factor. We did a great job on (Brennan) Smith.”
Oak Glen is scheduled to play Friday against East Liverpool at Potter Fieldhouse. Catholic Central is slated to play Malvern Saturday at home.
OAK GLEN: 5-8-10-6 – 29
STEUB. CC: 13-15-20-18 – 66
OAK GLEN SCORING: Matt Stipec 0 0-0 0, Tyler Click 2 2-4 7, Jakob Ford 1 0-0 3, Bub Haddox 3 0-1 7, Cyle Perez 0 1-2 1, Bryan Congo 1 2-2 5, Brennan Smith 1 2-4 4, Cole Beaver 0 0-0 0, Chase Hartley 0 0-0 0, Aaron Gray 1 0-0 2. TEAM TOTALS: 9, 7-11: 29.
CATHOLIC CENTRAL SCORING: Michael Barber 3 5-5 12, Brenton Colabella 2 0-1 4, Tony Barber 6 0-0 11, Jacob Rigaud 0 0-0 0, Austin Fowkes 1 0 0-0 2, Mike Manfresca 0 0-0 0, Ryan Fletcher 5 4-6 15, Matt Fisher 0 1-2 1, Brandon Sveck 1 2-2 4, Matt Martello 4 1-1 9, John-Paul Dombrowski 2 4-4 8, Joe Sanford 0 0-0 0. TEAM TOTALS: 23, 16-20: 66.
Three-point goals: Oak Glen 4 (Click, Ford, Haddox, Congo), Steubenville CC 3 (Michael Barber, Tony Barber, Fletcher).