Beaver Local swarms Steubenville Central

STEUBENVILLE — The defense never rested in Beaver Local’s 45-32 OVAC consolation pool victory over Catholic Central Friday night inside the Mickey Barber Gymnasium.

Down 10-7 after one, the Beavers switched things up defensively, going with a 2-3 zone. The result–coach Jason Pacanowski’s club held the Crusaders to just two second quarter points. Beaver Local took a 13-12 halftime lead on a Logan Reed make.

Beaver Local extended its advantage by outscoring Central 18-3 in the third quarter. Heading into the final frame, the Beavers were up 30-21.

“Defensively, we made a change that gave us some energy,” said Pacanowski. “Our 2-3 zone shut them down in the second quarter and basically the first four minutes of the third. Obviously when your defense makes stops, you get better energy on both ends of the floor.

“We made a ton of stops in a row and that changed the whole game. Switching to our 2-3 trap defense was the key to our success tonight.”

Central coach Mike Holmes agreed that defense made all the difference.

“We kind of knew four different defenses were coming at us tonight,” he said. “That’s one reason why I don’t like playing back-to-back games (Central went on the road Thursday and defeated Valley 43-34). We need time to prepare. I was burning every time out early just to talk about things.

“That was an extended 2-3 which we haven’t see much of. We got into a rush on the offensive end. We’ve been very good with the ball lately but we weren’t tonight. We’ve been turning over 10 times a game instead of 20 like we had tonight so we basically lost 10 possessions. We just can’t do that.”

Beaver Local, which closes regular season play at 7-14, was paced by Luke Chetock’s 12 points. Josh Hilditch added nine and Grant Hall eight to go along with 10 rebounds.

“We open tournament play on March 2 at Morgan so we have time to get some rest,” Pacanowski said. “We’ve dealt with a lot of injuries lately and hopefully we can stay away from that.

“I was extremely happy with the focus we have from the second quarter on tonight. We’ve been right there this year. We’ve lost seven games by four points or less. We just couldn’t get over the hump but tonight we really stepped it up defensively.”

Central’s Luca Connor took game scoring honors with 13 points. He accounted for all 10 of Central’s first quarter points. Ryan Gorman contributed nine for the Crusaders, who also stand at 7-14. Central will drop the regular season curtain Tuesday when Harrison Central visits.

“I was very happy with our defense tonight, especially on their post player (Jaden Kiddey),” Holmes said. “He’s good and obviously we had to spend a lot of time and focus on him. I thought our guys did a good job of that.”

GAME NOTES

≤ Ryan Cunningham knocked down a game high 15 points as Beaver Local posted a 57-23 victory in the junior varsity contest. Toby Lesnefsky tallied 13 to pace the Crusaders.

BEAVER: 7-6-17-15 — 45

CENTRAL: 10-2-9-11 — 32

BEAVER LOCAL (7-14): Barber 0 2-2 2; Chetock 4 2-2 12; Joseph 0 1-2 1; Hilditch 2 4-6 9; Reed 2 0-0 4; Kiddey 1 5-6 7; Hall 3 2-5 8; Brown 0 0-0 0; Stephenson 1 0-0 2; Ditri 0 0-0 0; Agnew 0 0-0 0; Pappas 0 0-0 0; Cunningham 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 16-23 45.

CATHOLIC CENTRAL (7-14): Connor 5 1-2 13; Hough 1 0-0 2; M. Rook 0 0-0 0; J. Rook 0 0-0 0; Gorman 3 2-3 9; Carapellotti 1 3-5 6; Argentine 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 11 6-10 32.

3-POINT GOALS: Beaver Local 3 (Chetock 2; Hilditch); Central 4 (Connor 2; Gorman; Carapellotti); REBOUNDS: Beaver Local 23 (Hall 10); Central 16 (Argentine, Carapellotti 4 each); TURNOVERS: Beaver Local 16; Central 20.