Potters bury Buckeye

Above, East Liverpool’s Gabe Roach shoots over Buckeye Local’s Hunter Darrah on Friday at Potter Fieldhouse. (Photo by Jimmy Joe Savage)

EAST LIVERPOOL — Talent-laden East Liverpool maintained its first-place grip in the Buckeye 8 North Division boys basketball standings as the Potters rolled to an 80-38 league romp over Buckeye Local Friday night on the Potters’ home hardwood.

East Liverpool raised its record to 4-1 overall and its a perfect 3-0 in Buckeye 8 play, while the Panthers dipped to 0-5 overall and 0-4 in league action.

“It was a good overall game, we shot the ball well tonight, along with causing some turnovers,” said East Liverpool coach Nate Conley. “I’m happy with where we’re at right now.”

East Liverpool set the tone early, jumping out to a 7-0 lead in the first minute of the game and took first-half quarter stop advantages of 24-8 and 40-19.

The veteran Potters’ quick, swarming defense forced 19 turnovers out of the youthful Panthers in the first half alone, many of which ended up in fastbreak points for East Liverpool.

“The press is something we have been working on because we are athletic,” said Conley. “We really haven’t done a lot of full-court stuff, so we thought this would be a good game to try it. I thought Nick Woodyard was really fast in the back of the (press), you could see why he was such a special football player this season.”

Buckeye Local coach Chris Heaton praised East Liverpool’s effort and hopes his team uses what the Potters have done as a blueprint for his extremely young squad.

“I have one senior that starts, one junior, two sophomores and a freshman,” said Heaton. “We’re kind of where East Liverpool was a couple years ago (playing youth) when they brought Gabe (Roach) and Tresean (Jackson) in as young players, and look where they are at now. That’s the team we want to develop into.”

East Liverpool was also deadly from long range as the Potters burned the nets for 10 three-pointers in the game, including six treys by talented junior guard Tresean Jackson, who took game scoring honors with 24 points.

“Tresean really got us going early,” said Conley. “He’s really shooting the ball well and also shot it well down at Big Red on Tuesday. He’s starting to hit his groove. He’s hit 12 three-pointers in the last two games.”

The Potters placed all 11 players who participated in the contest in the scoring column as guard Gabe Roach joined the double-figure parade with 15 points and senior Sobaan Razi came in during the second half and played very well, finishing with a season-high 10 markers. Nick Woodyard and Cameron Beverly added seven points each.

“It (the great start to the season) has been awesome,” said Razi, who Conley praised for an outstanding effort in helping the Potters add to their second-half lead. “We talk about (our goals this season). We want to go deep in the playoffs.”

Buckeye Local’s Hunter Darrah had a very good game inside for the Panthers and led them in scoring with 11 points. He also played well on the glass and had a blocked shot. Owen Long added eight points for the Panthers.

Buckeye Local’s offense settled down in the third quarter as the host Potters outscored the Panthers by just one point (15-14) to lead 55-33 after three periods.

“We thought going through the game we settled in and got a little more comfortable and got better,” said Heaton. “Their (the Potters’) trap kind of hurt us in the first half, and we went in at halftime and made some adjustments and I felt we played better in the second half. I thought that was a positive for us.

“Buckeye Local is going to get better, they’re young and they will continue to improve,” said Conley.

Conley cleared his bench in the fourth quarter and the Potter backups added to the lead as the hosts took their largest advantage at 42 points following a layup by Beverly at game’s end.

“I’m happy that our bench came in an performed well,” said Conley. “They came in and played very well.”

Game notes

¯ East Liverpool won the junior varsity game 62-29 over the Panthers.

Cole Dailey led the Potters with 16 points, while teammates Zavia Green, Tyler Roe and Cam Beverly added 10 markers each. Jacob Pielech led the Panthers with eight points.

¯ The Potters travel to Indian Creek on Tuesday in a Buckeye 8 contest.

“We’ve got a big week next week,” said Conley. “Indian Creek is always a tough team, so we have to be ready and then (later in the week) we go to Oak Glen who has a real good team.”

¯ Buckeye Local will host the Bellaire Big Reds next Thursday.

“We’re looking forward to getting back on the basketball court and putting our best foot forward,” Heaton said.

BUCKEYE LOCAL: 8-11-13- 6–38

EAST LIVERPOOL: 24-16-15-25–80

BUCKEYE LOCAL SCORING: Lance Novak 0-0-0, Josh Kinyo 0-0-0, Owen Long 2-3-8, Jacob Pielech 1-0-2, Jacob Moffo 1-1-3, Jake Mayle 1-0-3, Stevie Roberts 0-0-0, Cameron Grabits 0-0-0, Jacob Zanes 1-0-2, Dalton Watt 1-0-3, Mason Brown 3-0-6, Hunter Darrah 5-1-11. TEAM TOTALS: 15, 5-10: 38.

EAST LIVERPOOL SCORING: Nick Woodyard 3-1-7, Brennan O’Hara 2-0-4,

Timmy Neal 1-0-2, Gabe Roach 6-3-15, Levi George 1-0-3, Tresean

Jackson 9-0-24, Peyton Reed 1-0-2, Tyler Roe 2-0-4, Sobaan Razi

4-0-10, Izaiha Browning 0-2-2, Cameron Beverly 3-0-7. TEAM TOTALS: 32, 6-10: 80.

Three-point goals: Buckeye Local 3 (Owen Long, Jake Mayle, Dalton Watt). East Liverpool 10 (Tresean Jackson 6, Sobaan Razi 2, Cam Beverly, Levi George).