Palestine finds its way back after long layoff

LISBON — The Lisbon Blue Devils entered their game with East Palestine having a distinct edge. The Devils, having already played eight games compared to the Bulldogs who were playing their first contest, used that advantage to throttle the Bulldogs 66-26.

“The best thing about it is that these kids got to come out and play. It was nice to finally get out to play. The kids came out and played tough even though the scoreboard doesn’t show it. It’s our first game and their (Lisbon’s) eighth. I told the kids that there is no excuse for this, but you have to look at that,” Bulldogs coach Bill Stanton said.

“It was a catch-22. Not knowing what to expect, or what to prepare for. Basically winging it,” Blue Devils coach Chris Huckshold said about facing a Bulldogs team that hadn’t played yet. “You don’t have a scrimmage film or anything. Coach Stanton will have them playing better basketball, and I’m sure that when we go over to East Palestine it will be a different team and they will be way more prepared.”

The Buldog season was delayed due to COVID-19 precautions taken by the school district.

The victory improves the Blue Devils to 7-2 on the season, 4-0 in the EOAC. The Devils bounced back from a hard-fought 66-54 loss to Heartland Christian Monday night.

“Regardless of wins and losses it’s always nice to get back on the court the next day,” Devils coach Chris Huckshold said “We had a tough, emotional game and we didn’t play our best. The kids obviously were not happy last night. But they quickly learned from it and got to come out the next night and got to play. That’s a positive.”

“It was very important to come back to our home floor and just get back into the momentum of the season and get another one in the W column,” Devils senior Blayne Brownfield added. Brownfield led the Devils with 18 points and 7 rebounds.

The Blue Devils jumped out to an early 16-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. They started the second quarter with a 7-2 run to boost their lead to 23-7 early in the frame before heading into the intermission with a 15-point, 31-15 advantage.

The Devils blew the game wide open in the third quarter with a 7-0 run to start the second half and score 30 points total in the stanza to lead 61-22 at the end of the period. Both teams substituted freely in the final period as they combined to only score nine points total in the frame.

“We’re 7 and 2 after tonight. Last year at this time we were 2 and 6, so those first games that we lost last year, the senior leadership, and young guys starting to learn, picking up things, those losses last year are wins this year,” Huckshold said about the growth of his team.

“They are a bigger team,” Stanton said. “We worked hard on moving fast. But how do you stop that when you don’t have a big kid. We couldn’t do anything other than hustle around them. I’m happy with the first game and there are things we need to fix, yes. But I’m happy that we came out and played hard. At the end of the day that is the thing that you can build upon.”

The Blue Devils will try to keep things rolling in their next contest this Friday when they host the Columbiana Clippers. The Bulldogs will try to bounce back when they host Valley Christian this Friday.

EAST PALESTINE: 5-10-7-4–26

LISBON: 16-15-30-5–66

EAST PALESTINE SCORING: Tyler Bistarkey 0-0-0, Weston Jones 1-2-5, Zion Figley 3-0-6, Dom Wycoff 2-7-13, Evan Smith 1-0-2, Thomas Shasteen 0-0-0, Dom Fertsch 0-0-0, Aidan McTrusty 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 7, 9-12: 26.

LISBON SCORING: Adam Spencer 0-0-0, Ryan McCullough 3-0-8, Trevor Siefke 4-0-11, Tyler Welsh 1-0-3, Blayne Brownsfield 6-6-18, Hunter Sturgeon 3-5-11, Hunter Dailey 6-0-12, Logan Stauffer 1-0-3, Chris Dunn 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 24, 11-16: 66.

Three-point goals: East Palestine 3 (Dom Wycoff 2, Weston Jones 1); Lisbon 7 (Trevor Siefke 3, Ryan McCullough 2, Tyler Welsh 1, Logan Stauffer 1)


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