Potters get to Creek
WINTERSVILLE — Wins and losses still matter, but this year is more about the kids getting the chance to play the sports they love.
The Indian Creek boys basketball team stepped onto the court Monday night for just the fifth team this season to play a game, and the game against East Liverpool was just the Redskins’ second since Dec. 11.
The Redskins held their own early on, but the Potters caught fire and ended up pulling away for a 64-35 victory on the road.
“They made shots,” Indian Creek (1-4) head coach Joe Dunlevy said about what led to East Liverpool pulling away from his team. “They hit some big 3s to expand the lead. We turned it over, and they were able to get layups. Those live ball turnovers will kill you every time. We knew they were going to make shots. We wanted to try to not commit turnovers.”
Indian Creek scored the first two points of the game for its biggest and only lead of the game, while East Liverpool led by as many as 20 (32-12) in the first half before leading by as many as 32 (64-32) in the second. The Potters scored in double digits in all four quarters, while the Redskins reached double digits in two.
Hunter Rothacker recorded a team-high 14 points to lead the way for the Redskins, while Logan Schafer finished with eight points and a team-high six rebounds.
“We got four games in, and we had to sit due to quarantine. I wish everybody could see how these kids are handling everything,” Dunlevy said. “If everybody would handle it or try to handle it with the same discipline and handle it as well as these kids have, things would be better. It comes at you.
“I talk all the time about how athletics prepares you for life. It is not fair sometimes. The first time we had to sit I knew the kids were devastated. You see them at practice, and you can’t tell. They practice hard, and they came out tonight and played hard. They always represent the high school and the school district well. They battle. They have shown a lot of mental toughness, and it is not just them. The whole student body has shown it.”
A trio of players produced double digits in points for the Potters. Cole Dailey tallied a game-high 24 points to lead the way for East Liverpool, while Zavea Green and Cam Beverly each collected 10 points. Dailey also grabbed eight rebounds. Green entered the game coming off of a 30-point performance Friday night at Edison.
“He’s a real-nice player,” Dunlevy said about Green. “They have a lot of nice players. Dailey killed us with 24.”
“They are well coached. They play together. They have a nice team. Nate (Conley) does a better job every year with his kids, and he is doing a good job again this year. They lost a lot of kids from last year. You can say they have reloaded.”
The Potters took a 16-5 lead after one quarter, and they extended their lead to 33-16 at halftime. East Liverpool led, 48-23 entering the fourth.
East Liverpool won the jayvee game, 32-14. Preston Dawson produced a game-high 12 points for the Potters, while Preston Kerr recorded 10. Santana Smith scored a team-high eight points to lead the way for the Redskins.
Both teams will face each other again tonight at East Liverpool.
“At this point, I agree it is about the kids getting a chance to play,” Dunlevy said. “With everything we have been through, it has made it tough. This was just our fifth game, and it is Jan. 11. When I look at our original schedule, we have made about 16 changes to the 22-game schedule, and that is with us playing our first three games on the right dates.
“It is more of a mental thing. Our kids come to practice, and they practice. They practice hard, and they play hard. We are just dealing with whatever comes our way. Some teams have played double figures in games and this was our fifth game. If we play tomorrow, that will be our sixth.”
E. LIVERPOOL: 16-17-15-16– 64
INDIAN CREEK: 5-11-7-12–35
EAST LIVERPOOL (6-2): Stull 2 0-0 4, Kerr 1 0-0 3, Dailey 10 3-5 24, Toothman 2 0-0 6, Green 3 4-6 10, Moman 0 0-0 0, Allen 0 0-0 0, Dawson 0 0-0 0, Beverly 3 4-6 10, Deal 2 1-2 5, Smith 0 0-0 0, Ludwig 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 24, 12-19: 64.
INDIAN CREEK (1-4): Francis 1 1-2 3, M. Kuczykowski 0 0-0 0, L. Kuczykowski 1 2-3 4, Williams 0 0-0 0, Morelli 0 1-2 1, Vandeborne 2 0-0 5, Pownell 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Schaffer 3 2-4 8, Freshwater 0 0-0 0, Rothacker 4 6-12 14. TOTALS: 11, 12-23: 35.
3-POINT GOALS: East Liverpool 4 (Toothamn 2, Kerr, Dailey); Indian Creek 1 (Vandeborne). REBOUNDS: East Liverpool 29 (Dailey 8); Indian Creek 20 (Schafer 6). TURNOVERS: East Liverpool 16; Indian Creek 19.