Potters turn off the Electrics
EAST LIVERPOOL–No. 5 seed East Liverpool used a combined 59 points from Zavea Green and Cole Dailey to down Philo 81-68 on Wednesday in a Div. II sectional contest.
The Potters advance to host No. 9 seed Cambridge at 7 p.m. on Saturday after Cambridge upset the No. 2 seed Steubenville on Wednesday. East Liverpool moves to 11-8 and Philo finishes at 2-19.
“Cole and Zavea were just tough tonight,” East Liverpool coach Nate Conley said. “Offensively, defensively, rebounding, they were a dynamic duo tonight. It was nice have Devin (Toothman) back, even though he was limited, it was still a fresh breath of air that our point guard was back after the struggle we have had over the past few games.”
Toothman sprained his ankle seven days ago and had missed the past week of games.
“He just relaxes us and I feel like we are more confident when he is on the court,” Conley said about Toothman.
Green finished with 32 points and Dailey had 27. Toothman added 10 while Jerone Deal was a spark off the bench for the Potters, recording 10 points and making his presence on defense known.
“He came out tonight and really gave us a spark on defense,” Conley said about Deal. “I thought he was tremendous tonight.”
Philo led 10-4 to open the game but East Liverpool ended the first quarter on a 16-5 run and never looked back from there, extending the lead every quarter.
“Early in the game I thought it was a good game from us both offensively and defensively, but there were a couple possessions for us that we missed layups and that turned into transition points for them and that was the swing,” Philo coach Greg Haberfield said.
Ohio University commit AJ Clayton led the way for Philo with 44 of their 68 points. Clayton is technically a junior, but reclassified as a senior to join the Bobcats early, so this was his final game for the Electrics.
“AJ Clayton is unstoppable and had his way with us,” Conley said. “He is a special basketball player.”
“AJ is a tremendous player and individual,” Haberfield said. “One of the best kids I have ever been around and has the hardest work ethic I have seen in a long time and it shows. I wasn’t surprised with what we saw tonight.”
As they love to do, the Potters were able to turn offense into defense and get out in transition for points to gain momentum and pad their lead.
“I think it was more defensively than offensively,” Green said about the Potters strength. “At times, it can be hard for us to get going offensively but when we shut the other team down and don’t let them score it is easier to keep the game in our hands.”
“We have seen some teams with size this year but East Liverpool by far has the most length we have seen,” Haberfield said.
“We knew what we were going to get. I felt our smaller guards were able to pin and work out on those big guys,” Haberfield added. “They are a handful.”
The Potters are coming off a four-game losing streak, all of which were games where the team blew fourth quarter leads.
“Those games helped us because the same type of situation tonight we were in those four games prior so it is kind of a humbling experience that we lost those games. It gave us more gratitude to win these games and matured us to play harder in the fourth quarter,” Green said.
“The way we lost the last four games, blowing fourth quarter leads, is in the back of your mind and I wanted to see how the kids responded,” Conley said.
Another thing the Potters did this week different than the past month was practice.
“Monday was our first practice in February and these guys need reps,” Conley said. “These young guys need reps and they got them this week.”
¯ Cambridge defeated Steubenville 58-41.
¯ Cambridge has had three different COVID stops this season.
“I thought they were one of the better teams coming into the season and they just haven’t been able to catch a break,” Conley said. “Once they get their legs under them they are going to be tough.”
E. LIVERPOOL: 20-19-23-19–81
PHILO SCORING: AJ Clayton 17-9-44, Demetrius Strickland 0-0-0, Jaxson Radcliffe 2-0-4, Case Fink 0-0-0, Owen Smith 2-0-6, Nick Morgan 0-0-0, Aidan Bankes 0-0-0, Wesley Wilson 1-0-3, Carter McCutchen 4-0-11. TEAM TOTALS: 26, 9-12: 68.
E. LIVERPOOL SCORING: Chance Stull 0-0-0, Preston Kerr 0-2-2, Cole Dailey 10-5-27, Marquise Glenn 0-0-0, Devin Toothman 3-4-10, Zavea Green 12-6-32, Antoine Moman 0-0-0, Jamar Allen 0-0-0, Paxton Grimes 0-0-0, Cam Beverly 0-0-0, Jerone Deal 5-0-10, Jake Smith 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 30, 17-22: 81.
Three-point goals: Philo 7 (McCutchen 3, Smith 2, Wilson, Clayton), E. Liverpool 4 (Green 2, Dailey 2).