STEUBENVILLE-Big Red's basketball team is known for causing chaos with its full-court pressure defense. On Tuesday at the Crimson Center, its offense added to the mayhem.
Swishing its first six field goal tries (the initial three came from behind the arc) to open the second period, Mike Haney's cagers broke open a fairly tight contest and coasted to an 81-46 victory over John Marshall.
The Big Red shot a red-hot 70 percent (seven of 10) from the floor during the stanza. Up 18-13 after one, thanks to a Mylik Young hoop at the buzzer, the hosts got rolling when Periogn West nailed a triple. Tajuan Lawson connected from downtown and John Linn followed suit. Baskets by Young, Brandon Herring-Hill and Lawson (he also nailed two free throws) increased the Big Red advantage to 20 (35-15). It was 40-19 Big Red at the half.
For the night, Big Red, now 2-1, hit on 32 of 51 attempts for a torrid 63 percent.
"Our shot selection was very good," Haney said. "We had some open threes and we didn't have too many forced shots. We moved the ball well, made the extra passes and had nice looks at the basket. We were definitely happy with that."
When discussing the second quarter burst, Haney noted "we got on about a three-minute roll. We were shooting good, making good passes and getting good looks.
"The downside was after that we had a bad three minutes. The ball was flying around, we weren't scoring points and we didn't take good care of the ball."
Defensively, it was a pretty typical Big Red performance. The Monarchs were forced into 29 turnovers and the winners recorded 24 steals (Lawson, Herring-Hill and Young all had five).
"They shot really well, but obviously their pressure bothered us," John Marshall's Bill Storm said. "We had us with 15 turnovers in the first half and just five rebounds. That shows a non-aggressive team that is very passive and that's what we were tonight."
Storm admitted he "didn't think the pressure would bother us that badly."
"I told our kids they would try to turn us and then jump us," he continued. "I pointed out that if we gave it up, we would have numbers at the other end. But telling something and doing something are two different things."
Haney was quick to point out his Big Red "played good team defense."
"We were trapping and really moving around," he added. "But, I'm upset with how many turnovers we had (the Big Red finished with 21). We caused some then we threw the ball away. We missed too many layups that could have been assists. We didn't capitalize on the mistakes we caused and that's a concern."
Four Big Red players reached double figures. Lawson paced the way with 17 (he also had four assists). Herring-Hill added 15, West 13 and Young 12 (he led the winners in rebounding with nine).
"He had a solid game," Haney said of Lawson's performance. "Defensively, he applied ball pressure and was trapping well. He had some steals and a couple of good passes. And, he definitely shot the ball well (he was three for three from the floor in the second period)."
Evan Magers and Cole Sobutka had 11 each for the Monarchs, now 1-1.
John Marshall will return to action Friday when it travels to Parkersburg South.
"They're going to put pressure on us also," Storm noted. "They're bigger than Big Red and awfully good. So we need to get to work tomorrow."
Big Red hosts East Liverpool Saturday, the junior varsity game tipping at 4 p.m.
"We're getting there," Haney pointed out. "We thought keeping them off the foul line helped us tonight. Plus we went 12 of 16 from the line and that's been area of concern. Our free throw shooting has been bad. We've worked on that a little. They only shot eight and that was a positive for us."
Big Red 81, John Marshall 46
John Marshall 13 6 13 14 - 46
Steubenville 18 22 28 13 - 81
JOHN MARSHALL (1-1): Och 3 0-0 8; Davis 2 0-0 4; Kibert 0 0-1 0; Filben 3 1-1 8; Whitfield 0 1-2 1; Horan 0 0-0 0; Sadoski 1 0-0 2; Smith 0 1-2 1; Magers 5 0-0 11; Whorton 0 -0 0; Sobutka 5 1-2 11. TOTALS: 19 5-8 46. 3-pointers: Och (2), Filben, Magers; Rebounds: 19 (Sobutka 6); Turnovers: 29.
BIG RED (2-1): West 4 4-4 13; Linn 2 2-2 7; Herring-Hill 7 0-0 15; Bailey 0 0-0 0; Lawson 6 3-3 17; Herrington 0 0-0 0; Young 6 0-1 12; Sterling 0 1-2 1; Redman 3 1-2 7; Smith 3 1-2 7; Purdue 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 32 12-16 81. 3-pointers: West, Linn, Herring-Hill, Lawson (2); Rebounds: 29 (Young 9); Steals: 24 (Lawson, Herring-Hill, Young 5 each); Turnovers: 21.