Trip to UL was a slam dunk for Red Devils

It was a prosperous week for Kim Clifford and his St. Clairsville Red Devils.

The Saints first piled up 101 points in a Tuesday blowout of Bellaire. They finished what they started Friday at Morristown, breezing to a 76-44 victory over out-manned Union Local.

St. C. improves to 8-2 with two home games scheduled next week at the county seat. The Devils welcome John Marshall for a Tuesday tipoff. Clifford’s quint then attempts to avenge one of its two losses when Indian Creek invades on Friday.

“That’s just a very good, athletic team with a number of good shooters,” UL coach Vaughn Butler said of the Red Devils. “We didn’t defend them very well tonight.”

Butler’s assessment was right-on, considering St. C. connected for a season-high 13, three-point buckets. At the end of the day, however, Clifford was likely more pleased with his team’s work at the other end.

“Our defense probably gets a little overlooked,” he remarked. “Our kids take pride in that aspect of our game. I felt we did a real nice job this week.”

Additionally, St. C. is obviously valuing each possession. Despite their end-to-end up-tempo style, the Red Devils were charted for no more than five turnovers in Friday’s win.

“We probably don’t hold onto the ball long enough to turn it over,” smiled Clifford. “We passed the ball very well tonight and as a result, got a number of good looks.”

St. Clairsville was a 20-11 leader after one panel before extending the margin to 44-25 at halftime.

Junior ace Dan Monteroso scored 19 of his game-leading 24 points prior to the break.

“We started a little slow and Dan took it upon his shoulders to get us going,” Clifford advised.

Monteroso’s production included 13-game high rebounds and four blocked shots. Classmate Jerrid Marhefka was also outstanding, with a solid 16-point outing. Dependable junior Riley Carlton contributed 11 counters with junior Jared Burghy coming off the bench to drain a trio of bonus buckets.

Also going deep for St. C. were juniors Adam Jeffries, Dylan Campbell and Zach Keylor.

UL senior Gene Lattocha knocked down four buckets beyond the arc and topped the Jets with 14 points. Junior Jacob Bailey netted a dozen and freshman Gavin Porter scored seven off the bench.

St. C. finished 29-of-62 from the floor. The Red Devils collected 37 rebounds. UL was 17-of-50 from the perimeter. Sophomore Eric Dunfee snared six of the hosts’ 29 boards. The Jets were guilty of 16 giveaways.

UL, which has a Tuesday night road test at Barnesville, was a 46-45 victor in Friday’s jayvee contest.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE (76) – Nemeti 0, 0-0 0; Panepucci 0, 0-0 0; Derosa 0, 0-0 0; Giffin 0-, 0-0 0; Coleman 0, 0-2 0; Jeffries 1, 0-0 3; Campbell 2, 0-0 6; Keylor 3, 0-1 7; Burghy 3, 0-0 9; Carlton 4, 0-0 11; Marhefka 6, 1-1 16; Monteroso 10, 4-5 24. Totals – 29, 5-9. UNION LOCAL (44) – Tipton 0, 0-0 0; Jones 0, 0-0 0; Dunfee 0, 0-0 0; Barnes 0, 0-2 0; McGary 0, 1-2 1; Montag 2, 0-0 4; Ogilbee 2, 0-0 6; Porter 3, 0-0 7; Bailey 5, 1-2 12; Lattocha 5, 0-1 14. Totals – 17, 2-7.

Three-point goals. St. Clairsville – Burghy (3), Carlton (3), Marhefka (3), Campbell (2), Keylor, Jeffries. Union Local – Lattocha (4), Ogilbee (2), Bailey, Porter.

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