St. Clairsville routs Bellaire
St. Clairsville came out of the gates Tuesday evening not shooting the ball as well as it’s accustomed to.
However, it didn’t take the Red Devils too long to find the shooting stroke.
Burying 15 three-point goals, which is one shy of the Red Devils’ school record, St. C. ran away from Bellaire (1-9) for a 95-42 victory in front of a large turnout inside the Devils’ Den.
“We didn’t shoot it great early, but we used some different combinations and came out with a little better purpose,” said St. C. head coach Kim Clifford, who watched his team improve to 6-1 entering this evening’s home game against Steubenville. “We’ve got three games this week and we broke up some rhythms because of trying to sub more and keep some guys fresh.”
The Red Devils – despite their early struggles from the field – were never challenged by the Big Reds, who continue their rebuilding process under second-year head coach J.R. Battista.
“St. Clairsville has a lot of skill and they deserve to win like they are,” Battista said. “They’ve got a lot of kids who have invested a lot of time. You don’t shoot the ball as well as they do by accident. You have to put a lot of time and effort into shooting the ball. It’s a skill.”
The Red Devils owned an 18-9 lead after one period and then outscored the Big Reds, 29-11 in the second for a 47-20 reading at half.
In the third quarter, the Red Devils really got it cranked up on both ends.
“I thought we played well in the third quarter,” Clifford said. “There was a stretch in there where we really shot the ball well. We need to play that way a lot.”
St. C. doubled up the Big Reds, 26-13 in the third and Clifford emptied his bench before the final buzzer of the third.
The Red Devils were once again balanced in the scoring column. Senior Adam Jeffries and Dylan Campbell led the way with 21 each. Campbell led the squad with five triples.
Senior Dan Monteroso, who continues his assault on the 2,000-point barrier, went for 20.
Senior Riley Carlton buried four treys and finished with 16 points.
“We knew we’d hit shots eventually,” Clifford said. “These kids have a lot of time invested in it. It was a matter of who was going to start hitting and we had a few guys start.”
Bellaire, which battled the entire game as it has all season, was led by Kenny Hess’ 15 points. Nathan Steele finished with 10 points.
“Our kids always battle and play their hardest,” Battista said. “We tried to hang onto it early, but they dropped in a few and then you have to start helping and it’s really tough.”
The Big Reds return home for two this weekend.
They’ll host Buckeye Local on Friday and Barnesville on Saturday.
St. Clairsville made it a sweep with a 63-33 victory in the jayvee encounter.
BELLAIRE (42) – Steele 3, 1-2 10; Ramsey 2, 0-0 4; Callarik 0, 3-4 3; Westlake 1, 0-0 2; Back 1, 0-0 2; Patrone 2, 0-0 4; Hall 0, 0-0 0; Hess 7, 1-4 15; Bentz 1, 0-0 2; Totals: 17, 5-10 42. ST. CLAIRSVILLE (95) – Marhefka 2, 0-2 4; Jeffries 7, 4-4 21; Giffin 0, 0-0 0; Monteroso 6, 6-7 20; Carlton 6, 0-0 16; Campbell 7, 2-3 21; Burghy 0, 0-0 0; Derosa 2, 1-2 6; Keylor 0, 0-0 0; Gossett 2, 0-1 4; Coleman 0, 0-0 0; Panepucci 1, 1-1 3; Totals: 33, 14-20 95.
Three-Point Goals: B – Steele (3). St. C. – Campbell (5), Carlton (4), Monteroso (2), Jeffries (3), Derosa.
Staskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org