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Michael D. McElwain FLYING HIGH – Big Red’s Ivan Buggs dunked past Catholic Central’s Daniel Bolster during Friday’s game inside the Crimson Center.

STEUBENVILLE – Big Red won the first round of the 2021-22 city championship series with a 53-18 victory over Catholic Central Friday inside the Crimson Center.

Mike Haney’s charges put him through the middle of the first quarter, closing with a 12-0 streak. The score rose to 18 thanks to a few long distances to open the second.

“It’s a city championship game, you see the other guys in town, you know them and you’ve probably played with them somewhere along the line.” Haney said after his club improved to 2-2. “I think the nerves were a problem at the start. During our first trips upstairs, we had a few shots but we couldn’t do anything. I think on one trip we had four offensive rebounds and we kept missing.

“But you know we’re holding up well on defense. We played pretty well in defense and our defense kept us going. We were flying and were able to get easy buckets.

Andrew Dorsey put Central 2-0 with a bucket in the paint. After that, it was all Big Red.

Phaeton Hill made a difference when he connected from behind the arc. Inky Jones and Ivan Buggs scored on Crusader turnovers and then Lee Anthony Sewell emptied a triple.

Jones closed the race and got Big Red fans to stand up when he stole the ball, drove to the hoop and slammed a pair at home.

Luke Taylor and Hill’s triples made it 18-2 for Big Red at the start of the second. The hosts were leading 30-9 at intermission.

“I thought our three returning starters from last year (Hill, Jones and Buggs) all got stronger defensively for us,” Haney said.

“It’s good to get that second victory. We really succeeded after two days of training. Now we want to go above 0.500. We’ll focus on some best practices before we face Minerva on Tuesday.

Hill took top honors with 17 goals. He finished with three long distance marks. Elijah Mullins came off Haney’s bench to score 7 while Buggs, Sewell, Jones and Ty Pierce all contributed 6.

Freshman Timmy Mihalyo led the Crusaders, who fell to 0-4, with 6 points. Dorsey added 4.

“I want to apologize to the Crusader fans”, Center coach Don Ogden said. “We weren’t able to deliver a performance that is generally representative of this competition and rivalry.

“The kids played hard. I take full responsibility for the loss.

Joint venture action:

Big Red made a clean sweep with a 48-18 victory in the college junior competition.

Keith Lewis punctuated the winners with 12 points and Demetrius Leas added 9.

Andrew Rohde scored 11 to lead the Crusaders.

Following:

Both teams are back in action on Tuesday.

Big Red entertains Minerva while Central travels to Cadiz for a date with Harrison Central.

Big Red 53, Central Catholic 18

Central 2 7 4 5–18

Large red 12 18 16 7–53

CENTRAL (0-4): Long 0 0-0 0; Round 0 0-0 0; Provost 0 0-0 0; Idle 0 2-2 2; Pergi 0 1-3 1; Dorsey 1 2-5 4; Reinforcement 1 0-0 3; Urbanczyk 0 0-0 0; Harris 0 0-0 0; Rohde 10-0 2; Grimm 0 0-1 0; Mihalyo 2 2-2 6; Bradley 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 5 7-13 18.

BIG RED (2-2): Hill 6 2-4 17; Bugs 3 0-0 6; Sewell 20-26; Hopkins 0 0-0 0; Kernahan 0 0-0 0; Lewis 0 0-0 0; Taylor 1 0-0 3; Drill 2 2-2 6; Jones 3 0-0 6; Mullins 2-3-7; Vosstatek 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 20 7-11 53.

3-POINT OBJECTIVES: Central (Bolster); Big Red 6 (Hill 3, Sewell 2; Taylor).

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