STEUBENVILLE - Big Red's girls exploded for 40 second-half points to earn a 61-49 victory over Brooke Monday at The Crimson Center.
Phil Casinelli's now 7-0 club trailed 24-21 at the break (Angela Staffileno had 16 for the Bruins). Big Red used its defensive pressure plus huge second half performances by Lysiah Rice and Mytia Barker to earn the victory going away.
"That's a big win for us," Casinelli said. "Each and every night, we know we are going to get the best from every team we play. Our girls responded to what the coaching staff told them at halftime. They adjusted well and never panicked. They just really got after it in the second half.
1 OF 18 — Steubenville Big Red’s Lysiah Rice grabs one of her game-high 18 rebounds over Brooke’s Gabriella Velegol during the second half of Monday’s game in the Crimson Center. Big Red’s 40-point second half earned it a 61-49 victory over the Bruins.
-- Mike Mathison
"We wanted to put pressure on their guards and create some turnovers. We were able to get some buckets in transition and even when we didn't, we were able to get to the foul line. Getting those turnovers allowed us to get moving and push the ball up the court."
Big Red opened the third frame with an 8-0 run. Rice got two hoops, one coming after a steal, and Hannah Masloski added a bucket off a Barker feed (her points also coming off a Brooke turnover). Nine consecutive Staffileno points put the Bruins back on top at 35-34. The junior standout then drew her fourth foul and Big Red was able to close the quarter with seven straight tallies to lead 41-35 (Rice and Barker keyed the spurt).
The hosts outscored Ryan Scherich's crew 12-4 during the initial three minutes of the final quarter to put the game out of reach. Taylor Young (she swished one from downtown), Dominque Wilson and Brittany Bodo contributed key buckets to aid the Red run. Brooke finished with 25 turnovers, 15 coming in the second half.
"We reverted back a little to the way we played last year," Scherich noted. "We have been pressed before this year and didn't let it bother us. I'm not sure what it was but we took a step back tonight.
"Then Angela got into foul trouble as did a couple of our guards. They (Big Red) didn't do anything different in the second half. Our kids just didn't slow themselves down and play basketball like they are capable."
Rice recorded a double-double for the winners, scoring 21 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. She scored 15 during the decisive second half. Barker added 16, 12 during the final 24 minutes. In the fourth stanza, she contributed eight (six coming from the charity stripe).
"Lysiah has been unbelievable all year for us," Casinelli commented. "The sky is the limit for her. Everyone is playing good around her and she's really getting after it. A lot of times we have her on the other team's best player so she's also working hard on the defensive end. We ask a lot of her as a sophomore and she has responded well. We are proud of her for that."
Staffileno had another monster night for Brooke. She delivered a triple double (36 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocks). In the first quarter, when Brooke built a 16-10 lead, she netted 12 and was a perfect four for four from the field. Her point total included three connections from behind the arc. Staffileno is now just 24 points shy of the 1,000 mark for her career.
"Angela is Angela," Scherich stated. "She's just a great basketball player and a great team basketball player."
The game was the first in 11 days for Brooke, which now stands at 1-3 and will host Buckeye Local today.
"Our girls play hard and as you saw, they play to the end," Scherich added. "I'll never fault them for that. The turnovers just really hurt us tonight."
Big Red 61, Brooke 49
Brooke 16 8 11 14 - 49
Big Red 10 11 20 20 - 61
BROOKE (1-3): Wengyl 0 0-0 0; Farmer 0 1-2 1; Velegol 1 0-0 2; Altobell 0 0-0 0; Hinerman 1 4-7 6; Sherman 0 0-0 0; Preston 0 0-0 0; Kosevic 0 0-0 0; D'Ulisse 2 0-0 4; Staffileno 13 7-11 36. TOTALS: 17 12-20 49. 3-pointers: Staffileno 3. Rebounds 26 (Staffileno 12); Turnovers 25.
BIG RED (7-0): H. Masloski 2 0-0 4; Young 2 1-4 6; Wilson 3 2-2 8; M. Barker 4 8-11 16; Rice 9 3-3 21; Bodo 2 2-4 6; Taylor 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 22 16-22 61. 3-pointers: Young. Rebounds: 37 (Rice 18); Turnovers: 13.