WINTERSVILLE - It was a case of senior experience winning out over inexperienced underclassmen Monday night as home standing Indian Creek methodically downed Weir High 49-33.
The Redskins, who never trailed in the game took a nip-and-tuck first quarter by 14-10, outscored the Red Riders 17-7 in the second stanza to take command.
Seniors Cody Durbin, Blake Roar and Jonathan Woodbury scored eight, seven and eight points, respectively, to lead the first half surge that saw the Redskins, now 4-7, take a 31-17 lead into halftime.
TO THE HOOP — Indian Creek’s Blake Roar takes and makes a jumper in the first quarter of Monday’s 49-33 win over Weir High.
-- Mike Mathison
"I think Weir High is struggling a little bit right now, but we played pretty good defense," said veteran Indian Creek coach Joe Dunlevy. "Once we got that lead in the second quarter, we spread the floor a little bit and Weir had to come after us."
That created a high risk defense for the Red Riders. They forced some turnovers (Indian Creek had 15), but it also allowed Dunlevey's club to execute its half court offense scoring on several back door cuts.
"I was much happier with our effort tonight than our last game against Buckeye Local," said another of the Ohio Valley's veteran basketball coaches, Mike Granato. "Let's face it, they are pretty much a senior-laden team.
"I thought we did a better job blocking out, better job getting deflections and getting on the floor diving for loose balls - those types of things. From that standpoint, I was happy, but we only shot 12 of 40 and their defense does that to you. It forces you to play one-on-one sometimes and they do a nice job of taking you out of any type of rhythm you try to get into.
"But really, I think the story for us tonight was 9 of 23 from the free throw line. Those numbers changed the complexion of the game, particularly when we had a mild comeback there in the second half.
"We were down by 14 points at halftime, but we made just three of 12 foul shots in the first half. If we do a better job at the line, it makes things a little tighter and it changes how you substitute. I'm never happy with losing, but I think there were a lot more positives tonight that we can gain from this game and hopefully our young players will learn from it and it will make us better."
Indian Creek took a 44-24 lead into what turned out to be a low scoring fourth quarter, but the Red Riders cut the deficit to 15 points when junior Michael Curtis took a nice pass from sophomore Ryan Kirk and made a layup. That made the score 47-32 at the 3:25 mark, but the Redskins held the ball most of the time from there, scoring only on a Durbin layup while the Riders could get just a free throw from Curtis going down the stretch.
"I think the Weir High kids are playing hard for Mike and that's all you can ask as a coach," Dunlevy said. "I think they've improved every time I see them. They're trying and so are we. We're 4-7 now and we have a big game tomorrow (today) against St. Clairsville. In fact we have four home games this week, so we have our work cut out for us."
Granato, whose team dropped to 1-7, has just two seniors left on his roster. Add to that, one of Weir High's top athletes and guards, JoJo West, a 6-foot sophomore, is looking to have surgery on an injured knee during the next week and will be lost for the remainder of the season.
Durbin ended up leading all scorers and rebounders with 14 points and seven boards. Roar backed him with 10 points.
A quartet of players scored six points to lead the Red Riders - senior Mitch Viakley, juniors Chris Wood and Curtis and Kirk, a sophomore.
The Red Riders play Friday in the annual city championship game at Madonna.
Indian Creek hosts St. Clairsville today, Buckeye Local Friday and Brooke Saturday afternoon.
Indian Creek 49, Weir High 33
Weir High 10 7 7 9 - 33
Indian Creek 14 17 13 5 - 49
WEIR HIGH (1-7): Knight 1 1-4 3, Viakley 2 2-4 6, Wood 2 2-2 6, Kirk 2 2-3 6, Smith 2 0-2 4, Curtis 2 2-6 6, Enrietti 1 0-2 2. TOTALS: 12 9-23 33. Rebounds, 19 (Enrietti, 4); Turnovers, 18.
INDIAN CREEK (4-7): Foldi 3 0-0 6, Roar 4 2-4 10, Wade 0 0-2 0, Haught 1 0-0 2, Hujnh 0 1-2 1, Anderson 3 1-2 7, Durbin 4 5-8 14, Woodbury 3 2-2 9. TOTALS: 18 11-20 49. 3-pointers: Durbin, Woodbury; Rebounds, 17 (Durbin, 7); Turnovers: 15.