STEUBENVILLE - Big Red sprinted out to an early lead Tuesday then cruised to a 76-33 victory over Weir High inside the Crimson Center.
Mike Haney's club, now 13-2, hit 11 of its first 17 field goal tries, forced nine Red Rider turnovers with its pressure defense and dominated the offensive glass in building a 28-6 lead after one period.
Seniors Adam Sterling (nine points) and Chris Smith accounted for 16 of the 28 markers. They both had two putbacks after misfires by teammates. Freshman Charles Reeves came off Haney's bench to score six from the paint (junior Lucas Herrington assisted on two of Reeves' hoops).
BIG WIN — Steubenville’s Shakur Thomas-Miller shoots over top Weir’s Dylan Keyes (52) and Matthew Thompson. Big Red’s Chris Smith looks on during the play. Big Red held a 20-point first quarter lead over the Red Riders and cruised to a 76-33 win at the Crimson Center on Tuesday.
-- Mathew Peaslee
Big Red, which travels to Wheeling Park Friday, led 43-15 at the half and 58-21 after three.
"We talked about coming out and being ready to play," Haney said. "I was a little worried with the snow days, guys sleeping in and everything, but we moved pretty fast right at the beginning. We created some turnovers and they led to easy buckets."
Weir coach Mike Granato praised Big Red for doing a "great job of mixing up their defensive pressures."
"They're good, they're a veteran ball club," he stated. "Mike (Haney) has done an outstanding job in terms of getting some pretty talented kids to believe in what they are doing defensively. They're athletic as heck and they're long, probably longer than anyone we play.
"It's to their credit that they disrupted everything we wanted to do. You can practice press offense until the cows come home but the reality is you can't simulate that speed or that arm length when you're in the gym with a bunch of guys the same size."
After the opening stanza, Haney began substituting freely and even used a zone defense. Fourteen players saw action for the Red with 12 cracking the scoring column.
"We haven't played a 2-3 zone much this year," Haney admitted. "We were able to work on it a little tonight as well as the 1-2-2."
Sterling paced Big Red in scoring with 15. He also collected six rebounds (Big Red finished with 36 as a team, 14 coming on the offensive end). Khaliq Bougard contributed 10 points. Big Red went five for five from the line (all during the first quarter).
Herrington dished out four assists to lead the winners while Smith and Dionee Wallace Jones had three apiece. Big Red had 12 steals, Sterling getting four and Herrington three.
"We definitely talked to our guys about crashing the boards and we hit them pretty good tonight," Haney noted.
Freshman Cody Enrietti led the Red Riders, now 1-9, with eight points. Michael Curtis had seven and Chris Wood six. Sophomore Matt Thompson paced Weir in rebounding with six.
"Haney is a class act," Granato said of his coaching counterpart. "I thought he did an excellent job of getting a lot of people in and out of the game. I appreciate that."
Big Red, as Haney pointed out, will face a "big challenge playing up on the hill" in Wheeling Friday.
"They're going to be ready and it will be a great atmosphere," he stated. "They will have a nice crowd and hopefully we will bring some people. To me, those are the games you want to play."
The Red, which stands second in the OVAC Class 4A race, will return home Saturday to face John Marshall. The junior varsity tip is set for 4:30 p.m.
Weir visits Edison Saturday.
"We have a tough schedule, we don't back away from anyone," Granato noted. "We have to get ready to go into what has been a pretty hostile environment at Edison. They've been a great home team. We have to get ready for that."
Big Red 76, Weir 33
Wei 6 9 6 12 - 33
Big Red 28 15 15 18 - 76
WEIR (1-9): Knight 0 0-0 0; Viakley 0 0-0 0; Gaudio 0 0-0 0; Wood 2 0-0 6; Kirk 1 0-0 2; Lucvano 0 0-0 0; Gilbert 0 0-0 0; Curtis 3 1-4 7; Enrietti 4 0-0 8; Keyes 1 0-0 2; Thompson 1 2-2 4; Murphy 1 1-2 4. TOTALS: 13 4-8 33. 3-pointers: Wood 2, Murphy; Rebounds 23 (Thompson 6; Curtis 4); Turnovers 18.
BIG RED (13-2): Wallace Jones 1 0-0 2; Herring-Hill 2 2-2 6; Wolfe 2 0-0 6; Collaros 3 0-0 7; Herrington 2 0-0 5; Reeves 3 0-0 6; Bougard 4 0-0 10; Sterling 7 0-0 15; D. Smith 0 0-0 0; C. Smith 2 3-3 7; Thomas-Miller 2 0-0 5; Blue 0 0-0 0; Williams 1 0-0 2; Prentice 2 0-0 5. TOTALS: 31 5-5 76. 3-pointers: Wolfe 2, Bougard 2, Collaros, Herrington, Sterling, Thomas-Miller; Prentice; Rebounds 36 (Sterling 6; Bougard 5); Turnovers 10.