Potters Win Tourney Opener

53-42 over Wintersville Indian Creek.  The game was played in a nice facility on the campus of Ohio University Eastern in St. Clairsville.  I kinda felt like I was at the YMCA sitting there watching people use the treadmills and stationary bikes above the bleachers across the way, but a nice court, well-lit, clean facility, seats near the action, paved parking lots outside, reasonably priced concessions.  In other words, everything that St. John Arena in Steubenville is not.  A bit of a bummer to be driving over an hour just to reach your Sectional site, but that is nothing knew for East Liverpool either.

Anyhow, as for the game, it started off rather slowly for the Potters, as the Indian Creek defense was flummoxing the Potter effort, and on offense the Redskins were having some success with patient cutting, including a few back cuts for easy looks.  Also, the ball just seemed to be bouncing their way and they got entirely too many offensive rebounds.  They were taking it to the Potters, who were short-handed as Willie Leavell was not in uniform (he was there on the bench I believe he was simply ill) and Dickey, Thompkins, and Prentice were all saddled with foul trouble.  I think Coach Dunlevy of Indian Creek made a huge tactical blunder when he pulled the ball out with a full 2 minutes remaining in the 1st half leading 21-17.  It didn’t even work as they committed a turnover in the final half minute and the score remained unchanged at halftime.  But, even if they do eventually score with the last shot, they should’ve been pressing their advantages and the momentum they had, try to build a 8 or 10 point lead by halftime.  Because at halftime the Potters were able to get a bit over the foul issues (only Thompkins had 3) and found new energy.  They pressured Indian Creek into mistakes and found more rhythmn in the halfcourt offense and lead 36-30 by the end of the 3rd quarter and quickly built a double digit lead in the 4th.  From there Creek was reduced to forming a parade to the foul line.  They did draw within 47-40 briefly in the final minute of the game but a couple empty possessions after that doomed them.

Indian Creek did a good job keeping Jason Dickey bottled up and I think he ended with only 5 points.  But Da’Neill Prentice had a great game, and the other guys in the rotation contributed their points as well.  So now the Potters advance to the sectional final (district semifinal) Saturday night at 7pm against whoever won the Edison v Cambridge game.  I assume Cambridge won, but at last check no confirmation was up on JJHuddle yet.  This figures to be a much harder game for the Potters; they will need to bring it for the full 32 minutes.  Hopefully Leavell will be available so they can have a comfortable 8 man rotation.

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