STEUBENVILLE - The Steubenville girls' basketball team jumped out to a fast start against visiting Cleveland Martin Luther King Jr. and cruised the rest of the way to a 67-45 home victory Saturday.
The 22-point difference didn't tell the real story as the Crusaders rode the power of a 17-7 fourth quarter with Big Red's starters on the bench to make the score look more respectable.
After MLK took a 2-0 lead when N'dia Ford put back an offensive rebound, Big Red began to run the visitors out of the gym going on a 22-0 run before Dierra Johnson finally scored the Crusaders' second bucket of the game.
The scoreboard read 24-4 for the home team after the first stanza. Emiley Masloski led Big Red with 11 of her game-high 18 points tin the opening quarter.
"The first quarter of the game our girls really came out with a lot of intensity," Steubenville coach Phil Casinelli said. "They pushed the ball, got some offensive rebounds, and on the defensive end we were able to attack. We wanted to attack and put pressure on them early and our girls responded well.
"We made shots, too. Our shooting percentage was up in the first half."
Big Red outscored the visitors in the second and third quarters as well, though not in as dominant a fashion as it did in the first.
Masloski's five points led Big Red to a 14-10 advantage in the second frame that gave her squad a 38-14 halftime lead.
Veronica Orellana scored seven of her 15 points in the third quarter as Big Red extended the lead to 60-28. Dominique Wilson scored six of her eight in the stanza as well.
Lexie Berger scored all seven of Big Red's points in the fourth quarter to cap a 10-point night.
"Everybody played and everybody contributed," Casinelli said. "I think it's good for the younger girls who don't get to see a lot of varsity time for down the road because you never know when you might need them. Our normal rotation of eight really played well for us though.
"They got some valuable minutes in, but we were also able to rest them for our game Monday (against Weir),'' Casinelli said.