STEUBENVILLE -Steubenville shot a blazing 19 of 20 from the foul line Tuesday night and came from behind in the fourth quarter to pull out a 66-61 victory against Wheeling Park in the Crimson Center.
The Patriots (4-9) got off to a good start, taking a 16-11, first-quarter lead, but coach Mike Haney's Big Red (11-3) ratcheted up the defense and took the ball to the basket offensively in a big 24-point second quarter to take a 35-30 lead to the locker room at the half.
"We were moving slow and balls were on the ground that we should have been getting and they built the lead to 13-2 to start out the game," Haney said. "I called timeout and subbed everybody, and when the starters went back in, it seemed like it woke them up a little bit."
It sure did. The Red went on a 9-3 run to end the first quarter and then the 24-point tear in the second.
But the third period went back in favor of the Patriots. They slowed things down, ran their offense and controlled the tempo. The Patriots took the lead back, inching ahead 48-47 after three quarters.
"We gave them some easy baskets there in the third," Haney explained. "We didn't make them work for their shots the way we wanted to and then we had some bad turnovers and got away from going to the basket.''
Wheeling Park's Michael Jebbia wasn't pleased with the 15 turnovers his club committed.
"Once we slowed things down a little bit we did better, but sometimes we're our own worst enemy," he said. "Until we cut down on our turnovers and some quick shots at times we're not going to be able to get over the hump.
"They sped us up there in the second quarter. That's the way they wanted to play. They have a nice ball club.
Big Red got the lead for good with 2:48 left in the fourth quarter when Chris Smith nailed a 10-foot jumper in the lane.
Steubenville increased the lead to 62-56 with 55 seconds left when Mylik Young made a layup and was fouled. Young made the freebie, but the Patriots weren't ready to throw in the towel.
First Trenton Smith went to the foul line to make two and then Luke Saseen made the second of two from the line to narrow the Big Red lead down 62-59 with 27 seconds remaining.
Lawson missed the front end of a 1-and-1 from the foul line with 20 seconds left, the only missed free throw of the game for Big Red, and that loomed big when Park's Zachary Phillips made a layup off a fast break to slice the Big Red lead to one at 62-61 with 12 ticks on the clock.
Lawson, however, atoned for the miss, sinking two from the line to take the heat off a bit with 11.4 seconds left. Lawson finished with a game-high 25 points.
Big Red's Mylik Young, who came off the bench to score 16 points and lead the Red with 9 rebounds, canned two free throws with 1.8 left for the final margin.
In addition to Lawson and Young, Periogn West scored 12 points for Big Red.
Saseen led the Patriots with 18 points and Zachery Snedecker followed with 16. Andrew Kowalo led all rebounders in the game with 11.