ZANESVILLE - Carrollton boys' basketball coach Todd English chose to play his team's Division II Eastern District sectional opener against Indian Creek and coach Joe Dunlevy.
That decision paid dividends with a 51-48 victory against the Redskins on Wednesday in the Eastern District sectional tournament at Zanesville High School.
''We had a couple of options and one of those was to go over to OUE and get in a bracket with Meadowbrook and Maysville," said English, in his first year with the Warriors. ''We played them earlier in the year and the fact that we beat them had an impact on what we did. We had seven regular-season wins and that was one of them.''
English, who spent six years as head coach of the Edison' boys team, chose familiarity instead of location as the new super sectional hit Ohio this year.
"I wasn't surprised when he picked to go against us," Dunlevy said. "They beat us by 28 at their place two months before that. Actually, I told the kids after the game out there that we were hoping to get the opportunity to play them again and I hope the Carrollton people and players and coaches and Indian Creek people saw the real Indian Creek team."
The Warriors held a 19-14 lead at halftime. Amidst a couple of buckets for Carrollton, Indian Creek's Johnny Haught made a traditional three-play and then Cody Durbin and Aaron Foldi each hit from behind the arc and it was 33-33 entering the final eight minutes.
"He (Dunlevy) knows what I am going to run and I know what he is going to run," English said. "Bottom line is, the kids have to come down and make plays and our kids made some good plays."
Carrollton junior Caleb Pasiuk led the winners with a game-high 25 points. Daniel Leary added 14 points, including two runners in the lane for 43-41 and 47-44 leads.
"We didn't take care of the ball in the first half," Dunlevy said. "We took care of the ball in the second half and only turned it over twice (compared to eight in the first half), made shots and didn't miss a free throw.
"I told them after the game that I was proud of their effort. They played tremendous in the second half. We just had some costly turnovers in the first half and, in a game like this, which is a one possession game, it's the only I have to complain about."
A Durbin putback gave the Redskins a 39-27 lead and English called a timeout with 5:08 left in the game.
"I told the kids we could not settle for 3s," English said. "We had to take the ball to the basket."
Pasiuk made one free throw and Haught two for a 41-38 Creek lead. But, Pasiuk buried a bomb from the corner and it was 41-41 with 3:37 unplayed.
It was then Leary and a Tyler Krantz layup for a 45-41 lead. Foldi's long-range jumper made it 45-44 and Leary hit his second runner. A Haught layup had it 47-46, but Pasiuk answered with his own layin and English took another timeout with 38.9 seconds left and a 49-46 cushion.
Durbin led the Redskins with 16 points. Haught added 15 and Foldi nine.