UHRICHSVILLE - Sophomore point guard Daniel Trouten had a strong debut in the postseason as he paced St. Clairsville with 20 points in an outflanking maneuver that helped defeat the Generals of Ridgewood, 71-45, in the opening round of Ohio Division III sectionals Tuesday night at Claymont.
"I thought we were a little rusty at the start," Red Devils coach Kim Clifford said.
Ridgewood would not have agreed as St. Clairsville scored the first 10 points of the contest before its opponent could get on the scoreboard.
The Generals narrowed the lead to five points midway through the first quarter before St. Clairsville turned up the heat.
"I thought we played well on defense throughout," Clifford said. "We have not pressed a whole lot this year, but we were able to keep up the pressure."
The Red Devils outscored the Generals 20-7 in the opening quarter. Leading 36-18 at halftime, St. Clairsville was challenged by Ridgewood in the third quarter.
"I thought we started clicking on offense a little better the second half," the veteran coach added.
St.Clairsville won the third quarter 17-13 and the fourth, 18-14, to move on to the sectional final Friday against No. 4 Garaway.
Trouten's 20 points was a game high while Michael Scarnecchia added 17 points with 11 rebounds for a double-double. The Red Devils went 5 of 17 from long range, 12 of 31 from in tight and 12 of 24 from the foul line. St. Clairsville pulled down 36 rebounds and committed 13 turnovers.
Seth Bergeron paced Ridgewood with 10 points. The Generals were 2 of 11 from 3-point range, 12 of 26 from two and 12 of 18 from the free-throw line. Ridgewood pulled won 26 rebounds and gave up 21 turnovers.
The Red Devils tip off against the Pirates at 7 on Friday night back in the Mustang's gymnasium.