Steubenville Catholic Gets Victory Vs. Bridgeport

Crusaders improve their record to 9-1

Photo by Joe Catullo
Steubenville Catholic’s Isabella Oliver attempts a shot while Bridgeport’s Marissa Beal goes in for a block.

Photo by Joe Catullo Steubenville Catholic’s Isabella Oliver attempts a shot while Bridgeport’s Marissa Beal goes in for a block.

STEUBENVILLE — Steubenville Catholic girls basketball coach Jess Looman has been waiting for Julia Zatta to find her shooting touch.

That wait ended Wednesday in the opener of the 2017 Chuck Watt/John Nese Holiday Classic, played inside Big Red’s Crimson Center.

Zatta, a junior guard, knocked down a game-high 20 points, nine came via the long ball, as the Crusaders posted a 50-37 victory over Bridgeport.

The victory gave Looman’s club, winners of seven straight, a season-sweep of the Bulldogs.

“Julia’s a pure shooter and she’s been struggling lately,” Looman said.

“It was great to see her step up and knock some critical three-pointers for us today. We’ve been waiting for her to bust loose and hopefully today’s performance will give her some confidence going forward.

“This was a great win for us. We have a lot of respect for Bridgeport.

“They’ve played a strong schedule and their record is no indication of how talented they are. We started strong on the defensive end, got our offense going in the second quarter and were able to close things out down the stretch.”

Steubenville Catholic led 5-3 after the opening period and was up 20-15 at the intermission. Zatta, who earned game MVP honors, and Christine Dombrowski knocked down four points each during the frame while Tia Taglione nailed a triple.

The Crusaders got their offense rolling in the third, outscoring the Bulldogs 15-7 to build a double-digit lead. Two fourth quarter triples by Zatta helped Central go up by 17 but Bridgeport wasn’t about to fold. With standout senior guard Marissa Beal scoring 11 of her team-high 16 points and defense turning up the pressure, coach Greg Harkness’ squad cut the deficit to seven.

Four Zatta free throws and a deuce from Dombrowski allowed the Crusaders to put the victory on ice.

“You’re asking a lot to come from 17 points down with about six minutes left,” Harkness said. “I thought, however, that we gave it a good shot, cutting it to seven with a couple of chances to cut it even lower.

“I was proud of the way our girls never quit. Give Central credit, we didn’t give it to them. They made some shots when they needed them and moved the ball well on offense.”

Zatta also pointed to Central’s offensive movement as a key to the win.

“I thought we did a much better job of working the ball around,” she said. “The ball movement gave us all some really good looks at the basket.

“I tried to slow myself down and really focus on getting my feet set. That along with all the shooting we do in practice really helped. Hopefully, I can keep it going.”

Dombrowski contributed 10 points for Central while Taglione finished with seven.

“We still have plenty of things to work on but I’m really proud of our effort to date,” Looman said. “We’re making way too many fundamental mistakes at times, but I know this group will continue to work hard and focus on improving. We still have some really tough matchups ahead of us but we’re certainly happy to be 9-1.

“We had a few minutes in the fourth quarter where we just kind of fell apart. But fortunately, the girls rebounded and finished the game on a 6-0 run. What I really like about this team is our offensive balance. We have seven girls capable of stepping up and leading us in scoring. It was Julia (Wednesday) but it could be someone different the next time around.”

Lauren Neer and Angela Sommer both drained a couple of 3-pointers for Bridgeport, which falls to 1-7.

“Central has some nice size inside and we were content just to jack up threes again, the same thing we did in our first game against them,” Harkness said. “We wanted to punch gaps more in their zone and try to get the ball into the high post to see if we could get some easier shots.

“For three quarters, we settled for a lot of jump shots. When they are not going in, you’re going to have trouble scoring. Once we started struggling, Central packed in it even more, invited us to take those shots and we took them.”

Harrison Central 52, Steubenville 45

STEUBENVILLE — Asia Muckle tallied 18 points to lead the way for Harrison Central as it secured a victory over Steubenville. Alex Wiley had 16 points for the Huskies.

Seana Ragusa and Madison Fields both had 12 points for Big Red.

KSA Events Holiday Tournament

Shadyside 65, Legacy Charter 28

ORLANDO, Fla. — Shadyside made an impressive debut here Wednesday morning with a rout of Legacy Charter at Walt Disney World.

The Tigers (7-1) had 10 of their 13 players reach the scoring column, led by Baylee Wach with 13 and Jaycee Mayeres 12. Haley Gregan added eight, while Syd Destifanes and Tory Hendershot evenly split 14.

Shadyside led 23-7 at the end of one quarter and 46-12 at the half.

Parkersburg Catholic Holiday Tournament

St. John 68, Herbert Hoover 63

PARKERSBURG — Kaylin Nixon lit up the scoreboard with a game-high 34 points as St. John defeated Herbert Hoover. Alyssa Busack and Brooke Palmer each tallied 15 points for the Irish.

Regular Season

Magnolia 55, Tyler Consolidated 50

NEW MARTINSVILLE — Mady Winters and Kyndra Pilant both tallied double-doubles as Magnolia defeated Tyler Consolidated. Winters had 17 points and grabbed a team-high 14 rebounds while Pilant netted 17 points and secured 11 rebounds for the Blue Eagles (4-4).

Peyton Kocher had a team-high 15 points for the Silver Knights while Amanda Reynolds secured 13.

Edison 50, Toronto 46

RICHMOND — Kayla Huff tallied 23 points and 10 rebounds to secure a double-double as Edison defeated Toronto. Lauren Ferralli had 15 points for the Wildcats.

For the Red Knights, Josiah Jordan led the way with 13 points.

Union Local 45, Fort Frye 44

BEVERLY — Haley Porter scored 16 points including hitting four shots from 3-point range as Union Local edged Fort Frye in a thriller.

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