Crusaders Move On
Steubenville Catholic survives Monroe Central
STEUBENVILLE — Survive and advance is the name of the game come tournament time, and thatís exactly what Steubenville Catholic did Thursday in its Division IV sectional opener.
Julia Zatta and Bella Oliver combined for 29 points as the top seeded Crusaders left the Mickey Barber Gymnasium with a hard-fought 46-42 victory over Monroe Central.
With the win, the Crusaders improved to 18-5 and will play Shenandoah on Saturday for a sectional championship. The tip is set for 2 p.m. The Seminoles conclude their season at 5-18.
“We hadn’t played a game in two weeks, and I wasn’t sure how the girls would react,”î Steubenville Catholic coach Jess Looman said. “I liked our energy early on both ends of the floor. Then, we seemed to lose our rhythm. We didn’t have a great night offensively but, fortunately, we were able to get it done defensively in the fourth quarter.
“Give Monroe Central a lot of credit. They came in ready to play and really got after us.î”
The Crusaders, thanks to six points from Zatta, led 15-11 after the opening quarter. Junior guard Sydney Yoho accounted for all of Monroe Centralís points during the frame.
Steubenville Catholic led 24-21 at the break, but the Seminoles pulled even at 36 with eight minutes to go. Yoho and Kirsten Friday led the Monroe Central rally, scoring 11 of the team’s 15 points.
Baskets by Zatta and Christine Dombrowski helped the Crusaders regain the lead and they made just enough foul shots down the stretch to seal the victory.
“The ball just didn’t bounce our way at the end,î” Monroe Central coach Troy Baker said. “Central made some plays down the stretch and we didn’t. I think they call that home court advantage.
“Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out for you, and thatís what happened (Thursday). We started two juniors and three sophomores. We’re a pretty young team, and this was a great learning experience for them.î”
Zatta paced the Crusaders in scoring with 15, while Oliver added 14 and grabbed 10 rebounds to complete her double-double. Senior point guard Tia Taglione contributed seven points, dished out three assists and recorded four steals.
“Julia had a strong game for us and really attacked the basket, especially early,î” Looman said. “Bella was solid again with her scoring and rebounding, and Tia stepped up in the fourth quarter and made some key free throws.î”
Yoho took game-scoring honors with 26 points, connecting five times from behind the arc.
“I thought she had a great night shooting,î” Baker said. “She also did a nice job of driving against their defense and getting the ball to our inside players. We tried to get her a shot at the end, and I thought she got a pretty good look, but it didn’t fall.î”
Looman said Yoho was just deadly from behind the arc.
“She had an outstanding game. It seemed like every time we would pull ahead a little, she’d go down the floor and knock down another triple,î Looman said. “We didn’t see that shooting ability from her on the films we watched. They did a nice job of getting her open, and she responded.î”
Looman realizes her Crusaders will need a better performance Saturday against Shenandoah, which knocked off the Crusaders two weeks ago in the OVAC Class 2A consolation game.
“We missed way too many bunnies and foul shots (Steubenville Catholic was just 10 for 21 from the line) (Thursday), and those are things we definitely need to fix if we want to have a chance on Saturday,î” she said. “We’ll enjoy this win then get back into the gym (today) to get ready for a major challenge.”
ìThe girls weren’t happy with the way they played against Shenandoah in the OVAC game, so theyíre excited to have an opportunity to play them again They realize they’ll need to play much, much better than we did in the first game.î
Baker noted his Seminoles showed improvement throughout the season on both sides of the court, but mainly on the defensive end.
“I told the girls as long as they can leave the locker room and say they gave 100 percent (Thursday), they should have no regrets,î” he said.
Ohio Division IV Sectionals
River 52, Strasburg 21
HANNIBAL–River held visiting Strasburg to just three points in the first quarter as the Pilots flew to victory.
Alli Long led the way with 21 points and Lauren Flannery followed with 18.
Shadyside 71, Toronto 34
SHADYSIDE–Haylee Gregan bucketed 17 points to lead host Shadyside past Toronto, while Tori Hendershot accounted for 12 and Sydnie Destifanes added 11 in the win.
Jozaeyah Jordan tallied 13 to pace Toronto.
Tyler Consolidated 60
Roane County 48
SISTERSVILLE–Tyler Consolidated wrapped up a solid 14-8 season by upending visiting Roane County.
Dylan Roberts led the way with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Griffin Phillips followed with 14 points and six boards.
Conotton Valley 62, Barnesville 58
BARNESVILLE–Luke Powell turned in 26 points, Aaron Marovich recorded 15 and Tate Dowler added 14 but it wasn’t enough as host Barnesville fell to Conotton Valley.