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Pilots Soar Past Buckeye Local

Second half sparks River’s 56-33 win

Photo by Seth Staskey Cameron Grabbits drives to the basket as River’s Kam Potts defends during Wednesday’s game in Hannibal.

HANNIBAL – By his own admission, Mark Romick was quite calm and collected when he addressed his team at halftime of Wednesday’s game.

Actually, the veteran River head coach didn’t really say much, vocally. Despite looking up at a 21-16 deficit, he simply wrote his message on the dry-erase board and it read, ‘we’re in great shape.”

Obviously, Romick has a good feel for his team because his Pilots took his message and turned a rough first half into a 56-33 blow-out victory against Buckeye (7-4).

“We shot 25% from the floor in the first half, so to only be down five, we were in great shape,” Romick said. “I knew we were going to shoot well in the second half. I challenged a couple of the kids. They come in every morning to get extra shots up and I said, ‘show why you do that (on the court).”

Those relatively simple words packed a big message and it worked out just like Romick had envisioned because the Pilots caught fire against a Buckeye Local zone, which yielded five,third-quarter bonus goals and a 19-7 period all together.

“They were on fire,” Buckeye Local head coach Chris Heaton said. “It seems like any team we play right now can throw the ball in whenever they want. We’re having trouble defending shooters and it’s something we’ll have to get better on as we move forward.”

While the Pilots saw sophomore Brody Lollathin, freshman Kabel Isaly and junior Kam Potts all dialed long distance in the third quarter.

“We played very tentatively in the first half,” Romick said. “I told the kids, at halftime, (Buckeye) was struggling to score and if we continued to play defense like that, they were going to continue to struggle to score.”

Buckeye Local opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer of its own thanks to Mason Brown. However, the momentum was short lived. River proceeded to score the next eight before Brown tallied the final Panther bucket of the game. The Pilots then closed with the final 13.

Much of the fourth-quarter domination, which was a 21-5 reading, stemmed from the River defense, which simply suffocated the Panthers.

“We made life pretty hard for them to get a good look,” Romick said. “I thought we did a good job on screens, adjusted to the back-door. It was just a great job by all seven kids we played.”

River, which played without the services of leading scorer Ty Long because of a non-COVID illness, was led by Lollathin, who pumped in 21 points. Isaly finished with 16 and Potts closed with nine.

Buckeye Local, which came into the game scoring almost 60 points a game, saw its two leading scorers – Brown and Jake Mayle – finish with 10 and seven, respectively. Cameron Grabbits added nine.

“They really tried to take Mason and Jake away and I thought Lollathin did a nice job of denying Mason the ball,” Heaton said. “We couldn’t get to the hole. We had some open shots, but when they’re not falling, it tends to be a rough night.”

The Panthers, who return home to face Martins Ferry on Friday, are excited they don’t have to come to Monroe County again this season. Buckeye Local has suffered two of its four losses there and both were lopsided. The Panthers fell, 80-29, at Monroe in December.

“It seems like anytime we cross the border into Monroe County, we don’t have it,” Heaton said. “No excuses. We just have to get back to work (Thursday) and get ready for Martins Ferry.”

The Pilots (7-2) will welcome Shadyside on Saturday.

St. C. swimmers shine in New Philadelphia

NEW PHILADELPHIA – The St. Clairsville swimmers suffered their first loss of the season, falling to New Philadelphia. The girls fell, 84-79 and the Red Devil boys dropped a 69-54 decision.

St. Clairsville’s girls, however, won seven events.

Junior Casadie DiBetta won the 200 individual medley in 2:13.66 and claimed the 100 freestyle in 57.19.

Senior standout Maggie Marody was the champion in the 100 fly in 62.00.

Junior Kylie McKeegan captured the 50 free in 25.70

Junior Brenna Planey captured the 500 freestyle in 5:51.70

The Red Devils also won the 200 individual medley relay in 1:55.50 and closed with the victory in the 400 free relay in 3:55.36.

St. C.’s boys team was led by Jack Gasber, who won the 100 breaststroke in 65.52. Evan Yost claimed the 100 back in 62.61. Nathan Yost won the 100 free in 51.20 and added the 200 free in 1:54.48.

Boys

BEALLSVILLE – Invading Frontier owned a 47-18 lead at halftime and cruised to the finish line.

The Blue Devils were led by Adam Baker’s 21 points. Brandon Louden added eight.

The Cougars received 23 points from Tanner Bills and Breckin Hoff added 15.

Girls

Union Local 60

Bellaire 30

MORRISTOWN – Union Local shot out to a 21-6 lead and raced to victory against the Big Reds, completing the season sweep.

The Jets were led by sophomores Reagan Vinskovich (20) and Torre Kildow (18). Senior Casey Kildow added 13.

Bellaire was led by sophomore Lizzie McAninch’s 12.

Harrison Central 45 Buckeye Trail 24

CADIZ – Upstart Harrison Central continued its strong season Wednesday with a convincing win against Buckeye Trail.

The Huskies, who are now 10-4 on the season, were led by Maddy Butler’s 14.

McKayla Dunkle added 12.

Buckeye Trail (3-7) was led by Brooke Baird’s 17.

Monroe Central 53 Caldwell 39

WOODSFIELD – Monroe Central built a 12-point lead at halftime and never looked back en route to picking up a victory against Caldwell.

The Seminoles were paced once again by talented junior Kalista Friday, who pumped in 24 points. Haylynn Hiles finished with nine, all of which came on bonus goals.

Caldwell was led by All-Ohioan Cayton Sechrest’s 15.

John Glenn 50

St. Clairsville 24

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The homesteading Red Devils fell behind early and never recovered in losing to the Lil Muskies.

St. C. was led by Sydney Miller’s nine and Alexis Thoburn’s seven.

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