Quakers thwarted by Potters

SALEM – The East Liverpool boys basketball team found a way to rally back and then some.

Trailing by nine points, the Potters rallied in the fourth quarter against Salem on the way to a 64-53 victory at John Cabas Gymnasium on Tuesday.

The Potters (2-2) maintained the lead throughout the first half as they relied on their defense to confuse the Quakers and force several turnovers in the first quarter. Key scores from Austin Emmerling helped out the Potters, but were met with several traveling calls in the second quarter, which gave the Quakers big opportunity.

East Liverpool coach Nate Conley knew that the offense needed to be better.

“Overall, I didn’t think we played our best game,” Conley said. “We couldn’t do anything on offense. We had to go out and transition and force the turnovers.”

After first quarter jitters, the Quakers (1-3) started taking control in the second quarter due to traveling calls, and hit key layups from Max Wolfgang and a big three-pointer from D.J. Pullie. Wolfgang, who led the Quakers with 23 points, gave Conley concern.

“Wolfgang is a nightmare for a team,” Conley said. “We had double and triple-teams on him, and we just couldn’t stop him.”

Then, Wolfgang opened the second half with a layup to put the Quakers ahead, and started a 10-0 run which included big scores from Ryan Hoover, who scored 13 on the night.

Despite a big scoring run for the Quakers, their inexperience and inconsistencies showed, and irritated coach Rich Hart.

“We did a pretty good job on offense when we had the ball on offense,” Hart said. “You can’t turn the ball over. It was pathetic how we turned the ball over tonight, and there’s no reason to turn the ball over that many times. It comes from lack of experience.”

That lack of experience hurt the Quakers as the Potters dominated the fourth quarter, and a three-point shot from Owen Crawford not only gave the Potters the shot in the arm that it needed, it also gave them back the lead they would not give up.

Crawford did what he needed to do for his team, getting 10 points and 14 rebounds.

“It was something I needed to do to get a win for my team,” Crawford said. “We had to get that comeback to seal the deal, and that three sealed it.”

Emmerling led the Potters with 15 points and Kade Reynolds 12.

The Potters also won the reserve game 47-38. Devon Zubay led the Potters with 16 points, while Matt Weingart scored nine for the Quakers.

Both teams hit the road on Friday, with the Potters heading to Beaver Local and the Quakers to Carrollton.

E. LIVERPOOL: 17-10-19-18-64

SALEM: 12-14-22- 5-53

EAST LIVERPOOL SCORING: D.J. Austin 2-0-5, Hayden Cunningham 2-1-6, Kade Reynolds 5-2-12, Austin Emmerling 5-5-15, Aaron Long 1-0-2, Owen Crawford 4-1-10, Zach English 1-0-2, Isaac Davidson 3-4-11, Junior Rickerd 0-1-1. TEAM TOTALS: 23, 14-19: 64

SALEM SCORING: D.J. Pullie 2-0-5, Mark Fredrickson 0-0-0, Andrew Dolphin 0-1-1, RyaN Hoover 5-2-13, Max Wolfgang 10-3-23, Trey Toothman 0-2-2, Jake Bezon 0-0-0, Mike Ciotti 2-3-7, Mike Popa 1-0-2, Alex Weikart 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 20, 11-16: 53

Three-point goals: East Liverpool 4 (Austin, Cunningham, Crawford, Davidson), Salem 2 (Pullie, Hoover).