The Potters used a big momentum swing at the end of the first half to topple the Tigers.
By JOHN BUTERA
EAST LIVERPOOL -- A momentum swing at the end of the half led the East Liverpool High basketball team to a 66-41 victory over The Rayen School.
The Potters (12-7) enjoyed an outstanding shooting performance to begin the second half and trigger the romp.
Just prior to halftime, Rayen (3-11) was trailing by six points and had control of the basketball.
But the Tigers were called for a technical foul with 3.1 seconds remaining.
Turning point: East Liverpool's Josh Reed canned both charity tosses. Then as time ran out, Brent Green of the Potters banked in a driving lay-up for a 34-24 lead at intermission.
"That was really a momentum builder for us," East Liverpool coach Nick Aloi said. "It really was.
"The basket was our sideline fast-break play and it worked just like we set it up," Aloi said. "Overall, the kids played tremendous defense and our transition game worked really well."
In the third quarter, the Potters took charge when on they connected on three straight 3-pointers.
Within 19 seconds, Reed hit two of those, including one from NBA range as the Potters pulled out to a 43-26 lead at 5:16.
"Despite what happened at the end of the first half, I thought we still had things under control," Rayen coach Phil House said.
"We were still in the game. That's what happens," House said. "East Liverpool had a good third quarter and they had some good shooters."
Went up by 20: Consecutive inside scores by Shawn Walton gave the Potters their first 20-point edge of the game.
When Reed hit his third straight 3-pointer at 3:05, East Liverpool was on an 18-2 run, holding Rayen to without a field goal the entire uprising.
At the 3:05 mark, the Potters had things well in control, 52-27.
By the time the third session had ended, East Liverpool had connected on 5-of-5 from beyond the 3-point arc, and the Potter were 9-for-13 overall.
Especially impressive was how the Potters hit eight of their first 10 field-goal attempts.
East Liverpool did not commit a turnover until 3:07 of the first half.
Hot shooting: The Potters hit the final seven of 11 shots in the first half to take an 18-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. East Liverpool played outstanding defense while staying out of foul trouble.
Reed took scoring honors with 20 points and drew Aloi's praise.
"Josh has that capability," Aloi said. "He's a great 3-point shooter."