By LOWELL SPENCER
Columbiana County basketball fans were seeing a lot of red Tuesday night when Lisbon High School hosted the 27th annual Columbiana County all-star basketball game. The Red team won an exciting 53-49 girls contest, while the Red boys won 104-89.
The girls game looked like it was going to be a blowout as the Red team jumped out to a 27-3 lead, and held a commanding 31-9 intermission margin.
However, led by East Liverpool’s Whittni Davidson’s eight points, including a bucket at the 5:45 mark of the second half, the Blue squad pulled to within 43-39.
A Gerie Sickle (Crestview) basket a minute and a half later tied the contest at 43-43.
From there the Red team went on a 10-6 run to close the contest.
“It was a fun experience,” Davidson said. “It was rough obviously, we got down by a lot, but we switched-up our lineup and we came back in the second half.
“They had a lot more height than us I think. They had more post players. They have a lot of tough players.”
For her efforts, Davidson was named the Blue team MVP, while United’s Taylor Smith claimed the MVP honors for the Red squad. Smith accounted for 16 of her team’s points.
“This is one of my last games that I will ever play because I’m going to Walsh to play volleyball, and I thought, you know, go and have fun. Do what I know how to do and play basketball,” Smith said. “I had the best team. They were so much fun.”
In the boys contest, the Blue squad jumped out to an early advantage as United’s Brett Albright hit three 3-pointers to help propel them to a 40-38 halftime lead.
The Red team eventually knotted the game up at 45 at the 18:40 mark of the second half. Then East Liverpool’s Brian Beverly stole the show as he bombed six 3-pointers in a row as the Red squad jumped out to a 65-52 lead with 15:45 left in the half.
The remainder of the game saw a number of dunks and long-range 3-point attempts as the Red team outscored the Blue 66-49 in the second half.
Beverly was named the Red team’s MVP with his performance. He ended the night with 30 points. Albright led the Blue team with 23 points, and was named the team MVP for his efforts.
“They kept giving me the ball and I kept shooting it,” Beverly said. “Just clear thoughts, just having fun. I didn’t know it was going to be so up-paced, or high-paced. We haven’t played in a couple of weeks.”
Beverly, who helped lead the Potters to a sectional championship, also faced two teammates on the Blue team.
“It was fun,” he said. “We didn’t really mess around with each that much.”