STEUBENVILLE - Steubenville outscored Harrison Central, 21-7, in the second quarter Monday night at the Crimson Center and held on to the lead throughout the second half for a 68-54 victory in the mutual season opener for both teams.
The Huskies trailed by one point at 19-18 with 4:13 left in the second quarter after sophomore Katie Ellzy canned a layup, but they didn't score again until the second half.
Meanwhile, Big Red, spurred by two straight 3-pointers from junior Abby Taylor, scored 13 unanswered points to take a 34-18 lead to the locker room at halftime.
Steubenville’s Mytia Baker is defended by Harrison Central’s Emily Dodds on Monday.
''Abby Taylor hit a couple of 3s and that run helped us to relax a little bit offensively, but our defense did a decent job,'' Steubenville coach Phil Cassinelli said. ''That girl underneath the basket, Ellzy, is tough. She's difficult to guard and does a great job of moving without the ball and getting position.
''I thought we did well as a team against her both with the girls that were guarding her and with negating that post entry pass. It was a real team effort.''
Ellzy, who got into foul trouble in the second half and fouled out with 2:44 left in the game, scored 20 points to lead the Huskies.
''In the last three minutes of that second quarter we basically ran out of gas, '' Harrison Central coach Nick Yourkovich said. ''Emiley Masloski broke us down. Until that point I thought we contained her and kept her out of the lane.
''Once she started to break us down, she made adjustments for herself, but more importantly made adjustments for her teammates. Two or three times in that second quarter she drove into the lane and kicked the ball off to teammates for easy baskets. Then too, Taylor hit a couple of big shots in a row. Against a quality team like that it's hard to recover.''
Masloski finished with a game-high 23 points including 13 or 15 from the foul line. Taylor backed her up with 11 points and senior Dominique Wilson added 10.
Despite being down, Harrison Central continued to battle back in the second half. The Huskies outscored Big Red 14-13 in the third quarter and 22-21 in the fourth.
Big Red's biggest lead was 22 points at the 3:30 mark of the third period when Masloski's younger sister, Hannah, a freshman playing her first varsity game, sank two free throws giving her team a 46-24 lead.
The final margin of 13 points was the closest the Huskies could get. That came on a Shianne Nameth 3-pointer with two seconds left in the game.
Junior Jesse Ledger, who hit three from behind the arc, was the only other Huskies player in double figures with 14 points.
''It's always nice to win the first one,'' Cassinelli said. ''You go into the year not knowing what your team is going to be like. You have expectations, but you just never know. You don't get a chance to scout the other team either. The only thing we knew about Harrison Central was they lost a lot from last year through graduation.
''But they played a great game. It was a very physical game by both teams. We were very fortunate to come out on top.''