By DARRIN LAUTENSCHLEGER
Times-Reporter sports correspondent
NEW PHILADELPHIA What a difference a week can make — especially when your pressure defense is creating turnover after turnover and you start out the game with a hot shooting hand.
That certainly was the case for New Philadelphia, as the Quakers scored the game’s first 14 points and kept a large lead for the entire night in a 64-40 win over Carrollton in a boys basketball game Tuesday night.
The Quakers bounced back from a rough loss last week at Canton McKinley and kept the Warriors (0-3) winless.
“It’s good for the kids to get the win, but there’s still plenty of work we have ahead of us,” New Philadelphia head coach Chad Spurgeon said. “We shot the ball well and moved the ball well, and the kids did not allow it to be a circus even after we got out to the lead. They continued to move the ball.”
New Philadelphia’s pressure defense forced the Warriors into turnovers on five of their first six trips up the floor and led to a 14-0 deficit halfway through the first quarter. The Quakers (1-1) led 26-8 after the first quarter as senior forward Marco Colombo scored 13 of his game-high 21 points, including an emphatic one-hand rebound slam dunk near the end of the period.
New Philadelphia made 9 of 11 shots in the quarter, including four 3-pointers — two from junior guard Dylan Hagan and one apiece from Colombo and senior guard Caleb Beans.
“That was a very important emphasis for us. We did not want to turn the ball over like that,” Carrollton head coach Todd English said. “Then (New Philadelphia) shot the ball so well early and it was a big lead just like that. They’re a good team, they play hard and they play very physical.”
The Quakers held a 39-20 lead at halftime and the big margin allowed every player to see significant minutes. Senior post Ethan Boose added 14 points for New Phila, while Hagan finished with 10 and senior guard Dimitri Walker came off the bench for seven points.
“I thought Dimitri Walker did a great job,” Spurgeon said. “He thrives in that kind of a game where he can get to the basket and create opportunities for himself and his teammates.”
The Quakers made 21 of 43 shots from the floor, including 6 of 15 from 3-point range, while Carrollton connected on only 14 of 42 shots and 3 of 12 in 3-point attempts. The Warriors, who were led in scoring by Zade Deitz with 16 points, committed a total of 19 turnovers.
New Philadelphia held a 28-27 rebounding edge as Colombo grabbed six boards and senior post Josh Haney added five, all in the fourth quarter.
“We needed to take care of the ball better than we did and they controlled the glass on us, too,” English said. “We won’t see another team that physical this season, but we need to learn from this.”
Spurgeon said the Quakers also have a long way to go, even though the win is a good building block.
“The bottom line is that everything was better than Week 1,” he said. “But we have to work on the good habits. Some of our guys have lost some of what made them good at the end of last season, and we have to work on our habits to get back to that.”