Warriors win big over Belpre, 80-42

STEVE HEMMELGARN The Marietta Times Warren’s Josh Huffman (15) handles the ball as Belpre’s Bailey Sprague defends during a high school boys basketball game Tuesday in Belpre.

BELPRE — Outmanned Belpre stayed with visiting Warren for most of the first half before the Warriors ran away from the Golden Eagles to record a 80-42 boys basketball win Tuesday night.

Senior Josh Huffman was a mighty man in the middle for Warren on the night, piling up 29 points to pace the Warriors, while teammates Jared Hall netted 14 and Clay Miller tossed in eight.

For Belpre, now 1-4, Logan Adams tallied 14 points, followed by Nate Godfrey with nine and Bailey Sprague with seven.

To start the game, Warren jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Sprague’s rebound bucket lit up the scoreboard for Belpre at the 5:58 mark.

But after that, the 6-5 Huffman finished an 9-0 run with a slam-dunk to propel Warren ahead 12-2 at 4:05. Belpre, though, made it 12-8 by 2:16 on consecutive baskets by Adams, Godfrey and Brandon Simoniette.

However, a Bryce Knost 3-ball and two Miller field goals in outpointing Belpre 7-2 in the run-up to the close of the first quarter gave the Warriors a 19-10 lead going to the second stanza.

The second period saw Belpre hang in there behind Adams and Simoniette up until Warren went on a 15-2 tear down the stretch to halftime to grab a commanding 40-18 advantage at the break.

The second half with a 22-9 third-quarter in their favor took the Warriors out to a 62-27 lead with still a quarter to go as Huffman posted six more baskets in the third, leaving just an academic fourth period for Warren to finish out the victory and improve to 4-1 on the season.

For Warrior head coach Blane Maddox, he wasn’t surprised that Belpre “on their home court would give us their best shot. We didn’t finish much early on and turned ball over 22 times in the first half. So it wasn’t our best game, but it is what it was.”

However, Maddox noted that “I like this team we have. They play hard, they root for each other all the way down to the end and want everybody to do well.”

On Huffman, Maddox said that he “is one of the most-improved players that I’ve ever coached. They were a couple schools here tonight looking at him, so we wanted to showcase him, and I’m sure didn’t disappoint them.”

For Belpre first-year head coach Tyler Leasure, “early on after we got going, we were doing a good job at both ends of the floor. But then the turnovers started to come, and that seems to be our Achilles heel right now.

“Credit to Warren and coach Maddox for their ability to prey on that. Their defense did a great job of pressuring our ball-handlers and forcing turnovers that we really shouldn’t have been making. But we had effort and gave it all we had the whole game.”