Zanesville needed a few minutes to find its footing Saturday at East Liverpool.
Once the Blue Devils did, the Potters had no answer.
Trailing 8-7 midway through the first quarter, Zanesville went on a 29-6 run to build a 22-point halftime lead in an easy 59-31 nonleague victory.
The defense did its part, forcing East Liverpool (0-2) into 11 first-half turnovers that turned into 13 points. The Blue Devils took advantage as they built a 36-14 halftime lead.
Zanesville coach Scott Aronhalt said his team waited for its opportunities on both ends of the floor.
“Our first 10 possessions, we knew they would play well,” Aronhalt said. “I thought our guys played well defensively and were patience. We built the lead and really ran off with it.”
The Potters finished with 21 turnovers — 14 were steals by the Blue Devils — and shot 23 percent (10-of-42) from the floor. East Liverpool also was 5-of-20 on 3-pointers.
Ramon Wilson and Dar Stanford had four steals each to pace Zanesville’s defense.
“With our quickness, it’s critical we can force turnovers,” Aronhalt said. “We were able to do a lot of things defensively. If guys aren’t doing their jobs, these things won’t happen.”
The teams exchanged the lead six times in the opening four minutes of the game. D.J. Austin’s 3 put the Potters up 8-7, but Malik Bocook answered with a basket to put Blue Devils up for good at 9-8.
After another Zanesville basket, Ramon Wilson and Jake Phillis hit back-to-back 3s to put the Blue Devils up 17-8 after one.
The run continued in the second. Marcus Johnson had six points, including a 3, to make it 31-11. Phillis scored eight points in the quarter and hit basket at the buzzer for a 36-14 halftime cushion.
Phillis scored 16 points, Marcus Johnson added 12 points, Bocook chipped in eight points and seven rebounds, and Stanford had seven points and five assists for Zanesville, which was 22-of-54 from the field and 5-of-12 on 3s.
Hayden Cunningham’s 10 points led the Potters.