Eastern District Boy’s Basketball action was in full swing Tuesday with some surprises, a buzzer-beater and some yawning.
UNION LOCAL 39, MARTINS FERRY 38
Guru had a good seat for a buzzer-beater contest featuring Union Local (2-0) and Martins Ferry (1-1). Okay, here a few thoughts from this game. As usual, with a first half that saw Martins Ferry hold the ball for the better part of five minutes in the second quarter, the question will arise should there be a shot clock? If you ask me I’m going to tell you absolutely on the surface. However, who is going to pay to put these shot clocks into each gymnasium in Ohio? Do they need one? Yes! Is it reasonable to believe this will happen? No! So, unfortunately we spectators have to sit through many more 12-10 first-half games like this affair.
Do I blame coaches for taking advantage of the absence of a shot clock? Absolutely not! Is this basketball? No! Please don’t tell me this is good defense. Two reasons for holding the ball are protecting players from getting in worse foul trouble, or basically saying we want to the shorten the game because our team isn’t as talented as yours. On Tuesday night, the Riders had quite a few players in foul trouble and head coach Jeff Sabatino elected to use the stall tactic to not risk one of his key players picking up another foul. The method eventually served well for both teams. Ferry was able to keep its key players on the floor at the end of the contest, while Union Local was able to save its legs for the second half. But, again, this is ridiculous and no one can blame people for not wanting to come, pay five or six dollars and watch a player hold the ball under his arm for five minutes. Although, the finish was exciting, 39-38 is not basketball.
Let us fast forward to the fourth quarter where Martins Ferry led 24-21. However, the Jets secured the lead thanks to junior Jordan Barbina who was sensational in the final chapter. Barbina, starting his 45th game of his career, went end-to-end several times and finished with a game-high 15 points. But, with just over 10 seconds remaining in the game Rider sophomore Jordan Burress (6’6) caught the ball on the left low block and finished on the right side for a 38-37.
Barbina then raced the ball up the floor and had the ball knocked out of bound under the Jets’ bucket. Union Local boss Ben Porter called a timeout followed by a Sabatino 30-second stoppage. Next, senior Zach Azallion, who had an excellent night on the defensive end, took the ball out-of-bounds and found junior Joby Barr coming off a high post screen. The 6-foot-2 high riser caught the ball and got a good back screen before slashing to the hoop and finishing with a smooch off the glass as time expired. The Jet student section stormed the floor and mobbed the players in a wild scene. It was a total team effort for the Jets and to win a game in which they didn’t set the tempo says a lot for this veteran ball club.
Senior Tony Sabatino led the Riders with 10 points.
Joby Barr finished with eight markers while classmate Kyle Blackman ended his quality night with eight points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks.
-The Bellaire Big Reds finally opened up its season after a town fire delayed the opener that was set for this past Saturday. The Reds handed Harrison Central (0-2) a 53-47 setback behind Anthony Hocker’s 23 points including six bonus baskets.
-Fort Frye (2-1) bounced back after squandering a 16-point fourth-quarter lead to Warren on Saturday to throttle host Buckeye Trail (1-1), 58-38. Senior standout Derek Thompson finally broke out after a sluggish start to his season with 30 markers and 11 boards. Jarid Bates also enjoyed a fine evening for the Cadets with a career-best 15 points. Junior Tyler Stevens and Brandt Thieman held Trail’s top two scorers Brock Davis (5 points) and Joe Collart (5 points) to just 10 lightings. Fort Frye, even with the loss to Warren, is really impressing me and when senior Mason Lang returns things will only get better.
-Meadowbrook (1-1) is a sleeper. I was able to witness the Colts live in their opener against Dover this past Friday and came away impressed even though they lost. The Colts are a young basketball team being tutored by a quiet senior (Phillip Biggs) who leads by example. Biggs was showing the youngsters the ropes again last night in a 66-56 win over Barnesville (2-2). The 6-foot-4 senior tossed in 16 points and received help from sophomore Ethan Shriver with 14 tallies. The Colts are a very young basketball team that plays with a lot of heart.
-The three-headed monster was at it again for Malvern in an 83-44 triumph of Conotton Valley. By now, everyone knows the names. Zak Kapron led the way with 24 points and 10 boards. His two sidekicks (Trevor Halter and Tyler Tucci) finished with 17 and 11 points respectively. I can’t wait for next Tuesday’s Malvern/Garaway showdown. There may be a Guru sighting.
-Strasburg continues to impress. Despite losing to Garaway (who is the best team in the IVC according to me) this past Friday, Strasburg bounced back and knocked off Dalton by the count of 64-58. Jonathan Shaw and Drew Schneiter evenly split 38 markers. Tyler Gerber ripped down 11 caroms. By the way, the Tigers trailed most of the night.
-The Carter brothers were at it again Tuesday night in Wellsville’s (3-0) 83-52 rout of Berlin Center Western Reserve. Sophomore Jeremy Carter tossed in a game-high 22 points and brother senior Zane Carter chipped in with 15 points, nine rebounds, three steals, and two blocks to lead the way. Jamison Edison contributed 16 points. The Tigers are for real and the Carter brothers are a must see.
-Zanesville rolls to (2-0) via 64-36 home win over Marietta. The Blue Devils went a 31-4 first-half run to steam roll the Tigers. Cedric Harris scored 13 of his 19 points in the first 16 minutes. Junior Joe Prati scored 10 points and snared a team-high eight boards, while senior standout Logan Aronhalt ended the night with nine markers. Senior Andre Harris grabbed seven boards. The Blue Devils are the best team in the district until they prove me otherwise.
-My sleeper of all sleepers is starting to awake some people by winning game after game. I know, hold the phones, the season is only three games old for West Holmes but this team has great chemistry. Faced with some defections from the unit, the Knights bound together and are taking the us versus the world approach. Led by two senior three-year starters, West Holmes is off to a fast start. John Miller and Ben Snyder did their part once again in a 57-47 victory over Applecreek Waynedale. The former finished with 14 points including nine in the final frame, while the latter netted a team-high 16 tallies and game-high 17 boards. The 6-foot-3 Sndyer was too much for a smaller Waynedale squad. Ethan Holt added 12 points.
-Don’t look now, but Maysville is (4-0) under first-year boss Jesse Rupe. Trailing by seven points to Sheridan at home heading in the fourth quarter, the Panthers used a 21-6 advantage in the final chapter to secure a 61-53 victory. Junior Eastin Lewellen continues to impress and this time it was 21 points including 11-of-12 from the charity stripe. Jared Cox added 10 for the unbeaten Panthers. Sleeper!
-Garaway (3-0) remains unbeaten with a 60-46 conquest of Ridgewood (2-2). Backcourt mates Tyler Gerber (19 points) and Chase Stingel (17 points) combined for 36 points to lead the charge. Junior David Gerber notched 14 tallies and snared 10 caroms. Like I said before, I can’t wait for the Garaway/Malvern match up.
-Tuscarawas Valley (4-0) rolls on with a 59-45 success over host Indian Valley (0-2). The Trojans avenged last season’s loss to the Braves in doing so. Senior Pat Kane led the way with a game-high 16 points including 11-of-13 at the free-throw stripe, while senior Steven Spillman notched a double-double with 15 markers and 11 rebounds. Sam Gergley tossed in 11 markers, Kurt Elsasser added eight points and nine boards, and leading scorer Jacob Brown contributed with five points and five caroms. The Trojans are a very unselfish basketball team with a number of kids who can step up and be the go-to-guy on that particular night. Nothing has changed for me as Garaway and Tuscarawas Valley are my favorites in the East District (Division III).
-Although, this team is not an OHSAA member, I thought this was definitely worth mentioning. Senior Matt Roten of Faith Community Christian School needed just two points coming into last night’s opener with Olney Friends School to reach the 1,000-point plateau and he well exceeded that with a 27-point effort. The Bethesda, Ohio based school knocked off Olney by the count of 62-37. Congratulations to Matt, who is more importantly an outstanding student and person.
Brian Gasser (Indian Valley)- 15 points and eight rebounds
Zack Baker (Indian Valley)- 13 points
Eric Dummermuth (Dover)- 23 points, 17 rebounds, and four assists
Marcus Mamarella (Dover)- 10 points
Jim Wood (Indian Creek)- 24 points
Michael Smith (Indian Creek)- 17 points
Luke Viltro (Indian Creek)- 11 points
Zach Stewart (Toronto)- 17 points
Corey Wickham (Edison)- 13 points
Loren Mynes (Edison)- 12 points and 10 rebounds
Bryson Anderson (Edison)- 21 points and nine rebounds
Brian DeFranco (Steubenville CC)- 12 points
Mark Gilloon (Steubenville CC)- 12 points and nine rebounds
Luke Nicholson (Steubenville CC)- 14 points
Ryan Feller- (Bellaire)- seven points and 10 assists
Levi Crozier (Bellaire)- 13 points
Jordan Barker (Harrison Central)- 10 points
Ty Kenny (Harrison Central)- eight points and 11 rebounds
Ethan Russell (Beaver Local)- 25 points, six rebounds, and three steals
Zach Zelinsky (Beaver Local)- 21 points and six rebounds
Jacob Hupp (Shenandoah)- 18 points and five rebounds
Ryan Kuhn (Monroe Central)- 15 points
Brady Bowman (Morgan)- 18 points and six assists
Tyler Hickerson (Morgan)- three points, seven rebounds, and nine assists
Kyle Dunn (Morgan)- 14 points
Lucas Williams (Morgan)- 19 points and seven rebounds
Mike Wehr (Barnesville)- 20 points
Josh Wells (Barnesville)- 13 points
Jared Andes (Shadyside)- 11 points and six rebounds
Justin Andes (Shadyside)- 11 points
B.A. Holloway (Shadyside)- 11 points
Chaz Lindsey (Bridgeport)- 10 points
Justin Gregorcic (Bridgeport)- 11 points
Mike Bachie (Bridgeport)- eight points and 10 rebounds
Danny Lennix (Bridgeport)- 12 points
Jared Kreitzer (Ridgewood)- 14 points and nine rebounds
Tyler McCullough (Ridgewood)- 11 points
Tyler Yosick (Conotton Valley)- 14 points
Zach Ross (Tusky CC)- 22 points
Albert Trolio (Tusky CC)- 11 points and six rebounds
J.C. Rine (Newcomerstown)- 17 points
Jon Weaver (Hiland)- 18 points
Colton Troyer (Hilad)- 10 points
Colten Hostetler (Hiland)- 10 points
Jordan Tozzi (Sandy Valley)- 21 points
Vincent Joseph (Rosecrans)- 23 points
Jared Lewis (Rosecrans)- 12 points and six rebounds
Daniel Tracy (St. John)- 10 points and seven rebounds
Nathan Shumate (West Muskingum)- 14 points
Josh Osborn (West Muskingum)- 10 points
Austin Brock (West Muskingum)- 12 points
Rob Metry (John Glenn)- 14 points
Devin Fitzgerald (John Glenn)- 13 points
Travis Robbins (Philo)- 14 points
TUESDAY 'S RESULTS
Bellaire 53 Harrison Central 47
Fort Frye 58 Buckeye Trail 38
Meadowbrook 66 Barnesville 56
Dover 53 Akron East 37
Edison 61 Steubenville CC 50
Garaway 60 Ridgewood 46
Hiland 68 Sandy Valley 52
Malvern 83 Conotton Valley 44
Maysville 61 Sheridan 53
Morgan 75 Crooksville 63
New Lexington 51 Philo 38
Shenandoah 42 Monroe Central 36
Strasburg 64 Dalton 58
Wellsville 83 Berlin Center Western Reserve 52
Indian Creek 62 Toronto 52
Union Local 39 Martins Ferry 38
Shadyside 61 Bridgeport 57
Youngstown East 76 Beaver Local 57
Rosecrans 87 St. John 26
West Holmes 57 Waynedale 47
West Muskingum 51 John Glenn 42
Tuscarawas Central Catholic 53 Newcomerstown 50
Tuscarawas Valley 59 Indian Valley 45
Zanesville 64 Marietta 36