By VINCE PELUSO — firstname.lastname@example.org
ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP —
On night a where he, and his team, weren’t feeling quite 100 percent, Edgewood coach John Bowler’s Warriors battled through any ill effects to handle the Seneca, Pa. Bobcats, 59-37.
Edgewood point guard Connor McLaughlin battled through illness to score 11 first-half points to help the Warriors jump out to a 32-22 halftime lead.
McLaughlin wouldn’t score again, but he wouldn’t need to as teammates Louie Wisnyai (game-high 18 points) and Andrew Konczal (17 points, 10 rebounds) picked up the scoring slack to lead Edgewood.
“We missed three days of practice so I think we were off tonight,” Bowler said. “I’m glad we won and we played hard and that’s why we won — because of the effort we played with. When you don’t play your best and still win that says a lot about your team.”
Bowler particularly complimented McLaughlin’s gutsy effort.
“He’s very sick, he’s sicker than I am right now,” a horse Bowler said, chuckling. “I liked the way he toughed it out, I tried to take him out a little at a time and whenever I’d take him out he’d say he’s ready to go back in.
“Whenever I needed something he came through with it.”
Edgewood extended its 10-point halftime lead to 14 after three quarters.
The Warriors quickly stretched that lead out even further in the fourth, holding the Bobcats to just seven points in the period as they pushed the lead to 20 and ultimately 22, thanks in large part to Joey Zappittelli’s six points in the quarter.
Seneca coach Paul Modzelewski said Edgewood’s length was a problem for his team.
“I think we were bothered a bit by the zone until we did a little bit of a zone offense against them,” he said. “Then we had some good looks, but I think the problem was they’re a little bit bigger than us so even though we got the ball inside we weren’t able to attack effectively whereas when they got the ball inside they attacked really effectively.”
Much of that effectiveness came from Konczal, who got to the charity stripe 13 times, hitting nine.
“He was going to the hoop strong, every single time he had it he was attacking,” Bowler said of Konczal.
Perhaps the key to the game was the Warriors defense, though.
Early on, Seneca’s Tanner McCall (11 points) was leading the Bobcat offense, hitting three first-half 3-pointers.
At halftime, Bowler adjusted his defense to put Dylan McCaleb (6 points) on McCall, who scored just two points in the second half. Seneca was led in scoring by Bryce Turner with 15.
“I told Dylan to guard the shooter,” he said. “He really plays really good man on man defense. He got in his face the whole second half and shut him down real good and that helped us out a lot because it seems like he’s a big scorer for them. We went on a little spurt defensively and that got a few baskets for us.”