So much for the comforts of home.
The Niles McKinley Dragons invaded Jefferson on Friday night and spoiled the Falcons’ home opener, 75-51.
The Dragons (2-1) stormed out of the gate, capitalizing on being able to constantly get a wide-open man around the arc, and connected on seven first quarter 3-pointers. The quick setup really burned the Falcons time and time again, putting them out of rhythm on the offensive end as well, and making the game 26-10 after one.
“Close out the shooters,” Jefferson coach Jeremy Huber said when asked to explain. “We just didn’t do a good job of closing out.
“Take care of the basketball, too many turnovers.”
The second quarter was very similar to the first, with Jefferson getting some streaks where things were going its way, but then it weren’t keeping up on defense, and needed to get more rebounds.
Jefferson (1-3) played with more vim and vigor in the second half, though the outcome had been decided.
“The kids played with intensity second half,” Huber said.
“Work on playing four quarters,” he added, when asked to elaborate on what needed to be done.
Lucas Hitchcock led the way for the Falcons with 18 points, shooting 9- of 12 from the free-throw line, including making his last 8, and picked up 3 rebounds and had 2 steals. Troy Bloom added 10 points with two 3’s, and had 2 steals, David Chase added 8 points and 5 rebounds, and Justin Butler scored 7 and had 3 rebounds.
As for the Dragons, several players stepped up ,especially from behind the 3-point line.
As a team, they shot 11 of 19 from behind the arc, led by Chris Parry going 5 for 5 and James Tate hit three.
“We haven’t shot well yet. It finally paid off,” Niles coach Ron Price said. “(We need to) keep shooting, feel good about shot, shoot the 3 with speed.
“We are a quick team, push ball, trap a lot.” added.
Ray Russ led the way for the Dragons with a huge 24 points, 6 rebounds and 7 steals.
“Russ is our leader, he and Gamble are captains,” Price said. “(He has a) high basketball IQ, unselfish, (he’s) a good player.”
“I just stayed with my man and helped my teammates,” Russ said. “Our shot was falling tonight.”
Chris Parry added 19 points for Niles McKinley, James Tate scored 12.
Velotta is a freelance writer from Concord Township.
Red Devils shoot lights out in besting Falcons
So much for the comforts of home.
Geneva, Edgewood win in J-Town
The Geneva boys and Edgewood girls managed to amass just enough points to claim the team titles at the Falcon Night Relays on Friday at Falcon Pride Stadium.
Johnson: Browns will be better
Football fans of every age gathered Friday evening to converse with Cleveland Browns linebacker James-Michael Johnson.
Skleres finds good fit
There are two very different sides to Michealia Skleres and the Pymatuning Valley senior wasn’t ready to go one direction or the other just yet. She may never be ready to separate those two halves.
Lakers ousted by LaBrae
Though the LaBrae softball team fell short of one goal this season, another was achieved on Friday.
Fitch 10, Lakeside 1
SATURDAY, MAY 18
n No events scheduled
Top to bottom
For a team to score a number of runs in a softball game, the bottom portion of a lineup has to string a couple of hits together at least once.
Falcons fly to sectional title
Lake Catholic softball coach Dale Colagross had the option of a potential battle with rival Notre-Dame Cathedral Latin, the top-seeded team in the Division II district tournament, or a potential matchup with third-seeded Jefferson in a sectional championship game in the other half of the bracket.
Area High School Baseball Statistical Leaders:
INDIVIDUAL BATTING (minimum 45 at-bats)
PLAYER SCHOOL AVG OB% SLG% AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Chase Thurber PV .548 .642 .790 62 24 34 10 1 1 25 13
Tim Cross PV .492 .528 .667 63 24 31 9 1 0 25 12
Louie Wisnyai Edgewood .492 .559 .763 59 17 29 8 1 2 26 8
Tony Magda Edgewood .483 .552 .603 58 14 28 5 1 0 19 6
Joey Piscsalko Jefferson .471 .548 .571 70 23 33 7 0 0 19 14
Scott Davidson Jefferson .464 .519 .623 69 20 32 7 2 0 10 8
Lakeside rolls past East
One of the great lessons in sports competitions is to play with the maximum effort in utilizing your own skills and talents. It’s a lot easier said than done, but the Lakeside Dragons got a full dose of it Thursday afternoon as they tangled with a youthful and inexperienced group of Panthers from Youngstown East in a Division I sectional semifinal ballgame. The Dragons came out on top, 12-0.
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