By BOB ETTINGER
For the Star Beacon
It’s often difficult for a team to duplicate the advancements it makes in practice on the floor for a game. The Jefferson boys basketball team managed to just that, though, in a 75-44 victory over Ledgemont on Tuesday night at Falcon Gymnasium.
“We were able to score some points off our defense tonight,” Jefferson coach Jeremy Huber said. “We repped it practice yesterday. It was nice to see them bring it into the game.”
Led by the defensive play of guards Jacob Hamilton and Brett Powers, the Falcons (2-3) stole the ball 25 times and forced 33 turnovers with relentless pressure all the way down the floor.
“Hamilton and Powers got us some steals and we were able to create some fastbreak points,” Huber said.
Powers led Jefferson with six steals and Hamilton and Ryan Zindash each had five more.
When the Jefferson guards weren’t taking the ball away, the Redskins (2-2, 1-0 in Northeastern Athletic Conference) were giving it away.
“Their defense wasn’t any better than the teams we faced and (we were) 2-1,” Ledgemont coach Greg Fronk said. “We’ve got to play good ball.
“I don’t want to take anything away from them, they’re good, but their defense wasn’t necessarily forcing turnovers. At the guard spots, we’re inexperienced. We’ve got to handle the ball.”
Jefferson opened the game on a 9-0 spurt and closed the first quarter with seven straight points that turned into a 15-2 run and a 28-10 advantage with 4:50 left in the half.
The Falcons led, 42-18, at the break behind 16-of-25 shooting (64.0 percent). They had 15 steals at the half and had forced 20 turnovers. As a team, Jefferson had 12 assists in the first 16 minutes.
David Chase tallied 12 of his 18 points in the half and Powers tallied 11 of his 19 during that span. Tony Chiacchiero netted 13 points on the night and Lucas Hitchcock added eight more.
Jefferson had 18 assists as a team and were led by Hamilton’s seven and Powers’ four.
“It’s nice,” Huber said. “The guys were unselfish. We had a lot of guys get in on the scoring today. Tony came off the bench and hit some 3s. The guys are all friendly. You’re not going to see a lot of unselfishness.”
Chase also had eight boards to lead the Falcons and found a connection with Hamilton.
“It was good to have David scoring and in the game,” Huber said. “Jacob realized it. Jacob will sacrifice his offense to others involved.
“David still hasn’t shown what he can do and he knows it. He’s still growing and we’re waiting for him to break out. He gave us multiple quarters. Usually, he plays well in the first quarter and fades. We had talked about that and he was better tonight.”
Anthony Jennings led the Redskins with 12 points and Devin Rupinski added eight more.
Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.