2015-16 Fitch Boys’ Basketball Preview

2015-16 Fitch Falcons’ Boys Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Brian Beany, 5th season (52-39)
Record: 13-10 (6-6), T-3rd AAC American
5-Year Winning Percentage: 50.9%
5-Year League Record: 25-29*
*-Fitch was a member of the Federal League in 2010-11

Season in Review
Fitch closed out the 2014-15 regular season with wins in 8 of their final 9 games to finish with 13 victories. However, the Falcons could not overcome Stow-Munroe in the Sectional Semifinals as they were ousted from the post-season, 48-43. The season opened with Dominic DiFrancesco scoring 30 points (13-15 FG) against Sharon in their 79-59 win. Jake Bullen connected on 5 of 8 three-pointers in a 75-70 win over Niles on January 6. Bullen scored 23. Anthony Pangio closed out his season with 9 double-doubles. Number 11 had four straight 20-point performances at the end of January. Since joining the All-American Conference in 2011, the Falcons have compiled a league mark of 25-19 over the last four years.

2014-15 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 58.2
Scoring Defense: 50.4
Field Goal Percentage: 50.8%
Free Throw Percentage: 70.7%
Three Point Percentage: 33.1%
Rebounds: 26.0
Turnovers: 13.3

All-American Conference Basketball Champions
Red Division
2014-15: Poland & Warren Harding (11-1)
2010-11: Howland (7-1)
2009-10: Canfield & Poland (7-1)
2008-09: Poland (7-1)

White Division
2014-15: Jefferson (10-0)
2010-11: Struthers (8-0)
2009-10: Struthers (8-0)
2008-09: Lakeview (7-1)

Blue Division
2014-15: Girard (10-2)
2010-11: LaBrae (8-0)
2009-10: Campbell (10-0)
2008-09: Campbell & Newton Falls (9-1)

AAC American Division
2013-14: Poland (11-1)
2012-13: Canfield & Poland (8-2)
2011-12: Struthers (9-1)

AAC National Division
2013-14: Campbell, Girard & LaBrae (8-2)
2012-13: LaBrae (10-0)
2011-12: LaBrae (10-0)

Key Losses
Jake Bullen (13.6 ppg)
Zac Carr (2.4 ppg)

Key Returnees
…The Falcons return 7 letter winners and 4 seniors led by Anthony Pangio (15.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg) and Dominic DiFrancesco (10.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg). Pangio, an All-AAC performer, and DiFrancesco – who was named to the second-team a year ago – lead a veteran group who has aspirations on playing into March. Point guard Scotty Duffy (7.0 ppg, 2.1 apg) also returns along with off-guards Brian Beany (2.2 ppg) and Derek Gunter (5.0 ppg). Forward Bryce Hall (2.2 ppg) will also be welcomed back into the fold.

Anthony Pangio (6’4/Sr)
Dominic DiFrancesco (6’3/Sr)
Scott Duffy (5’10/Sr)
Brian Beany (6-1/Sr)
Derek Gunter (6-1/Sr)
Bryce Hall (6’2/Sr)

AAC Red Division Outlook
Boardman The Spartans made strides last year. Gannon Murray leads a hungry bunch into the 2015-16 season.

Canfield When you talk Canfield basketball, the conversation should start with 6’3 senior forward Mason Mangapora, who is coming off of a junior campaign which saw him average 16 points and 5 boards.

East The Panthers turned the ball over 20 times a game (19.9) and only shot 31.9% from the floor. Both numbers will have to increase if East has plans on crashing the AAC party this year.

Fitch Fitch has a pair of seniors – Anthony Pangio and Dominic DiFrancesco – both returning as coach Brian Beany likes what he has seen out of his team this off-season.

Howland Coach Jason Lee may have lost Julian Lanier but he has a wealth of support returning such as Luciano Romeo, Connor Antinone and Victor Williams just to name a few.

Lakeside The Dragons enter the All-American Conference in their initial campaign.

Poland Three years in a row, the Bulldogs have won or shared their league championship. Coach Ken Grisdale’s bunch should have an opportunity for a fourth straight with Jared Burkert, Mike Gajdos, Matt Baker and Jake Burns all back in the fold.

Warren Harding Harding returns seniors Gabe Simpson and Shakem Johnson from last year’s 20-win team. Oh yeah, the state’s highest rated junior (Derek Culver) also is back to cause mayhem near the bucket.

2015-16 Schedule
Dec. 4 – Liberty, 7
Dec. 8 – Harding, 7
Dec. 15 – East, 7
Dec. 18 – Struthers, 7
Dec. 22 – Poland, 7
Dec. 29 – Canfield, 7
Jan. 5 – at Lakeside, 7
Jan. 8 – at Niles, 7
Jan. 15 – at Canfield, 7
Jan. 19 – Boardman, 7
Jan. 22 – at Harding, 7
Jan. 26 – at Poland, 7
Jan. 29 – at East, 7
Feb. 2 – at Howland, 7
Feb. 4 – at Jefferson, 7:15
Feb. 5 – Lakeside, 7
Feb. 9 – Hubbard, 7
Feb. 12 – Howland, 7
Feb. 16 – Marlington, 7
Feb. 19 – at Boardman, 7

Post-Season History
State Championships: 1 (1931)
Regional Championships: 2 (1931, 1930)
…Since Fitch’s run to the District Final in 2004, the Falcons have won just 2 playoff games in the last eleven years. Fitch has not won a sectional championship since 2004.

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