2015-16 Howland Boys’ Basketball Preview

2015-16 Howland Tigers’ Boys Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Jason Lee, 2nd season at Howland (7-17)
Record: 7-17 (2-10), 6th place in All-American Red Division
5-Year Winning Percentage: 44.7%
:5-Year League Record: 25-27

Season in Review
Howland, in Jason Lee’s first-year as head coach, saw some positives and some which need improvement. Despite finishing the season with a 7-17 record, the Tigers were involved in many games which were decided by ten points or less. However, Howland allowed 70 points per game and were only able to shoot less than 40% from the floor as a team and were able to haul down 25 rebounds per outing.

In the post-season, the Tigers knocked off Cleveland JFK (63-52) in the opening round before falling to Garfield Heights.

Howland has won just 5 of their last 24 league games over the last two seasons. This is the same program who won the AAC Red Division in 2010-11 (7-1) and finished with a winning record in the conference three years in a row (2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13).

2014-15 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 56.2
Scoring Defense: 70.2
Rebounding: 24.8
Field Goal Percentage: 39.3%
Three Point Percentage: 29.2%
Free Throw Percentage: 62.4%
Turnovers: 15.5

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
Ray Hill (3.2 rpg)
Julian Lanier (16.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
Tyler Tamarkin (5.4 ppg, 1.9 apg)

Key Returnees
The Tigers will be led by senior leaders Luciano Romeo and Connor Antinone. Romeo finished second on the team a year ago in scoring (9.7) and third in rebounding (3.6) and assists (1.7). Antinone scored 6.7 points and a team-leading 2.7 assists per game. Victor Williams also returns after putting together a solid sophomore campaign (7.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg) where he shot 50.4% from the floor (59-117). Williams’ classmates Michael Massucci and Nate Leventis will be asked to increase their production on the varsity team this winter. Massucci shot 80.0% from the foul line (12-15) and Leventis made 14 of 22 from the line as well (63.6%).

Coach Jason Lee is pleased with what he has returning but is just as intrigued by what he has coming into the fold this season. “Something to keep an eye on is the very talented sophomore class that looks to only need a little bit more of experience to really change the pass of the game in their favor. Last year, these sophomores lost a close battle for the All-American Conference tournament to a very deep Fitch team late in the fourth quarter.”

Connor Antinone (5’8/Sr)
Luciano Romeo (5’11/Sr)
Michael Massucci (Jr)
Victor Williams (6’0/Jr)

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. 1 – East, 7
Dec. 4 – Canfield, 7
Dec. 8 – at Poland, 7
Dec. 11 – Lakeside, 7
Dec. 15 – at Warren Harding, 7
Dec. 18 – at Jefferson, 7
Dec. 22 – Liberty, 7
Dec. 26 – Warren JFK, 7
Jan. 2 – Lakeview, 7
Jan. 5 – Boardman, 7
Jan. 8 – Champion, 7
Jan. 9 – at Girard, 7
Jan. 15 – at East, 7
Jan. 19 – at Canfield, 7
Jan. 22 – Poland, 7
Jan. 26 – at Lakeside, 7
Jan. 29 – Warren Harding, 7
Feb. 2 – Fitch, 7
Feb. 5 – at Boardman, 7
Feb. 9 – Niles, 7
Feb. 12 – at Fitch, 7
Feb. 16 – at LaBrae, 7

Post-Season History
State Championships: None
Regional Championships: None
…Howland has not made a trip to the districts since their run to the Boardman District Final in 2004.

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