2015-16 Leetonia Boys’ Basketball Preview

2015-16 Leetonia Bears’ Boys Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Jeff Hammond, 1st season at Leetonia
Record: 13-11 (7-7), T-4th place in ITCL Lower Tier
5-Year Winning Percentage: 31.2%
5-Year League Record: 21-49

Season in Review
Last year’s Leetonia team won 13 games. The Bears featured Columbiana County’s Player of the Year – Trent Ferry, who finished out his prep career as the school’s all-time leading scorer. Ferry averaged 22.6 points per game while leading the team in free throw percentage (79.3%) and with 36 three-point field goals. Leetonia’s other senior standouts were Drew Turney and Josh Faulkner. Turney almost averaged a double-double (11.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg) while Faulkner put together a season stat line that was just as impressive (11.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.9 apg).

Last year, the Bears improved upon their prior year win total by 8 victories. In 2013-14, Leetonia finished with a 5-16 record (4-10 ITCL Lower). Just to show how far they came – during a three-year stretch (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12) – the Bears posted a 5-39 league mark and just a 10-52 overall record.

2014-15 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 63.0
Field Goal Percentage: 68.3%
Rebounds: 33.0

Inter-Tri County League Basketball Champions
ITCL Upper Tier
2014-15: Springfield (14-0)
2013-14: Springfield (13-1)
2012-13: Springfield (14-0)
2011-12: Springfield (13-1)
2010-11: East Palestine (12-2)
2009-10: East Palestine (14-0)
2008-09: East Palestine (13-1)
2007-08: Columbiana (14-0)
2006-07: East Palestine (12-2)

ITCL Lower Tier
2014-15: McDonald & Lowellville (11-3)
2013-14: Wellsville (14-0)
2012-13: McDonald & Wellsville (12-2)
2011-12: Jackson-Milton & McDonald (10-4)
2010-11: McDonald (14-0)
2009-10: McDonald (14-0)
2008-09: McDonald (14-0)
2007-08: Wellsville (13-1)
2006-07: McDonald (14-0)

Key Losses
Trent Ferry (22.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg)
Josh Faulkner (11.2 ppg, 4.9 apg)
Drew Turney (11.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg)

Key Returnees
Two-year letter winner, Isaac Stecker, is back after averaging nearly a double-double per game (6.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg). Seniors Shayne Rhodes (5.4 ppg, 4.8 spg) and Evan Davis (4.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg) are the other returning varsity players. Senior Bret Pacella did not play last year due to a knee injury suffered during soccer season.

First-year head coach Jeff Hammond served as the Bears’ junior varsity coach for the last three years. “Obviously, this season could be viewed as a rebuilding situation but we will work hard every day in practice and we will compete in every game to try to win games this season. Rebounding will be an area of focus due to our lack of size. Hopefully, our outside shooting, defense and team chemistry will be an area of strength for us.”

Shayne Rhodes (5’9/Sr.)
Evan Davis (6’3/Sr.)
Bret Pacella (5’10/Sr.)
Isaac Stecker (6’4/Jr)
Tanner Barr (5’11/Jr.)
Zack Pugh (6’5/Jr.)
Danny McCool (5’10/Jr.)
Devon Champney (6’1/Jr.)
CoalTin Bracy (6’3/So.)
Tommy Kornbau (5’11/So.)
Denny Cornman (5’10/So.)

ITCL White Tier Outlook
Columbiana The Clippers have been making strides in their basketball program as of late. Columbiana suffered through a three-year stint where they won just 11 games and lost 54 (2010-13). Over the course of the last two seasons, they’ve tallied a 23-24 record overall and 14-14 in the league.

Leetonia Jeff Hammond took over the program in the off-season. He’ll look to Isaac Stecker and company to lead the Bears into the next era of Leetonia basketball.

Lisbon If fans got excited about seeing Lisbon roll up 40 wins over the last two seasons, many prognosticators all agree this could be the Blue Devils finest season in school history.

Southern Troy Holden will look to lead the Indians in Aaron Blatch’s first season at the helm. Last year, they finished with a 500 record (12-12, 7-7).

Wellsville Since the ITCL was formed in 2006, the Tigers had never finished with a losing record in league play. That was until last year when Wellsville came crashing down from their back-to-back Lower Tier titles to a team which finished 6-8.

2015-16 Schedule
Nov. 27 – East Palestine, 7:30
Dec. 1 – at Springfield, 7:30
Dec. 4 – Sebring, 7:30
Dec. 8 – at South Range, 7:30
Dec. 11 – at Southern, 7:30
Dec. 12 – at Lowellville, 7:30
Dec. 15 – Jackson-Milton, 7:30
Dec. 18 – Wellsville, 7:30
Dec. 22 – at McDonald, 7:30
Jan. 5 – Crestview, 7:30
Jan. 8 – at Lisbon, 7:15
Jan. 15 – Columbiana, 6:30
Jan. 19 – at Sebring, 7:30
Jan. 22 – Southern, 6:30
Jan. 26 – at Heartland Christian, 7:30
Jan. 29 – at Wellsville, 7:15
Feb. 2 – Lisbon, 7:30
Feb. 5 – United, 7:30
Feb. 9 – Western Reserve, 7:30
Feb. 12 – at Columbiana, 7:30
Feb. 18 – Heartland Christian, 7:30

Post-Season History
State Championships: None
Regional Championships: None
…Leetonia posted their first post-season win last year since 2009 following their 56-54 Sectional Semifinal victory over Lordstown. The last time the Bears registered a sectional championship was in 2006.

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