2015-16 Springfield Boys’ Basketball Preview

2015-16 Springfield Tigers’ Boys Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Eric Fender, 7th season (103-35)
Record: 24-1 (14-0), 1st place in ITCL Upper Tier
5-Year Winning Percentage: 80.3%
5-Year League Record: 65-5

Season in Review
For the fourth consecutive season, Springfield came away with the ITCL Upper Tier championship. During that stretch, the Tigers have accumulated a 54-2 record in league play.

The Springfield Tigers outscored their regular season opponents by an average of 13 points to finish the campaign with a 22-0 record. It always wasn’t as easy as the Tigers were victorious by 7 points or less five times including the season opener against LaBrae (57-52). In the team’s three matchups with Lisbon, the Tigers’ Graham Mincher averaged 24.3 points in those contests including a 30-point outburst on December 12.

The team, for the season, featured four players who scored in double figures (Mincher, Brandon Chamberlain, Mark Schuler, Jordon Peterson). Chamberlain shot 51.4% from three-point range (38-74) while Mincher sank 45.3% (39-86). Schuler led the team in field goal percentage with 55.9% (99-177).

After a two-point win over Lisbon (55-53) in the Salem District Semifinal, Springfield dropped their championship matchup to Canton Central Catholic (45-34) three days later.

2014-15 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 66.6
Scoring Defense: 43.6
Rebounding: 30.9
Field Goal Percentage: 48.0%
Three-Point Percentage: 40.3%
Free Throw Percentage: 67.9%

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
Brandon Chamberlain (11.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg)
Jordon Peterson (9.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg)
Mark Schuler (10.9 ppg, 9.3 rpg)
Nate Simboli (4.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg)
Hunter Snyder (6.2 ppg, 4.6 apg, 2.6 spg)

Key Returnees
Despite losing a ton of players to graduation, the Tigers return their standout senior guard – Graham Mincher. Number 21 averaged 20.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.3 steals per contest. Mincher also proved to be quite a free throw shooter as he made 84.2% of his charity shots (96-114). Coach Eric Fender will need significant production out of his remaining players to make a strong push at a fifth league championship in a row.

Graham Mincher (Sr./G)
Grant Nezbeth (Sr./F)
Ryan DelSignore (Jr./F)
Pat Flara (Jr./F)
Caleb Mercer (Jr./G)
Brandon Walters (So./G)

ITCL Red Tier Outlook
Crestview The Rebels suffered through the first losing season in the ITCL last year (5-9) since 2009-10 (3-11).

East Palestine Here’s a stat that no Bulldog fan would want to see – East Palestine has not had a winning season since 2011-12 (12-10). Will this year be the year that they right the ship?

South Range The Raiders rebounded well from their 2013-14 finish of 4-19 to a team which got to 6 games above the 500 mark (15-9) last winter.

Springfield Coach Eric Fender’s Tigers have won the last four Upper Tier Championships. This year, they’ll look to reload with Graham Mincher returning for his senior season.

United Since the Golden Eagles last winning season (2008-09: 12-9), they’ve tallied a winning percentage of 15.9% and have finished the last four campaigns with 20 losses or more.

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

Post-Season History
State Championships: None
Regional Championships: 2 (1963 and 1968)
…The Tigers have won the district crown six times in school history.

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