Game of the Week: #9 Poland at #7 Harding, 2/5

Harding welcomes Poland for the MyYTV Game of the Week this Friday.

High School Basketball Game of the Week – #9 Poland (14-3) at #7 Warren Harding (15-1)
Friday, February 5, 2016 LIVE 7 PM on MyYTV
Also streamed LIVE on and WKBN mobile app

Last Three Meetings
Jan. 5, 2016 – Harding, 62-59
Feb. 6, 2015 – Poland, 69-54
Jan. 3, 2015 – Harding, 65-50

Last Meeting
Gabe Simpson’s three-point play with under twenty seconds remaining proved to be the difference in Harding’s 62-59 win at Poland on January 5. Simpson scored 19 as Shakem Johnson added 16 for the Raiders. Poland was led by Jared Burkert, who tallied 21.

Team Stats
Scoring Offense: Harding, 79.8; Poland, 65.2
Scoring Defense: Poland, 50.6; Harding, 56.9

Harding’s alignment in the All-American
After spending four seasons (2010-14) in the Lake Erie League, the Raiders made the move to the All-American Conference last season. Harding had little trouble in their new surroundings as they posted an 11-1 record in the Red Division last year and won a share of the league title with Poland.

Poland’s consistently steady
Since the All-American Conference’s inception in 2008, the Bulldogs have not finished any lower in the standings than second and have not lost more than two games in conference play. You have to go back a long ways to find the last time the Bulldogs finished lower than 2nd. Back in the 2005-06 season, Poland finished the Metro Athletic Conference in a tie with Struthers for 5th place with a 2-8 mark.

Game Notes
Despite falling in two consecutive contests to Fitch (57-41) and at Canfield (44-41), Poland found themselves in the Division II AP Top 10 for the first time this season on Monday. The Bulldogs didn’t disappoint as they came away with a 75-67 overtime win against Boardman on Tuesday. Matt Baker finished with a game-high 26 points.

Harding has won 9 consecutive games dating back to January 5. The Raiders defeated East on Tuesday, 82-57, behind 22 points from Shakem Johnson and 18 from Tiryn Frank. Gabe Simpson also chipped in with 15. With the victory, Harding clinched sole possession of the division championship.

All-American Red Division Standings
(Upper Half)
x-Harding – 12-0 (15-1)
Poland – 9-3 (14-3)
Canfield – 8-3 (14-4)
Fitch – 7-4 (11-6)
x-clinched Red Division title

Area AP Coach of the Year selections
2011 (IV) George Whittaker, Southern
2008 (I) Steve Arnold, Harding*
2008 (II) Ken Grisdale, Poland*
2005 (IV) David Thompson, Wellsville
2002 (I) Frank Bubba, Harding*
2002 (IV) Brian Clark, Sebring
2001 (III) Jeff Brink, Springfield
2000 (IV) Tim King, Western Reserve
1999 (I) Nick Aloi, East Liverpool
1999 (IV) Rick Brook, Sebring
1998 (II) Mike Clutter, Beaver Local
1996 (III) Harold McCue, South Range
1993 (II) George Burich, Youngstown South
1993 (III) Tim Taylor, Brookfield
1991 (II) Bob McCosky, West Branch
1985 (AA) Frank Cegledy, Rayen
1984 (A) Bob Flint, Wellsville
1983 (AAA) Bob LaRicca, Warren Western Reserve
1981 (A) John Sawyer, Badger
1980 (AA) Dennis Jasinski, Warren JFK
1976 (AA) Bob Dawson, Wellsville
1974 (AA) Bob Dawson, Wellsville

Upcoming Schedule
Feb. 9 – Lakeview
Feb. 12 – Canfield
Feb. 16 – Struthers
Feb. 19 – Jefferson

Warren Harding
Feb. 6 – Lakeside
Feb. 12 – Canton McKinley
Feb. 16 – at Ursuline
Feb. 19 – at Jackson

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