Game of the Week: McDonald at Lisbon, 2/9

A highly anticipated battle between two of the top teams in the area will take place on Tuesday in Lisbon.

High School Basketball Game of the Week – McDonald (18-2) at Lisbon (18-1)
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 LIVE 7 PM on MyYTV
Also streamed LIVE on and WKBN mobile app

Last Meeting
Mar. 4, 2011 – McDonald, 71-29*
*-Sectional Championship
…The top seeded Blue Devils in the Struthers District topped the Blue Devils – 71-29 – en route to a Regional Final trip where they’d run into the eventual state champion (Berlin Hiland).

Team Stats
Scoring Offense: McDonald, 89.6; Lisbon, 80.2
Scoring Defense: Lisbon, 50.0; McDonald, 63.4

McDonald’s Dominance
The Blue Devils’ basketball program is used to winning. McDonald has won (or shared) 8 of the first 10 Lower Tier titles in the ITCL. During that time, the Blue Devils have not finished lower than second in the standings nor have they lost more than 4 games in league play in a single season. Mc Donald has actually won 10 games or more in the tier in each of their first nine seasons.

Moving on up
Lisbon began their stay in the ITCL as a team who won just two games in three years (2-40) in the Upper Tier as they finished in last place each season (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09). However, the Blue Devils’ resurgence has not gone unnoticed. They put together back-to-back second place finishes over the last two years (2013-14 & 2014-15) in the Upper Tier by winning 23 of their 28 league games. This season, Lisbon has cruised to a perfect 7-0 start in the White Division to win their first league crown since 2002.

ITCL Blue Division Standings
(Upper Half)
y-McDonald – 8-1 (18-2)
Lowellville – 7-2 (14-5)
Mineral Ridge – 6-4 (10-8)
Sebring – 5-4 (11-6)
y-at least a share of the division crown

ITCL White Division Standings
x-Lisbon – 7-0 (18-1)
Southern – 5-2 (11-8)
Wellsville – 4-4 (15-5)
x-won the league championship outright

Most Wins among Area Tams
New Castle – 21-1
Bristol – 18-1
Lisbon – 18-1
Kennedy Catholic – 18-2
McDonald – 18-2
Warren Harding – 17-1

Game Notes
Lisbon has won 10 games in a row and has not allowed a single opponent during that stretch to top 60 points.

In the Devils’ last contest against Columbiana on Friday, Austin Rutecki dropped 48 on the Clippers including 5 three-point baskets as Lisbon rolled to a 77-45 win. Rutecki broke the single game scoring mark (previously held by Lucien Smith, 47) and all-time scoring record at Lisbon (previously held by Lucien Smith, 1439). Austin now has 1,448 points during his career. Also of note was that Josh Liberati topped the 1,000-point plateau in the game as well.

McDonald has been victorious in 9 of their last 10 outings. This season, the Blue Devils have only been stopped short of 75 points just three times (1-2). McDonald has scored 100 points or more four times.

Dylan Portolese and Jake Reckard both scored 20 in McDonald’s 81-65 win last Friday over Western Reserve to clinch at least a share of the league title.

Possible Meeting in March
Both McDonald and Lisbon are scheduled to begin post-season play in the Division IV Struthers District later this month. Could we be seeing a preview of what is to come in a highly anticipated playoff matchup?

Upcoming Schedule
Feb. 12 – Sebring
Feb. 23 – Heritage Christian*
*-Sectional Semifinal

Feb. 12 – Beaver Local
Feb. 16 – at Southern
Feb. 23 – Jackson-Milton*
*-Sectional Semifinal

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