2016-17 Springfield Boys’ Basketball Preview

Springfield opens the season against McDonald on December 2.

Springfield Tigers High School Baseball - New Middletown, Ohio

2016-17 Springfield Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Eric Fender, 8th season (122-40)
2015-16 Record: 19-5 (8-0), 1st place in ITCL Red

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

Revisiting ITCL History
League Championships: 5 (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16)
Total League Record: 107-25 (81.1%)
Winning Seasons in League Play: 10 (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16)
Best League Record: 14-0 (2012-13 and 2014-15) & 8-0 (2015-16)
Worst League Record: 8-6 (2007-08 and 2009-10)
First-Team All-League Selections: 8 (2006-07: Dane Dobson; 2007-08: Todd Kibby; 2008-09: Todd Kibby; 2010-11: Nick Russell; 2011-12: Nick Russell, Ron Rogers; 2012-13: Eoghan Bees, Mark Schuler; 2013-14: Graham Mincher, Mark Schuler; 2014-15: Graham Mincher, Mark Schuler; 2015-16: Graham Mincher, Jake Ford)
***Springfield has had two players selected to the First-Team All-League in five straight years (2011-16). No other school has done that in a five-year span.
**Graham Mincher and Mark Schuler are two of five players to have been named to the First-Team three times (Wellsville’s Michael Johnston, Lisbon’s Josh Liberati and Austin Rutecki, East Palestine’s Ben Gysin). Todd Kibby was selected twice.

2015-16 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 68.5
Scoring Defense: 51.5
Rebounding: 28.2
Field Goal Percentage: 45.8%
Three-Point Percentage: 31.9%
Free Throw Percentage: 69.4%

2015-16 Results
St. Thomas Aquinas 70 Tigers 59*
Tigers 37 Fairless 36*
Tigers 82 Sebring 72
Girard 60 Tigers 57
Tigers 51 South Range 50
Tigers 70 Campbell 43
Tigers 95 Crestview 61
Tigers 71 United 38
Tigers 73 Jackson-Milton 24
Tigers 81 LaBrae 69
Tigers 80 East Palestine 54
Tigers 70 Mineral Ridge 65
Tigers 59 South Range 42
Tigers 89 Crestview 49
Tigers 76 United 60
Tigers 69 Western Reserve 57
Tigers 61 Columbiana 47
Lisbon 76 Tigers 60
Tigers 64 Southern 54
Tigers 55 East Palestine 43
Wellsville 64 Tigers 45
Tigers 47 Lowellville 42
Tigers 64 Leetonia 50
McDonald 93 Tigers 86
*-Post-Season

Returning Statistical Leaders
Scoring: Jake Ford – 14.7
Rebounding: Jake Ford – 3.4
Assists: Jake Ford – 1.6
Three-Point Percentage: Jake Ford – 27.6%
Free Throw Percentage: Jake Ford – 78.6%

2016-17 Schedule
Dec. 2 – McDonald, 7:30
Dec. 6 – at Leetonia, 7:30
Dec. 10 – vs. Lowellville (at Struthers ‘ Hope Classic), 6
Dec. 13 – at Wellsville, 7:30
Dec. 16 – at East Palestine, 7:30
Dec. 20 – at Southern, 7:30
Dec. 23 – Lisbon, 7:30
Dec. 30 – at Sebring, 7:30
Jan. 3 – Columbiana, 7:30
Jan. 6 – at United, 7:30
Jan. 10 – Western Reserve, 7:30
Jan. 13 – Crestview, 7:30
Jan. 17 – Mineral Ridge, 7:30
Jan. 20 – at South Range, 7:30
Jan. 24 – at Campbell Memorial, 7
Jan. 27 – East Palestine, 7:30
Feb. 7 – United, 7:30
Feb. 10 – at Crestview, 7:30
Feb. 17 – South Range, 7:30
Feb. 21 – Girard, 7:00
Feb. 24 – at Jackson-Milton, 7:30

Key Returnees
Jake Ford and Frank Centofanti will be counted on to be the leaders of this year’s team. Ford, a year ago, scored 14.7 points per game while hauling down 3.4 rebounds and finishing with a 78.6% free throw percentage (77-98). Centofanti contributed in many ways to the Tigers’ success as he posted a 3.0 scoring average to go along with 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists. “We’ll have a lot of kids competing for playing time this year,” says coach Fender. “I feel having such good competition each practice will help us for the future.”

Outlook
The defending five-time ITCL champs are seeking the same success which they’ve become accustomed to having. Without three of their top four scorers from a year ago including the school’s all-time leader – Graham Mincher (27.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.9 apg), it’ll be an interesting winter in New Middletown to see how this next wave of Springfield basketball fares on Tuesday and Friday nights. “We have to continue to work hard and improve day-in and day-out,” says Fender. “We have to focus on doing the little things to win games, such as rebounding and playing good defense. As always, our success will be measured on how healthy we can stay and how kids can develop into their role on the team.”

Stat Chat: Recent Tiger Seasons
Scoring Leader
2015-16: Graham Mincher – 27.7*
2014-15: Graham Mincher – 20.4*
2013-14: Graham Mincher – 14.4*
2012-13: Eoghan Bees – 14.4
2011-12: Ron Rogers – 17.6
2010-11: Ron Rogers – 12.0

Rebounding Leader
2015-16: Grant Nezbeth – 8.4*
2014-15: Mark Schuler – 9.3*
2013-14: Mark Schuler – 8.4*
2012-13: Mark Schuler – 9.8
2011-12: Nick Russell – 7.7
2010-11: Tim Norris – 6.5
*-Regular Season Statistics

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