2016-17 Lowellville Boys’ Basketball Preview

Lowellville opens the season with a trip to South Range.

Lowellville Rockets High School Basketball

2016-17 Lowellville Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Matt Olson, 1st season
2015-16 Record: 18-6 (8-2), 2nd place in ITCL Blue

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

Revisiting ITCL History
League Championships: 1 (2014-15)
Total League Record: 74-62 (54.4)
Winning Seasons in League Play: 5 (2009-10, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 & 2015-16)
Best League Record: 11-3 (2014-15)
Worst League Record: 3-11 (2006-07)
First-Team All-League Selections: 9 (2006-07: Mario Nero; 2008-09: Anthony Schiraldi; 2009-10: Mauro Amendola; 2010-11: Anthony Alfano; 2011-12: Dean Donatelli; 2012-13: Nick Ballone; 2013-14: Nick Ballone; 2014-15: Paolo DePasquale; 2015-16: Cole Beatty, Tyler Barone)
***Lowellville has had a player selected to the First-Team each year since 2008-09.
**Nick Ballone is one of 18 players to have been selected to the First-Team on multiple occasions.

2015-16 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 63.0
Scoring Defense: 54.7
Rebounding: 36.4
Field Goal Percentage: 45%
Three-Point Percentage: 32.7%
Free Throw Percentage: 53.8%

2015-16 Results
McDonald 56 Rockets 53*
Rockets 66 Southern 56*
Rockets 49 Hubbard 38
Rockets 47 Western Reserve 36
Rockets 57 Columbiana 52
Mineral Ridge 71 Rockets 70
Rockets 70 Sebring 62
Rockets 70 Jackson-Milton 37
Rockets 62 Southern 56
Rockets 77 McDonald 63
Rockets 42 Western Reserve 36
Rockets 64 Mineral Ridge 61
Rockets 60 Sebring 53
Rockets 76 Crestview 36
Rockets 72 Campbell 40
Rockets 68 East Palestine 52
Rockets 65 Jackson-Milton 51
Lisbon 73 Rockets 49
Rockets 40 Leetonia 37
McDonald 95 Rockets 58
Rockets 70 United 37
Springfield 47 Rockets 42
Wellsville 66 Rockets 65
Rockets 57 South Range 55
*-Post-Season

2016-17 Schedule
Dec. 2 – at South Range, 7:30
Dec. 6 – Wellsville, 7:30
Dec. 10 – at Springfield (Hope Classic at Struthers), 7:30
Dec. 13 – at United, 7:30
Dec. 16 – McDonald, 7:30
Dec. 17 – at Leetonia, 7:30
Dec. 20 – Lisbon, 7:30
Dec. 23 – Jackson-Milton, 7:30
Jan. 3 – Crestview, 7:30
Jan. 6 – Sebring, 7:30
Jan. 13 – at Mineral Ridge, 7:30
Jan. 17 – at Campbell Memorial, 7:30
Jan. 20 – at Western Reserve, 7:30
Jan. 21 – at Struthers, 7:30
Jan. 24 – Southern, 7:30
Jan. 27 – at McDonald, 7:30
Jan. 31 – at Columbiana, 7:30
Feb. 3 – at Jackson-Milton, 7:30
Feb. 7 – at Sebring, 7:30
Feb. 10 – Mineral Ridge, 7:30
Feb. 14 – East Palestine, 7:30
Feb. 17 – Western Reserve, 7:30

Key Returnees
Graduating 10 players leaves the Rockets young and inexperienced. Jon Chiclowe is the most experienced senior returning after he averaged 8.7 points per game last winter. The team will look to senior Devin Wright, juniors Alex Mamula and Nate Solak, as well as sophomores Matt Hvisdak and Jake Rotz to make contributions and log plenty of minutes this season. Olson says, “We have some good kids coming up that are passionate about basketball and can’t wait to get on the floor.

Outlook
Lowellville’s basketball team had a rollercoaster of an off-season as their former head coach Vince Nittoli resigned to take over Salem’s girls basketball program at the end of the 2015-16 season. Nittoli had taken the Rockets’ program to back-to-back successful seasons in his two-year stint (36-11). Over the summer, a familiar face returned to lead the Rockets in Mike Mangine. However, two months before the season was set to tip off, Mangine stepped down. On October 20 – Lowellville hired a name from the past in 1996 graduate Matt Olson (who played at Youngstown State under the tutelage of Dan Peters). Olson’s coaching history has seen him lead all levels of Lowellville basketball (except for varsity), Struthers’ junior high and at the AAU level. “(This season) we need to grow as a unit,” says Olson, “continue to work on fundamentals, and continue to get better every game.”

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