McDonald and Leetonia Boys Basketball December 27, 2016
McDonald and Leetonia Boys Basketball December 27, 2016 x
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LEETONIA, Ohio (WKBN) – Despite a breakout of illness running through the McDonald Blue Devils team, they were able to ride their pressure defense and hot outside shooting to subdue the Leetonia Bears Tuesday night 77-46. The win came despite starting junior Braedon Poole sitting out due to flu like symptoms.
The 31-point win pushes the Devils record to 6-0 on the season. The loss keeps the Bears winless on the season at 0-8.
“We have had two kids already with the flu and now Braedon is number three, so I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow or the next day. So we will see,” Devils coach Jeff Rasile said.
The Bears made a hard charge to start the contest as the two teams were tied at 8-8 early in the contest. However, the Devils would go on a 20-4 run in the final five minutes of the first frame as they pulled away to a 28-12 lead.
The Devils would dominate the second period as they outscored the Bears 26-8 in the frame to hold a commanding 34-point 54-20 lead at the halftime intermission. The Devils used 10 three point shots to help power them to the halftime advantage.
Joe Razzine would lead the Devils in the scorebook with 23 points on the night including 4 three’s. Zach Rasile and Caleb Emerson would each knock down 14 points while Dylan Portolese scored 13. Evan Magill led the Devils on the boards with 9 caroms.
“I usually don’t shoot that well,” Razzine admitted. “So there is nothing really for me to say about that.”
The Devils would go on a 6-3 run to start the second half before the Bears responded with a 8-7 run to close the third quarter. The Devils held a 36-point advantage at 67-31 at the end of the period.
The Bears continued to battle as they outscored the Devils 15-10 in the final quarter to make it the final 31-point margin. Damon Custer came off the bench to drill two three pointers to help propel the Bears offense in the period.
“I told the team that I was at peace. I feel like they played hard and they competed offensively and defensively against a very good team tonight,” Bears coach Jeff Hammond remarked. “We are hoping to use playing Wellsville, McDonald, and South Range on Thursday to use these three games to make us better and get some wins in January.”
“Well, were six and zero so that is pretty good. Tonight’s game was kind of just there. Not that we played bad. We came out and hit some three’s early on and then I think the kids kind of got complacent with the game. We never want to get complacent,” Rasile explained.
That’s why it’s tough for us to ever pull out of our press. Everybody complains that we run up the score and everything else, but you see what happens when we don’t play with intensity. It’s like a whole nother level because our kids are so geared to get after it all the time.”
“We had a few players down, so we just have to focus on winning a lot more games and hopefully cutting the nets in Struthers,” Razzine added. “Nothing really to change, just keep getting better.”
Roman Ferry paced the Bears offensive effort by scoring 19 points while Isaac Stecker knocked down 10 points while grabbing 10 rebounds.
“Roman played really well with the pressure that they put (on him). He was able to kind of get by them, and was able to convert a lot. And Isaac just does a lot for us on the defensive end with some of his blocked shots, his rebounds, and he attacks the basket as well,” Hammond said.
The Blue Devils return home Friday night as they host the Niles Red Dragons while the Bears have a make up game on Thursday as they host South Range in a game that was postponed due to weather earlier this season.