Springfield and Sebring Boys Basketball, December 30, 2016
SEBRING, Ohio (WKBN) – Sometimes records can be deceiving. The Sebring Trojans basketball team proved that Friday night with a 53-47 win over previously unbeaten Springfield. The Trojans picked up just their fourth win on the season versus five losses. The Tigers drop to 6-1 on the season.
“This was huge,” Trojans coach Josh Scott said of the importance of the victory. “Outside of our last game against Mogadore our other four losses have been heart breakers. They have been buzzer beaters, one possession games, so for a game like this against such a well coached team (is big). It’s huge for us for momentum, psyche and confidence this is big.”
“It is a huge win, especially bouncing back from that Mogadore game (85-49 loss). The life is back in the locker room,” Trojans starting guard Jason Dickson remarked.
“They controlled the tempo and they controlled the pace of play,” Tigers coach Eric Fender admitted. “They are a good team. They dictated how we played tonight.”
“We tried to stress to them all week that they are better than what their record shows. I don’t think our kids took them lightly, I think that they (Sebring) came out and executed better than we did tonight. And your going to have some nights,” Fender added.
The Trojans jumped out to an early 10-4 lead following a Jason Dickson basket with 2:45 remaining in the first quarter. They would hold a 12-8 advantage at the end of the stanza.
The Tigers would claim their first lead of the game beside a game opening basket at 14-12 with a Brandon Walters three pointer at the seven minute mark of the second quarter. The two teams would trade the lead seven times in the quarter with the Trojans holding a slim 24-21 advantage at halftime.
The Tigers would once again take the lead, this time at the start of the second half as they went on a 8-4 run. A basket by Jake Ford with 2:12 remaining in the period gave them a slim 29-28 lead. But the Trojans responded with a three point basket by Dickson with 1:55 remaining along with two free throws with just 33 seconds to give the Trojans a 33-31 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Trojans started to pull away in the final frame as Dickson hit a another three, followed by a Robbie Rouse bucket at the 5:23 mark to give them a seven point, 40-33 lead. They would continue to push their advantage as they built a ten point lead with just 1:58 remaining following a layup by Jarod Hunter at 45-35.
The Trojans would seal the game away with Dickson hitting a bucket with just 52 seconds remaining followed by two free throws with only 13 seconds left. Ford would hit a three pointer at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 7-points at the close of the contest.
The Trojans would commit only two turnovers in the second half, and only a total of ten in the game. The Tigers would commit 15 turnovers in the contest.
“That has been an absolute focal point for us,” Scott confirmed. “We had 26 on Tuesday (against Mogadore), and we talked about going back to the basics, taking care of the ball, rebounding the ball and defend. Those are all things we did today.”
“Coach preaches about value the basketball, value the basketball. We have been turning it over a lot lately so we listened to coach and valued the ball. We wanted this one,” Dickson added.
Dickson would score a game high 24 points while also grabbing 5 rebounds and dishing out 3 assist. Robbie Rouse scored 10 points and also led the Trojans with 11 rebounds. Jarod Hunter added another 9 rebounds in the Trojans victory.
“He needed a game like this,” Scott said of Dickson. “He has been going through a slump and were not afraid to say that. He really needed a game like this just to kind of re-iterate that he is a good player. When he plays like that, we are awfully hard to beat.”
Frankie Centofanti led the Tigers in the scorebook with 17 points with 5 rebounds, while Jake Ford scored 16 points. Brandon Walters grabbed 6 rebounds to pace the Tigers on the boards, while Zack Barber had 5.
“They did a really nice job of taking Jake (Ford) away. Frankie Centofanti stepped up and a had a really nice game for us, but we need to find some other contributors right now. Now we need to start to get some other people involved,” Fender said of his Tiger team going forward.
“This was game we had kind of marked on our calendar that we felt like if we could get this one this would not only open our kids eyes a little, around the league it would give us a little more respect. Knowing when they play Sebring we are coming to play,” Scott added.
Springfield returns home next Tuesday as they will host the Columbiana Clippers. The Trojans will travel to old TCL rival East Palestine next Tuesday night.