Formidable front court is a strength of Newton Falls

The Tigers open the regular season at Jefferson.

Newton Falls Tigers High School Basketball

2017-18 Newton Falls Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Roy Sembach
Record: 12-11 (8-4), 3rd place in AAC Blue Tier

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

The Good News
Junior Gage Friend (6’8) and sophomore Adam Honeycutt (6’5) both return along with senior Christopher Rankin (6’4) who will be looked upon to anchor the team into the upcoming season. Friend finished third in scoring (7.3) as well as second in rebounding (5.8) and field goal percentage (53.4%). Honeycutt averaged 6.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists as a freshman. He also shot 36.3% from beyond the three-point arc (41-113). Rankin put together a strong junior campaign as he scored 3.5 points and grabbed 4.7 boards. Preston Rapczak and Braden Bungard also return. “We have good size returning and our shooting has improved,” says coach Roy Sembach.

2017-18 Schedule
Dec. 1 – at Jefferson, 7
Dec. 5 – Southington, 7
Dec. 8 – Champion, 7
Dec. 12 – at Girard, 7
Dec. 15 – Liberty, 7
Dec. 19 – at Struthers, 7
Dec. 29 – at Windham, 7
Jan. 2 – Ravenna, 7
Jan. 5 – at LaBrae, 7
Jan. 9 – at Campbell Memorial, 7
Jan. 12 – Brookfield, 7
Jan. 16 – Garrettsville Garfield, 7
Jan. 19 – at Champion, 7
Jan. 23 – Girard, 7
Jan. 26 – at Liberty, 7
Jan. 30 – Crestview, 7
Feb. 2 – LaBrae, 7
Feb. 6 – Campbell Memorial, 7
Feb. 9 – at Brookfield, 7
Feb. 13 – Lakeview, 7
Feb. 16 – at Waterloo, 7
Feb. 23 – at Rootstown, 7:30

Challenges
Newton Falls was bumped from the Division III Warren District by Champion after the Sectional Semifinal round. That marked the first time since 2006 that a Tiger team left the playoffs without winning a single game.

Coach Sembach must replace his two top scorers from a year ago – Ben Simpson (12.7 ppg) and Joey Urso (9.9). Simpson hauled down 8.3 caroms and shot 61.8% from the floor (123-199) a year ago. Urso dished out a team leading 6.4 assists while also making 79.6% of his free throw attempts (86-108). The team must also replace key contributors – Vince Dragich (4.7 ppg, 70.8% FT) and Evan Purnell (4.2 ppg, 35.3% 3PT). “We’re a young team,” Sembach points out, “we’ll have to develop depth as the year progresses.”

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 70.7% (171-71)
League Championships: 2 (2008, 2009)
Playoff Record: 22-10
Sectional Championships: 8 (2008-14, 2016)
District Championships: 2 (2010, 2016)
Regional Championships: None

2016-17 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 50.6
Scoring Defense: 53.3
Rebounding: 31.1
Field Goal Percentage: 44.6%
Three-Point Percentage: 31.4%
Free Throw Percentage: 64.1%
Turnovers: 17.1

2016-17 Results
Champion 57 Tigers 52*
Garrettsville Garfield 52 Tigers 43
Tigers 66 Liberty 59
Lakeview 55 Tigers 35
Tigers 48 Brookfield 38
Tigers 51 Campbell Memorial 45
#2 LaBrae 72 Tigers 38
Tigers 63 Liberty 55
Girard 58 Tigers 50
Tigers 69 Southington 52
Tigers 46 Rootstown 44
Tigers 64 Crestview 35
Tigers 64 Champion 62
Waterloo 61 Tigers 45
Tigers 49 Brookfield 43
Tigers 44 Campbell Memorial 42
LaBrae 57 Tigers 44
Tigers 63 Windham 61
Struthers 60 Tigers 43
Akron Springfield 49 Tigers 40
Tigers 56 Girard 49
Champion 63 Tigers 52
Jefferson 56 Tigers 39
*-Playoff

Key Number
The Tigers have won a total of 23 games in the All-American Conference over the last three seasons (23-13).

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