Ridge seeks to rebound from last year’s 1-win season

Ridge opens their home schedule with Crestview.

Mineral Ridge Rams High School Basketball - Mineral Ridge, OH.

2017-18 Mineral Ridge Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Steven Hughes, 2nd season (1-22)
Record: 1-22 (1-9), T-5th place in ITCL Blue Tier

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

The Good News
Despite last season’s disappointing 1-win campaign, the Rams have compiled winning seasons in three of the last five years. Junior Jordan Zupko returns after averaging 17.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game while also handing out 3.4 assists. Zupko shot 42% from the floor (130-313), 35.8% from long distance (57-159) and 70.7% from the line (58-82) as a sophomore. Senior Jarred Miller scored 4.2 points, grabbed 4.0 rebounds and closed out the 2016-17 season with 1.5 assists. Donavin Stull, a letter winner, averaged 1.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season. Coach Steven Hughes points to team speed and the ability to shoot the basketball as two of his team’s strengths entering the new campaign.

2017-18 Schedule
Dec. 5 – Crestview, 7
Dec. 9 – Columbiana, 7
Dec. 12 – at Lowellville, 7
Dec. 15 – at Western Reserve, 7
Dec. 19 – Waterloo, 7
Dec. 22 – McDonald, 7
Dec. 27 – at Heartland Christian, 7:30
Dec. 29 – Campbell Memorial, 7:30
Dec. 30 – Mathews, 7
Jan. 5 – at Springfield, 7
Jan. 9 -Jackson-Milton, 7
Jan. 12 – Sebring, 7
Jan. 16 – Lowellville, 7
Jan. 19 – Western Reserve, 7
Jan. 23 – at Waterloo, 7
Jan. 26 – at McDonald, 7
Jan. 27 – at Badger, 7
Jan. 30 – Springfield, 7
Feb. 3 – Southington, 7
Feb. 6 – at Sebring, 7
Feb. 9 – at Lisbon, 7

Challenges
The Rams lost three double-figure scorers from the 2015-16 season (Zane Rummell, Albert Alli, Mac White) and saw their win total drop from 13 to 1. Also, the scoring defense increased to 82.2 points per game from 61.1 two years ago. This past offseason, Ridge lost four of their top six scorers which includes Christian DiRando (18.4 ppg), Daniel Breedlove (9.2 ppg), Robby Ambrose (4.3 ppg), and Justin Cox (3.3 ppg). DiRando connected on 59 of 206 three-point attempts (28.6%) while hauling down 4.4 boards and dishing out a team-high 4.5 assists last winter. Breedlove led the team with 60 three-point baskets as he made 33.3% of his shots from long distance (60-180). Ambrose took season-high honors for Ridge in three-point percentage (37.0%) and free-throw shooting (74.0%). Cox finished second on the team with 7.2 rebounds per contest. Hughes says, “we’ll be very inexperience this year as we’ll be expecting a lot of younger kids to see time on the court.”

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 31.9% (73-156)
League Championships: None
Playoff Record: 4-10
Sectional Championships: None
District Championships: None

2016-17 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 59.5
Scoring Defense: 82.2
Rebounding: 35.5
Field Goal Percentage: 36.5%
Three-Point Percentage: 32.2%
Free Throw Percentage: 59.7%
Turnovers: 16.2

2016-17 Results
#1 LaBrae 92 Rams 50*
United 100 Rams 76
Jackson-Milton 66 Rams 55
Valley Christian 81 Rams 61
Crestview 63 Rams 51
Lowellville 93 Rams 46
Western Reserve 78 Rams 66
#2 McDonald 131 Rams 65
Badger 57 Rams 54
Sebring 72 Rams 68
Lisbon 84 Rams 55
Rams 91 Jackson-Milton 78
Springfield 74 Rams 39
Lowellville 74 Rams 58
Champion 101 Rams 67
Western Reserve 111 Rams 73
Leetonia 60 Rams 56
Campbell Memorial 58 Rams 40
Mathews 69 Rams 40
McDonald 111 Rams 60
Columbiana 62 Rams 54
Sebring 83 Rams 54
East Palestine 93 Rams 86
*-Playoff

AP Rankings (Last 10 years)
Last Top 10 ranking: #6 (Feb. 20, 2006; D4)
Rankings Since Jan. 2008: None
Last game vs. Top 10 team: vs. #1 LaBrae, 92-50, loss on Feb. 3, 2017
Record vs. Top 10 teams since Feb. 2010: 0-3

Key Number
Ridge has not won a sectional championship since 2006 – the same year, the Rams won the Division IV Struthers District by defeating McDonald (58-55).

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