French-era begins; Springfield looks to continue their success

Springfield will travel to Salem on December 5.

Springfield Tigers High School Basketball

2017-18 Springfield Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Steve French, 1st season at Springfield
Record: 16-8 (6-2), 2nd place in ITCL Red Tier

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

The Good News
Coach Steve French will begin his first season in New Middletown after spending the last four as the head basketball coach of the successful Jefferson Falcon boys’ basketball program. He’ll inherit a group of talented players such as seniors Brandon Walters and John Ritter as well as Shane Eynon. Walters returns as their leading scorer (7.3 ppg) and the team’s top rebounder (5.1). Walters also shot 65.3% from the foul line (32-49). Ritter was a key player on last year’s team as a junior. Ritter scored 4.3 points, grabbed 4.7 boards and shot 55.1% from the floor (43-78). Eynon, as a sophomore, made 68.6% from the line (24-35) while averaging 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Keep an eye on A.J. Joseph and sophomores Drew Clark and Evan Ohlin – who should step into a more significant role this season. “I think we have good depth,” says coach French. “The kids are coach-able and team oriented.”

2017-18 Schedule
Dec. 5 – at Salem, 7:30
Dec. 8 – Western Reserve, 7
Dec. 12 – Jackson-Milton, 7
Dec. 15 – at McDonald, 7
Dec. 19 – at Sebring, 7
Dec. 22 – Campbell Memorial, 7
Dec. 29 – South Range, 7
Jan. 2 – at Columbiana, 7
Jan. 5 – Mineral Ridge, 7
Jan. 9 – at Lowellville, 7
Jan. 12 – at Waterloo, 7
Jan. 16 – at Jackson-Milton, 7
Jan. 19 – McDonald, 7
Jan. 23 – Sebring, 7
Jan. 26 – at Western Reserve, 7
Jan. 30 – at Mineral Ridge, 7
Feb. 2 – Lowellville, 7
Feb. 6 – Waterloo, 7
Feb. 13 – Crestview, 7
Feb. 16 – Lisbon, 7
Feb. 20 – at Girard, 7
Feb. 23 – at LaBrae, 7

Challenges
The five-year run as ITCL champions (2012-16) came to an end last year as did coach Eric Fender’s fantastic eight-year run as the team’s head coach. During that five-year period, the Tigers went 62-2 in league games. Fender compiled a 119-43 in his time at Springfield (73.5%). This season, the Tigers will have to take on the competition without Jake Ford – who scored 24.9 points last winter. Ford also took down 4.7 boards, dished out 2.1 assists, stole 2.3 balls per game, as well as, accumulating a free throw percentage of 78.9% (194-246) and compiling a 34.2% percent from three-point land (25-73). Frankie Centofanti (9.3 ppg, 3.7 apg) and Pat Flara (3.4 rpg) also left a big void on the team.

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 71.0%(164-67)
League Championships: 5 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Playoff Record: 11-10
Sectional Championships: 7 (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
District Championships: 1 (2012)

2016-17 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 57.3
Scoring Defense: 49.9
Rebounding: 28.1
Field Goal Percentage: 40.5%
Three-Point Percentage: 28.1%
Free Throw Percentage: 71.2%

2016-17 Results
St. Thomas Aquinas 63 Tigers 46*
Tigers 63 United 54*
Tigers 75 Jackson-Milton 54
Girard 59 Tigers 50
#7 South Range 48 Tigers 44
#1 McDonald 78 Tigers 68
Tigers 75 Crestview 54
Tigers 58 United 46
Wellsville 61 Tigers 58
Tigers 58 East Palestine 50
Tigers 60 Campbell Memorial 56
South Range 58 Tigers 39
Tigers 74 Mineral Ridge 39
Tigers 74 Crestview 35
Western Reserve 64 Tigers 58
Tigers 61 Columbiana 33
Sebring 53 Tigers 47
Tigers 51 Lordstown 24
Tigers 58 Lisbon 30
Tigers 60 Southern 48
Tigers 74 East Palestine 46
Tigers 49 Lowellville 40
Tigers 59 Leetonia 31
*-Playoff

AP Rankings (Last 10 years)
Last Top 10 ranking: #4 (Feb. 23, 2015; D3)
Rankings Since Jan. 2008: 2
Last game vs. Top 10 team: vs. #7 South Range, 48-44, loss on Feb. 17, 2017
Record vs. Top 10 teams since Jan. 2010: 0-6

Key Number
Springfield has garnered 16-wins or more in each of the last six seasons.

Statistical Leaders (Last 7 Years)
Scoring
2016-17: Jake Ford – 24.9
2015-16: Graham Mincher – 27.7
2014-15: Graham Mincher – 20.4
2013-14: Graham Mincher – 14.4
2012-13: Eoghan Bees – 14.4
2011-12: Ron Rogers – 17.6
2010-11: Ron Rogers – 12.0

Rebounding
2016-17: Brandon Walters – 5.1
2015-16: Grant Nezbeth – 8.4
2014-15: Mark Schuler – 9.3
2013-14: Mark Schuler – 8.4
2012-13: Mark Schuler – 9.8
2011-12: Nick Russell – 7.7
2010-11: Tim Norris – 6.5

Assists
2016-17: Frankie Centofanti – 3.7
2015-16: Frankie Centofanti & Graham Mincher – 2.5
2014-15: Hunter Snyder – 4.6
2013-14: Hunter Snyder – 3.1
2012-13: Eoghan Bees – 3.9
2011-12: Nick Russell – 3.8
2010-11: Nick Russell – 2.8

Three-Point Percentage
2016-17: Frankie Centofanti – 35.1% (33-94)
2015-16: Jordan Capouellez – 40.0% (28-70)
2014-15: Brandon Chamberlain – 51.4% (38-74)
2013-14: Jordon Peterson – 41.0% (16-39)
2012-13: Eoghan Bees – 30.6% (34-111)
2011-12: Ron Rogers – 38.5% (47-122)
2010-11: Tom Mastran – 48.4% (15-31)

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