Reserve returns top 4 scorers from last year’s 17-win team

Reserve welcomes Columbiana in the opener.

Western Reserve Blue Devils High School Basketball - Berlin Center, OH

2017-18 Western Reserve Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Patsy Daltorio
Record: 17-6 (8-2), 2nd place in ITCL Blue Tier

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

The Good News
After closing out the regular season a year ago with an 8-3 mark since January 20, the Blue Devils fell in their first playoff game to Valley Christian (42-41). Through it all, Western Reserve arguably had their most successful season since 2006-07 (18-5). This year’s group returns their top four scorers from last winter. Kade Hilles and Cole DeZee return after averaging 14.3 and 13.5 points per game, respectively. Hilles put together an impressive stat line of 4.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.1 steals and shot 71.1% from the foul line (54-76) and 47.1% from the floor (123-261). DeZee was at it himself as he averaged 2.5 assists while shooting 31.6% from beyond the arc (43-136). Their classmate Jack Cappabianca nearly averaged a double-double (11.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg) as he led Reserve in field goal percentage with a 62.2% percentage (115-185). Senior Ryan Demsky was the team leader in assists (4.0 apg) as he also finished fourth in scoring (8.7 ppg). Demsky took team-high honors in free throw shooting (79.5%) as well as three-point percentage (40.4%). Dom Velasquez, also a senior, scored 5.7 points and grabbed 4.5 boards last winter. Velasquez also shot 47.6% from the field (50-105) and made 35.6% from three-point land (16-45). A pair of juniors return in Riley Miller and Caleb Quinn who should take on a pivotal role on this year’s team.

“We return a lot of experience with four of our five starters back along with seven letter winners,” says coach Patsy Daltorio. “We have a lot of depth and ability at each position.”

2017-18 Schedule
Dec. 1 – Columbiana, 7
Dec. 8 – at Springfield, 7
Dec. 12 – at Sebring, 7
Dec. 19 – Lowellville, 7
Dec. 22 – at South Range, 7
Jan. 2 – Lisbon, 7:30
Jan. 5 – Waterloo, 7
Jan. 9 – at McDonald, 7
Jan. 16 – Sebring, 7
Jan. 19 – at Mineral Ridge, 7
Jan. 20 – at Struthers, 7
Jan. 23 – at Lowellville, 7
Jan. 26 – Springfield, 7
Jan. 30 – at Waterloo, 7
Feb. 2 – McDonald, 7
Feb. 6 – Jackson-Milton, 7
Feb. 9 – at Crestview, 7
Feb. 13 – at Rootstown, 7:30
Feb. 16 – at United, 7:30

Challenges
Can the Blue Devils replicate last season’s success (17 wins) and compile another winning season? Something which hasn’t happened in over a decade (of having back-to-back winning seasons). This season, Western Reserve will be without a pair of key contributors in Cody Hilles and Wyatt Larimer. Hilles averaged 8.2 points and 6.2 rebounds as a senior. Hilles also finished second on the team with a 49.3% in field goal shooting (66-134). Larimer also had pretty impressive shooting percentages: 40.3% FG, 27.8% 3PT, and 65.4% FT. The Blue Devils will also face having a late start due to the success of the football team. Only 10% of the basketball team do not play football.

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 44.7%(101-125)
League Championships: None
Playoff Record: 5-10
Sectional Championships: 1 (2015)
District Championships: None

2016-17 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 70.7
Scoring Defense: 57.2
Rebounding: 39.0
Field Goal Percentage: 44.1%
Three-Point Percentage: 33.5%
Free Throw Percentage: 65.2%

2016-17 Results
Valley Christian 42 Blue Devils 41*
Rootstown 54 Blue Devils 51
Blue Devils 54 Lowellville 38
Blue Devils 59 Lisbon 54
#2 McDonald 96 Blue Devils 80
Blue Devils 78 Mineral Ridge 66
Blue Devils 72 Sebring 61
Blue Devils 68 Leetonia 51
Struthers 64 Blue Devils 59
Blue Devils 73 Jackson-Milton 51
Blue Devils 88 Crestview 42
Blue Devils 70 Lowellville 51
#2 McDonald 87 Blue Devils 80 OT
Blue Devils 64 Springfield 58
Blue Devils 111 Mineral Ridge 73
Blue Devils 80 United 54
Blue Devils 59 Wellsville 54
Blue Devils 57 Sebring 49
Blue Devils 94 East Palestine 48
Blue Devils 87 Jackson-Milton 35
South Range 73 Blue Devils 54
Blue Devils 79 Southern 66
Blue Devils 67 Columbiana 48
*-Playoff

AP Rankings (Last 10 years)
Last game vs. Top 10 team: vs. #2 McDonald, 96-80, loss on Feb. 10, 2017
Record vs. Top 10 teams since Jan. 10: 0-5

Key Number
Since the Blue Devils finished the 2010-11 season with only 1-win (1-20), Reserve has tallied four double-digit seasons over the course of the last six years.

Statistical Leaders (Last 4 Years)
Scoring
2016-17: Kade Hilles – 14.3
2015-16: Lance DeZee – 12.2
2014-15: Joe Falasca – 17.9
2013-14: Nolan Snyder – 12.8

Rebounding
2016-17: Jack Cappabianca – 8.8
2015-16: Jack Cappabianca – 8
2014-15: Joe Falasca – 10.6
2013-14: Nick Tobin – 6.6

Assists
2016-17: Ryan Demsky – 4.0
2015-16: Ryan Demsky – 4.5
2014-15: Walker Marlowe – 4.0
2013-14: Walker Marlowe – 3.2

Three-Point Percentage
2016-17: Ryan Demsky – 40.4% (44-109)
2015-16: Lance DeZee – 36.6% (64-175)
2014-15: Drew Slaven – 50.0% (19-38)
2013-14: Walker Marlowe – 35.6% (16-45)

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