Ferry leads an inexperienced but hungry Leetonia group

The Bears open the season at Lowellville.

Leetonia Bears High School Basketball - Leetonia, OH

2017-18 Leetonia Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Jeff Hammond
Record: 6-17 (1-7), 5th place in ITCL White

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

The Good News
After losing four starters to graduation, Roman Ferry returns after lettering the past two seasons. Last year as a starter, he averaged 10 points and 1.7 assists per game. Ferry saw his numbers increase from his freshman year (6.5 ppg, 1.5 spg) to his sophomore campaign (10.0 ppg, 1.7 apg, 65.0% FT). Other lettermen back are seniors Caleb Witmer and Damon Custer (4.5 ppg, 34.7% 3PT) as well as junior Brock Simpson (3.3 ppg, 33.9% 3PT). Coach Jeff Hammond indicated that his team may not have much returning but he really likes the way this group has competed during the off-season. “These kids work hard and put in time at keep getting better. We definitely have an underdog mentality, a chip on our shoulder, which I like. We have good numbers so the kids are excited about representing Leetonia in the basketball program. We’ll be inexperienced but there are a group of kids that show some potential for a good year. We’ll play a style that emphasizes team basketball: ball movement, find the open man, full court pressure defense and developing a bench rotation.”

2017-18 Schedule
Dec. 1 – at Lowellville, 7:30
Dec. 5 – at Southern, 7:30
Dec. 8 – Wellsville, 7:30
Dec. 12 – at United, 7:30
Dec. 15 – East Palestine, 7:30
Dec. 16 – at Crestview, 7:30
Dec. 19 – at Lisbon, 7:30
Dec. 22 – Toronto, 7:30
Jan. 2 – Heartland Christian, 7:30
Jan. 5 – at Columbiana, 7:30
Jan. 9 – Southern, 7:30
Jan. 12 – at Wellsville, 7:30
Jan. 16 – Campbell Memorial, 7:30
Jan. 19 – United, 7:30
Jan. 23 – at East Palestine, 7:30
Jan. 26 – Lisbon, 7:30
Jan. 30 – at Toronto, 7:30
Feb. 2 – Columbiana, 7:30
Feb. 6 – Crestview, 7:30
Feb. 9 – at Sebring, 7:30
Feb. 13 – Mathews, 7:30
Feb. 20 – at Heartland Christian, 7:30

Leetonia’s last sectional championship came in 2006 (def. Western Reserve, 43-33). A year ago, the Bears finished the season with 6 wins (an increase of 1 from the year prior) but only were able to score 60-points or more in three games (2 of which came against Heartland Christian). From last year’s group, the Bears graduated six seniors including four-year letterman Isaac Stecker (9.1 ppg).. Coach Hammond says, “We’ll miss (Isaac’s) presence on defense.” To coach’s point- Stecker hauled down 541 boards over the last three years. “All the seniors combined to average 29 points per game,” Hammond points out, “so we’ll need some new players to step up and assume an offensive role this year. We will be a lot younger and I worry about the physical aspect of the game as well.”

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 31.1% (68-151)
League Championships: None
Playoff Record: 2-10
Sectional Championships: None
District Championships: None

2016-17 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 48.8
Scoring Defense: 58.2
Rebounding: 24.9
Field Goal Percentage: 36.9%
Three-Point Percentage: 28.7%
Free Throw Percentage: 58.7%
Turnovers: 13.0

2016-17 Results
Valley Christian 60 Bears 29*
Bears 54 Campbell Memorial 45
Bears 64 Heartland Christian 24
Columbiana 56 Bears 48
United 70 Bears 45
Lisbon 68 Bears 51
Wellsville 80 Bears 56
Western Reserve 68 Bears 51
Bears 53 Southern 47
Bears 69 Heartland Christian 33
Columbiana 68 Bears 41
Bears 58 Crestview 45
Lisbon 60 Bears 48
Bears 60 Mineral Ridge 56
South Range 56 Bears 30
McDonald 77 Bears 46
Wellsville 89 Bears 46
Jackson-Milton 50 Bears 44
Lowellville 65 Bears 56
Southern 47 Bears 43
Sebring 57 Bears 39
Springfield 59 Bears 31
East Palestine 59 Bears 47

Key Number
Since 2010, Leetonia has won just one playoff game (2015 Sectional Semifinal: def. Lordstown, 56-54).

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