Sweeney’s improvement last season has Lisbon thinking big

Lisbon begins play next Friday in their Tip-Off Tournament.

Lisbon Blue Devils High School Basketball - Lisbon, OH

2017-18 Lisbon Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Chris Huckshold
Record: 14-9 (6-2), 2nd place in ITCL White Tier

More:High School Basketball previews from other teams

The Good News
A pair of their double-digit scorers return in the form of senior Brandon Brownfield (11.1 ppg) and junior Justin Sweeney (19.2 ppg). Brownfield finished his junior campaign with strong numbers across the board as he closed out the season with a 5.7 rebounding average as well as 1.2 assists. He also shot 26% from three-point land (25.5%) and led the team in free-throw shooting (81.3%). As a freshman, Sweeney played in every game while averaging 4.2 points and 2.4 caroms. However, last year, he led the team in scoring (19.2 ppg), assists (3.4 apg), steals (3.0 spg) and three-point percentage (27.6%) while grabbing 6.8 rebounds. Senior Dougie Minor averaged 5.0 points per game last year. Jacob Mundy, a 6’2 senior, lettered last year as well.

Coach Chris Huckshold says, “We have good team quickness. We need to develop some depth with our new varsity players. We have a good core of returning upperclassmen. Their experience will be valuable as we have about five new players seeing varsity time this season.”

2017-18 Schedule
Dec. 1 – Waterloo (Lisbon Tip Off Tournament)
Dec. 2 – Lisbon Tip Off Tournament
Dec. 5 – at United,
Dec. 8 – East Palestine
Dec. 12 – Columbiana
Dec. 15 – at Toronto
Dec. 19 – Leetonia
Dec. 22 – at Southern
Jan. 2 – Western Reserve
Jan. 5 – Wellsville
Jan. 9 – United
Jan. 12 – at East Palestine
Jan. 16 – at Valley Christian
Jan. 19 – at Columbiana
Jan. 23 – Toronto
Jan. 26 – at Leetonia
Jan. 30 – Southern
Feb. 2 – at Wellsville
Feb. 9 – Mineral Ridge
Feb. 16 – at Springfield
Feb. 20 – at Malvern

Challenges
It’ll be tough to replace the contributions of Colin Sweeney – who averaged 12.1 points, 4.2 boards, 2.7 assists – from last year’s group. Bailey McCullough and Noah Barnes have since graduated after averaging 3.8 and 3.1 points per contest respectively last winter. The Blue Devils saw their offensive scoring drop from 74.2 points per game to 59.7 as well as each of their shooting percentages fell (FG%: 51.2% to 42.7%; FT%: 65.5% to 61.1%; 3PT%: 31.8% to 25.0%).

Coach Huckshold points out his concern regarding this team, “we have a lack of depth and rebounding. Two areas of concern entering this season.”

Last 10 Years
Overall Winning Percentage: 50.9% (117-113)
League Championships: 1 (2016)
Playoff Record: 12-10
Sectional Championships: 3 (2014, 2015, 2016)
District Championships: None

2016-17 Team Stats
Scoring Offense: 59.7
Scoring Defense: 55.7
Rebounding: 30.3
Field Goal Percentage: 42.7%
Three-Point Percentage: 25.0%
Free Throw Percentage: 61.1%
Turnovers: 15.0

2016-17 Results
Sebring 56 Blue Devils 44*
United 57 Blue Devils 52
Blue Devils 59 Southern 52
Western Reserve 59 Blue Devils 54
Blue Devils 60 Columbiana 51
Blue Devils 68 Leetonia 51
#2 McDonald 90 Blue Devils 71
Wellsville 75 Blue Devils 61
Blue Devils 84 Mineral Ridge 55
Blue Devils 60 Southern 44
Blue Devils 51 Columbiana 38
Blue Devils 69 Steubenville Central Catholic 60
Blue Devils 60 Leetonia 48
Jackson-Milton 61 Blue Devils 52
Blue Devils 70 Beaver Local 67
Blue Devils 64 Crestview 39
Springfield 58 Blue Devils 30
Blue Devils 54 Lowellville 45
Wellsville 61 Blue Devils 52
Blue Devils 65 East Palestine 59
South Range 69 Blue Devils 36
Blue Devils 72 Sebring 67 OT
Blue Devils 84 Heartland Christian 29
*-Playoff

Key Number
Over the past four seasons, Lisbon has featured a player who has scored 15-points or more per game (2016-17: Justin Sweeney, 19.2; 2015-16: Austin Rutecki, 17.9; 2014-15: Austin Rutecki, 17.4; 2013-14: Austin Rutecki, 15.1).

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