Account Email:    Password:  
 Tuesday June 18, 2024
    Boardman Weather
    % humidity
Buy Boardman News Photos
View Current News
View / Purchase Ads and Announcements
  Spartans Hand Cardinals First Loss On Season, 51-42  
  14-2 Third Quarter Spurt Keys Win:   December 24, 2020 Edition  
      Boardman News Sports
      The Boardman Spartans boys’ basketball team moved to 4-0 with a 51-42 victory over the Cardinal Mooney Cardinals last Friday and will now eye an 11-day break for the Christmas Holiday.
      They will return to action on December 29 when they travel to Massillon Jackson to take on the former Federal League foe Polar Bears.
      Despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its harsh realities, it’s a start to the season Spartans head coach Pat Birch and his squad expected to author heading into Christmas break.
      Ethan Andersen scored a team-high 15 points, Trey DePietro added 13 points---11 in the second half---and D.J. Evans 10 markers to pace the Spartans (4-0) as they improved to 25-1 in their last 26 home contests and are now 45-6 (.882) in their past 51 frays.
      In a game that featured just 15 combined first quarter points, a not so offensive 17-15 lead by the Spartans at halftime and Cardinal Mooney (3-1) holding a 32-28 lead heading to the final stanza, it was Andersen, DePietro and Evans combining for 20 of Boardman’s 34 second-half markers to pace their comeback
      A 12-2 run in the second half gave the Spartans the lead for good.
      “We just had to make some plays. This was one of those games where you just had to step up, get an offensive rebound or a put-back and we were able to finally do that in the second half,” Birch said. “Also, Spencer Smith hit a huge ‘three’ somewhere in that sequence.
      “They had us right where they wanted us and I felt like we were on the ropes. They played a really good game and Michael Pelini was starting to get going but D.J. [Evans] answered the call on that and really challenged him down the stretch, which was a big deal for us because it freed up Ethan [Andersen] to get some rebounds.
      “I think it just came down to a couple minor adjustments these guys took and then executed. Because of that, we were able to scrap out a gutsy win tonight.”
      Triples by the Spartans’ Smith and Marco Stilliana offset a triple by Cardinal Mooney’s Jack Pepperney and a hoop by Pelini to stake BHS to a 10-5 first quarter advantage on Senior Night .
      Thomas Fire’s four points and three markers by Pelini cut the Cardinals’ deficit to 17-15 at the half.
      “Boardman plays extremely hard. They get up and down the floor, they’re always on the floor for loose balls and they really buy into coach [Pat] Birch and his toughness. He was a great player in high school and they truly are a reflection of him,” Cardinals head coach Carey Palermo said.
      “I know it wasn’t pretty but I thought we surprised them with how physical we were and how hard we played early. Do I want the game to be 15-10, no? It was 15-10 because of the physical play by both teams. Their size hurt us on the glass and they did a good job in their 2-3 of hitting the high post and then hitting the short corner.
      “It took them a while to figure it out but that two or three minute stretch in the second half, they figured it out. I’m proud of our guys and how they fought tonight. Early in the third quarter we went down by eight and that was when we put together that a 14-2 run to go up by four heading to the final period.
      “In years past, teams that I had might not have responded that way but these guys did. All we can really do is grow from this game and move forward,” Palermo added.
      Eight points by Pepperney, including two buckets from behind the arc and seven points by Pelini helped CMHS outscore the Spartans after intermission, 17-11 as built a 32-28 margin with eight minutes remaining.
      It was the Andersen (eight points), Evans (six points) and DePietro (six points) show in the final frame as they combined for 20 of their team’s 23 points – a Smith triple was the other bucket – outscoring the Cardinals in the final eight minutes by a 23-10 count to seal the victory.
      Birch said all four games his team has played thus far have been similar in style, calling out DePietro for his play after intermission.
      “He [Trey] was huge. We don’t win the game without him,” Birch stated. “We challenged him at halftime to be the player that he is capable of being and I don’t even think he knows how good he is capable of being.
      “You saw the one grab when he went coast to coast for an ‘and one’ and he’s capable of that. He’s still learning that position. We threw him in at point guard three weeks ago when we had some COVID issues, looked at him and said we think you can do this and he has proven that he can. He’ll just keep getting better.
      “All four of our games so far have been similar in style in terms of just scrappy, kind of beat you up type games and we knew tonight that we were going to get a physical game.
      “They’re really tough and we just had to answer that challenge. It just took us some time to get our legs underneath us.”
      Andersen wasn’t surprised at how physical the Cardinals were throughout the game.
      “We came into this game knowing that they’re our rival, that they were looking to get a win and they were going to come in here and give us their best effort and to some degree, I’d like to think that we knew it was coming.
      “The key was our second half effort. They came out, they were working harder than us, getting 50-50 balls and rebounds and we just flipped the switch. We came out, gave better effort, played stronger, matched their physicality and took control of the game.
      “This win feels amazing. We have a young group here, we’ve been working really hard to try and come together as a team, to have a great season and I think we’re doing that.”
      DePietro also expected a tough game from their rivals.
      “We knew this was going to be a battle so we needed to work hard and battle back,” DePietro noted. “Ethan and I knew we had to push harder and do what we needed to do to get back the lead.
      “We’re happy and it’s special to be 4-0 heading into Christmas break but we were worried coming back after being on COVID break that we wouldn’t be up to speed. We’ve really pushed through and worked hard and I’m happy with the way we are playing right now. We just come with the mentality that we’re going to win the game.”
      Pelini and Pepperney paced the Cardinals offensively with the former hitting a game-high 17 points and the latter connecting on a game-high four buckets from beyond the arc to finish with 14 tallies.
      The two combined for 31 of their teams’ 42 total points, including 23 of 27 in the second half while Fire (seven points) and Mick Hergenrother (four points) rounded out the scoring for CMHS.
      Smith had six points on two triples for BHS.
      The Spartans started the week with a hard fought, 49-43 road win at former Federal League foe Uniontown Lake last Tuesday.
      Andersen had a team-high 13 points and hauled in seven caroms to pace the Spartans while DePietro was very active at both ends of the floor, hooping 12 points, adding eight rebounds and registering four steals.
      Evans held the Blue Streaks in check defensively the entire game, adding eight points while Luke Ryan also scored eight points as BHS improved to 2-0 on the road.
      Ben Alvarico made several key plays, hitting a three-point dagger with a little over a minute to play then adding a quick lay-up off a Seth Cervello steal. Alvarico finished with seven points.
      Cervello not only provided a crucial steal but played with great energy and effort throughout the game. Smith hit an important free throw late while Ty Ventresco and Stilliana each provided crucial minutes against the Blue Streaks.
      The Cardinals bounced right back on Saturday night with a 66-30 win at Campbell Memorial. Fire hit a game-high 20 points and Pepperney added 12 markers to pace the Cardinals (4-1) offensively.
      CMHS built a 20-9 lead after the first eight minutes of action and never looked back. They increased their margin to 33-15 at the half then made it 60-21 after three periods as they evened their road record at 1-1.
      Zach Hryb had four points, James Campbell and Jaxon Menough three points each for the Cardinals as they connected on eight triples in the contest.
FEATURED    |    SUBSCRIBE    |    ADS    |    NEWS    |    COMMUNITY    |    SPORTS    |    ARCHIVE    |    PHOTOS    |    CONTACT
Boardman News 2024©
Contact Boardman News Boardman News Archive Sports in Boardman The Boardman Community Advertisements Subscribe to the Boardman News Boardman News Home and Features
Boardman News on Facebook Boardman News on Twitter