Woodridge boys cagers dominate Independence, fall vs Windham

by Steve Batko | Correspondent Published:

Taking care of the ball will do wonders for a basketball team and the Woodridge boys squad did just that in a 68-49 non-league home win over Independence on Jan. 22.

The Bulldogs have won six of their last seven games.

After committing a season-high 26 turnovers in a big 78-64 loss on Jan. 18 to league-leading Windham at home, Woodridge fared much better against Independence (6-8).

The Bulldogs, 6-6 overall, only committed 10 turnovers and held the Blue Devils to just 18 field goals in the win.

Woodridge held the visitors to only 23 points in the first half and torched the scoreboard for a combined 41 points in the second and third quarters.

"Our guys bounced back well after a pretty deflating loss to Windham," said head coach Brian Fantone.

Rangy guard Sean McCoy, a 6-foot-3 senior, is getting hot from the perimeter and buried five three-pointers in the game to finish with 19 points. McCoy has canned nine triples in the past two games.

"Sean had a great game and it was a surprise because he had been ill, and had not practiced much," said Fantone.

Senior guard Nelson Perry netted 10 points and played strong defense while senior posts Ray Mathews and Anthony Mong each scored eight points for the veteran Bulldogs.

Chipping in with six points was senior guard Alex Barracato while senior wing Chico Coleman had four along with juniors Armad Richey-Conrad and John Harry.

Freshman guard Keaon Potts added a three-pointer while senior guard Logan Johnson had two points.

Woodridge held Matt Kershner to 13 points after he had been averaging 17.0 in the month of January. Dan Baran led Independence with 17 and Joe LoConti had 14.

The Bulldogs fell to 4-4 in the Portage Trail Conference County Division after the tough loss to red-hot Windham (13-1, 8-0).

Winning their six straight game, the Bombers got more defensive stops than Woodridge did and it led to a 37-26 halftime lead.

"The effort was there against a very strong Windham team, but the difference was that they (the Bombers) attacked the basket and we fell in love with the jump shot," said the coach.

Mong led Woodridge with 15 points while McCoy popped in 14, and Coleman, 12.

Perry contributed six points while senior Hunter Niswander, Barracato, and Harry also hit a 3-pointer to finish with three points. Johnson and Richey-Conrad each added a bucket.

Woodridge used a fierce 11-0 run in the third stanza to slice a 16-point deficit to just five, but the Bulldogs turned the ball over the next two possessions.

Matt Knight led Windham with 21 points while sharpshooter Parker Rickey poured in 20. Cam Pozsgai added 14.

Fantone's troops host Crestwood (6-8) in a cross-division PTC game on Jan. 28, host Mogadore on Jan. 29 and host Garrettsville Garfield Feb. 1.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

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