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Old 01-16-15, 10:48 PM
Lowell Spencer Lowell Spencer is offline
Join Date: 01-05-15
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Lowell Spencer is on a distinguished road
ITCL Basketball: Western Reserve 52 Sebring 34

SEBRING - The Western Reserve Blue Devils have been known for their football team's success the past few years, but it is their basketball team that is leading the ITCL this winter as they improved to 9-2 overall, 5-1 in the ITCL with a 52-34 win over the Sebring Trojans Friday night. The loss drops the Trojans to 8-4, 3-3 in the league.

With a three way tie for first place in the league between McDonald, Lowellville and the Devils, the win it sets up a key league contest Saturday night between McDonald and Western Reserve. It is a make up game from last Friday's inclement weather.

"That was another thing we were concerned about. We didn't want to look forward to tomorrow night, and forget tonight. This is a team (Sebring) with nice guards and some size, and we took care of business and now we have our hands full tomorrow with McDonald coming to our place," Devils Coach Patsy Daltorio said.

But early in the game it was the Trojans who appeared ready to take home a victory as they led 16-7 with 6:20 remaining in the second quarter. That is when the Devils made a change that proved to be pivitol. Switching from a man-to-man defense to a zone, and totally turned the complextion of the contest.

The Trojans suddenly could not hit a shot while the Devils went on a 14-0 run to close the second period, holding a 21-16 lead at intermission. The Devils would continue to pull away in the second half as they outscored the Trojans 13-4 in the third stanza, and 18-14 in the fourth.

"We knew dribble penetration against these guys was going to be an issue," Daltorio explained. "With Joe (Falasca) out, we don't have our big guy sitting down inside. As a result we needed to pack it in a little bit because we didn't have our basket protector. The kids played hard and just executed their assignments to perfection."

"The other thing that helped was that they were not hitting their shots, that's always a nice thing," Daltorio added. "And rebounding, we got to the boards after we transitioned into it. The intensity with which we played on both ends was crucial."

"This was the worst offensive game we have had all season long. The worst game we have had all season long," Trojans Coach Josh Scott admitted. "I don't have a good answer. I mean we were like zombies out there. That was not like anything we have been playing like in games one through eleven."

The loss for the Trojans comes just three days after they beat league leading McDonald 64-62, possibly causing an emotional let down. "Absolutely, I was more nervous for this game than any game since I've been here at Sebring. It's always a concern when you have such a big win and their flying high, and they just assume it's going to happen again. We have a lot of young guys who just don't get that yet."

Leading the Devils in scoring on the night was Lance DeZee with 16 points, including four shots from beyond the arc. They also got 10 points from Cody Hilles off the bench.

Josh Zmuda led the Trojans in scoring with 16 points. Zmuda would also record 12 points off of three point baskets.
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