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Fitch exits tournament with 10-13 record

March 7, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

All season long the one area where the Fitch boys basketball team struggled the most was successfully hitting shots.

That inability to sustain any semblance of consistency on offense was the difference in most of Fitch's 13 setbacks. It also really killed the Falcons in the first round of the Division I state tournament. Poor shooting from the field, from behind the 3-point arc and the foul line sealed Fitch's doom last Wednesday night (Feb. 28) in Dover. It resulted in the tenth seeded Falcons succumbing to number seven seed Dover 58-37. With the early exit from the tournament Fitch finished the season with a 10-13 overall record.

The Crimson Tornadoes lived up to their moniker as they whipped through their home gym and caused early damage to the psyche of the Falcons. The home team dominated the first half as Dover built an insurmountable 32-14 halftime lead. Heading into the contest, Fitch head coach Brian Beany knew that the Tornadoes would be tough, but even he couldn't imagine the twister that awaited his club over the first 16 minutes.

"(Dover) was good," Beany said. "They were hard to prepare for."

It seemed as if Beany's bunch was ill-prepared to compete in the playoffs. Fitch only hit two 3-pointers and scored just five points from the free throw line. Dover, meanwhile, made six three's and shot 16 for 18 from the charity stripe. Despite that disparity, Beany still thought his team could have gotten closer if it didn't waste some big chances.

"We still had our opportunities, but we didn't convert on them," the coach said.

Dylan Beany brought home nine points from Dover to lead the Falcons in scoring. Cole Constance scored six points in the losing effort. Beany and Constance are just two of the seniors that played their final game last Wednesday night. This was a senior-driven group that all left a great impression on Falcon Nation.

"I told the seniors before the season that (the season) would go fast," Beany said. "I'm proud of them. I've known a lot of these kids most of their lives. I thanked them for their efforts."

One of the efforts that Coach Beany was most impressed by was how well this gang of future graduates did in the classroom. Seven Fitch seniors on the roster are members of the National Honor Society proving that brains and brawn do mix.

"These kids value their education, which is really special," said Beany.

Some of the positives the coach took away from this otherwise subpar season were the wins the Falcons secured over stiff competition. Fitch was able to hand Warren Harding one of only six losses this season. The Falcons also beat Hudson, Alliance and rival Boardman. The 10 wins Fitch accumulated doubled its win total from 2016/2017. Yet, Beany bemoaned the fact that there could have been more W's.

"It's a shame we couldn't get more offensive production because we could have won a lot more games," he said.



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