Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS

Boardman season ends with 9-14 record

Nik Zirounis

March 7, 2018
The Town Crier

Boardman's stay in the boys Division I state basketball tournament was a very short one.

A five-point first half doomed the Spartans as they were whipped by Wooster 44-29 last Tuesday night on the road. Wonderful defense by the Wooster kids put too much pressure on Boardman's offense leading to 23 turnovers. The Spartans' doom was sealed when they connected on just one first half field goal, which contributed to the Generals' 16-5 halftime lead. Boardman bowed out of the Canton District with an overall season record of 9-14.

"Tuesday was a tough night for us," said Boardman head coach Pat Birch. "Anytime you are eliminated from the tournament it is hard. It is especially hard when you don't play your best."

Seniors Mike Melewski, Holden Lipke and JaJuantae Young all tried their best to keep their high school careers cooking. Melewski and Lipke each tallied 10 points to lead Boardman in scoring. Lipke also snagged seven rebounds. Young scored five points. After the loss, Coach Birch told all of his seniors how much they meant to him and Spartan Nation.

"I told them I was proud of their contributions to the program," Birch said. "The six of them (Billy Cammack, Keyshawn Colmon and Dom Stilliana being the other three) have put a lot of time and effort into our team for the past four years."

While this sextet will certainly be missed, the loss of Lipke may be felt the most. Lipke eclipsed the 1000 point career scoring plateau earlier this season and was a leading scorer for the Spartans in each of the past three campaigns.

"Holden ends his career as one of the more accomplished players the program has ever had," Birch said. "He will go down as one of the best players to play at Boardman."

Despite the graduation of some great senior contributors, the Spartans will still return some solid athletes next winter. Cam Kreps, Connor Miller and Che Trevena each got into the scorebook against Wooster, with Kreps also grabbing four boards. That trio should help form a strong nucleus for the Spartans when they get back onto the hardwood in the preseason. When those offseason practice sessions commence, Coach Birch will be preaching to his players to work hard and concentrate on sealing victories in competitive contests.

"Losing close games in December had an impact on us that we didn't quite recover from," said the coach. "I told the returning players to realize that the margin between winning and losing is very small and they need to use their time in the offseason to close the gap. We have the talent to build on our success if we pull it all together."



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web