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

Bulldogs fall to Bulldogs in Div. II tournament

March 14, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

There was little doubt that it would take a Herculean effort to knock top seeded Poland out of the Youngstown District of the Division II state boys basketball tournament.

Amazingly, the Poland boys fell victim to that type of performance in just its second game of the postseason. The fourth seeded Bulldogs of Lakeview stunned the bracket favorite Bulldogs from Poland 56-53 on March 7 in Boardman to advance to the district championship. While the Trumbull County Bulldogs played for their first ever district title last weekend, the Poland players shockingly started prepping for spring sports season.

Unlike the previous two matches between the two schools this season, this game was played at a very slow pace. Poland played up-tempo to beat the other Bulldogs by a combined score of 113-93 earlier this year. Lakeview's brain trust knew if they didn't slow the Bulldogs' gait this time around, they would be the ones exiting the tournament. Lakeview led by three points with five seconds left in the game and Poland in possession of the ball. Up until that point, Braeden O'Shaughnessy was scorching Lakeview to the tune of 39 points. The way the junior was hitting jumpers all evening, there was little doubt in head coach Ken Grisdale's mind that letting him take the final shot was a no brainer. Unfortunately for Bulldog Nation, O'Shaughnessy's 3-point attempt glanced off the rim as time expired.

Article Photos

Photos by Mike Audi, Town Crier

Braeden O'Shaughnessy drives to the basket at last week's district playoff game at Boardman High School. Despite O'Shaughnessy's game high 39 points Poland fell to Lakeview by a score of 56-53.

Coach Grisdale did have to make a decision on a potential game winning play just a few seconds before his best shooter's shot fell short. In the huddle, the coach and his players discussed a couple of ideas with the team winning the decision. With 6.7 seconds remaining, Poland had a chance to inbound the ball under Lakeview's hoop. Although they wanted the ball to get into O'Shaughnessy's mitts, the Bulldogs were prevented that opportunity by great Lakeview defense. Instead, senior Billy Orr caught the inbounds pass and missed a heavily contested layup.

"(Our players) wanted the play we called," Grisdale explained. "Lakeview did a really nice job of doubling Braeden. We got a good look (at the basket), but unfortunately it didn't go in."

About the only shots that did fall through the net for Grisdale's gang came from the hands of O'Shaughnessy. His nearly 40-point output made up just about 75 percent of Poland's scoring for the night. No other Bulldog topped six points.

This loss was Poland's first since Feb. 9 and only the team's second all season. Certainly, a 23-2 season that included an All American White Tier championship cannot be considered a disappointment, but most experts expected Grisdale's club to climb a little further than the district semifinals.

Even though the Bulldogs will return go to guys O'Shaughnessy and Dan Kramer next winter, the losses of seniors Brandon Barringer, Mike Diaz, Mike Masucci and Orr will leave a large void on the roster. Coach Grisdale didn't play a ton of players this year so getting experience for a lot of the returnees will be something the Bulldogs will need to work on next preseason.



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web