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Fitch boys wrap up the season

March 4, 2020
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

Certainly, the odds were stacked against the Fitch boys basketball team entering the Division I state tournament.

The Falcons embarked on their journey in the Canton District as the number 13 seed meaning they had to encounter the likes of Canton GlenOak, North Canton Hoover, Canton McKinley and Green if they were to advance out of the bracket. Local rival Boardman was also a potential matchup for the Falcons. Fitch head coach Brian Beany wasn't exactly thrilled with his team's placement in the playoffs but took it all in stride.

"We've played these teams (in the past) and everyone is 0-0 (in the tournament)," the coach said on the eve of the postseason.

Unfortunately for Falcon Nation, Beany's club is now 0-1. The Falcons fell behind 22-12 after one period of their opening round game at GlenOak. A 26-14 run by the Golden Eagles in the second stanza put Fitch in a horrible 48-26 hole at halftime. GlenOak cruised in the second half and sent Fitch packing 83-58. The Austintown men ended the year with an underwhelming 10-13 record overall.

"We needed to play really well," said Beany after the loss. "We shot the ball well, but (GlenOak) shot better. We also had too many turnovers."

Another thing the Eagles did better than Beany's boys was push them around inside. The veteran coach was weary of GlenOak's physicality beforehand and it forced his game plan to outside of the paint. Fitch did hit nine three-pointers on the night, but its inability to pound the glass made making those triples a necessity more than a luxury.

"You can't simulate the Federal League's size and athleticism," Beany said about GlenOak's Division I conference. "We battled the best we could."

Leading the way for the Falcons was senior Kris Brown who played his heart out in his final Fitch contest. Brown scored 22 points, which included five of the Falcons' nine treys. Fellow seniors Brian Ferguson and Trae Wilks also got into the scoring column. That trio will be joined by Allison Edwards and Devin Chaney in Fitch's graduating class. It's a group that Beany felt left an indelible mark on the program.

"I thanked (the seniors) for their time," he said. "A lot of them have been with us since the seventh grade. The time goes by so fast."

This offseason should go by fast for the Falcons because there should be a lot of excitement due to the excellent returnees headed back to the program next winter. The leader of that pack will be senior-to-be Todd Simons who once again was Fitch's leading scorer this season. The three-year starter scored eight points in the loss last weekend. Sophomore Devin Sherwood scored six points. Junior Nate Leskovac hit one jumper as well. That will be the trio that Beany builds his squad around in 2020/2021.

"Simons will be in his fourth year of varsity, Sherwood did a great job as a sophomore and Leskovac is a leader," Beany said.

Underclassmen Kyle Keller, Mike Remish, Evan Sahli and Jae Collins also scored points against GlenOak. Beany believes having so many experienced youngsters returning is one advantage his team holds over many other opponents.

"If you look around the area, a lot of teams will lose a lot of seniors," said Beany. "A lot can happen between now and November, but if our kids come back ready to work, we should have a very good chance (at improving)."

 
 

 

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