Eagles fly away from Wellsville | News, Sports, Jobs – The Review

Mar 1, 2022
Wellsville’s Isaiah Greathouse is guarded by Warren JFK’s Nick Ryan during a Div. IV district semifinal  at Grand Valley High School on Monday night.(Photo by Greg Macafee)
ORWELL — Heading into Monday night’s contest against Warren John F. Kennedy, Wellsville boys basketball coach David ” Bug” Thompson did as much scouting as he could.
He knew what Kennedy was going to throw at his Tigers, but it still wasn’t enough.
The fifth-seeded Kennedy Eagles (16-8) turned up the defensive pressure throughout the game by utilizing a full-court press and took advantage of their depth en route to a 70-52 Division IV district semifinal victory over seventh-seeded Wellsville.
“They were too deep for us tonight,” Thomspon said. “They were big inside and they shot the ball well. We had 17 turnovers at the half and that’s what did us in. We couldn’t handle the pressure early.
“I watched some of their games. We knew they were going to trap the first pass and we had to get the ball past it but we didn’t do that. We held the ball too long.”
The Eagles (16-8) will play the winner of tonight’s Bristol-Mathews game in the district final on Friday.
Wellsville, the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference champion, ends its season at 17-8.
The Eagles’ defensive pressure allowed them to jump out to an early 11-2 lead by the 3:50 mark in the first quarter after a Hayden Wait 3-pointer. By the end of the first frame, the Eagles had built a 20-8 lead and never looked back.
It was far from Kennedy’s best game though. There were times where the offense was clicking and it was running on all cylinders. But, the Eagles also went through spurts where the offense went stagnant.
Through the first three minutes of the second quarter, the Eagles went scoreless until sophomore Michael Condoleon hit a big 3-pointer, his first of three on the night. He also led the Eagles with 13 points.
“You could see it in the first quarter,” Kennedy coach Mark Komlanc said. “We had spurts where we looked really really good and then all of a sudden it was like we were just going through the motions. I haven’t seen us play that bad offensively in a long time. It was rough to watch.”
What they didn’t do offensively though, the Eagles made up for it on defense.
Kennedy goes four or five deep into their bench which allows its defense to put as much pressure on its opponents as it can. Guys like Patrick Valent, Antwan Brown Jr., Nico Ciminero, and Nick Ryan provided a spark off the bench as part of Kennedy’s “Bench Mob.”
“We call them the ‘Bench Mob’ for a reason and I thanked them after the game,” Komlanc said. “Those guys come in and even there at the end of the game when it got close, Antwan and those guys, and Pat, provided a lot of defensive pressure that turned into points, which is what we want. That’s when we are at our best and they brought that at moments tonight.”
Off the bench, Ciminero scored nine points, Brown eight and Valent four, but also provided a solid presence in the paint and on the boards. Nick Ryan scored four off the bench as well.
At times on Monday, the Tigers found their openings. When the Kennedy offense went cold in the first quarter Eddie Stock took advantage and scored half of Wellsville points. He led the Tigers with eight points at the end of the first half and he finished with 13.
Gavin Kountz led the Tigers with 14 points, including eight in the fourth quarter.
Wellsville’s top two scorers on the season, Jaxon Brewer and Isaiah Greathouse, were held to seven points apiece.
The Tigers continued to battle back into the game early in the third quarter and cut Kennedy’s lead to 11 after outscoring the Eagles 12-3 to start the second half. Thompson said his team had been on the opposite side of the same situation throughout this year and they gave up the lead. So why couldn’t they make a comeback on Kennedy?
“We told them that we had time to come back, we just had to take care of the ball, and take advantage of the opportunities that we got,” Thompson said.
Just when Wellsville would get rolling though, the Eagles would strike back and find the offensive rhythm they had at the beginning of the game.
After making a run to the district semifinals for the second straight year, the Tigers will return their whole roster next season after having zero seniors this season. But, he knows he’ll need to build a bench.
“We had a great year and they are all back next year,” Thompson said. “I thought we could’ve played better at times, I thought there were times we didn’t play well against bad times when we should’ve put them away like they put us away. But I thought they played well for a bunch of underclassmen.”
WELLSVILLE: 8- 8-14-22–52
WARREN JFK: 20-12-14-24–70
WELLSVILLE SCORING: Eddie Stock 5 2-2 13, Josiah Santiago 2 1-2 6, Jaxon Brewer 3 0-0 7, Dalton Heffner 1 0-0 3, Isaiah Greathouse 3 0-0 7, Tyrell Watkins 1 0-0 2; Gavin Kountz 6 0-0 14; TEAM TOTALS: 21, 3-4: 52 .
WARREN JFK SCORING: Hayden Wait 2 0-0 5, Michael Condoleon 5 0-0 13, Noah Elser 1 0-0 2, Patrick Valent 2 0-0 4, Nico Ciminero 3 2-2 9, Quinn Meola 1 0-0 3, Nick Ryan 2 0-0 4, Antwan Brown Jr. 3 2-2 8, TJ Harden 4 0-1 8, Christian Swogger 1 0-0 2, Jaden Rishel 4 0-2 10, Matt Wagner 1 0-0 2; TEAM TOTALS: 29, 4-7: 70.
Three-point goals: Wellsville 7 (Kountz 2, Stock, Santiago, Brewer, Hfffner, Greathouse), Warren JFK 8 (Condoleon 3, Rishel 2, Wait, Ciminero, Meola).
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