The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

December 21, 2013

Welcome to The Valley rivalry

Mustangs educate their first-year coach on it, then they take Lakers to school

ORWELL — Still new to the area, first-year Grand Valley boys basketball coach Matt Brumit admits he didn’t think much about Friday’s game with heated rival Pymatuning Valley.

“They razzed me because I’m new to the area, I don’t care about the rivalry thing,” Brumit admitted.

That opinion was changed when the final horn blew at Grand Valley and his Mustangs took home a thrilling 65-62 win over the Lakers.

“As soon as I got into the locker room, they asked what I thought (of the rivalry now) and I said, ‘I get it, I get it,’ ” he said. “Both teams just battled and played their butts off. It was fun. With the background I have in sports (as a minor league baseball pitcher), I feel like I just got done pitching. I felt like I was done in the ninth inning it was the equivalent to that feeling.

“It’s awesome, it’s an awesome feeling.”

After Quintin Ratliff put the Lakers (3-4, 1-2 in Northeastern Athletic Conference) up 62-61 with a minute and a half remaining, Matt Larned hit a pair of free throws to put the Mustangs up 63-62.

The Lakers came down on the ensuing possession and Gabe Kovats and Jake Vormelker blocked consecutive PV shots.

Vormelker snagged the rebound and was fouled, hitting a pair of free throws with 8.9 seconds remaining to put GV (2-4, 1-2) up, 65-62.

Ratliff was able to get off a decent look at a 3 as time expired but it banged off the back of the inside of the rim and fell harmlessly to the ground, sealing the win for GV.

“It wasn’t about the last minute, it was about a series of four quarters leading up to that,” first-year Lakers coach Ryan Shontz said. “We just didn’t shoot well, we didn’t rebound very well, let them hang around, let them hang around and didn’t put them away when we had the chance.”

PV did have opportunities to take control of the game throughout.

The Lakers started on an 8-0 run to open the game but the Mustangs responded with an 8-0 run of their own.

PV took a 28-27 lead into the half after Ratliff, who scored a game-high 25 points, hit a jumper at the buzzer.

Going into the half, Grand Valley’s leading man, Jake Vormelker had been held to just two points.

“We talked and I told him I said, ‘You keep running the offense, this is your half, let’s go get it.’” Brumit said. “And he did. He made great shots and he made great passes at times when he needed to make passes. He took quality shots, I think it was quality over quantity for him tonight.”

Vormelker scored 20 of his 22 in the second half and had a dominate stretch to open the third period. After a Chase Thurber (19 points) triple put PV up 35-33, Vormelker ran off eight-straight points including a 3 well beyond the arc, giving his Mustangs up 41-35.

Shontz said he felt his team wore down a bit, particularly coming off a significant win over Edgewood on Tuesday.

“It’s fatigue a little bit, we had a big game Tuesday, and went hard for a couple days and it was a little bit of a let down for them,” he said. “Quintin did a heck of a job on him (Vormelker) all night but it takes a lot out of him to shut him down and do what he has to do offensively.”

Ratliff hit a bucket at the end of the third to give the Lakers a one-point lead going into the fourth.

“He’s gotta be superman for us every night, we put a lot on his shoulders,” Shontz said of Ratliff. “Any normal human, they just wear out and you just wear out after a while. That’s something I have to look at myself, maybe not ask so much of him but he’s a heck of a player.”

The teams went back and forth in the final period, Thurber scored eight of his 19 in the final frame while Vormelker answered back with eight of his 22.

For Brumit, he was proud to see his team battle back from a deficit and win.

“I think, in all other previous games we’ve gotten down and I think that’s what I’m most excited about and proud about with the kids is that we got down and we didn’t quit,” he said. “They don’t quit, but they get that feeling of here we go again and they didn’t do that today. That’s what I want them to understand, they’re good enough to compete with every team we play.

“If we compete, these kids are grinders, if we compete early we can grind it out at the end cuz that’s the kind of kids they are.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Advantage, Diemer

    Every pitcher wants to get the advantage against every batter she faces. Edgewood lefty Taylor Diemer gave herself that edge and it proved to be key as the Warriors topped Madison, 1-0, Friday at Edgewood.

    April 19, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    SOFTBALL
    NON-CONFERENCE
    Edgewood 1, Madison 0
    at Edgewood

    April 19, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    SATURDAY, APRIL 19
    Baseball

    Brookfield at Conneaut (1)
    Grand Valley at Berkshire (10)
    Chardon at Madison (DH, 11)
    Edgewood at Fairport (11)
    West Geauga at Riverside (11)

    April 19, 2014

  • Spartans knock around Dragons

    After being cooped up in gymnasiums for the better part of the season so far, the Conneaut and Lakeside softball teams were just happy to get onto a diamond. Playing for the first time in nearly a week, the Spartans toppled the Dragons, 11-2, Thursday afternoon at Lakeside.

    April 18, 2014

  • PV can’t get past Mathews

    Thursday afternoon at Pymatuning Valley, the visiting Mathews Mustangs were able to do what every coach hopes for — execute. They played a clean game from start to finish in every facet of the game, and that carried the Mustangs to an 8-2 Northeastern Athletic Conference victory.

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    BASEBALL
    NAC
    Matthews 8, PV 2
    at PV

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    FRIDAY, APRIL 18
    Baseball

    Geneva at Edgewood (11)
    Niles McKinley at Edgewood (5)
    Conneaut at Lakeside (4:30)
    Madison at Euclid (4:30)
    Softball
    Madison at Edgewood (4:30)
    Geneva at Mentor (10, DH)
    Tennis
    Conneaut at Madison (4)

    April 18, 2014

  • Justin Butler Justin time

    It was just four short years ago that Justin Butler was spending his fall on a soccer field.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: ‘Kids’ stuff’ spurs great responses

    I’m often caught more than a bit off-guard by what stories, features or columns generate responses from you, Loyal Readers, much more so than those who do not.
    For example, the column that appeared in this space a couple of days ago regarding things yours truly and my buddies did as kids prompted more than a few responses.
    A sampling, many of which were posted on my Facebook page:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • kyle GANG GREEN

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Week in Review January 10 and 11
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video