The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Breaking News

Sports

February 5, 2014

Conneaut closes out Yo. Christian with hot fourth-quarter shooting

Spartans notch home triumph

CONNEAUT — It’s been a long season for the Conneaut Spartans boys basketball team. Strong finishes have not been the norm if win-loss records are the main indicator of success.

But, Tuesday night against the visiting Youngstown Christian Eagles, a team which reached the Elite 8 in their division last season but was hit hard by graduations, the Spartans broke from a first half deficit with a 10-0 run late in the second quarter which gave them a lead which they gradually expanded to claim a 65-51 non-conference win.

YC got off to a 9-2 lead in the game’s first 4 plus minutes, but Conneaut cut the deficit to 13-11 after a quarter of action. Ten turnovers scuttled much of what the Spartans tried to do.

Down 20-13 with 3:38 to go before halftime, Ryan Oatman took a pass from Richie Burr to ignite that big run. A pair of Justin Franklin free throws capped it with 1:08 to go.

Then Conneaut (2-11) opened the third period with a 10-3 spurt, and another run in the fourth period, sparked by Jacob Spees and Oatman again, opened a 60-38 lead.

After a night of futility getting the ball into the hoop, the Eagles (5-11) finally got hot late in the game, but it wasn’t enough.

“Certainly, an athletic team like Youngstown Christian is going to press a lot,” Conneaut coach Tim Tallbacka said. “We knew that, but we were fortunate to win a war of attrition in the first half. In the second half we did a much better job passing the ball. We got 16 points in the last quarter from our bigs, Spees and Oatman. When that happens it’s huge. To me, the big thing also was our rebounding.

“They attack so much, the guards need to rebound, and Richie Burr and Mike Teed did a great job off the bench, and Kyle Sprinkle played a heck of a game handling the ball for us. You know (Darien) Townsend is a great player, so you try to hinder his progress. Our guards did a great job all night.”

An 8-12 effort from the floor for Conneaut sparked the offense in the fourth period when it blew the game open.

Spees was solid at both ends, netting 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to go with 4 assists. Oatman added 14 points, and Justin Myers, shut out in the first half, keyed the third period run with 3-straight treys to finish with 11 points.

Townsend led YC with 19 points and 5 assists, and Ryan Houston tallied 18 points.

Both teams were cold from the floor until Conneaut got hot in the fourth, and with 14 assists in the second half, the Spartans displayed the type of team chemistry Tallbacka wanted to see.

“We missed 7 layups in the first period and 5 more in the second,” YC coach Dolph Carroll said. “We couldn’t throw the ball in from the ocean tonight. We got good looks, but at the same time, you must credit Conneaut for playing some tight, aggressive defense. We were hoping our defense would create some offense for us because we want to run and use our athleticism. We had good rotations, too, but we just didn’t shoot well.”

Kelly is a freelance writer from Jefferson.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Outlaws win opener

    The Ohio Outlaws Gold did not start well at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals in Salem, Va. on Monday, but they sure did finish their opening encounter with a flourish.

    July 28, 2014

  • Racing remains at the fore

    Raceway 7’s Crate Late Models had an unsanctioned $1000 to win 25-lap feature with Kyle Zimmerman picking up the lion’s share of the glory after leading the entire distance for his first win of 2014.

    July 28, 2014

  • Coming attractions

    While it seems only yesterday school was letting out and summer vacation was starting, the time for respite will have the curtain drop for area high school football players this week.

    July 28, 2014

  • AREA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGES:

    TUESDAY, AUG. 12

    • Lake Catholic at Perry (10)

    July 28, 2014

  • Lexi Outlaws gunning for national title in Virginia

    There’s gold in their name and that’s just what the Ohio Outlaws Gold softball squad is gunning for at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals this week in Salem, Va.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Brandon Easton A Don McCormack column:Easton on right pitch in Florida

    Paying a Monday morning visit to the variety store...

    Firing away
    The second summer as a professional baseball player has been an excellent one for Brandon Easton, to this point.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: OEW doing good job of passing it on

    On July 18, 19 and 20, the Ashtabula County Wildlife Conservation League (ACWCL) along with Ashtabula Rod & Gun Club (ARGC) held their annual OEW (Outdoor Education Weekend) Weekend.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kaydee Vaulting to The Rock

    When Jefferson’s Kaydee DeVivo first started pole vaulting as a freshman for the Falcons, she knew it was the event for her.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • run VanHoy racing on

    Geneva track star Hailey VanHoy had a near unbelievable run of success during her final months running for the Eagles.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Danielle Zip-ing along

    Just minutes after Geneva’s Danielle Nicholson holed out on the 18th green at the Gray Course at Ohio State University during her freshman year to win the 2011 Division I state championship, the recruitment process of where she would go to college began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video