The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 18, 2014

US annexes Geneva

PAC-leading Preppers too tall a task for Eagles

By MIKE SHAFFER
For the Star Beacon

GENEVA — Size does matter, just ask Geneva coach Matt Vespa or any of the Geneva players as they tried to defend University School’s 6-foot-6 junior Kyle Scadlock.

Scadlock scored a game-high 17 points, as the Preppers brought their undefeated Premier Athletic Conference record to Geneva High School Friday night and stifled the Eagles 65-22 showing why they can be considered one of the top basketball programs in the PAC.

University showed more than size. They shot a sensational 57 percent from the field and forced Geneva into 24 turnovers as they ran their record to 8-2 overall, 7-0 in the PAC.

“We’re very happy to come out here and get a win,” Preppers coach Tim Lipford. “Any time you can go on the road and win a basketball game in the conference we’re very happy about that.”

University, whose only losses this season have come at the hands of Cleveland St. Igantius and Walsh Jesuit, took immediate control scoring the first 8 points of the game in jumping out to 23-2 advantage after the first 8 minutes.

“I thought we played OK,” Lipford said. “We were trying to play against ourselves once the game got to a certain point. We’re focusing on playing a complete game at both ends of the court. We’re getting there, but we still have some work to do. I thought we had a few too many turnovers. We fouled a little too much on defense and we left some points on the board because of missed free throws.”

Actually, the Preppers only turned the ball over six times and connected on 21 of 29 free throws.

Aside from Scadlock’s 17, Regan Mohler had 11 points. They also got 6 points and a team best 7 rebounds from Sam Garson.

“We’ve gotten off to a pretty good start,” Lipford said. “We’ve got a lot of games coming up that’s going to really help see where we are in the grand scheme. Obviously we’ve played pretty well in the PAC, but out of the conference we still have some work to do. We still have 6 more games to play out of the conference. We need to perform well in those games to be considered one of the better teams in the Cleveland area”.

For Geneva, who picked up their first win against Conneaut Tuesday night, the loss left Vespa and his Eagles searching for their first win in the conference.

“I’m a little disappointed,” he said. “They’re a very talented team, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t show up a little bit more.”

For the first year-coach building the Eagles program, a short memory is important after games like Friday.

“We won earlier this week, but we need to forget that, it’s over,” Vespa said. “We got our butts kicked tonight, (but we need a) short memory (because) we play tomorrow. But we need to take away some lessons from this, obviously.”

Ron Varckette led the Eagles offensively with 7 points. Seth Calhoun had a team best 5 rebounds.

Shaffer is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.