The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


March 2, 2014

Tigers leave Falcons chagrined

Jefferson bows in sectional final

CHAGRIN FALLS — After a first half that saw them score just 18 points against a stingy Chagrin Falls defense, the Jefferson Falcons came soaring out of halftime in a Division II Sectional Championship on the road.

A Sage Cantini (12 points) triple followed by another Cantini layup and a James Jackson layup at 5:35 had the Tigers lead at just 26-25 as the fourth-seeded Falcons looked poised to pull of the upset of the No. 2 team in the district.

But, as it has all season, Chagrin Falls fought back and in the blink of an eye, pushed the lead back up to 9 at 34-25 as they went on claim the sectional crown, 50-35.

“Their zone caused some turnovers,” Jefferson coach Steve French said. “We had some bad passes, they got some easy run ups for layups and that hurt us.”

After Tigers coach David Bargar called timeout at 5:35 following Jefferson’s 7-0 run, Jack Karyo stopped the bleeding with a hoop to push the lead to 28-25.

Then, on the next three possessions a Sawyer McGuire steal and two more Karyo steals lead to wide-open layups giving the Tigers a 34-25 lead with 2:40 left in the third.

The steals were a result of Bargar’s switch to a 1-3-1 zone defense that left Jefferson’s offense stagnant.

“We figured with our 1-3-1, that’s something we’ve been able to use when we need (turnovers),” he said. “We thought a couple turnovers in a game like this, where it’s a 1-point game and it turned to a 9-point game real quick, it could be big for us.

“It was good to see, we did a nice job with that.”

Jefferson’s inability to put the ball in the basket was a problem throughout. The Falcons shot just 14 of 45 from the field.

“The shots just weren’t falling tonight and they’re shots we’ve hit all year,” French said. “We know this summer, we’ve got to get in the gym and get the shooter out and get some shots up.

“I think when you’re not making shots and you’re playing catchup it’s tough to get a real flow, 35 points that’s a little over half our average so the missed shots hurt.”

While Jefferson  (15-9) was struggling to hit shots, Nate Diedrich was on fire from the outside.

With the Falcons locking up McGuire, the Chagrin Valley Conference Player of the Year, holding him to just 2 points, Diedrich took advantage.

He scored a game-high 19 points, including 5 triples.

The biggest of which came at 2:50 in the fourth period to push the Tigers’ lead to 13 and effectively end any Jefferson comeback hopes.

“Diedrich was on fire,” French admitted. “We knew McGuire was an excellent player and Lucas Hitchcock played excellent defense on him tonight, but Diedrich really hurt us. All the credit goes to him for making those shots.”

“These guys, Nate and Sawyer, have seen this all year, teams try to take one away and the other has a chance to make shots,” Bargar said. “It was good to see, he’s a good shooter, takes the ball to the basket, they did take Sawyer out of the game but Nate did a nice job scoring for us.”

Diedrich connected from beyond the arc twice in the first quarter to give Chagrin Falls a 13-10 lead after 1.

With starting forward Jack Karyo (12 points, all in the second half) picking up his second foul with 2:27 in the first quarter, Bargar had to go to his bench and it produced.

In building a 26-18 lead at the half, the Tigers got 11 first-half points from their reserves, led by James Sferra’s 8, which included 2 triples.

Additionally, Chagrin Falls (20-3) neutralized Jefferson’s ability to rebound.

The Falcons, who had only been outrebounded one other time this season, lost in that category, 30-27, on Saturday night.

“I think Chagrin is the scrappiest team we’ve played all year,” French said. “They’re tough they battle for every loose ball. Coach Bargar has done a great job with them, they’re very fundamental. We saw them in person and on tape and both times, they played tough teams and really beat them up on the glass.

“We knew coming in — it’s one thing to know and another thing to do it in person.”

Bargar said rebounding was an emphasis with his team coming into the game.

“Our guys are about the same size, they’re fundamentally sound boxing out,” he said. “We get in trouble with the real athletic teams, these guys are physical guys, so we were able to put bodies on them and I thought we did a pretty good job. That was one of the things we talked about, we had to keep them off the boards cuz they are a good rebounding team.”

While the season comes to a disappointing end for the Falcons, and its three seniors — David Chase (6 points, 7 rebounds), Joe Jackson and Wyatt Weyhmeller — French said his team, which won more than 14 games for the first time since the 1978-79 Falcons went 16-5,  had nothing of which to be ashamed.

“(15 wins) is a good number, we’re happy about that,“ he said. “I’m very proud of Joe, he came in every day and fought and battled. Wyatt was a real help on the glass. And David, everybody knows him. Everywhere you go its, ‘Hey, how’s the big guy doing?’ He’s really gotten better, if you saw him from his freshman year to now, he’s really, really improved.

“We’re young, though. We only start one senior, so we’re excited for what’s ahead.”

Text Only
  • Taylor Outlaws edged by a run

    The slimmest of margins proved to be the difference in determining the outcome of a clash between the Ohio Outlaws Gold and the Virginia Shamrocks in the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals on Wednesday in Salem, Va.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Olivia-smile A Don McCormack column: Holt right at home at Mount

    When a young person from this area goes off to college and continues to play sports at the next level, we do feature stories on them.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Twin State Night at Raceway 7 next

    This week is the annual Twin State Club night at Raceway 7. Regular racing will be presented in all five divisions. With the points races nearing their conclusion the racing will be hot as August weather Friday night.

    July 31, 2014

  • Tribe Kluber twirls gem

    “The ace is gone. Long live the ace.” That’s how Indians fans might be looking at matters today.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SB1 Let’s play another

    It pays to have the right hitters at the plate at the right time.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Outlaws roll again

    They may be Outlaws by name, but the Northeast Ohio-based Ohio Outlaws Gold are certainly running with the in crowd at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals in Salem, Va.

    July 30, 2014

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Bearcat Gavorski on the mend

    Paying another visit to the variety store...

    On the mend
    Arguably the most decorated soccer player to every come out of the Star Beacon coverage area is down — temporarily — but anything but out.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tribe Not quite enough

    Although the Indians are still very much mathematically alive in the race for a postseason berth, they continue not to look like a playoff team. And when they have put a run together, they haven’t been able to maintain the habit of playing winning baseball.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

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