The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


December 14, 2013

Eagles’ search for a W continues

Visiting South invades, conquers Geneva

GENEVA — Friday night marked one of those odd moments for the Geneva and South boys basketball programs — the one where a former assistant first goes up against his old team as the head of another program.

In this case, in playing against South, the Eagles’ Matt Vespa faced not only the program and coach for whom he had functioned in the varsity assistant role, but he still teaches at that school and sees Rebels coach Roy Infalvi Jr. and his players every weekday.

In this case, it was not a good outcome for the new coach, who is still looking for his first win. South showed plenty of versatility in defeating its host, 80-49.

“I’ve known all those kids since they were freshmen,” Vespa said. “I still teach there, so I see them every day in the hall. It was interesting. It’s not something I necessarily like doing – obviously, everybody wants to win that game. They’re a good group of guys. So coach Infalvi and I just kind of believe that if we’re not playing each other, we’re hoping that they win.”

“We teach together still at South,” Infalvi said. “We talk every day, and we talk about some different things with both our programs. And Matt’s a great coach, and he’s going to do very good things here at Geneva. You can tell how hard his kids play right now, and that’s an indication of their coach.”

Indeed, the Eagles played hard. And for a while they kept it close, but they couldn’t sustain it. After the Rebels came out of the gate with a 23-8 lead, the Eagles (0-4, 0-3 in the Premier Athletic Conference) answered with an 11-2 run which they pushed to 16-5. That made it 30-27 when Jeramiah Allen tipped in his own miss with less than five minutes left until halftime.

However, after the sides traded buckets, South closed the half with the final 12 points for a 44-29 lead. It turned that into a 17-0 streak after intermission, and kept on pushing. Eleven more consecutive points expanded the margin to 66-35 late in the third period.

“I thought we kind of showed what we’re capable of doing (in the first half),” Vespa said. “Hopefully, the kids kind of realize that – how fun it can be. But it’s hard to maintain that. It takes hard work, and that’s something we’re going to have to put in.”

“I thought in the first half, they

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  • 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:

    Matthews 8, PV 2
    at PV

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:


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

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    Grand Valley at Maplewood (4:30)
    St. John at Lawrence (4:30)
    Mathews at PV (4:30)
    Fairport at Perry (7:30)
    West Geauga at Madison (4:30)
    Harvey at Riverside (4:30)
    Jefferson at Harding (5)

    April 16, 2014

  • Olivia In transition

    Pymatuning Valley graduate Olivia Holt had a distinct reason she chose to play basketball for Mount Union.
    “They do have tradition,” Holt, the daughter of Gus and Michelle Holt, said. “I’m from PV. We had a tradition of winning and working hard there. I wanted to go somewhere that tradition mattered. I knew I was going to get better by coming here.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Spring has sprung one big leak

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

    Think spring?
    If this, um, err, uh... spring... feels a bit unusual for high school baseball and softball teams in Northeast Ohio, it is, to a point.

    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
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AP Video