The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


January 30, 2013

Spartans stuff Falcons

Campbell helps Conneaut put Jefferson in the soup

CONNEAUT — In a game matching rivals Conneaut and Jefferson, two teams who like to play physical and, at times, struggle to put the ball in the basket, something had to give at Garcia Gymnasium.

The Spartans found a hot hand off the bench in the form of Dylan Campbell, who scored a game-high 18 points, as Conneaut used a huge rebounding edge to take advantage of a struggling Jefferson offense to win, 61-43.

“I told them, these kids have fought through a lot, there’s been some adversity this season and they’ve fought through it all,” Spartans coach Tim Tallbacka said. “We’ve played a real tough schedule. It’s nice to see them get a quality win against Jefferson.”

Campbell scored nine in the second period to help turn an 11-8 first-quarter Conneaut (4-9) lead into a 31-21 lead at the half.

Campbell and Christian Williams (3 points) each hit important treys to lead the second-period run, but it was the Falcons inability to convert at the foul line that proved costly.

Jefferson (4-11) went to the line 25 times in the first half, but converted just 13 attempts.

That, combined with a 34-24 edge in rebounding in favor of Conneaut were key.

“They beat us inside,” Falcons coach Jeremy Huber said. “Coach Tallbacka had the boys ready and we didn’t do a good job inside. There were too many passes on the weak side, we were aware of it, we just didn’t react to it.”

Conneaut post players Nick Blood (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Bud Ritari (8 points, 6 boards) seemed to wear down the Jefferson frontline which is still without starting center David Chase.

The play of Blood and Ritari, in addition to the scoring of Campbell off the bench, made up for the lack of scoring from Williams, the Spartans top scorer at 14.8 points per game.

For Tallbacka, the lack of scoring from Williams wasn’t an issue.

“He did an outstanding job, he had seven assists, a couple steals so I have no problem whatsoever with his performance tonight,” he said. “We need to get good guard play and have balance. We talked about that the last couple weeks and we got it tonight.

“Christian was unselfish, he found Bud and Nick early on. It’s good to see the win means more to our seniors than their own stats.”

Trailing by 12 entering the fourth period, the Falcons still were within striking distance.

Lucas Hitchcock (8 points) opened the quarter with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 44-35.

But that was as close as Jefferson would get as Campbell answered with a 3 of his own and the Spartans went on an 8-0 run and wouldn’t allow another Falcon basket until Justin Butler hit a field goal with 3:45 remaining in the game.

“I mean you’re always hoping (for a run), always fighting, but...” Huber said about Hitchcock’s trifecta potentially starting a run. “We just had some breakdowns defensively where we weren’t communicating on the floor. They got a breakaway layup down the floor and that’s just unacceptable.

“We’ve just got to improve.”

For Tallbacka, it was important to see his team start to come together late in the season.

“I think we were consistent on defense for four quarters,” he said. “You look at them scoring 8, 13, 11 and 11 (points in a quarter). They only had four field goals in the first half because we fouled and fouled them. That’s the one drawback to physical play, you’re gonna get called for fouls.

“But, we saw them be consistent on defense and that’s important.”

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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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