The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

December 1, 2012

Lakers open in fine fashion

PV uses 14-0 run to prevail at Conneaut

CONNEAUT — Coach Ryan Fitch’s Pymatuning Valley Lakers are not a team you want to spot an early double-digit lead.

The Conneaut Spartans learned that lesson the hard way, dropping the season opener for both teams at Garcia Gymnasium, 58-42.

The Lakers used a 14-0 run in the middle of the second period to jump out to a 31-18 halftime lead they never relinquished.

In fact, after PV took a 15-13 advantage early in the second, it never trailed again.

“You go down 14 to those guys, it’s going to be tough sledding,” Tallbacka said.

The run was actually sparked by Lakers’ freshman Joey Hunt. Hunt hit a 3 in the closing seconds of the first period to tie the game at 11, then hit another and a pair of free throws in the second quarter in the middle of the run.

“Joey’s a freshman, he does very good things for us,” Fitch said. “I just told him in (the locker room), he stepped in, first two 3’s he saw, knocked them down. Stepped up, knocked down two free throws.

“For being a freshman to step into this environment for the first time in his life — outstanding job.”

While the newcomer provided a spark, it was the reliable hands of seniors Tim Cross and Austin Nowakowski that sealed the game.

Cross controlled the pace and led all scorers with 20 points in addition to seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Nowakowski kicked in 14 points, including a game-high four 3-pointers.

“That’s definitely one of our strengths,” Fitch said of his team’s 3-point shooting. “We’re going to shoot a lot of 3’s this year and when they go in we’re going to look good and when they don’t, we’re going to look bad.

“That’s our style of play and hopefully that’ll keep us successful.”

Conneaut cut that 14-point deficit down to seven in the fourth period, but the Lakers responded.

Quintin Ratliff (13 points, 9 rebounds) made a layup in transition, Cross followed with a runner then Nowakowski hit a dagger 3 that stretched the lead back to 14.

Seven points would be as close as the Spartans would get.

“Conneaut is a very well-coached basketball team,” Fitch said. “Coach Tallbacka does an outstanding job, his kids play so hard and they’re prepared. So any time we can come up here and get a lead in this place, it’s a very tough place to play, that’s big for us.”

The struggles of Tallbacka’s group, which was led in scoring by Christian Williams with 18 points, were reminiscent of its issues last season when one quarter seemed to doom the Spartans.

 “Last year it was the third quarter,” he said. “I told them, I don’t want to get into that mode again of one quarter. We expect to be past that, but at this point we aren’t. Look at the shot chart. For a team that scored 42 points, we took a lot of shots (16-46 from the floor).

“I thought that overall our personal defense let us down. In our scrimmages we played pretty good, but we had a lot of guys in foul trouble. I think that’s PV is a good team, Coach Fitch does a good job.”

While Conneaut looks to regroup from the loss, it will have nine days to do so before hosting Cardinal on Dec. 11, Fitch and PV has a strong win to build off to start the season.

“This is (a big win),” he said. “Anytime we can put Division II schools on our schedule, my AD and I talked about this since I took over, beefing up our non-conference schedule to prepare us for the tournament.

“This is a great win for us. Any time we can beat Conneaut that’s an outstanding win for us.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 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

  • Maruna headed for Mount

    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

  • Crate Late Models featured

    The Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models, the premier class at Raceway 7, will be featured Friday night as they race for $1,000 to win.

    July 23, 2014

  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

  • TD Club golf A Chris Larick column: TD Club hopes to score

    Though its life was never seriously threatened, the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club has suffered in recent years.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Don A Don McCormack column: A heartfelt plea to curb violence

    Like everyone who loves soccer — and the rest of us whose interest level rises dramatically every four years when the World Cup comes around — Kevin Meier was appalled at the recent attack of soccer referee John Bieniewicz in Michigan by a player that resulted in Bieniewicz tragically dying.

    July 20, 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