Saturday, December 1, 2001
This is his second stint as Redmen coach.
By BOB ROTH
YOUNGSTOWN -- Woodrow Wilson's Mark Cherol made his second head coaching debut for his alma mater a successful one Friday.
In the second half, the Redmen pulled away from Youngstown Christian for a 71-55 victory.
"Though it was a little hard on the nerves at times, it was good to be back and really good to open with a win," Cherol said. "But we are a young and raw team with dire need for game-to-game improvement."
The 1973 Wilson graduate played basketball for Dick Franko and was the five-season mentor for the Redmen before George Burich took over for eight years.
Burich retired after last season.
The Eagles kept it close in the first half, trailing 13-11 after the first quarter and 28-23 at halftime.
Wilson began its winning surge in the third quarter. A 15-foot jumper by Mike Vitullo cut Wilson's lead to 35-29. Then Wilson's Isaiah Anderson scored to initiate a 7-0 run which was keyed by Adrian Alston's 3-pointer.
The Eagles never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
Top scorers: Wilson's 6-2 junior forward Randall Poindexter finished with 13 points, 11 of his team's 39 rebounds and six assists.
"I could have played better and it is obvious that we need to improve, especially on defense and, of course, with our shooting," Poindexter said.
Ellis Moody and Antwaun Johnson added 14 points each for Wilson.
Moody, the point guard and lone returning starter, also had five assists and four steals.
Carlton Sims came off the Wilson bench to have an excellent floor game with six assists and five steals to go along with his five-point night.
Youngstown Christian was led by 6-6 senior Matt Byrdy who had game highs of 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Point guard Frank Cota scored 13 points and Mike Vitullo came off the bench to have a 10-point night.
"Wilson beat us on the boards and their full-court pressure bothered us to where it hurt our execution, but our guys played hard and that is all I can ask of them," Eagles coach Mike Gonda said.
Gonda is in his ninth season at the helm of the Eagles, who were 14-6 last season.