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INTER-COUNTY LEAGUE South Range thumps J-M



Published: Sun, January 13, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Matt Kirk's 27 points highlighted the Raiders' 87-68 win, their fourth in the ICL.

By GREG GULAS

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

NORTH LIMA -- Matt Kirk scored 27 points and Ryan Copeland and George Rohan added 18 and 16 points, respectively, as South Range High defeated Jackson-Milton 87-68, in an Inter-County League boys basketball game Saturday.

"We were able to answer Jackson-Milton's runs," Raiders coach Harold McCue said. "We depend on George [Rohan] and Jimmy Sanders to run our offense and they did a good job of that tonight. Both players are our quarterbacks on the court and they responded to every situation."

The Raiders (7-1, 4-1 ICL) took an early 12-2 lead as Rohan and Copeland scored four points apiece, before Jackson-Milton's Tim Shaw scored six of his team-high 14 points to cut the South Range lead to 20-17 after one period.

Taller: "There was a definitive height advantage for South Range, but to our credit we never quit," Bluejays coach Steve Sachire said. "This was without a doubt the hardest we have played all season.

"The goal of a league title might be out of reach, but I told our team that if we can continue to improve and play hard like we did tonight, then we should be all right come tournament time."

Rohan, who along with Sanders combined for 13 assists on the night, scored eight points in the second quarter and the Raider defense held the Bluejays to just nine points, taking a commanding 37-26 lead into the locker room.

"I told our team at halftime that we needed to get the ball to our big guys and work the ball underneath the bucket," McCue stated. "We did a great job of that in the final two periods of play."

Copeland jells: Tim Shaw's bucket, a 3-point goal by Bill Corbett and two free throws by Zach Nicholas pulled the Bluejays to within four (37-33) early in the third period. But Copeland proved to be too much, scoring eight of the Raiders' first 10 points in the second half, helping South Range to a 51-37 advantage with 3:25 remaining in the period.

At the 2:33 mark of the third quarter, Copeland was ejected after his involvement in an altercation with a Bluejays player. That seemed to ignite Jackson-Milton (4-6, 1-3), which went on a 9-2 run to cut the South Range margin to 51-47 at the 1:36 mark.

That would be the closest the Bluejays would get, however. Kirk hit four of the Raiders' final six points to give them a 58-49 margin.

A Shaw basket cut the South Range lead to six (60-54) with 6:20 remaining, but with Kirk scoring 11 points the rest of the way, the Raiders were able to out-score the Bluejays 29-21 in the period to seal the victory.

Springfield 65, McDonald, 30 -- NEW MIDDLETOWN -- Springfield High opened the second half by out-scoring McDonald 20-2 and went on to its eighth straight win, defeating the Blue Devils.

The Tigers (9-1, 5-0) led 33-18 at the break then took a 53-20 advantage into the final eight minutes.

Junior Dan Schuler had eight baskets for 16 points and he added 10 rebounds and four steals for the Tigers.

Pat Birch had 16 points and nine rebounds while Dave Rispinto tacked on eight points and six assists.

Jim Mash also had 10 points and nine rebounds in a balanced attack for Springfield.

Kevin Stonestreet scored eight points for the Blue Devils (3-6, 1-4).




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