The Wildcats were down 12-0 before posting their first score.
GIRARD -- Maybe it was the fact that it was the second straight "home" game played in a different gym. Or maybe it was that they were playing against an Akron team who had players that had not played against the Mahoning Valley Wildcats before.
Whatever the reason, Akron opened up a 12-0 lead before the 'Cats could score, but when they did they scored often as Mahoning Valley (11-7) came back for a 154-120 victory over the Lightning at the Girard High gym.
Breaking down the numbers
Rick McFadden led the 'Cats with 25 points, but the stars of the night were Kevin Netter and Dan Sepesy. Netter had a season high 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting, while Sepesy, who had scored 16 points all year, hit 4-of-6 from 3-point territory for 12 points.
AC Crockett, Joe Lewandowski, and TeJay Anderson added 18 points each, and Lawrence Culver rounded out the double figure scorers with 11. Culver also had a team high 11 rebounds while Anderson added 10. Crockett had a game high nine assists.
For Akron, which had a brand new lineup and even had to wear the Wildcats' white jerseys since there were not enough of their own to use, Antonn Melton had 36 points and six assists. Warner Cook added 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for Akron (2-15). Rollie Smith also had 22 points.
Smith hit two 3-pointers and Melton followed with two more to give Akron the 12-0 lead. Culver finally got the 'Cats on the board with a basket and a foul shot. Mahoning Valley finally passed the Lightning on a basket by McFadden, his only hoop in the first quarter, giving the 'Cats a 25-24 lead. The Wildcats scored the next six points to end the first quarter up 31-24.
Anderson had eight points in the second quarter as the 'Cats improved their lead to 67-59 at halftime.
Netter had a big third quarter as he scored a dozen, and Crockett added three long range bombs as the 'Cats scored 45 points in the period.
Melton tried to rally the Lightning as he hit for 13 points in the final period, but McFadden had three triples and Chad Allen scored seven points.
Mahoning Valley had 54 baskets, including 22 3-pointers, while Akron had 41 goals, including 11 3s.
The 'Cats suffered 21 turnovers to 20 for Akron.
Mahoning Valley will conclude its season at 7:30 Friday night at the Struthers Fieldhouse against the Detroit Pros.