Boardman, Howland eliminated in Canton meet
The Spartans lost to Lake, 60-43, while the Tigers fell to Green, 77-40.
BY TOM WILLIAMS
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
CANTON -- The score of the Boardman High basketball team's final game in Jared Cardillo's first season as head coach will show a 17-point defeat to a league rival.
But Cardillo feels the score -- 60-43 -- doesn't reflect how well his Spartans (10-11) played against Lake (9-12) in Tuesday's Division I tournament game at the Canton Civic Center.
"Offensively, we just couldn't get past that 10 point-barrier," said Cardillo of the second-half deficit that plagued the Spartans.
"Seventeen -- that doesn't represent the game," Cardillo said. "It was a lot closer than that. We kept cracking the door open, but we just couldn't kick it open."
In the opener of Tuesday's doubleheader, Howland offered a lackluster performance in a 77-40 loss to Green.
Early on the Spartans kept the game tight when Jeff Olenych nailed a 3-pointer to cut Lake's lead to 13-12.
Dan Kubala scored from underneath to put Boardman ahead 14-13. The Blue Streaks responded with a 7-0 run, keyed by two baskets by Ryan Reed.
Jon Kocon's 3-pointer brought the Spartans back to within three (22-19), but buckets by Eric Coblentz and Reed put Lake in control.
Lake outscored Boardman 15-9 in the second quarter to open up a 28-21 halftime lead.
Three straight baskets by the Blue Streaks opened up a 34-21 lead. But Erik Johnson's put-back basket and a trey by Kocon kept the margin to eight. That was as close as the Spartans would get.
Cardillo sees the season as the start of something better.
"We went from last place to sixth in the conference [and] we had some quality wins on the road." Cardillo said. "We played hard all year. I think we surprised some people. I think we had a year that people didn't expect.
"It still hurts because there's a couple of more [wins] out there that we could have got."
Cardillo was pleased with the example set by seniors Olenych, Andrew Chifolo, Ed Deluca and Nick Shirilla.
Seniors set examples
"In the last 30 seconds, we had our younger kids in there and they were diving around, playing hard," Cardillo said.
"And that's probably the greatest testament to our seniors -- those kids are out there playing hard because that's how we do it. That's what they see every day, they don't know any different."
Kocon and Olenych led the Spartans with 15 and 11 points. For Lake, Coblentz, Ross Nisly and Michael Rutan scored 14, 13 and 11 points.
Late in an extremely long first half, Tigers coach Don Andres could be heard pleading with his defensive players, "Please don't foul."
The Tigers listened, but that was after they have been assessed 15 personal fouls in the first two quarters as the Bulldogs (12-9) romped to a 39-20 edge.
"We weren't ready to play," said Andres of his Tigers (7-14). "It was over at halftime -- our hearts weren't in it."
The game was close for about five minutes. After Green jumped ahead 4-0 on free throws, 3-point baskets by Tigers Nathan Cope and Ben Leece produced a 6-6 tie.
Bulldogs begin surge
Dario Hadzovic connected from underneath to cut Green's lead to 11-10. Then the Bulldogs began their surge.
Mike Slaughter made two buckets near the end of the first quarter for Green's 18-10 lead.
The Bulldogs put the game out of reach when they opened the second quarter with a 14-3 run.
The score could have been worse, except the Bulldogs missed nine of the 25 free throws they took in the first half.
Slaughter led the Bulldogs with 17 points.
For Howland, Hadzovic scored 11 and Cope 10. Nathan Salter came off the bench to score eight.