Next: Lowellville vs. Southerm Jan. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Next: Springfield at Lisbon, Jan. 4, 7:30 p.m.
By Jim Flick
In a matchup of neighborhood rivals, Lowellville High outscored Springfield 14-7 in overtime to capture a 57-50 boys basketball victory on Tuesday night.
The Rockets (4-1) were led by senior Anthony Alfano, who scored 25 points, including nine in overtime.
Lowellville led 37-31 after three quarters of play. But Springfield (4-2) dominated the fourth quarter, scoring 12 points in the fourth stanza while holding Lowellville to just six points.
Springfield also scored the first points of overtime, but the Rockets stormed back to score seven unanswered points and take a 50-45 lead. Lowellville’s scoring run included a 3-pointer by Carmen Donofrio.
Springfield’s Nick Russell scored the next five points to tie the score again, at 50-50. Russell scored 15 points to lead Springfield.
Then Alfano went to work, first sinking a field goal, then connecting on four free throws to give the Rockets a 56-50 lead.
Alfano “just took over in overtime,” said Lowellville Mike Mangine. “He’s our leader, our go-to guy.”
Mangine also commended the play of junior Dean Donatelli, who scored 12 points for the Rockets and hauled down 10 rebounds. Gerrod Hrusovsky also grabbed 10 rebounds for Lowellville.
The game started well for Springfield. Russell scored the game’s first points, stealing the ball at midcourt and dribbling in for an easy basket for the Tigers.
Springfield held a 10-9 lead after the first quarter, but the Rockets erupted in the second quarter, outscoring the Tigers 15-10 in the quarter. The second-quarter scoring included a 3-pointer by Alfano. Lowellville led 24-20 at halftime.
The Rockets boosted the led slightly in the third quarter, outscoring the Tigers 13-11. Lowellville’s attack in the third stanza included a 3-pointer by Carmen Donofrio and four baskets by Donatelli.
But then came the fourth quarter, when Springfield outscored Lowellville 12-6. Mangine seemed puzzled about what allowed the Tigers to tie the game. “We had a let-down in the fourth quarter,” he said, shrugging.
Springfield coach Eric Fender also had little explanation. “We didn’t do much differently. We just picked up the intensity.”
Although he was disappointed with the final score, Fender said the game was a well-played overall.
“It was a well-played game between two great rivals and two great friends,” Fender said. “We know what they’re all about and we respect them.”