Next: Newton Falls at Brookfield, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Next: Niles at Hubbard, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
By Jim Flick
The Newton Falls High boys basketball team dominated the third quarter to turn Tuesday’s close game against Hubbard into a one-sided affair.
Newton Falls (6-1) led by only two points at halftime before posting a 67-54 victory. The Tigers, outscored the Eagles (3-3) 26-12 in the third quarter to take a commanding lead.
Newton Falls coach Roy Sembach insisted his team didn’t do anything different in the third quarter.
“I just thought we had a great third quarter on both ends of the floor, on both offense and defense,” Sembach said. “Hubbard adjusts to anything you run, so I had them change the defense pretty often.”
Tyler Kernen led the Tigers, scoring 19 points. Cody Dillon netted 16 points while Dale Kernen tallied 10.
“To get up 20 points on a good team like Hubbard, that shows they were making the right decisions,” Sembach said.
As an example, he pointed to Heath Yeager, who sank three consecutive 3-point shots in the third quarter. But on his next trip down the floor, instead of firing away with another 3-point attempt, Yeager passed off to Shawn Haines, who scored an easy lay-up.
Dillon led Newton Falls with eight rebounds while Kernan led with four assists.
Hubbard coach Rick Fox made no excuses for his team.
“We didn’t have the heart tonight,” Fox said. “We didn’t play well defensively, we didn’t give the offense enough effort.
“We had guys standing around.”
Hubbard’s scoring leader was Kory Hopkinson, who netted 16 points including three long-range 3-point shots.
Mike Lupuchovsky and Tyler Duez each tallied 10 points for the Eagles. Corey Grocost sank two 3-pointers while scoring eight points.
Duez scored the first points, sinking a 3-pointer. Hopkinson scored to give Hubbard a 5-0 lead, but the Tigers struck back quickly.
Tyler Kernan sank a 3-pointer and Dale Kernan added a jumper to tie the score.
The lead went back and forth in the first quarter, with Dillon connecting on a lay-up and sinking a foul shot to give Newton Falls a 13-12 lead.
The two teams continued to trade the lead throughout the second quarter, but Dillon and Haines scored the last four points of the first half to give Newton Falls a 27-23 lead.