By STEVE WILAJ
Following his team’s 64-39 win against Newton Falls on Wednesday, Youngstown Christian’s Tymere Dubose had to pause for a second after he heard his stat line.
It read 25 points on 12 of 15 shooting.
Dubose could only wince and say, “Ooh.”
“I really just played hard,” Dubose said. “I saw opportunities to score, seen there was a mismatch and got the job done.”
Many of the 6-foot-6, 245 pound center’s buckets came uncontested at the rim. Dubose admitted that he was the benefit of quite a few “easy buckets.”
“I saw the slip, came in and my guys just did a good job of getting me the ball,” he said.
Behind 16 first half-points from Dubose, the Eagles (11-8) jumped out to a 32-15 halftime lead. While YCS coach Dolph Carroll credited his big man, he said defense was the key to the hot start.
“We defended. The kids have really bought in,” Carroll said. “That’s what we’ve been doing the last month and a half — really defending. Offensively we just let things happen. We just let it work and didn’t force things.”
Newton Falls (12-10) entered winners of five straight. However, Tigers coach Roy Sembach said that his team couldn’t match the Eagles’ early intensity.
“I thought they played with a whole lot more energy and passion than we did and it really showed,” he said. “They definitely deserved to win the basketball game. We obviously need to play harder and more passionately than that.”
Following halftime, the teams played an even third quarter before YCS outscored the Tigers 16-9 in the fourth period. That marked three out of four quarters in which Newton Falls scored less than 10 points.
“It was great tonight,” Dubose said of the YCS defense. “We played hard tonight and stopped them on all cylinders.”
KaeVon Green scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds off the bench for the Eagles.
“I love these kids. They stuck through,” he said. “It was ugly for a while. We were losing and losing and inconsistent and getting frustrated. But bless their hearts. They stuck with it and they earned this one.”
Even with the loss, Sembach believes that Newton Falls — which was led by Dale Kernan’s 16 points — is ready for the tournament as well.
“Sometimes it clich but we think we really have a team that can beat anybody in our tournament,” he said. “But we also could lose to anybody in our tournament.”