O’Shaughnessy, Kramer power Bulldogs
By DAN HINER
It wasn’t the prettiest game in the world, but the Poland boys basketball team did just enough to pull out a 58-46 victory in a Division II sectional final Friday night.
After trailing 16-15, Poland jumped out to an early lead in the second quarter thanks to an 8-0 run in the final 1:54 to take a 23-16 lead into halftime. And the Bulldogs kept the pressure on the Eagles from there.
Hubbard (10-14) had trouble holding onto the ball in the second half. The Bulldogs extended their lead in the third quarter by taking advantage of fast-break opportunities and second-chance points.
Poland’s Braeden O’Shaughnessy and Daniel Kramer took over the game in the second half. The pair combined to score 19 points in the second half.
Both O’Shaughnessy and Kramer recorded double-doubles. O’Shaughnessy scored game-highs with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Kramer was third on the team with 11 points and second with 10 rebounds.
“I thought Danny [Kramer] had a little trouble inside early,” Poland head coach Ken Grisdale said. “I thought O’Hara did a really nice job of being physical with him. Dan’s real tall, but he’s not real physical and I think that bothered him a lot.
“I think we were able to get him the ball in different ways than just in the post — off of movement and off penetration. That created some shots for him. Plus, he goes to the offensive glass pretty hard.”
Poland played a full-court trap throughout most of the second half. The Eagles had trouble breaking the press and couldn’t make precise passes to open players.
“We allowed them to dictate tempo. We allowed them to speed us up,” Hubbard head coach Justin Townsend said. “We never took control to slow us down, and then it kind of got to the point where we had to go fast to try to make up some time.”
Townsend said the team will learn from the loss on Friday night and will be better next season. He said Hubbard needs to be better at finishing layups and making open shots.
Hubbard’s Nick Ferrara led the Eagles with 13 points. Cam Resatar added 11 and Travis Kopanic had eight.
The Bulldogs won the first two matchups this season. Grisdale said the previous matchup with the Eagles gave the Bulldogs an advantage.
“[Pressuring the ball handler] was really one of the things we did in game two,” Grisdale said. “We came up, we pressed and we changed the tempo of the game with that. My kids have gotten better at that as the year’s gone on. Those create easier offense for us.”
Earlier in the year, Grisdale said players other than O’Shaughnessy needed to step up for the Bulldogs to have any success in the playoffs. Grisdale said he was pleased with the way the team has developed and played in their first playoff game.
“We were inexperienced. A lot of people say, ‘Well, you have 22 games under your belt,’ but we had no tournament games under our belt,” Grisdale said. “A tournament game is so much different than a regular season game. I think getting this one under our belt is only gonna relax us and hopefully we’ll play more relaxed.”
With the win, Poland advances to a Division II district semifinal. The Bulldogs will play Salem on Wednesday night at Boardman High School.