Howland surges by Boardman
BY BOB ETTINGER
When the Howland High School boys basketball team is playing at its best, everyone has a role.
On Friday night, Jonah Weisman came in off the bench to give the Tigers a shot in the arm to open the fourth period. Samari Dean kicked off a run and Nathan Barrett later took his turn in his first start.
Connor Tamarkin then took the reins and led the Tigers across the finish line in a 71-63 victory over Boardman in an All-American Conference Red Tier victory.
Dean broke a 55-55 tie with a three-point play with 4:05 remaining that touched off a 10-0 Howland run.
“That was huge,” Howland coach Dan Bubon said. “We were a little disorganized and I told them to pull it out and run a play.
“They ran it, got the basket and we got the foul,” Bubon said. “We felt that if we could get a six- or eight-point lead, we could spread them out and they’d have to foul or we could work to get layups.
“Boardman is a good team. They won’t let you do anything.”
Barrett, who finished with 12 points and 18 rebounds, assisted Dean on that play and took a feed from Tamarkin before Tamarkin scored on a free throw and followed with a tally on a give-and-go from Weisman.
Kevin Moamis completed the three-minute stretch by hitting both ends of the bonus to put the Tigers (6-3, 3-1) ahead, 65-55, with 1:02 to play.
As the Tigers were pulling ahead, the Spartans (3-6, 1-3) struggled to keep the wheels on the wagon.
“We got out of rhythm,” Boardman coach Pat Birch said. “We get selfish when things start to go wrong. We’ve seen that over nine games.
“When things go bad, we quit sharing the basketball.”
Tamarkin operated as the general while the Tigers were trying to run out the clock.
“I love to coach him,” Bubon said. “Each game, he has about a 30-second stretch I want to kill him. That’s how the really, really good players are. They make great plays, but they’ll make one bad one.
“I’ll take it. He’s made so many more great plays for us than he’s made bad ones.”
Weisman’s energy gave Howland the confidence it used in the run in spearheading a 6-2 spurt to open the fourth. Over the first 1:27 of the period, the Tigers went from down one, 45-44, to up five, 51-46.
“He’s so athletic,” Bubon said. “He can run all day long. He gives us a ton of energy. At times, we have to try and corral that energy. He’s shooting that pull-up jumper really well right now.”
After falling behind, 9-6, in the first, JaJuantae Young scored on a drive and Billy Cammack and Che Trevena each hit 3-pointers to put the Spartans up, 14-9, with 1:56 to go in the quarter.
“[Sharing the ball] is the key,” Birch said. “Our offense is predicated on ball movement. When we do that, we have a lot of guys who can make reversals and get in the paint to score. We had a good week of practice. I thought we’d come out and show that tonight. Unfortunately, we didn’t.”
Manios’ triple at the buzzer closed Howland to within one, 15-14, with eight minutes left in the half.
Consecutive 3-pointers from Rappach and Manios gave the Tigers a 27-26 lead with 1:45 left before the intermission. Manios and Tamarkin each had 14 points, Barrett had the 12, and Rappach and Weisman each had 10 for the Tigers.