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WRITER: Brian Yauger

Phantoms beat Steel in fight-filled contest

YOUNGSTOWN — If one word could describe how the 2020-21 season has gone for the Youngstown Phantoms, it’s battle. They’ve battled not only the team on the opposite side of the ice, but injuries, suspensions and some unfortunate puck bounces. Their fight paid off Saturday night as the Phantoms took down the Chicago Steel, 5-2. “We’ve really fought it, and I think our record indicates that, and ...

Falcons off target in loss

HOWLAND — In a close game, missed opportunities are fatal. Those missed opportunities sank Austintown Fitch, which dropped a 49-46 decision to Howland in an All-American Conference showdown Friday night. “When you struggle putting the ball in the basket, I don’t care who you play, it’s going to be a dogfight,” Falcons coach Brian Beany said. “We had a lot of opportunities to score, we just ...

A step closer

BROOKFIELD — In the second meeting between the two teams in a week, Liberty’s priority was improvement against first-place Brookfield. While coming out on the wrong end of a 71-66 final score, Leopards coach Deidre Watson saw a stark contrast in her team’s performance from the first meeting. “In the first game we played them, we came out really sluggish and we just wanted to enforce good teamwork, ...

Fitch rallies, then wins in OT

WARREN — While it was difficult to make out what he was saying if you were sitting in the gym, Fitch coach Brian Beany’s halftime speech was heard loud and clear by his team. After scoring four points in the second quarter, the Falcons came out in the second half re-energized, and when the dust finally settled, Fitch walked out of the Warren G. Harding gym with a thrilling 72-67 victory that took an extra ...

Girard can’t hang with Tigers in rout

GIRARD — High school basketball games played at noon on a Monday aren’t exactly common, but when teams are fighting to get 22 games in, they’ll take any opportunity they can to hit the court. Newton Falls and Girard met up Monday, with the Tigers coming out on top 53-30 in the lunchtime tilt. “Normally we play good defense, it keeps us in the game most of the time,” Indians coach Andrew Saxon said. ...

Spartans survive

HOWLAND — Despite both teams having plenty of scoring talent on their rosters, baskets were hard to come by for the majority of Tuesday’s game. Howland and Boardman laid the defensive pressure on thick. When the dust settled, it was Boardman who won the scrappy affair, beating the Tigers, 52-48. “It was an intense game — Howland brings it,” Spartans coach Pat Birch said. “These guys were scrapping ...

Flustered Phantoms

YOUNGSTOWN — Fresh off back-to-back wins against the Dubuque Fighting Saints, the Youngstown Phantoms were energized and ready for the Eastern Conference-leading Chicago Steel. Despite scoring first, the Phantoms weren’t able to hold on in a 4-2 loss. “I thought, as the score would dictate, it was an extremely close game,” Phantoms coach Brad Patterson said. “I thought we maybe got the better of it ...

Balanced scoring leads Rockets past JFK

LOWELLVILLE — Lowellville got into an offensive rhythm early, and used that momentum and a balanced scoring attack throughout the game to push past John F. Kennedy, 86-75, on Tuesday night. “I was proud of our boys,” Rockets coach Matt Olson said. “We hit some shots early, which I thought gave us some confidence offensively. I know it’s obviously JFK’s first game, they’re going to be a different ...

Turnover turmoil

YOUNGSTOWN — Monday’s game between Cardinal Mooney and Warren G. Harding was a tale of two halves. The first was dominated by the Cardinals, but the Raiders controlled the pace in the second, beating Mooney, 53-45. “I thought we played our hearts out,” Cardinals coach Jason Baker said. “We left it all out there, we just turned the ball over too many times. When you turn the ball over and give ...

Phantoms bounced by National Team

YOUNGSTOWN — Sunday’s game between the Youngstown Phantoms and the US National Team Development Program U18s was a story of bounces. It was Team USA which got the better bounces however, as they walked out of the Covelli Centre with a 5-2 victory over the Phantoms. “I think there’s a stretch of that game that we like,” Phantoms coach Brad Patterson said. “Obviously our secondary scoring, a big ...