McDonald’s Rasile torches Lowellville for 48 points
McDonald standout had banner night after slow start
By BOB ETTINGER
McDonald High School unveiled a banner in honor of junior guard Zach Rasile becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer before Friday night’s Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference clash with Lowellville. Rasile decided the third quarter was the perfect time to begin the celebration as the Blue Devils pulled away for a 72-63 victory.
“I haven’t even seen [the banner] because I had to give it right back,” Rasile said. “I got off to a rough start. In the second half, I was able to make a couple and that got me going. I was feeling pretty good. I was feeling it a little bit. I started to feel it and I got a little confidence. It seemed like the ball was just going to go in the hoop.”
Rasile netted 18 points in the third quarter as McDonald (5-4, 4-3) turned a three-point advantage into a 14-point lead heading into the final period.
“He just caught fire,” Lowellville coach Matt Olson said. “When he started to feel it, he started to put more shots up. We didn’t do anything differently on defense. He’s just a great player.”
With 48 points, Rasile chose the night he was honored to post a career-high in scoring.
“I was just trying to do my best,” Rasile said. “Once I started to feel it in the second half, everything was going in. I think that’s the best I’ve shot all season.”
A drive to the basket and a 3-pointer from Rasile resulted in a 60-41 Blue Devils’ lead with 6:16 remaining in the game. The Rockets (6-3, 4-3) answered with a 13-0 run in which Micah Mumula-Zarlingo connected on a pair of triples and Matt Huisdak added five points to close the gap to 60-54 with 3:21 left.
“I thought we responded [to Rasile’s barrage] with our own run in the fourth,” Olson said. “We cut it to six. We were not out of it by any means. The team will tell you, they never give up.”
Jake Portoloese stopped the bleeding for McDonald with 3:04 to play and touched off a Blue Devil parade to the free-throw line — during which they were 8 of 10 — over the final 2:16.
“It got a little scary,” McDonald coach Jeff Rasile said. “Jake hit a shot to push [the lead] from six to eight. I’m really happy with the team. This is probably the best game we played this year. We were working, we were hustling.”
Zach Rasile scored five points in the first period, 12 in the second, 18 in the third and 13 in the fourth.
Portolese and Dominic Carkido each scored nine for the Blue Devils.
“Kids will be kids,” Jeff Rasile said. “All in good fun, the Lowellville kids were chanting ‘overrated’ [at Zach] toward the end of the first quarter. They might want to wait a couple minutes, or at least until the third quarter to do that. It was all in fun, but Zach loves that. This was a great environment.”
Huisdak tallied 24 points to lead Lowellville and Mamula-Zarlingo chipped in with 11.