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Leetonia bounces back, beats East Palestine, 48-25

LEETONIA — The Leetonia Bears were looking to regain some momentum.

After dropping four games in a row, then winning three straight, they dropped a contest to Wellsville on Wednesday night. The Bears rebounded nicely with a dominating 48-25 victory over league foe East Palestine Friday night.

“This starts the new season. It’s halfway now,” Bears coach Dan Dennis said.

“We gained a lot of confidence coming off the win against Maplewood,” said Bears senior Dylan Lennon about a big win last Friday. “Just like the back of our shirts says it’s ‘Our Turn’.”

The Bears improved to 5-6 on the season, 2-4 in the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs fell to 0-5, 0-4 in EOAC play.

The Bears controlled the boards as Dylan Lennon hauled down 10 caroms while scoring a game-high 17 points in the contest. Timothy Finch and Ian Davis both grabbed six rebounds apiece. Jaedon Finley also scored in double-digits with 12 points.

“We have three kids that are 6-feet-2. They can all jump, and when you are in a 2-3 zone, you have to control the boards,” Dennis said. “He (Lennon) hasn’t reached his potential. Dylan is an athlete, and tonight he just caught fire.

“Jaedon Finley, boy did he hustle, and of course, Marco Ferry, he’s just a competitor. Kudos to all of our kids. They played as a team.”

“We got the looks,” Bulldogs coach Bill Stanton said of EP’s 1-of-13 shooting from the floor in the first quarter. “Shots didn’t fall. When we break down the film, we will probably see a lot of getting a good look, but they just didn’t fall. We’ll keep working hard, and that’s all we can do.”

The Bears came out on fire as they raced to a 13-0 lead before the Bulldogs hit a bucket with just under 2 minutes remaining in the first period. The Bears held a commanding 18-2 lead at the end of the quarter. They held a 17-point, 28-11 lead at the intermission.

“We talked to our kids about quick starts, and they played well tonight ,” Dennis said. “All seven of our starters played well, played their role, and played hard. When you play hard, good things happen.”

“We came out with a lot more energy than in the past few games,” Lennon said. “It carried out through the game.”

Following a quick basket by the Bulldogs’ Weston Jones to start the second half, the Bears retook the momentum and closed the frame with three consecutive buckets by Finley to hold a 42-18 lead at the end of the third quarter.

“We always want to play with energy, and we didn’t bring it tonight. It’s upsetting, but we have played three games last week and we are playing three this week,” Stanton said. “In my judgment, it’s hard. Kids get tired. I’m not saying that is an excuse, but that’s what I would chalk it up to.”

The Bulldogs will be back in action today when they travel to play the United Eagles. The Bears will play again on Tuesday when they travel to Lisbon.

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