Wellsville doesn’t give Leetonia a chance
WELLSVILLE – The Wellsville Tigers advanced to the Division IV district semifinals with a 111-37 triumph over the visiting Leetonia Bears Friday night in front of jam-packed, enthusiastic crowd.
Wellsville improved to 22-2 and will face St. Thomas Aquinas Monday night in district action at Struthers High School. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Leetonia closed the campaign with a 5-18 record.
Wellsville’s scoring onslaught was led by Nate Scott, who tallied 32 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out seven assists. Seth Bradford scored 25 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Jordan Sloan collected 19 points and eight rebounds. Brendon Carr and Cam Douglas each contributed nine points, with Douglas dishing out 14 assists. Douglas also blocked four shots.
Drew Turney paced Leetonia with 14 points and six rebounds. Evan Davis netted seven, Josh Faulkner six for the Bears. Isaac Stecker grabbed five rebounds.
The Tigers roared out of the gates, draining eight three-pointers on their way to a 30-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Scott, who is connecting on 40 percent of his three-point attempts during the season, hit five treys in the first stanza. He finished with an 8-of-14 shooting performance from behind the arc.
“Wellsville is a great team,” said Leetonia head coach Eric Whitmer. “We just didn’t hit our shots. We battled but Wellsville can get you so many ways.”
There was no letup by the Tigers in the second frame as they outscored the Bears 30-7, to take a commanding 60-16 halftime lead. Scott tallied 11, Bradford 10, Sloan five and Antonio Fultz four during the quarter.
“We thought we could get them with our pressure and we did come up with a lot of steals,” said Wellsville head coach David Thompson. “We got out and got running. That is the way we have to play. We’re an uptempo team.”
Leetonia committed 25 turnovers compared to 11 for Wellsville.
Wellsville’s running tempo continued to pay dividends in the third quarter as the Tigers outscored the Bears 30-9 for a 90-25 advantage after three frames. Carr collected seven of his points during this quarter, as did Sloan. Douglas is at his best in a running game, where his ability to see the open man truly shines.
“It’s bittersweet to finish up here at home knowing that this is the last game I’ll ever get to play here,” said Douglas. “I was glad that we were able to go out with a win. Nate, Seth and Jordan were all on fire. I enjoy getting the ball to them as they can put a lot of points on the board.”
Bradford’s sixth three-pointer of the night enabled the Tigers to reach the century mark with 6:25 remaining in the game. Bradford hit 60 percent (6 of 10) of trey attempts.
“We moved the ball well all night,” said Thompson. “We were getting to our spots. This is the best game offensively that we have played all year.”
To their credit, even though the outcome was never really in doubt, the Leetonia squad battled until the very end, showing promise for the upcoming 2014-15 season.
“They didn’t quit,” said Whitmer. “They played through it all. Even though Wellsville is a much better team, our guys kept on playing. I couldn’t have been any more pleased with them.”
The 22 wins by this year’s Tiger contingent is the most by any of Thompson’s teams during his 10 years at the helm. The 2007-08 and 2012-13 squads each won 21 games.
The Bears were without the services of their leading scorer from the past two seasons, Trent Ferry, who is sidelined with a lower leg originally suffered during football season. Ferry has missed parts of seven games, including the last five games, which has hampered the Bears’ prospects.
It is believed that the highest scoring outburst in Wellsville history was a 117-53 win over Oak Glen during the 1970-71 season. Thompson was member of that team, which was ranked No. 1 in the state in the final Associated Press poll.
“I remember us scoring 42 points in the third quarter,” said the Wellsville coach.
Wellsville won the two regular season meetings 101-42 and 82-51.
The Tigers shot 56 percent (45 of 81) from the floor. The Bears connected on 13 of 52 (25 percent) of their field goal tries.
LEETONIA SCORING: Evan Davis 3-0-7, Shayne Rhodes 0-0-0, Bret Pacella 0-1-1, Drew Turney 5-4-16, James Shea 0-0-0, Michael Inboden 1-0-3, Josh Faulkner 2-2-6, Isaac Stecker 1-0-2, Steve Burnham 1-2-4, Quinton Walters 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 13, 9-17: 37.
WELLSVILLE SCORING: Camden Douglas 4-0-9, Tyeshaun Franklin 0-0-0, Nate Scott 12-0-32, Antonio Fultz 5-0-11, Seth Bradford 9-1-25, Brendon Carr 4-0-9, Jordan Sloan 8-1-19, Jansen Stoakes 1-0-2, Sam McIntosh 0-0-0, Branzen Grodhaus 1-0-2, Justin Miller 0-0-0, Jake Green 0-0-0, Hayden Dalrymple 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 45, 2-7: 111 .
Three-point goals: Leetonia 2 (Davis, Inboden), Wellsville 19 (Scott 8, Bradford 6, Sloan 2, Douglas, Fultz, Carr).