McDonald lives up to state ranking
MCDONALD–The intensity of Div. IV’s No. 2-ranked McDonald was too much to handle for Wellsville as the Blue Devils ran away a 91-65 win on Friday night during a Div. IV sectional final.
McDonald is now 21-2 and advances to a district semifinal against Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference foe Western Reserve on Monday at the Struthers Fieldhouse.
Wellsville bows out of the tournament in the sectionals for the second year in-a-row and finishes the season 16-8.
“We fell apart early,” Wellsville coach David Thompson said. “We didn’t handle the pressure right off the bat and it’s not like we didn’t tell them what was going to happen. You have to match their intensity and we didn’t do that.”
McDonald jumped out to a 9-0 run in the first minute of the game.
“McDonald has been playing like this since we started playing them,” Thompson said. “You’ve got to be able to execute against that type of pressure. We had to bang inside with (Braedon) Poole and we didn’t do that.”
McDonald took a 25-14 lead at the end of the first quarter and 48-24 lead into the half.
McDonald was led by sophomore standout Zach Rasile who had 27 points with 21 of those coming in the first half.
“Zach is a great player,” Thompson said. “I can remember him being a little kid running around shooting baskets and you knew he was little you knew he was going to be a great player.”
McDonald forced the Tigers into 27 turnovers in the game.
Wellsville was led in scoring by Garrett Scott who had 27 points. Cameron Davis contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds. Brandon Patterson had 10 points and Darien Suggs had nine points.
“We jumped all over Wellsville and we knew we had to do that,” McDonald coach Jeff Rasile. “Coach Thompson does a great job with his kids and we knew they would be prepared. That’s why we came out guns blazing and took care of business early.”
McDonald also saw contributions from Braedon Poole and Josh Celli had 18 points.
“Coach Thompson is one of my favorite coaches around,” Jeff Rasile said. “I’ve been doing this for 18 years and I always know he’s going to have his teams ready.”
¯Tournament time this year has been brutal for Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference teams as United is the only team left standing. The Eagles host Campbell Memorial today in a Div. III sectional finale.
¯ As far as Columbiana County is concerned, only East Liverpool and United’s boys basketball teams are alive. Both play sectional games today.
¯McDonald is looking for its third straight district title and has appeared in a district final in 13 of the last 14 seasons, winning five titles along the way.
“Our work ethic is second to none,” Jeff Rasile said. “We stress rules to kids. I learned a long time ago that you feed the hogs. We make sure our best offensive players get their shots because we figure if they get them we can outscore teams every night.”
¯ Zach Rasile, who is the son’s head coach, has already surpassed 1,000 points for his career.
The accolades for Zach Rasile also include holding the state record for most three-pointers in a season with 140 and being only the second player in state history to make 100-plus threes in two seasons (104 this year).
“The amazing thing is he still has two years left,” Thompson said.
¯Thompson is looking for more of a turn out looking forward to next season.
“We got three guards back next year,” Thompson said. “We only had 12 players this year so we need the kids to come out and put in the work. This year we were playing with a varsity and a jayvee team with only 12 kids and you can’t get it done like that.”
WELLSVILLE SCORING: Cameron Davis 4-1-12, Darien Suggs 4-1-9, Garrett Scott 11-5-27, Derrick Suggs 0-0-0, Matt Rawson 1-0-2, Brandon Patterson 4-1-10, Tristen Hinkle 1-0-2, Eli Derringer 0-0-0, Luke Green 1-0-3, Gary Wilson 0-0-0, Conner Ramsey 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 26, 8-16:65
McDONALD SCORING: Zach Rasile 10-2-27, Josh Celli 9-0-18, Ryan Scala 0-0-0, Riko Rodriguez 3-0-7, Braedon Poole 7-3-18, Matthew Beedle 4-1-9, Jake Portalese 3-0-6, Cam Tucker 3-0-6. TEAM TOTALS: 39, 6-13:91
Three-point goals: Wellsville 5 (Davis 3, Green, Patterson), McDonald 7 (Rasile 5, Poole, Rodriguez)