Sweeney is top Blue Devil

LISBON–Lisbon guard Justin Sweeney has made the most of a senior season he thought might never happen.

Nearly six months after tearing his ACL during football season Sweeney took his place as Lisbon’s all-time leading scorer with a 33-point effort in Friday’s regular season finale in a 62-60 loss to Western Reserve at Nace Gymnasium.

Sweeney, who came into the night needing 32 points for the milestone, went into the Lisbon record books by hitting a two-point bucket with 30 seconds left to put his team up one. Sweeney now has 1,537 career points, passing Austin Rutecki, who set the previous mark in 2016.

It was initially thought that Sweeney might miss the whole season, but after relentless physical therapy, he was back on the court in Lisbon’s fourth game of the season–just under 12 weeks after undergoing reconstructive surgery.

“What Justin went through this year with his injury is a testament to his passion for the game and his dedication,” Lisbon coach Chris Huckshold said. “He just went out and attacked his recovery. For him to come back so soon was incredible. Every week he’s getting a little more of his speed and bounce back.”

The way Sweeney went about his recovery mirrored the work ethic that he has brought to the court for the last four seasons.

“Justin is a gym rat first and foremost,” Huckshold said. “He works his butt off on all aspects of the game. Since I’ve been here he ranks right up there with any player we’ve had.”

Unfortunately for Lisbon, Western Reserve came back in the last 30 seconds to pull out the victory. Riley Miller hit the go-ahead three with six seconds remaining.

Lisbon goes into postseason play with a 10-12 record overall. Western Reserve improves to 6-16.

Sweeney added five rebounds and five steals. Brice Blackburn finished with seven points. Blayne Brownfield had six points.

Miller led Western Reserve with 23 points. Noah Klasic added 16 points.

Lisbon won the jv game 37-36. Adam Spencer had nine points for Lisbon. David Altiere had 12 points for Western Reserve.

Lisbon hosts Heartland Christian in a Div. IV sectional opener Tuesday. Western Reserve is at Valley Christian for a Div. III sectional opener Tuesday.

W. RESERVE: 11-18-13-20–62

LISBON: 13-13-22-12–60

WESTERN RESERVE SCORING: Riley Miller 6-8-23, Caleb Quinn 4-0-8, Todd Henning 3-2-11, Jake Moore 0-0-0, Preston Reed 2-0-4, Noah Klasic 5-6-16. TEAM TOTALS: 20, 16-19: 62.

LISBON SCORING: Nick Mundy 0-0-0, Logan Bell 2-0-4, Michael Davis 1-0-3, Ryan McCullough 3-0-7, Brice Blackburn 2-1-5, Justin Sweeney 14-2-33, Joey Fisher 0-2-2, Blayne Brownfield 2-0-6. TEAM TOTALS: 24, 5-6: 60.

Three-point goals: Western Reserve 6 (Henning 3, Miller 3), Lisbon 7 (Sweeney 3, Brownfield 2, Davis, McCullough)

Toronto 61, Southern 51

TORONTO–The Toronto boys basketball team capped a dominant run through the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference with a 61-51 victory over Southern Friday.

The fourth-ranked Red Knights, who are leaving the EOAC after this season, improve to 20-2 overall and finish 14-0 in the conference. They close their two-year run in the EOAC with a 25-game conference winning streak.

Southern finishes 14-8 overall and 7-7 in the EOAC.

Bradly Sloan led the Indians with 11 points. Jayce Sloan grabbed 11 rebounds. Brock Smalley added nine points. Nick Utt finished with six rebounds.

The Indians host Leetonia in a Div. IV sectional opener Tuesday.

SOUTHERN: 12-9-12-18–51

TORONTO: 20-20-12-9–61

SOUTHERN SCORING: Brock Smalley 4-0-9, Cam Grodhaus 2-0-4, Josh Pratt 0-4-4, Max Hart 1-0-2, Nick May 3-0-6, Nick Utt 0-0-0, Bradly Sloan 5-1-11, Jayce Sloan 3-0-6, James Burris 0-0-0, Giovanni Estrada 1-0-2, Tanner Patterson 1-0-2, Brady Tolson 1-0-2, Timmy West 1-1-3, Sam May 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 22, 6-8: 51.

TORONTO SCORING: Trillion West 4-2-11, Nate Karaffa 4-9-18, Brendan Matyas 0-4-4, Lucas Gulczynski 3-2-8, A.J. Clegg 3-0-6, Nick Sninchak 2-2-7, Bryson Anderson 1-1-3, Trent Wright 0-1-1, Kobe Herrick 1-0-3. TEAM TOTALS: 18, 22-32: 61.

Three-point goals: Southern 1 (Grodhaus), Toronto 3 (West, Karaffa, Sninchak).