Lisbon’s McCullough grabs the spotlight

COLUMBIANA — For all basketball players, 1,000 career points is a huge individual accomplishment. On Monday at Heartland Christian, Lisbon senior guard Ryan McCullough hit that milestone in the first quarter after needing seven points coming into the contest. However, the Lions played spoiler for McCullough and the Blue Devils, winning the contest 66-54.

“It really means a lot,” McCullough said. “You tend to look back over the last four years and what it took to get here, it really is a good feeling.”

McCullough becomes the 12th Lisbon boy to reach 1,000 career points, six of those coming in the last five years.

“My team means everything to me,” McCullough said. “I would take a bullet for any of those guys. They mean the world to me and it’s really team over everything.”

“Ryan shows up everyday at practice and works his butt off,” Lisbon coach Chris Huckshold said. “He goes 100 percent and plays hard and that trickles down. If you are playing the game with someone that plays that hard, you have to play hard or you look bad. He’s consistently hustling and is all over the place. Whether it is a practice in November or a practice in February or March and that trickles down. The young kids see that and they have to step up and play like that or they look bad.”

Heartland improves to 8-3, while Lisbon drops to 6-2.

McCullough and Blayne Brownfield recorded 52 of the Blue Devils’ 54 points. Brownfield finished with 30 points and seven rebounds while McCullough had 22 points and three steals.

“We were going to do our best to try and slow those guys (McCullough and Brownfield) down and that is really all you can do because they are that talented,” Heartland coach Josh Scott said. “We just wanted to make sure we withstood the runs because we knew they were good enough to go on some runs. We didn’t want to call a bunch of timeouts and we wanted to keep our composure.”

McCullough was not the only talented guard on the floor Monday night. Heartland junior Jonathan Bertovich had 17 points and made life difficult for McCullough on the offensive end. Steven Baker and Joey Donofrio added 17 and 16 points for the Lions, respectively.

“It does make it really interesting,” McCullough said. “Jonathan is a great player who is only a junior and he will go on to do great things for Heartland.”

“He’s a phenomenal player and he has been a huge asset to our program,” Scott said. “Even more so he is all about team and it shows in his play. He gets other guys going.

“Our guys withstood the runs and (Lisbon) is a really good team so this is a big win for our program,” Scott added.

“They are a well coached basketball team and they are very good,” Huckshold said about Heartland.

“They were definitely excited to play basketball tonight. At times during the game, we played excited and enthused basketball and there were times tonight we didn’t.”

Lisbon will host East Palestine tonight in the Bulldogs’ first game of the season.

Heartland host Warren JFK on Saturday.

Game notes

≤ Monday’s game was moved to a 5 p.m. jayvee start due to the Ohio State national championship football game.

“We just knew people were going to want to get home and watch it so we moved it up,” Scott said.

The game ended at 7:35 p.m. for an 8:15 Ohio State game start.

≤ This game was originally scheduled for January 2, but was postponed to last night.

≤ In jayvee action, Heartland won 44-21. For Heartland, Drew Walker had 10 points and for Lisbon, Austin Dailey had nine points.

LISBON: 11-11-23- 9–54

HEARTLAND: 15-18-14-19–66

LISBON SCORING: Ryan McCullough 8-2-22, Blayne Brownfield 12-4-30, Adam Spencer 1-0-2, Trevor Siefke 0-0-0, Hunter Sturgeon 0-0-0, Tyler Welsh 0-0-0, Hunter Dailey 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 21-45, 6-9: 54.

HEARTLAND CHRISTIAN SCORING: Joey Donofrio 7-1-16, Jonathan Bertovich 7-2-17, Aaron Gault 3-0-6, Steven Baker 4-7-17, Nate Garzanich 1-0-2, Caleb Graft 1-1-3, Stephen Barnes 2-0-5, Devin Sirota 0-0-0, Noah Pennington 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 25, 11-18: 66.

Three-point goals: Lisbon 6 (McCullough 4, Brownfield 2), Heartland 5 (Baker 2, Bertovich, Donofrio, Barnes).


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