French-era begins; Springfield looks to continue their success

Sports

2017-18 Springfield Boys’ Basketball Preview

Head Coach: Steve French, 1st season at Springfield

Record: 16-8 (6-2), 2nd place in ITCL Red TierMore:High School Basketball previews from other teams

The Good News

Coach Steve French will begin his first season in New Middletown after spending the last four as the head basketball coach of the successful Jefferson Falcon boys’ basketball program. He’ll inherit a group of talented players such as seniors Brandon Walters and John Ritter as well as Shane Eynon. Walters returns as their leading scorer (7.3 ppg) and the team’s top rebounder (5.1). Walters also shot 65.3% from the foul line (32-49). Ritter was a key player on last year’s team as a junior. Ritter scored 4.3 points, grabbed 4.7 boards and shot 55.1% from the floor (43-78). Eynon, as a sophomore, made 68.6% from the line (24-35) while averaging 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Keep an eye on A.J. Joseph and sophomores Drew Clark and Evan Ohlin – who should step into a more significant role this season. “I think we have good depth,” says coach French. “The kids are coach-able and team oriented.”

2017-18 Schedule

Dec. 5 – at Salem, 7:30

Dec. 8 – Western Reserve, 7

Dec. 12 – Jackson-Milton, 7

Dec. 15 – at McDonald, 7

Dec. 19 – at Sebring, 7

Dec. 22 – Campbell Memorial, 7

Dec. 29 – South Range, 7

Jan. 2 – at Columbiana, 7

Jan. 5 – Mineral Ridge, 7

Jan. 9 – at Lowellville, 7

Jan. 12 – at Waterloo, 7

Jan. 16 – at Jackson-Milton, 7

Jan. 19 – McDonald, 7

Jan. 23 – Sebring, 7

Jan. 26 – at Western Reserve, 7

Jan. 30 – at Mineral Ridge, 7

Feb. 2 – Lowellville, 7

Feb. 6 – Waterloo, 7

Feb. 13 – Crestview, 7

Feb. 16 – Lisbon, 7

Feb. 20 – at Girard, 7

Feb. 23 – at LaBrae, 7

Challenges

The five-year run as ITCL champions (2012-16) came to an end last year as did coach Eric Fender’s fantastic eight-year run as the team’s head coach. During that five-year period, the Tigers went 62-2 in league games. Fender compiled a 119-43 in his time at Springfield (73.5%). This season, the Tigers will have to take on the competition without Jake Ford – who scored 24.9 points last winter. Ford also took down 4.7 boards, dished out 2.1 assists, stole 2.3 balls per game, as well as, accumulating a free throw percentage of 78.9% (194-246) and compiling a 34.2% percent from three-point land (25-73). Frankie Centofanti (9.3 ppg, 3.7 apg) and Pat Flara (3.4 rpg) also left a big void on the team.

Last 10 Years

Overall Winning Percentage: 71.0%(164-67)

League Championships: 5 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Playoff Record: 11-10

Sectional Championships: 7 (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

District Championships: 1 (2012)

2016-17 Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 57.3

Scoring Defense: 49.9

Rebounding: 28.1

Field Goal Percentage: 40.5%

Three-Point Percentage: 28.1%

Free Throw Percentage: 71.2%

2016-17 Results

St. Thomas Aquinas 63 Tigers 46*

Tigers 63 United 54*

Tigers 75 Jackson-Milton 54

Girard 59 Tigers 50

#7 South Range 48 Tigers 44

#1 McDonald 78 Tigers 68

Tigers 75 Crestview 54

Tigers 58 United 46

Wellsville 61 Tigers 58

Tigers 58 East Palestine 50

Tigers 60 Campbell Memorial 56

South Range 58 Tigers 39

Tigers 74 Mineral Ridge 39

Tigers 74 Crestview 35

Western Reserve 64 Tigers 58

Tigers 61 Columbiana 33

Sebring 53 Tigers 47

Tigers 51 Lordstown 24

Tigers 58 Lisbon 30

Tigers 60 Southern 48

Tigers 74 East Palestine 46

Tigers 49 Lowellville 40

Tigers 59 Leetonia 31

*-Playoff

AP Rankings (Last 10 years)

Last Top 10 ranking: #4 (Feb. 23, 2015; D3)

Rankings Since Jan. 2008: 2

Last game vs. Top 10 team: vs. #7 South Range, 48-44, loss on Feb. 17, 2017

Record vs. Top 10 teams since Jan. 2010: 0-6

Key Number

Springfield has garnered 16-wins or more in each of the last six seasons.

Statistical Leaders (Last 7 Years)

Scoring

2016-17: Jake Ford – 24.9

2015-16: Graham Mincher – 27.7

2014-15: Graham Mincher – 20.4

2013-14: Graham Mincher – 14.4

2012-13: Eoghan Bees – 14.4

2011-12: Ron Rogers – 17.6

2010-11: Ron Rogers – 12.0

Rebounding

2016-17: Brandon Walters – 5.1

2015-16: Grant Nezbeth – 8.4

2014-15: Mark Schuler – 9.3

2013-14: Mark Schuler – 8.4

2012-13: Mark Schuler – 9.8

2011-12: Nick Russell – 7.7

2010-11: Tim Norris – 6.5

Assists

2016-17: Frankie Centofanti – 3.7

2015-16: Frankie Centofanti & Graham Mincher – 2.5

2014-15: Hunter Snyder – 4.6

2013-14: Hunter Snyder – 3.1

2012-13: Eoghan Bees – 3.9

2011-12: Nick Russell – 3.8

2010-11: Nick Russell – 2.8

Three-Point Percentage

2016-17: Frankie Centofanti – 35.1% (33-94)

2015-16: Jordan Capouellez – 40.0% (28-70)

2014-15: Brandon Chamberlain – 51.4% (38-74)

2013-14: Jordon Peterson – 41.0% (16-39)

2012-13: Eoghan Bees – 30.6% (34-111)

2011-12: Ron Rogers – 38.5% (47-122)

2010-11: Tom Mastran – 48.4% (15-31)

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