SEBRING, Ohio (WKBN) – Led by senior Ryan Gordon, the Western Reserve Blue Devils overpowered the Sebring Trojans Friday night 62-40 in Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference action. The Devils improve to 1-1 on the season, 1-0 in the MVAC while the Trojans drop to 1-2, 0-1 in the league.
The Blue Devils jumped out to an early lead as they built an 18-8 advantage at the end of the first quarter of play. They would extend their lead to 16-points at the intermission when they were up 32-16.
“We played a nice uptempo physical game,” Devils coach Patsy Daltorio said. “It was nice to see us get a seven, eight-man rotation. A lot of guys in there contributing, and that’s what we want to do here on out.”
“It’s always important on the road,” Gordon added about the Devil’s fast start. “We got that spark, and it helped us a lot tonight.”
The Trojans came out fighting to start the second half with a couple of early baskets, but the Devils responded by building a 20-point, 48-28 lead at the end of the third stanza. The Devils would go on to outscore the Trojans 14-12 in the finals frame.
On the night Gordon would lead the Devils with 24 points while Gabe Pratt added 17. Gordon and Noah Klasic each grabbed 8 rebounds to dominate the boards in the game.
“I got hot quick and I was just feeling it. My teammates recognized that and they were able to kick it to me so without them it wouldn’t have been anything,” Gordon said.
“It’s just a perfect example of hard work works,” Daltorio said of Gordon. “He put in a lot of time not just on the court but in the weight room, and in the offseason, he was doing a lot on his own. He gets to reap the benefits now. It’s nice to see him start to blossom and not be just one-dimensional.”
The Trojans were led by Dylan Johnson with 12 points on the night. Johnson and Connor Shepherd each yanked down 5 rebounds in the game.
“We knew what we were up against, and I was very, very proud of the way our kids challenged them the whole thirty-two minutes. We got behind too much in the second quarter and we challenged them to play a great second half. We played with dignity and played with class,” Trojans coach Brian Clark said.
“We’re not blessed with a lot of height. We’re not terribly fast either. They (Reserve) have speed to burn, and they are going to be an up and coming team in our league. They are going to give a lot of people trouble. Gordon and Klasic are really nice players,” Clark added.
Both teams will be in action again next Tuesday as the Blue Devils will travel to Springfield. The Trojans will entertain the Lowellville Rockets.