Heartland Christian School Boys’ Basketball Preview

Heartland Christian Lions High School Basketball

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COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) –Involved in a number of down-to-the-wire games a year ago, Heartland Christian is looking for more success this year as they’ll return a number of key players which includes the likes of Jonathan Bertovich, Nate Garzanich and Stephen Barnes.

Bertovich led the team with 6.3 assists and 3.0 steals per game while scoring 16.9 points over a 22-game slate. Garzanich and Barnes averaged 5.1 and 4.1 points respectively. Garzanich also hauled down 3.7 caroms a game.

The team must replace a pair of double-digit scorers in Joey Donofrio (17.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Steven Baker (11.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg), who both graduated last spring.

“We‘re expecting to play faster than we ever have,” coach Josh Scott mentions. “Hopefully, be a little bit more skilled after losing a lot of size and rebounding. We’ll be guard dominant this year and are hoping to use some speed and shooting ability to add to our game. Our goal as always is to be competitive night-in and night-out while adding some toughness as the year progresses.”

Heartland Christian Lions
Head Coach: Josh Scott
2020-21 Record: 17-5
Last 5-Year Record: 36-78 (31.6%)

2020-21 Team Statistics
Scoring Offense: 65.2
Scoring Defense: 56.7

2020-21 Individual Leaders
Scoring: Joey Donofrio – 17.2
Rebounding: Joey Donofrio – 6.0
Assists: Jonathan Bertovich – 6.3
Steals: Jonathan Bertovich – 3.0
Field Goal Percentage: Joey Donofrio – 59.6%
Three-Point Percentage: Luke Reynolds – 33.3%
Free Throw Percentage: Jonathan Bertovich – 82.0%

-Under coach Josh Scott, the Lions have compiled a record of 28-17 in two years.

-Offensive uptick. The Lions saw an increase in scoring from 55.4 average in 2019-20 to 65.2 last year. That’s an increase of 9.8 points per game.

-Last season, three players scored 11-points or more and each finished in the top 3 on the team in rebounding and assists. Joey Donofrio (17.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.6 apg) and Steven Baker (11.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.1 apg) have both graduated. Jonathan Bertovich is back for his senior year (16.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 6.3 apg).

-Bertovich’s scoring numbers went down from 2019-20 (at East Palestine) when he scored 25.0 points per contest. However, Bertovich’s assist numbers went up by 3 per game (3.3 to 6.3) and his free throw percentage stayed steady as he was able to drain over 80% in back-to-back seasons.

-Heartland Christian finished 9-4 in games decided by 10-points or less. Six wins were decided by 4-points or less.

2021-22 Schedule
Nov. 26 – vs. Lake Center Christian (at Lisbon Tip-Off)
Nov. 27 – Lisbon Tip-Off Tournament
Nov. 30 – at United
Dec. 3 – Leetonia
Dec. 7 – at Jackson-Milton
Dec. 10 – Lowellville
Dec. 15 – at Crestview
Dec. 17 – Badger
Dec. 21 – at Leetonia
Dec. 23 – Lisbon
Dec. 29 – New Year’s Tournament
Dec. 30 – New Year’s Tournament
Jan. 4 – at Warren JFK
Jan. 8 – at Columbiana
Jan. 18 – Southern
Jan. 22 – Columbiana
Jan. 28 – Southington
Feb. 1 – at Badger
Feb. 5 – at Mineral Ridge
Feb. 12 – South Range
Feb. 15 – at Brookfield
Feb. 18 – Lordstown

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