McDONALD, Ohio (WKBN) – McDonald lost a class of 7 seniors to graduation last spring that included Jake Portolese (21 ppg), Miles Culp (18.2 ppg), Eli Street (12.2 ppg), Dominic Carkido (10 ppg) and Anthony Ragazzine (6.8 ppg).

Coach James Franceschelli enters year #2 at the helm of the Blue Devil program, “We’ll lean on our two returning seniors – twins Michael and Matthew Porter – to lead our group both on the court and in the locker room this year. We’ll need Michael [Porter] and junior Gregory Constantino to be our guys to put the ball in the hoop on a nightly basis. We’ll lean on sophomore Wyatt Wolford to run the point for us and be another scoring option. Matthew [Porter] is our garbage man, the guy who does it all for us every night. We expect to have a few other seniors join the program this year, and we also have some other juniors who have been in our program for the last two years in Shane Stoops, Nolan Agler and Joey Skowron – who could all see major varsity minutes this upcoming season.”

McDonald has closed out 12 of the last 17 seasons with 20-wins or more.

Franceschelli states, “We expect to compete and battle every night. Our guys know what winning looks like and they’ve been working hard to continue that tradition. With five new starters this year it’ll be about gaining game experience early on in the season and limiting our mistakes on a nightly basis.”

McDonald begins the 2021-22 season by hosting Lordstown on November 30.

McDonald Blue Devils
Head Coach: James Franceschelli, 2nd season at McDonald (23-3)
2020-21 Record: 23-3 (13-1), 1st place in MVAC Scarlet
Last 5-Year Record: 104-23 (81.9%)

2020-21 Team Statistics
Scoring Offense: 73.5
Scoring Defense: 57.2

2020-21 Individual Leaders
Scoring: Jake Portolese – 20.5
Rebounding: Jake Portolese – 10.3
Assists: Miles Culp – 7.4
Steals: Miles Culp – 2.2
Field Goal Percentage: Eli Street – 49.3%
Three-Point Percentage: Eli Street – 45.0%
Free Throw Percentage: Miles Culp – 80.9%

2020-21 MVAC Scarlet Tier Standings (League Record)
McDonald – 13-1
Springfield – 12-2
Waterloo – 10-4
Jackson-Milton – 7-7
Lowellville – 5-9
Mineral Ridge – 5-9
Western Reserve – 3-11
Sebring – 1-13

PREVIEW
-McDonald has accumulated 20-wins or more in 7 of the last 9 years.

-Over the last six years, the Blue Devils have averaged over 71-points per game in each season.

-Last winter, McDonald featured 4 double-figure scorers (Jake Portolese, 20.5; Miles Culp, 18.2; Eli Street, 11.6; Dominic Carkido, 10.0) all have since graduated as well as six players who attempted 45 three-point shots and were able to convert on 36% or better (led by Eli Street – who sank 81 of 180).

-Speaking of three-point shooting, McDonald (as a team) connected on 39.9% of their three-point shots (314-786).

-Among those who have since graduated from McDonald, Jake Portolese leaves a huge void. As a sophomore, he was able to put together a stat line of 11.6 points and 8 rebounds while shooting 51.2% from the floor and 30.2% from beyond the arc. Two years ago, he scored 17.7 and hauled down 9.3 boards (shot 43.9% from three-point land). Last year, he led the team with a 20.5 scoring and 10.3 rebounding average. He shot 42.1% from long distance (82-195).

2021-22 Schedule
Nov. 30 – Lordstown
Dec. 7 – Liberty
Dec. 10 – vs. Union (at Mohawk)
Dec. 11 – at Mohawk
Dec. 14 – Mineral Ridge
Dec. 17 – at Waterloo
Dec. 21 – at Jackson-Milton
Dec. 27 – Girard
Dec. 28 – vs. River (at Toronto)
Jan. 4 – at Lowellville
Jan. 7 – Western Reserve
Jan. 11 – Sebring
Jan. 14 – at Springfield
Jan. 21 – at Mineral Ridge
Jan. 25 – Waterloo
Jan. 28 – Jackson-Milton
Feb. 1 – Lowellville
Feb. 4 – at Western Reserve
Feb. 8 – at Sebring
Feb. 11 – Springfield
Feb. 15 – Lakeview
Feb. 18 – at Struthers