YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Boardman Spartans held off a desperate late charge by the Chaney Cowboys to capture a hard-fought tournament-style 50-49 victory.  The game was a season opener for the Spartans while the Cowboys drop to 2-1 on the season.

“It was tournament atmosphere in game one on the road against a really talented Chaney team,” Spartans coach Patrick Birch remarked.  “I wasn’t disappointed by how we played down the stretch, I thought we did what we needed to do.  We couldn’t have scripted it any better and on we go.”

The Spartans were led by senior forward Trey DiPietro with 15 points and 10 rebounds.  Seth Cervello added 9 points on three treys.

“It was awesome and exciting,” DePietro stated.  “I hope every game is like this.  It was super fun.  This gives us momentum because Chaney is such a good team, a first win like this is a great way to start the season.”

The Spartans Nico Holzchuh put back a rebound to score a basket with 3:29 remaining in the game to give them a commanding 16-point, 49-33 lead.  That is when the Cowboys launched an 11-0 run to close the deficit down to 5-points at 49-44 with 58-seconds remaining in the game.

“I told them when we were down by fifteen that we just have to fight back whether win, lose or draw.  We have to push the ball and let the chips fall where they may,” Cowboys coach Marlon McGaughy said.

Following a free throw from DePietro making it 50-44, the Cowboys Cameron Sly connected on a bucket with 45-seconds left to make 50-46.  Then junior D’Juan Waller would drain a three with only 14-seconds left to close it to 50-49.

DePietro would miss a free throw with 12-ticks remaining, followed by a turnover by the Cowboys with only 4-seconds remaining.  DePietro would again miss his free throw attempt with 3-seconds left, but Waller would rake down the free throw and launch a three-quarter court desperate shot at the buzzer that was off-target to preserve the Spartans win.

“I wish I made those free throws at the end,” DePietro admitted.  “It was a little frustrating, but I’m glad we pulled out the win.  It was awesome to get the atmosphere of basketball back again.”

Isaiah Williams scored a game-high 17 points, including three baskets in that last-minute Cowboy charge.  Josiah Gonzalez and Sly each added 9 points apiece, while Jashaun Holcomb grabbed 8 rebounds to lead the Cowboys on the boards.

The Spartans led 13-11 at the end of the first quarter and held a 29-18 lead at halftime.  They would increase their advantage to 12 at 38-26 before the Cowboys closed the deficit to 38-30 at the end of the third quarter.

The Spartans would go on an 11-3 run to start the fourth period to pull out to that 49-33 advantage at the 3:29 mark of the final frame.  From there the Cowboys made their ferocious comeback attempt.

“With a young team, you have these (type) of things.  We have been stagnant on offense all year.  So we have to get better at that,” McGaughy remarked.

The Spartans will look to keep things rolling next Tuesday when they host Tallmadge.  The Cowboys will try to bounce back on Tuesday when they host Warren Harding.