by Sara Welch | Correspondent
Garrettsville — The Streetsboro boys basketball team captured a 62-48 victory after showcasing its dominance in a fourth-quarter showdown against James A. Garfield in a Portage Trail Conference cross-division matchup Nov. 30 in Garrettsville.
The G-Men faced a 12-point deficit at halftime, but after rallying in the third quarter and outscoring the Rockets 21-10, they managed to cut Streetsboro’s lead to a single point going into the final quarter of the game with the score frozen at 40-39.
“They made some big adjustments at halftime,” Rockets head coach Nick Marcini said. “They came out with more intensity and killed us on the boards. They outworked us for pretty much the entire second half. Fortunately for us, we were able to hit some big shots down the stretch.”
The Rockets found their comfort zone behind the three-point line in the fourth quarter and propelled themselves to a comfortable advantage over their opponent. Brandon Gency hit the first of many fourth-quarter three-pointers, pushing Streetboro’s lead to 43-39. However, Jordan Matusik knocked down three of his own on consecutive possessions, gaining a nine-point lead for the Rockets and the momentum of the game.
Matusik finished with a total of four three-pointers and was the high scorer for the Rockets with 20 points.
“There was a long while where it seemed like we didn’t score a basket and I don’t know how long it was, but when he [Matusik] hit those three shots and that was pretty much the dagger,” Marcini said. “Devin Rencher sealed the deal at the free throw line right at the end. Our guys stepped up and we made shots when we needed to.”
As a result of a G-men technical foul, Rencher went 2-of-2 from the charity stripe. Gency followed up with a perfect performance of his own by making both of his foul shots as well and pushing Streetsboro to a 62-49 win.
Gency and Rencher both racked up 14 points throughout the course of the game.
“They did a tremendous job closing the game,” Marcini said. “They have some tremendous shooters. I’ve always said that good shooting covers up a lot of mistakes. I’m not saying they made a lot of mistakes, but Streetsboro’s going to be tough to beat when they shoot like that,” Garfield head coach Andrew Olesky said.
Although Garfield was unable to contain a clutch fourth-quarter offense, the G-Men’s performance in the third quarter and their defensive ability to hold the explosive Streetsboro shooters to only 10 points shows promise for the remainder of the season.
“We’re optimistic going into the season because the kids are positive, they want to win and they don’t care who gets the credit,” Olesky said. “They have a strong commitment to the defensive end. These kids have a great attitude, they’re very resilient and they’re never going to quit. They’re always going to play hard. We are very positive moving forward.”
Anthony Workman was the high scorer of the game, totaling 23 points for the G-men and pulled down seven rebounds.
The Rockets scored a lopsided 60-21 victory in the junior varsity contest. Reggie Dublin led Streetsboro with 12 points.
The varsity team is scheduled to host Portage Trail Conference Metro Division rival Springfield Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. The Rockets recently added a game to their schedule.
They are set to play Youngstown East Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Streetsboro is set to visit Metro Division foe Ravenna Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.