Fittingly, North Adams wins two at Coach Young Classic
Girls, boys both pick up easy victories
It seemed only fitting that as North Adams High School played host last Saturday to the inaugural Coach Young Classic, that the two varsity basketball squads from the school should earn victories and that is exactly what they did. In the only girls game played in the Classic, it was the Lady Devils using their stifling defensive pressure to jump out early and coast past the Manchester Lady Greyhounds 47-28 and then in the final game of the day, the Green Devils boys, coached for 24 years by Dave Young, grabbed a 62-45 win over South Webster in their season opener.
“I believe the Coach Young Classic was an overall success thanks to the hard work of many,” said North Adams Athletic Director Tony Williams, one of the event’s organizers. “Coach Young would have enjoyed having some of Southeast Ohio’s elite programs in the North Adams gym on a single day and seeing both North Adams squads win.”
Coach Rob Davis and his Lady Devils, ranked in the pre-season as one of the top teams in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, showed why on Saturday afternoon as they manhandled the Lady Hounds. The Lady Devils are big and strong and can attack in many ways, inside and out, as they showed on Saturday, when the game began with guard Taylor Gast drilling a three-pointer to open the scoring. Manchester got a matching trey from Morgan Johnson to trail just 5-3 but that was as close as the Lady Hounds were to be all day.
North Adams went on a 9-0 run, capped off by another Gast three, to lead 14-3 as their defensive pressure kept Manchester from any good looks at the rim. A Rainelle Casey bucket for the Hounds broke the North Adams run, but only momentarily as the Lady Devils proceeded to score the final nine points of the first quarter, highlighted by a nice put back score by Staci Dinsmore and an old-fashioned three-point play by Brittany Stout. When Karly Boerger hit two free throws late, the home team held a 23-5 advantage after eight minutes of play.
It didn’t get any better for Manchester in the opening moments of the second period as the Lady Devils scored right away off a forced turnover. Haylee Adams hit a three for the Hounds but a put back by Rylee Copas made it 29-8. Manchester showed some signs of life as they finished the first half on an 7-2 run, with a bucket by Hannah Rideout, two Adams free throws, and a second trey from Johnson and the half ended with the Lady Devils still comfortably in front 31-15.
After allowing 23 points in the first quarter, the Manchester defense stepped up and held the Lady Devils to just 24 the remainder of the game, but unfortunately that first quarter hole was too big to dig out of. In the third period, Manchester got a three from Rideout, but it was North Adams adding to their lead on the strength of a pair of Gast baskets and a Staci Dinsmore three. As the game got a little sloppy and ugly on both ends, the third frame ended with North Adams on top 45-22.
“We lost our intensity there a little bit,” said Coach Davis after the game. “We need to keep playing hard and get focused on what we are doing out there. We may have gotten a little tired, but overall I think we played pretty well.”
The final eight minutes were not to go down as an offensive clinic of any kind, but the large margin gave Coach Jason Franklin of Manchester and Coach Davis the opportunity to substitute freely. North Adams only got a single basket in the final quarter, that by Copas, and the Hounds got a bucket off the bench from Bethany Sweeney but when it was all said and done the Lady Devils were 2-0 on the year, downing the Hounds 47-28 (North Adams won its season opener 55-48 in overtime at Greenfield McClain on Nov. 27).
For the Lady Hounds, who fell to 1-2 on the year, the leading scorer was Morgan Johnson with 8, followed closely by Hannah Rideout’s 7. The Lady Hounds were just a paltry 4 for 15 from the free throw line.
North Adams placed a pair of girls in double figures, Taylor Gast leading the way with 14 and Rylee Copas getting 11. Staci Dinsmore added 7 off the bench, with Mikayla Jodrey scoring 6. The Lady Devils hit 8 of 15 from the line.
Both teams will be in action again tomorrow night, with the Lady Devils playing host to the Eastern Lady Warriors and the Lady Hounds traveling to Fairfield, both games being Southern Hills Athletic Conference battles.
MANCHESTER 5 10 7 6 —28
NORTH ADAMS 23 8 14 2 —47
Manchester (28): Burns 1 1-6 3, Adams 1 2-2 5, Johnson 3 0-1 8, Wilbur 0 0-1 0, Rideout 3 0-3 7, Casey 1 1-2 3,
Sweeney 1 0-0 2, Team 10 4-15 28.
N. Adams (47): Staci Dinsmore 3 0-0 7, Gast 6 0-2 14, Copas 4 3-5 11, Stout 1 1-1 3, Boerger 1 2-2 4, Jodrey 2 2-5 6,
Sara Dinsmore 1 0-0 2, Team 18 8-15 47.
Three-Point Goals: Manchester-Adams 1, Johnson 2, Rideout 1
N. Adams- Staci Dinsmore 1, Gast 2
The sixth and final game of the Coach Young Classic pitted Coach Nathan Copas and his North Adams Green Devils against the Jeeps of South Webster High School. Behind a big 24-point performance from senior guard Blake Bradley, the Devils made their 2103-14 debut a successful one, running past the Jeeps by a final count of 62-45.
“We are extremely young,” said Copas. “We have 22 kids in the program and 17 of them are freshmen or sophomores, but there are a lot of teams out there struggling with the same growing pains.”
“We tell the kids just keep making baby steps and playing hard. We are trying to help these young kids grow if they would just grasp it and take it.”
The game was even throughout the first quarter, with Bradley scoring half of the Devils’ 10 points, including a three from the top of the key that briefly gave his team an 8-7 advantage. A bucket in the final minute by North Adams’ Isaiah Anderson left the encounter even at 10 after one period of play.
Throwing out their half court trap at the Jeeps, the Devils opened the second quarter with two easy buckets, one on a stick back by Brandon Gingerich and the other on a steal and layup by Bradley. After a South Webster three, the Devils got another score from Bradley and free throws from Hank Sparks and Aaron Pertuset and a Sparks basket to lead 20-13. A basket by Cole Meade late in the quarter was followed by a South Webster put back at the horn but the Devils had gained an advantage, up 27-20 at the break.
Early in the third quarter, a pair three-point goals by the Jeeps’ Elijah Ruark drew the visitors to within 31-27 but that was followed by a 7-0 North Adams run , capped by a Pertuset three. The Jeeps recovered with a trey from Shane Zimmerman, but the quarter ended with a Mikey Sheeley basket and yet another steal and lay-in by Bradley to put the Devils in front by double digits, much to the delight of the home faithful, 42-32.
With the lead, it was just a matter of hanging on and playing smart for the Devils in the final eight minutes. It certainly started well with scores on their first two possessions, including the first of a pair of Sparks three-pointers, the second of which gave North Adams a 49-36 lead. Bradley got a three-point play the old way later to increase the margin to 56-40, effectively putting this contest out of reach. Holding on down the stretch, the Devils put their first “W” of the year on the board, final score 62-45.
Showing what North Adams fans hope to see all season, senior guard Blake Bradley scored 24 points to lead the winners. Hank Sparks also reached double figures with 12, with Aaron Pertuset adding 8 and Brandon Gingerich 6.
For South Webster, Zimmerman led with 17 and Ruark added 15. The Jeeps hit 8 three-pointers, equaling thenumber of two-point goals they scored in the game.
With that season-opening win under their belts, the Devils traveled to Lynchburg last night to face the Mustangs, favored by the league’s coaches to win the big school division of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference. On Friday night, the Devils will play host to the Whiteoak Wildcats in another SHAC affair.
S. WEBSTER 10 10 12 13 —45
N. ADAMS 10 17 15 22 —62
S. Webster (45): Fuller 1 2-2 4, Ruark 6 0-0 15, Zimmerman 6 0-0 17, Winters 2 2-4 6, Hadinger 1 1-6 3, Team 16 9-12 45.
N. Adams (62): Pertuset 3 1-2 8, Bradley 10 3-3 24, Anderson 1 1-2 3, Sheeley 1 1-2 3, Sparks 4 2-4 12, Gingerich 3 0-0 6,
Bradford 0 2-4 2, C. Meade 2 0-0 4, Team 24 10-17 62.
Three-Point Goals: S. Webster- Ruark 3, Zimmerman 5
N. Adams- Pertuset 1, Bradley 1, Sparks 2
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