Mogadore refuses to lose

By John Cravens Record-Courier staff correspondent Published:

Sometimes it's hard to know what to expect when it comes to high school basketball. Then again, sometimes it's hard to explain what just happened, like in Mogadore's 76-64 Portage County League victory over visiting Southeast Tuesday. Pirate coach Bob Dunn summed up the game perfectly when he said, "It was a tale of two halves." Dunn's Pirates decidedly won the first 16 minutes of play over the Wildcats by a convincing 40-27 margin. The Wildcats totally turned the tables on their guests in the second half, cutting the deficit to a single point by the end of the third period, and then doubling their opponent in the final eight minutes to claim the 12-point victory in an important PCL matchup for both schools. "When we came out and missed two layups to start the second half, it seemed to set the tone of how things might go," said Dunn. "I had just told the kids at the half that Mogadore wouldn't give up. "We made a lot of mistakes that aren't characteristic of our program. We didn't make very good decisions and we missed free throws. We even got called for six players on the floor once. We need to regroup after this. We will." The Pirates got the tempo up to their liking early as senior Jermaine Davis hit all four of his shots, pushing the visitors to a 19-16 advantage at the first break. The Wildcats' Andy Francis was just as effective, pouring in nine points in the opening eight minutes. The second quarter also belonged to Southeast as it ran off eight unanswered points and built the lead to 27-16, before Francis supplied the proper remedy needed to stop the bleeding with seven straight points of his own. The Pirates' lead was 27-23 when Aaron Hall came off the bench to drill his first three field-goal attempts _ all 3-pointers _ to send his team to the locker room with a seemingly comfortable 13-point cushion (40-27). "I challenged our kids at the half to make a run," said Mogadore coach Shaun Morgan, whose team is now 7-2 overall and 6-2 in the PCL. "By a run, I mean a score and a stop, then a score and a stop. They did that, plus we also made some free throws. "When the game got physical, the referees did a good job of keeping things under control out there. I'm happy, but we can't rest on this. We need to keep working to improve. Our kids' attitudes will allow them to get better." A scoring drought by the Pirates of almost four minutes to open the second half gave Mogadore time to work itself back into the game. The Wildcats scored the first nine points of the third quarter, as seniors Jon Raddish and Francis evenly split 14 points during the 24-12 period. During this rally, Southeast was busy getting called for nine personal fouls. The fourth quarter resembled the third, as Francis and Raddish continued to supply knockdown punches, dividing 12 points. Sophomore guard Steve Lutz calmly hit 5-of-6 free throws in the final two minutes to protect a Wildcat lead that had dwindled to three points before Mogadore put it away down the stretch. Francis had an impressive 14 rebounds to go with his game-high 28 points. Raddish scored 17, all in the second half. Junior forward Tommy Lee had 14 points as he was perfect on all six of his attempts from the floor. Senior Aaron Pettigrew had 15 points for the Pirates, now 7-3 overall and 6-2 in the PCL. Davis finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds. _____ Mogadore 76, Southeast 64 (At Mogadore) SOUTHEAST (64) _ Jermaine Davis 5 1-6 11; Mat Hartung 1 0-1 2; Cole Donithan 3 0-0 6; Aaron Pettigrew 4 6-8 15; Adam Eskridge 3 1-2 8; Aaron Hall 3 0-0 9; Sean Cornell 1 0-0 3; Josh Herndon 0 2-2 2; Duane Kaley 4 0-0 8; Kyle Bresette 0 0-0 0; Brock Kertoy 0 0-0 0; Patrick Divoky 0 0-0 0; Matt Farley 0 0-0 0; Ryan Levels 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 10-20 64. MOGADORE (76) _ Steve Lutz 0 5-6 5; Joe Runion 0 1-2 1; Jon Raddish 5 7-12 17; Troy Brooks 2 0-0 4; Mike Roth 1 3-4 5; Andy Francis 8 9-13 28; Mike Wagner 0 0-0 0; Charley Molnar 0 2-2 2; Tommy Lee 6 2-4 14; Nick Petit 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 29-43 76. SOUTHEAST 19 21 12 12 _ 64 MOGADORE 16 11 24 25 _ 76 Three-Point Goals _ Southeast (6-25): Hall 3, Pettigrew 1, Cornell 1, Eskridge 1. Mogadore (3-11): Francis 3. Total Fouls _ Southeast, 29-20 Total Rebounds _ Southeast, 36-31 Total Turnovers _ Mogadore, 16-9 JV Score _ Southeast, 66-44. Leading Scorers: (SE) Matt Farley, 23 points; (M) Nate Worthington, 12 points.

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