Roosevelt boys fall to Copley in Greynolds Classic opener

By eric clutter | Correspondent Published:

A couple of preseason injuries slowed the start of the season for the Copley Indians and are a key reason why the squad entered Saturday morning's contest against Kent Roosevelt with a less-than-stellar 2-5 record.

However with 2013 approaching, the Indians looked healthy, happy and intent on meeting high preseason expectations during the opening game of the 2012 Greynolds Classic at Barberton High School, defeating the Rough Riders 78-57 in a non-league affair.

Now at full strength, Copley had four starters in double figures and posted a season-high in points.

The Indians (3-5) went ahead for good at 10-8 on an Aregeros Turner 3-pointer, and with six players scoring, piled up 24 first-quarter points to lead by 10 after eight minutes.

"If we can grab the lead, we're tough to beat," said Copley third-year coach Mark Dente, who hopes his team's impressive performance can springboard them the remainder of the seaon. "We made shots early."

Senior guard Jaylyn Turner led the Indians with 20 points and was closely followd by Kenny Paramore's 18. DeAire Andrew added 15 and Turner finished with 13.

To combat the offensive talent he was going up against, Roosevelt coach Ben Dunlap instilled a zone defensive look for the initial time this season.

"Copley is very athletic and we knew we were going to have a hard time," said the first-year coach. "We worked on it (zone) extensively in practice, but knew we would have trouble matching up man-to-man.

"I thought we kept them out of the paint like we wanted to, unfortunately, they knocked down some 3s. We didn't see them shoot the ball that well in the two games we scouted. Unfortunately, it seemed like everything they shot was going in today."

Roosevelt, which dropped to 3-4 overall, fell behind by as many as 18 points late in the second stanza as the Indians sank five 3s in the opening half, but scored 11 of the frame's final 15 points to chip the margin to 44-33 at the intermission.

While Copley maintained a double-digit lead throughout the entire third period, Roosevelt was finally able to trim the lead under 10 points when reserve Phillip Maggard opened the final quarter with a 3 that made the count 57-48.

Paramore responded with two baskets, however, and the Indians were never challenged thereafter, winning for the sixth time in the school's seven appearances at the 12-team tournament honoring the late Jack Greynolds, who coached at Barberton for 17 years.

Saturday marked the second time in four weeks that Roosevelt has played on the Barberton home floor. The team opened the season against the Magics in Dunlap's first game at the helm.

And though the outcome was the same, the level of play was better. The Rough Riders' 33 points at the half were two more than the their entire output against Barberton, and just three shy of the 36 they scored in a 24-point loss to Stow last Thursday.

"The kids brought the effort today, they played together, they played smart," said Dunlap. "We handled their pressure and shared the basketball. Much, much improvement from Thursday night."

Sophomore Joe Watts finished with a team-high 17 points for the Rough Riders and also finished in double digits on the boards. Corey Mitchell tallied 14 and Myles Wright had eight.

"Joe is phenomenal. He works every day and does whatever he can to help the team win. I thought he had a big game today. Really, (his output) was the reason it was as close as it was for as long as it was."

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