2015-16 Boardman Boys’ Basketball Preview


2015-16 Boardman Spartans’ Boys Basketball Preview

Head Coach: Pat Birch

Record: 9-14 (5-7), 5th place in AAC Red Division

5-Year Winning Percentage: 25.9%

5-Year League Record: 11-47*

*-Boardman was a member of the Federal League in 2010-14.

Season in Review

“Last year, we were able to take a nice step towards returning Boardman basketball to its winning tradition,” says coach Pat Birch following his Spartans’ 9-13 regular season record. The 9 wins in 2014-15 was equivalent to the amount of victories the Spartans had in their previous three seasons combined (9-59). Despite Boardman’s post-season loss to the eventual district champion Lake Blue Streaks – 75-51 – in the Canton Sectional Semifinal – the path to reach that point in the season was a success.

Gannon Murray led the team in scoring with 10.1 points per game while Bryan Fryda scored 9.6 over the course of the season.

2014-15 Team Stats

Scoring Offense: 48.1

Scoring Defense: 57.1

Field Goal Percentage: 40.2%

Free Throw Percentage: 61.7%

Three Point Percentage: 30.2%

Rebounds: 22.1

Turnovers: 15.8

All-American Conference Basketball Champions

Red Division

2014-15: Poland & Warren Harding (11-1)

2010-11: Howland (7-1)

2009-10: Canfield & Poland (7-1)

2008-09: Poland (7-1)

White Division

2014-15: Jefferson (10-0)

2010-11: Struthers (8-0)

2009-10: Struthers (8-0)

2008-09: Lakeview (7-1)

Blue Division

2014-15: Girard (10-2)

2010-11: LaBrae (8-0)

2009-10: Campbell (10-0)

2008-09: Campbell & Newton Falls (9-1)

AAC American Division

2013-14: Poland (11-1)

2012-13: Canfield & Poland (8-2)

2011-12: Struthers (9-1)

AAC National Division

2013-14: Campbell, Girard & LaBrae (8-2)

2012-13: LaBrae (10-0)

2011-12: LaBrae (10-0)

Key Losses

Bryan Fryda (9.6 ppg, 1.3 apg)

Marcus Smith (4.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg)

Key Returnees

…”We lost some very important leaders in our locker room,” points out Birch. “(However), we return a nice amount of talent and experience. We should be a deep team with 10-12 guys fighting for playing time. Senior all-conference point guard Gannon Murray (10.1 ppg, 2.8 apg, 1.8 spg) and two-year letter winner Alex Duda (2.5 rpg) will provide great leadership and experience as seniors.”

Alex Duda (Sr.)

Gannon Murray (Sr.)

Sebastian Heinonen (Jr.)

Jared Jay (Jr.

Travis Koontz (Jr.)

John Ryan (Jr.)

Holden Lipke (So.)

Mike Melewski (So.)

AAC Red Division Outlook

Boardman The Spartans made strides last year. Gannon Murray leads a hungry bunch into the 2015-16 season.

Canfield When you talk Canfield basketball, the conversation should start with 6’3 senior forward Mason Mangapora, who is coming off of a junior campaign which saw him average 16 points and 5 boards.

East The Panthers turned the ball over 20 times a game (19.9) and only shot 31.9% from the floor. Both numbers will have to increase if East has plans on crashing the AAC party this year.

Fitch Fitch has a pair of seniors – Anthony Pangio and Dominic DiFrancesco – both returning as coach Brian Beany likes what he has seen out of his team this off-season.

Howland Coach Jason Lee may have lost Julian Lanier but he has a wealth of support returning such as Luciano Romeo, Connor Antinone and Victor Williams just to name a few.

Lakeside The Dragons enter the All-American Conference in their initial campaign.

Poland Three years in a row, the Bulldogs have won or shared their league championship. Coach Ken Grisdale’s bunch should have an opportunity for a fourth straight with Jared Burkert, Mike Gajdos, Matt Baker and Jake Burns all back in the fold.

Warren Harding Harding returns seniors Gabe Simpson and Shakem Johnson from last year’s 20-win team. Oh yeah, the state’s highest rated junior (Derek Culver) also is back to cause mayhem near the bucket.

2015-16 Schedule

Nov. 27 – Liberty, 7

Dec. 1 – at Warren Harding, 7

Dec. 8 – at Canfield, 7

Dec. 11 – East, 7

Dec. 15 – at Lakeside, 7

Dec. 18 – Niles, 7

Dec. 29 – Hudson Holiday Tournament, 6

Dec. 30 – Hudson Holiday Tournament, 6

Jan. 5 – at Howland, 7

Jan. 12 – Poland, 7

Jan. 15 – Warren Harding, 7

Jan. 16 – at Louisville, 7:30

Jan. 19 – at Fitch, 7

Jan. 22 – Canfield, 7

Jan. 26 – at East, 7

Jan. 29 – Lakeside, 7

Feb. 2 – at Poland, 7

Feb. 5 – Howland, 7

Feb. 9 – at Edgewood, 7

Feb. 12 – Cardinal Mooney, 7

Feb. 13 – Salem, 7

Feb. 19 – Fitch, 7

Post-Season History

State Championships: None

Regional Championships: 2 (1970, 1929)

…In Boardman’s last 18 playoff games, the Spartans have only been able to win three of those matchups. Their last trip to the districts was in 2001.

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