Tim Debevec, the head coach of the Jackson Polar Bears spoke with Sam and Brad Monday after their state championship clinching win over Moeller 39-38 in Columbus.
Tim Debevec, head coach of the Jackson Polar Bears boys' basketball team caught up with Sam and Brad on a Feel Good Friday to talk about his team's 80-59 win over Medina.
The Polar Bears advance to the Regional Final to take on Toledo St. John.
Tom McBride, head boys basketball coach of the Lake Blue Streaks spoke with Sam Bourquin and Brad Russell to talk about the matchup tonight between his squad and Garfield Heights tonight in the Regionals.
Brian Dawson, head coach of the Kenmore Cardinals previewed tonight's playoff matchup between themselves and the Buchtel Griffins tonight.
Dru Joyce II, the head coach of the STVM Fighting Irish joined the Sam and Brad Show Thursday to talk about the win last night over Alliance 91-54.
The districts are now here in high school basketball and the Copley Indians will be taking on the Jackson Polar Bears in the Division I district semifinals at the Canton Memorial Civic Center.
Mark Dente, the head coach of the Indians boys' basketball team spoke with Sam and Brad Tuesday to talk about the psyche of his team heading into the matchup with the Polar Bears.
For the full interview with Coach Dente, click here.
The Coventy Comets will be preparing for a tough Kenmore Cardinals team in the Sectional Finals tonight at 7 p.m.
First-year head coach for the Comets Mike DiFalco spoke with Sam and Brad on game day to talk about his team, their road to the tournament, and the challenge from Kenmore.
Hoban head basketball coach TK Griffith spoke with Sam and Brad Friday to talk about the team as they head into their game with Padua Fransiscan tonight.
For the full interview, click here.
Steve White, the head coach of the Buchtel Griffins, spoke with Sam and Brad Wednesday ahead of the City Series Boys Basketball Championship Friday with the Ellet Orangemen.
The Barberton Magics are getting ready to hit the hardwood tonight against Kent Roosevelt in a Suburban League tilt.
The Magics will be getting ready to head to Copley for a playoff matchup against the Indians in March.
Head coach for Barberton Jack Greynolds Jr says things are going well in the Magic City for his team.
For the full interview, click here.
Head coach of the Copley Indians Mark Dente spoke with Sam Bourquin and Brad Russell Tuesday to talk about his team's seeding in the upcoming state tournament in the Division I Canton district.
The undefeated Indians will take on Aurora tonight in a Suburban League contest.
For the full interview, click here.
Tim Rogers, reporter for various media outlets in the area spoke with Sam Bourquin and Brad Russell Monday about the seedings in the upcoming boys basketball tournament.
A lot of the focus is placed on the Canton Division I district with a bevy of tough teams out there.
For the full interview, click here.
Mark Fisher, the head coach of the Ellet Orangemen spoke with Sam and Brad Friday to talk about his team heading into their matchup tonight with Massillon.
Copley head basketball coach Mark Dente spoke with Sam and Brad Friday to talk about his undefeated squad taking on Highland tonight.
Coach Dente also talked about the tournament drawings as well.
For the full interview, click here.
The Mogadore Wildcats have had a successfull 2016-17 and will look to continue that success as they wind down the regular season and get ready for the tournament.
Russ Swartz, head basketball coach of the Wildcats spoke with Sam Bourquin and Brad Russell Thursday afternoon.
The Wildcats are in first place in the PTC County Division.
Head coach of the STVM Fighting Irish Dru Joyce II spoke with Sam and Brad Tuesday ahead of their matchup with the Knights of Archbishop Hoban.
Head boys basketball coach of the Buchtel Griffins Steve White talked about garnering his 300th win of his career over the weekend, as well as tonight's matchup with Kenmore.
White said his team is focused on getting better each and every day, holding each other accountable.
For the full interview, click here.
STVM Fighting Irish head basketball coach Dru Joyce II spoke about his team's matchup with Ellet Thursday night.
Also Dru weighed in on Cavs' superstar and one of his former players, LeBron James not getting foul calls during the course of a game.
Mark Fisher, head coach of the Ellet Orangemen spoke with Sam Thursday to talk about his ballclub heading into the holidays.
The boys are 6-0 on the young season heading into the holiday tournaments.
Buchtel head boys basketball coach Steve White joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about his team's play heading into the holidays.
The Griffs are 3-2 on the year and will face Stubenville coming up.
Dru Joyce II, the head coach of the St. Vincent-St. Mary Fighting Irish boys' basketball team, spoke with Sam Bourquin to talk about his team as they wrapped up another LeBron James Classic with a win over Warren Harding.
The Revere Minutemen will be taking on the Copley Indians in a rivalry game that spans many years on the hardwood.
Revere head basketball coach Dean Rahas from Revere High School joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the matchup and his team's play so far this young season.
For the full interview, click here.
Coach Mark Dente of the Copley Indians talked with Sam Bourquin Thursday ahead of their game Friday with Revere.
The Indians are coming off a nice win over Alliance and are led by senior guard Austin Brenner, along with Jacob Williams and Brian Roberts.
For the full interview, click the link below.
STVM Athletic Director Willie McGee chatted with our own Sam Bourquin Thursday to talk about the 3rd annual LeBron James Classic basketball tournament going on this weekend at STVM High School.
For the full interview, click here.
The Barberton Magics are doing well so far this basketball season, winning their last game against Northwestern in the final game of the Greynolds Classic at the Purple Palace.
Head coach of the Magics Jackie Greynolds Jr. joined Sam Bourquin Tuesday to give us an update on his team.
For the full interview, click here.
The Tuslaw Mustangs have a new basketball coach in the fold, and that name is a familiar one in local high school basketball circles.
Lynn Wess will now be the head boys' basketball coach of the Mustangs after previously coaching at Coventry High School. Wess joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about his new opportunity and what the Pac-7 is going to be like during the season.
"You're going to see some great high school basketball (in the Pac-7) and the schools and the communites back their kids and their teams, so it'll be a nice 8 team league."
For the full interview with Coach Wess, click here.
The Massillon Tigers have a new head boys' basketball coach, and he says he's learned a lot in his previous stops on his journey to TigerTown.
Michael Cruz, the new head man for the Tigers joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about what he looks to bring to western Stark County, and some of the great mentors he's had in coaching that got him to this point.
Coach Cruz says he's ready to hit the hardwood.
"I'm very excited and very honored for the opportunity," Cruz said. "I got a chance to talk to the players yesterday, and I'm ready to get on the court and get to work."
Cruz came from Garfield Heights High School, where he worked under Sonny Johnson, one of the better high school coaches in the Cleveland area.
Cruz, 30, has also had stops at Lorain County Community College, UNC-Charlotte, Colerain HS, and most recently Garfield Heights.
He says he learned a lot at Colerain about the high school game and relating to the players.
"It taught me to be patient, it taught me a lot from a schematic standpoint," he said. "I truly believe I was meant to be at Massillon, and I'm just really excited to get started."
The Perry Panthers have a new boys basketball coach in the fold.
Chad Spurgeon was named the coach and he plans on putting his stamp on this program and teach his players the value of hard work and teamwork.
He says he's excited to return to his alma mater and hit the ground running.
"It is fun to take on something like this obviously," Spurgeon said. "The Federal League is a very good public school league, there's a great sense of pride amongst Perry people, I've heard from a lot of the alumni and the people in the town, so I'm excited."
Spurgeon previously coached at New Philadelphia high school for the past six seasons.
The St. Vincent-St Mary Fighting Irish are coming off a big win over Benedictine on Saturday, and will be heading to Columbus looking to capture another state boy's basketball championship.
Head coach of the Irish Dru Joyce II joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about his team's mentality heading to the state semifinals and what they've been doing to keep improving all season long.
"The kids are pretty focused, the practices have been good, they understand there's still a lot of work to do and the job's not done," Joyce said.
STVM will play Aiken out of Cincinnati in the state semis in Division II Thursday at 5:15pm. Coach Dru says he sees some similarites between his team and the Aiken squad.
"They're similar in size to us, and they play at a fast pace."
The Wadsworth Lady Grizzlies are making their march to Columbus in hopes of winning a state title this weekend, and it all starts with Reynoldsburg on Friday.
Andy Booth, the head coach of the Lady Grizzlies joined Sam Bourquin to talk about how the young ladies have grown game by game and are focused on one common goal: coming home with a state championship.
"Our kids have been extremely focused, the focus has been there every day in practice, and its translated to the games, so they're not just happy to be there, they want to take it all the way," he said.
He says they'll have a tough task on their hands in the state semifinals against Reynoldsburg.
"They're very athletic and they're very talented, just because you're young doesn't mean your're not a good player, and we have to be prepared Friday night."
Reynoldsburg is a young team with no seniors and a lot of their scoring coming from their sophomores, which Booth says is their main ingredient to success.
The Knights of St. Thomas Aquinas will be competing in the Regional Semis against Oberlin Wednesday night in Canton after a solid regular season and an equally good postseason run, and they're looking for more.
Matt Hackenberg, the head coach of the boys' team at St. Thomas Aquinas joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about his squad and how they're playing their best basketball as the high school hoops season winds down.
After winning their fourth straight district title against Tuslaw, Coach Hackenberg said he's proud of his team and the effort they gave.
"I thought that (district title) was the most fulfilling to be able to do it against a Tuslaw team that had the resume and the clout they had attach to the season they were having, so out of all four, that was the sweetest," he said.
He says the three-headed monster of Jacob Paul, Logan Newman, and Gino Pellegrene has been key for them in the postseason and throughout the season, and he knows he'll need them along with the rest of the contributors for the Knights as they try to reach their ultimate goal.
First things first, they have to contend with Oberlin at the Fieldhouse Wednesday evening.
"We took a close look at what Oberlin does, and we've been trying to sharpen up our ballhandling," he says.
There's going to be a big district championship matchup between the Tuslaw Mustangs and the St. Thomas Aquinas Knights at Salem H.S. in Division III Friday and there's a winning streak on the line for one of the area's top teams.
Kevin Lower, the head coach of the undefeated Mustangs joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the matchup and what he sees not only in his club, but in the Knights as well.
"This should be a great game, two programs that have been to the regionals the last few years, hopefully both teams play their best, and the fans get their money's worth," Lower said.
Coach said the Mustangs' (23-0) halfcourt defense needs to be strong, and they need to limit the Knights' points in transition.
Lower says his young men haven't thought about the streak and have the "next game up" mentality which he says is necessary for success.
"Right now we're 3-0 and to be perfect in the tournament it's 8-0 and that's all we're thinking about now."
Two of Stark County's better teams will square off at the Canton Civic Center Thursday for a right to move on in the state tournament.
North Canton Hoover head boy's basketball coach Todd Blackledge joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the Vikings' buying in to the program and playing well at the right time.
"We're excited to play tomorrow night and see if we can earn another 32 minutes," Todd said. "Our chemistry is at our best, our skill level is as good as it's been and our toughness and grit has come to the forefront here in the last couple of weeks."
The Vikings are led by seniors Eli Blackledge (Todd's son) and Nathan Fox, and coach Blackledge says there will be some challenges posed by the tough-minded McKinley Bulldogs on Thursday.
District semifinals are approaching and the undefeated Copley Indians will be preparing to face the Lake Blue Streaks on Thursday.
Mark Dente the head coach of the Indians joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about Tom McBride's team and what the young men can expect from the Blue Streaks in a couple of days.
"It's a tough district semifinal, no doubt about it," says Dente. "It's going to be a contrast of styles, they're trying to slow the game down, we're trying to speed the game up, so we'll see what happens."
Copley (23-0) feels like they will have to keep Lake in the low 60's in order to have a chance to win at the end, and even though they are undersized, they will get after it with anybody.
Dente says he knows his young men are excited to lace em' up and bring their 'A' game against the Blue Streaks.
"They don't feel pressure, they just want to go out and just keep winning," he says.
The Kenmore Cardinals took care of business earlier in the week when they defeated Canton South 57-52 in the first round of the Division II boys' basketball sectional semifinals.
Head Coach Brian Dawson joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about his squad and how they continue to fight and scrap their way to victory.
He said what worked against Canton South was the defensive press that took them out of their offense and led to fast break points for the Cardinals.
"They rushed some shots, we were able to get some rebounds and turn them into points, plus we were aggressive offensively,"said Dawson.
Some of the players who have been key for Kenmore all season long include seniors Deon'ta Collins, Erik Palmer, and Deneris Hopkins, among others.
The Cardinals will take on Norton in the next round of the playoffs. The two teams played earlier in the year, with Kenmore taking a 59-50 victory.
"To be honest with you, this game is a 50-50 toss up, if we play, we can win, if we don't, Norton can surely beat us," Dawson said.
The Hoban Knights have had a bit of a layoff before tournament play, but they are looking to make some moves and make a deep run.
Head coach of the Archbishop Hoban boys' squad T.K. Griffith joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about his team needing to be on the same page heading into the second season.
"Right now we're just trying to get everybody together, get that coheisiveness, that basketball need to be successful, and hopefully come back with that same chemistry we used to get a couple of nice wins earlier in the year," he said.
Griffith says he's confident in his squad regardless if his team faces either Firestone or Nordonia (who play tonight).
"I feel a ton better about our guys right now, because we had some good practices this week," he said.
Tournament time in the high school ranks is here and one of the Akron City Series' household names will be prepared for the slate ahead of them.
Steve White, the head coach of the Buchtel Griffins joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about the makeup of his team and what's been going on with the Griffs on the hardwood.
He says he and his team will do some scouting tonight as Tallmadge will be playing Alliance, and then Buchtel will play the winner of that matchup either Friday or Monday.
He says his team is starting to play their best basketball heading into the tournament.
"We got better as the season went along," White explained. "You always hear Coach (Keith) Dambrot say, 'Just get better, just get better,' and that's what we've been doing, we beat a very good CVCA team Saturday night here at Buchtel, and we've just been getting better."
He (White) says that he thinks his team can survive and advance, they just have to come to play when the game lights come on.
He also says his team's confidence is high and that they can go toe-to-toe with anyone if they play their game.
The Jackson Polar Bears have put the cap on an impressive 2015-16 campaign, and they are ready for a deep run in the Division I State Basketball Tournament.
Tim Debevec of the Jackson Polar Bears joined Sam Bourquin Show on Monday to talk about how his club has done this season, and how their challenging out-of-conference slate has helped them get ready to face some tough teams in D-I.
"I thought we had a tremendous year with the schedule we had, the non-league schedule, it was disappointing not to win the (Federal) League this year, but at least we won a share, and we'll be ready for the tournament," Debevec explained.
Led by young men like Kyle Young and Logan Hill, the Polar Bears have been coming on strong, but coach Debevec says the fun starts now.
"We're excited about it, and hopefully we can make a long tournament run."
The Copley Indians are now 22-0 on the season after their defeat of Green last weekend, a big boost for his squad as they head into the playoffs.
Mark Dente, the head coach of the Copley Indians' boys basketball team joined the Sam Bourquin Show Monday to talk about the season, preparing for the playoffs, and the special group of young men who made this season special.
"It was definitely pretty exciting," said Dente. "I mean obivously it's something you dream about, but don't ever expect to have happen."
He said it was special to be able to get the seniors a standing ovation as they walked off the court, and that by beating Green, who is a tough opponent, served as an exciting conclusion to a special regular season for the Indians.
Dente said the home crowds at Copley have been great and he appreciates the support of the community and the student body throughout this season. The Indians have East coming up Wednesday, and he knows they're going to get the Dragons' best effort.
He says that the kids have done a great job handling their business on the court, and that they are prepared for tournament play.
"I sense that this (22-0) is not enough for them, and I know they're going to be ready for the tournament."
The Tuslaw Mustangs boys basketball team made history last night, defeating Hoban 56-36 to move on to 22-0 on the regular season, the only team in Stark County history to do so.
Coach Kevin Lower joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the win and what it means to the Tuslaw community to pick up win #22.
"It was a heck of a game, for two teams, and for us to finish 22-0, it was a great feeling," said Lower.
Coach Lower said he was nervous initially about the Hoban pressure and athletic ability, but he was glad his team was able to come out with the win.
He said his group has done a great job taking care of business game in and game out.
"We have 9 seniors and 7 of them play significant minutes, so we're led by them, and they know the expectations I have, and we're on the same page," Lower explained.
Tuslaw will be competing in the Salem District of the Division III state tournament, taking on Waterloo at home on Tuesday. But Coach Lower knows there will be some challenges down the road, but he says his squad will be prepared for whatever lies ahead.
The Canton Central Catholic Crusaders are making progress throughout the season, gutting out wins despite injury and illness.
Coach Matt Creamer joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about his hoop squad ahead of their matchup tonight against fellow Stark County nemesis Perry.
"It's going to be an emotional backyard rivalry type game," Creamer said.
He said that if his team plays to their strengths, they can compete against anybody.
"We seem to do things methodically and by design to stay in the game, so if we have quailty ball possessions andget some stops defensively, we can beat a lot of teams."
The Crusaders will play Perry tonight and wrap things up against Northwest for Senior Night.
Friday night the Canton McKinley Bulldogs will be taking on St. Vincent-St. Mary in their regular-season finale at the Fieldhouse before tournament play begins.
Head coach of the Bulldogs' boys basketball team Rick Hairston joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about his team being prepared for the Irish and how his team is coming together on the hardwood.
"We got a lot done today," coach Hairston said. "We went through a little stretch where it was pretty tough for us."
The Bulldogs lost to Hoover and Lake, losing their shot at winning the Federal League title, but have reeled off five wins in a row, including an 89-74 win over Warren Harding most recently.
When it comes to STVM, Hairston says the young men are excited to play the Irish and are prepared for the challenge ahead.
"They're an outstanding ball club, they shoot it very well, and they're very athletic," said Hairston. "We just have to make sure we get out and guard the perimeter."
The Lake Blue Streaks are co-Federal League Champs, and they are playing solid basketball heading down the stretch of the regular season.
Tommy McBride, the heac coach of the boys' team at Lake, joined the Sam Bourquin Show Monday to talk about his club and what they've been doing this season.
"We've been really engaged, "said McBride. "We've had sophomores playing like juniors and seniors playing like college players, and when that happens, magical things take place."
The Blue Streaks are co-champions along with Jackson High School. They will have two big matchups with Louisville High School on Tuesday and Firestone High School on Friday.
McBride says the Blue Streaks are riding the hot shooting hand of Chandler Vaudrin, and he says that along with Vaudrin, some of the other young men are stepping up their collective game.
The Buchtel Griffins are coming off a big win over Firestone earlier in the week, and will have another stiff challenge ahead of them Friday night when they take on East.
Steve White, the head coach of the Griffs joined the Sam Bourquin Show Thursday to talk about his squad, their standing in the City Series, and the young men who have done their job on the hardwood.
The Griffins beat the Falcons 80-74 on Tuesday evening.
"I was very proud of the kids," White said. "We shot 80 percent from the free throw line, and we did a good job with our half court press."
Coach White says he likes the makeup of his team and their unselfishness on the court shows on game night.
"You never know what's going to happen, you never know who's going to step forward," he said.
The Firestone Falcons are 12-5 overall and are 5-1 in the City Series heading into their big matchup with the Buchtel Griffins tonight.
Head coach of the boys basketball team at Firestone Dave Milo joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about his team's chemistry and their strengths heading into the home stretch of the regular season.
Milo said outside of chemistry athleticism and unselfishness are two things that make his team a solid contender for the City Series title.
"This is just a good group of kids," Milo explained.
Led by seniors Raybon Lewis, Jaylin Moore, Kylan Richburg, Israel Spear, and junior Tre'Maine Gray, the Falcons head into their game with Buchtel with a lot of momentum, coming off a big win the the city against Ellet.
Area high school basketball scores from Friday, January 29:
Brecksville 54, Nordonia 39
Canton McKinley 68, GlenOak 55
Copley 86, Tallmadge 71
Coventry 61, Streetsboro 59
Firestone 90, Ellet 73
Garfield 74, East 65
Highland 52, Aurora 47
Hudson 68, Cuyahoga Falls 44
Kenmore 76, Buchtel 74 (overtime)
Kent Roosevelt 62, Revere 48
Lake 55, Jackson 39
Mogadore 56, Southeast 45
Hoover 49, Green 45
North Royalton 45, Wadsworth 31
Norton 93, Ravenna 60
Springfield 61, Cloverleaf 48
St. Thomas Aquinas 63, Garfield Heights Trinity 55
Stow 61, Twinsburg 32
Walsh Jesuit 55, Archbishop Hoban 48
Woodridge 65, Field 58
The Jackson Polar Bears are coming off a win against Green on Friday and will have a couple of solid Federal League matchups against Hoover and Lake.
Tim Debevec, the head coach of the Polar Bears' boys basketball team joined the Sam Bourquin Show Monday to talk about his squad and the grind that is the Federal League.
"We're playing well right now ,we have to play better defense, you can't give up 60 like we did against Green, but we scored 81, so we're doing well offensively."
On Tuesday, the Polar Bears will take on the Hoover Vikings, led by coach Todd Blackledge. Debevec says he knows his team will have its hands full with Hoover.
"They have Eli (Blackledge,coach's son), and they have a good group of shooters to go along with him."
The tip between Jackson and Hoover is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Coach Tim says you have to be ready to battle in the Federal League week in and week out.
"It's kind of bunched up there at the top, it's a great league, and we'll be ready to go tomorrow night."
The Archbishop Hoban Knights boys' basketball team has been off and rolling in the new year, but there will be plenty of challenges moving forward.
TK Griffith, the head coach of the Knights joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about how his 12-1 Knights are doing.
"Im proud of what these guys have done, we're not very big, our tallest player is 6 foot 2 or 6 foot 3, and if we play the right way we can beat anybody," he says.
After an opening loss to Youngstown Ursuline, the Knights have reeled off 12 wins in a row, beating teams like Walsh Jesuit and Western Reserve Academy along the way.
The Knights will take on Notre Dame Cathedral Latin tonight before squaring off with Benedictine January 26.
Coach Griffith likes the balance both offensively and defensively of his team, and with six players at or near double figures, he likes the makeup of his team.
The Walsh Jesuit Warriors boys' basketball team will have a tough stretch of games to close out the regular season and with a young team, their mettle will be tested.
This week, they will have a challenging slate with Benedictine on Friday and Brunswick on Sunday in the Dunk for Diabetes basketball tournament down at Walsh University in North Canton.
John Norris, the head coach of the Warriors came on the Sam Bourquin Show Thursday to talk about his team buying in, working hard, and striving to succeed in practice and on game night.
Coach Norris says his team will be ready for whatever challenges this latest stretch will bring.
"I think a lot of things build off our philosophy for our team," he said. "What do we want to do offensively, defensively, those aspects don't change, but we fit our team to our strengths."
The Warriors are led by seniors Mitch Peterson, who is committed to play basketball at Kent State University next season, as well as senior guard Joe Iacobacci. Coach Norris says both young men have earned some freedom on the court, and have continued to lead and make plays.
There will be some fantastic basketball being played on the campus of Walsh University on Sunday for the fifth annual Dunk For Diabetes basketball tournament.
Tournament founder and director Chas Wolfe joined the Sam Bourquin Show Wednesday to talk about the tournament and the special meaning behind it as well.
"This is something close to me, my dad is a diabetic, and we want to raise awareness of that," Wolfe said. "Plus I'm a college basketball scout, so I was looking to get the best high school talent from around the country in the gym, and we've got a pretty good docket this year, so I'm excited for it."
There are 6 games on tap for Sunday, with over 25 college prospects playing throughout the day. Some of the local teams that will be in action include Walsh Jesuit, Ellet, and Green.
For more information, go to www.dunk4diabetes.com