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
The Dunk for Diabetes Tournament will be going on Sunday, complete with six games and three local teams participating.
One of the teams is the Ellet Orangemen and coach Mark Fisher joined the Sam Bourquin Show Wednesday to talk about their game against Warren Harding, as well as their crucial City Series Matchup with Buchtel.
Coach Fisher says that their matchup with Harding should be an exciting one for the fans and his team.
"We're going to try and put our best foot forward and be prepared for a good Warren Harding team," Fisher says. "We don't know too much about them, but we know they have some good athletes."
The Orangemen are paced by 6 foot 8 forward A.J. Gerari, and have a few more solid players who have had experience playing in big games.
The high school basketball season is in the middle of January, and there's just a little bit of time left before the postseason starts.
Tim Cole, the head coach of the Springfield Spartans boys' basketball team joined the Sam Bourquin Show and talked about how his first season is going with the Spartans.
"The kids have bought in, they're having a lot of fun, the parents have bought in, and every day they (the players) are coming in , ready to work hard, and they're enjoying it."
The Spartans have been relying on senior post player Jordan McLane to provide not only hustle and muscle, but also be a leader for his teammates on the floor.
He's really learned how to make his teammates better," said Cole of McLane.
The Spartans have games coming up against Streetsboro at home on Friday as well as Ravenna and Cloverleaf next week.
After the Blue Streaks' 18-point win over the Green Bulldogs recently, Tom McBride and the Lake boys' basketball team is playing loose and having fun.
Tommy Mac joined the Sam Bourquin Show Thursday to talk about how his young men have responded to adversity and how they plan on making some noise in the Federal League.
"We grind it out," McBride said. "I like the fact we bought into the program and execute, Green was trying different things and we grinded it out for an 18-point win."
The Blue Streaks are preaching player accountability, toughness and picking up your teammate, things that each team, including Lake, will be executing from this part of the season, on.
"I think that's been a big growth in our program, more of the things off the floor more so than on the floor."
The Blue Streaks will play the Massillon Tigers Friday and the GlenOak Golden Eagles on Tuesday.
Jackson and McKinley will tip things off in boys' high school hoops tomorrow, in what is expected to be a very good matchup of two well-coached and disciplined teams.
Coach Rick Hairston of Canton McKinley joined the Sam Bourquin Show Thursday to talk about the game and how his team is doing so far this young season.
Hairston says senior star LePear Toles is expected to play against the Polar Bears despite sustaining a brusied knee in the game against Green at the Canton Memorial Fieldhouse.
"He's going to be fine," Hairston said. "He made a visit to the doctor, and he shoud be good to go."
Speaking about the Polar Bears, Coach Hairston says that they'll face a stiff challenge from Jackson.
"Tim Debevec does a beautiful job of getting his kids to play the way, the style he wants them to play," he said. "They play the way we do, they press, they have lots of talent."
For the Jackson Polar Bears themselves, Coach Debevec (who also joined the Sam Bourquin Show) said that his players will have to bring their best effort against the Bulldogs Friday night at home.
"We're excited for that, we've been practicing well,and we should be ready."
"They (McKinley) have a lot of depth, lot of skill, we just have to go execute and see what happens."