MCDONALD - Ever see a play epitomize a team's entire game?
It happened early in Tuesday night's third quarter.
A McDonald player missed a foul shot and the rebound was secured by a Western Reserve player. As the hosts began jogging back on defense, the Reserve player pivoted and attempted a layup.
At the wrong basket.
Luckily (in the small scheme of things) the ball did not go in, just like it had failed to go in on 31 of WR's 40 field-goal attempts in the first three quarters. This battle of Blue Devils was anything but, as McDonald left little doubt as to the outcome of the contest from the onset. Coach Jeff Rasile's club jumped out to a 21-3 lead and coasted to an 86-47 victory.
"The last two games we've played so much harder than our first two games (against Girard and Mineral Ridge)," Rasile said. "Once we get into the mindset that we're always going to play hard then we can come in and worry about other aspects of coaching. Our great teams in the past always played hard."
McDonald improved to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the Inter Tri-County League, Division II. Reserve dropped to 0-2, 0-2.
Hard play and good play is a tough combination to beat, as the visiting Devils found out. McDonald scored the first eight points and led 29-9 after a quarter. McDonald missed just 1 of 9 field goals in the frame and sunk 12 of 14 foul shots. Both teams were shooting in the bonus during the opening frame with McDonald in double-bonus mode. Ken Greaver had eight points in the frame, Anthony Pugh four assists and Jake Reckard three steals.
Things were equally as bad for Reserve in the second frame, which ended with McDonald in front 53-16. Western Reserve, which struggled with the full-court press all night, had 12 of its 33 turnovers in the quarter.
"Our main concern was making completions tonight," said Western Reserve coach Patsy Daltorio. "We wanted to use our size to get through the press. We beat ourselves early. Trust me, McDonald is a very good team with lots of talented players. But our lack of experience really showed."
Reserve has had just six practices together as half of its roster consists of football players who did not join the team until after the state semifinals.
McDonald continued its onslaught in the third quarter and led 72-26 heading to the final eight minutes.
"We still have a lot of areas to clean up," Rasile said. "We had some silly turnovers that we can't have against good teams like Wellsville, Mineral Ridge (which handed the Devils their lone loss). But we don't want to peak on December 17. We want to do it in February and March for the tournament."
McDonald finished 25 of 59 from the floor and 32 of 41 from the line. Matt Seitz, who came in averaging 31 points, shared game-high honors with Greaver, each finishing with 18 points and nine rebounds. Pugh added 14 points and Reckard six steals. Tristen Bova and Nick Tobin paced Western Reserve with 10 points apiece while Joe Falasca pulled down 10 boards.