Eagles look to upset Rossford in key NBC matchup

Yaneek Smith

Press Sports Editor

If Eastwood basketball is to have any chance at winning the Northern Buckeye Conference, it will probably have the run the table in league play.
Winners of five straight games, the Eagles are 10-4 and 7-2 in the conference, two games behind Rossford, which is 13-3 (9-0). Genoa sits in second with an 11-4 (8-1) record.
If Eastwood can defeat Rossford on Tuesday and the Comets beat the Bulldogs on Feb. 17 in the season finale, the three teams — assuming they win all over their league games — will be in a three-way tie for first place.
It’s unlikely, but as Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) said in the movie “Dumb & Dumber, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
Rossford won the first matchup with the Eagles, 65-47, behind 28 points from Brenden Revels and star center Derek Vorst, who is 6-9 and is getting looks from a bevy of Division I colleges, finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Last year, Eastwood won both matchups on its way to winning the league championship
“Vorst can be a dominant player on the inside. Our game plan was to double him, and Rebels ended up with 28 points, so that’s a testament to how deep they are and how many really solid players they have. Rebels and (Jake) Morrison are great going to the hole; they’re a really solid team,” said Eastwood coach Jason Faykosh. “We’ve got our work cut out for us. They’re a very deep team; they’re undefeated in the league, and there’s a reason for it.
“When we lost our two league games, we said that it’s probably not realistic that we could win the league, but it doesn’t mean we stop trying. Our goal is to be playing our best basketball late in the season,” Faykosh said.
Rossford has a chance to go undefeated in the league for the first time in NBC history. When Faykosh played for Eastwood in 2009, the Eagles won the Suburban Lakes League with a perfect record at 14-0.
Eastwood is playing very well, having won five straight games. The Eagles’ best player, Case Boos, recently returned from an ankle injury and was a force, scoring 36 points in a 63-34 win over Otsego.
He made seven 3-pointers and helped the Eagles take a 34-12 lead at the half.
“We’ve had some guys step up and get more minutes than they were used to, and they stepped up and rose to the occasion,” said Faykosh. “We never want an injury, but in the end, it will be a good thing because some guys had to take on some larger roles.”
Another highlight of the win streak was a 76-72 win in double overtime over Woodmore. In that game, Brady Weaver scored 32 points, including 12 in the extra sessions, and Noah Smith finished with 17 points, including four 3-pointers.
In the 41-31 win over Elmwood, Brady and Weaver led all scorers with 13 points apiece.
“Brady Weaver stepped up huge against Woodmore; he was really dominant inside. Against Lake, he couldn’t get it going finishing around the rim and shot it well from the 3-point line,” said Faykosh. “He can score it in different ways. We told him to be more aggressive and that we need more points out of him, and he did it efficiently.
“Noah Smith is probably the best shooter on our team. He can be streaky, but when his first shot goes in, you can rely on three or four going in. We have to get some penetration from him; he can’t just be a spot-up shooter. He’s been a solid defender for us. Both of those guys took a step up (during Boos’ absence) and we got a positive response from both of those guys,” he said.
Faykosh also credited Tristan Schuerman for his efforts.
“He fits the role of unsung hero; he’s constantly diving on the floor for loose balls,” said Faykosh. “We ask him to guard the other team’s best scorer, and he’s been shooting the ball pretty well, too. He’s not a huge scorer, but he does a lot of the little things. He’s someone that teams have to plan for because you can’t leave him open with how he’s been shooting it.”
As is the case with any rookie coach, there can be a learning curve. Faykosh is confident in his ability to reach the players with 14 games under his belt.
“I think the players are becoming more aware of my coaching style and what I expect of them,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of help from previous coaches and my coaches with all the input and advice they’ve given me. It’s been a fairly easily transition from JV to varsity. It’s been enjoyable.”


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association