December 17, 2011


Trojans on track

Off to strong 3-1 start after knocking off J-E

Homer Central boys seem to have found the right formula for success four games into the basketball season.
With three players scoring in double figures, to go along with good support from the bench, the Trojans improved to 3-1 overall with a 54-42 OHSL Liberty Division win over visiting Jordan-Elbridge Friday night.
Casey Cleary, Brent Quinlan and Jayden Gavidia each netted 10 points — a season-high point production by Gavidia — as the Trojans evened their record at 1-1 in league play. The team bounced back nicely from a loss to Bishop Grimes that opened up Liberty Division play two nights earlier on this same court.
“We played pretty well tonight,” Homer second-year head coach Sean Malone said after sending the winless Eagles home with an 0-1 league and 0-2 overall record. “We took care of the basketball and forced J-E to play our game by pressuring them. Everyone who came off the bench and played gave us valuable minutes. We played a ‘team’ game all night.
“Balanced scoring seems to be the key for our success when we win games,” he continued. “Guys are starting to make the extra pass and it is proving to be the difference in our wins compared to our losses. We shot the ball well and rebounded when we had to. Overall it was a great win and another step forward for our program.”
Homer raced to a 21-13 lead in the first quarter and kept on pulling away during second quarter play. A 17-9 advantage allowed the Trojans to build a 38-22 halftime cushion. The Eagles chipped away a little in the third quarter with a 13-6 scoring edge, but the Trojans won the fourth quarter and the game.
“Cleary handled the pressure great tonight,” Malone said of his junior guard’s ability to take care of the basketball against J-E’s defense. “Quinlan was an monster down low.”
The Trojans also made a handful of 3-pointers in the win, Austin Recor and Gavidia with a couple of treys apiece. Cody Lewis scored a game-high 13 points to lead Jordan-Elbridge, with teammate Leland Holmes also in double figures with 11.
As for his team’s next outing, Malone is busy prepping already. “We are now 3-1 and looking forward to a big challenge Tuesday at Bishop Ludden,” he said.
HOMER JVs dropped to 2-2 after a tough loss to Jordan-Elbridge in the opening game, the Eagles prevailing 58-51.
“We played a physical game and Jake Hayes did a great job shutting down their best player,” Homer coach Jeff Tabel said. “Darius Stevens came off the bench for us and played good defense while rebounding well.”
Hayes led the Trojan scorers with 20 points. Nicholas Holcomb helped out with 12 points while Connor Simonetta collected eight points.
Homer starts Tuesday trip to Bishop Ludden with a 6 p.m. tipoff.


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