Defense keys Wildcats’ win over Western
Shenango (61) Vs. Western Beaver (47)
Shenango High boys basketball coach Bob McQuiston had a plan for last night’s game against Western Beaver.

He needed to keep the Golden Beavers’ top two scorers under 20 points, and the Wildcats had to cut down on their turnovers.

That didn’t happen in the first half, so he looked to his bench for help, and he got it. Vinny Fiorilli and Pat Lunn came of the bench to help spark a big comeback as Shenango toppled Western Beaver, 61-47, in a nonsection showdown.

Lunn and Fiorilli held Eric Blinn and Nick Miller, the Golden Beavers’ two main scoring threats, to six and 11 points, respectively.

McQuiston said the intensity on the defensive end was vital in the second half for the Wildcats (2-1), who trailed Western Beaver (1-2) by 11 at halftime.

“I thought our guards really stepped up defensively in the second half and got after it on defense,” McQuiston said. “We had a couple of guys, Vinny Fiorilli and Pat Lunn, come of the bench and give us a big spark. They were all over the place defensively.”

Jeff Williams provided the punch on offense, scoring 20 of his game-high 22 in the second half. Mike Linz kept Shenango in striking distance with 14 of his 15 in the first two quarters. Williams and Linz also each grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds as well, while Brett Chieze added 10 points and nine boards. Their contributions, and Shenango reducing its amount of turnovers from 10 to five in the second half, keyed a 22-6 run in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory.

“The thing that l like is that we were down 11 at halftime, and we could’ve quit, but they stepped up,” McQuiston said. “We took care of the ball and we really crashed the glass, we had 50 rebounds. I think they had 28 total.

“I’m really proud of the effort. A lot of team might have cashed it in down 11, but our seniors really got the kids fired up at halftime and came out strong in the second half.”

Jordan O’Hara added 12 for Shenango.

Game Scoreboard
Shenango 13 13 13 22 0 61
Western Beaver 17 20 4 6 0 47
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