Smith sparks Shenango victory
Shenango (61) Vs. Ellwood City (44)
Ryan Smith continues to dominate from beyond the arc.

Smith, the Shenango High senior guard, buried six 3-point field goals en route to a 28-point performance in the Wildcats’ 61-44 nonsection victory over visiting Ellwood City Lincoln.

“I’m hoping (it continues) until the end of the year,” Shenango coach Bob McQuiston said on Smith’s hot streak to open the season. “He’s shooting the ball well. The guys are getting him the ball and he’s shooting with a lot of confidence right now. I’m sure there will be a lot of teams trying to tighten down on him when we get to section play.”

Brenton Booher followed with 17 points for Shenango (3-0) and James Micco contributed 11 points. Christian O’Hara was the only other Wildcat to score, adding five points.

Ellwood City (0-4) got a big boost from Nick Ioanilli, who totaled 14 points. The junior connected on all eight of his free throw attempts. Ricie Scott tallied nine points and D.J. Barrett posted eight points, six coming from 3-point range.

The Wolverines were keeping pace with Shenango, trailing by only seven points heading into the final quarter. A 17-7 showing by the Wildcats was sparked by their defensive effort and shut the door on a comeback.

“I thought the kids really stepped up the intensity in the fourth quarter,” McQuiston said. “We did a good job challenging their shooters. Sometimes you’re hitting shots and that’s what happened. We were able to get a few stops and capitalize at the other end.”

Shenango is off to its best start since the 2006-2007 season, when it started 3-0 by winning the Neshannock Tipoff Tournament and defeating Freedom. That team went onto reach the PIAA playoffs.

The Wildcats now shift their focus to tomorrow night’s WPIAL Section 1-AA matchup at Neshannock.

“They’re playing hard right now and tonight was a good win,” McQuiston said. “Neshannock is always tough at home. They have a good team, they’re well-coached and it’s a good atmosphere. I know their fans will be going crazy, our fans will be going crazy. So it will be a good matchup.”
Game Scoreboard
Shenango 15 11 18 17 0 61
Ellwood City 10 12 15 7 0 44
Box Scores
Nick D’Itri 0 0-0 0
Ricie Scott 3 2-3 9
D.J. Barrett 3 0-0 8
Nino Greco 1 0-2 2
Nick Ioanilli 3 8-8 14
Brady Kosior 1 1-1 3
Rick Roth 3 0-0 6
Anthony Roth 0 2-2 2
Angelo Williams 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 17 13-16 44.

Brenton Booher 7 2-5 17
Ryan Smith 10 2-3 28
Christian O’Hara 2 0-0 5
Matt Benson 0 0-0 0
Hunter Miller 0 0-0 0
Paul Turco 0 0-0 0
Vinny Turco 0 0-0 0
James Micco 4 3-5 11.
Totals: 23 7-13 61.
ELLWOOD CITY 10 12 15 7 — 44
SHENANGO 15 11 18 17 — 61
3-point goals — Shenango 8 (Booher 1, Smith 6, O’Hara 1), Ellwood City 3 (Scott 1, Barrett 2).
JV score: Ellwood City 65, Shenango 55 High scorer: EC — D.J. Barrett 13, S — Ryan Conner 19.
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