Local Sports

Monday, February 04, 2013

Boys basketball: Trojans overpower Cleveland East Tech
By DAVE HANNEMAN

sTAFF WRITER

Austin Gutting and Joseph Davidson were wearing different uniforms on Saturday than the ones they wore last August when Findlay beat Cleveland East Tech in football.

Their style of play, though, was similar.

Gutting and Davidson provided the inside muscle Findlay needed on Saturday, combining for 45 points and 20 rebounds as the Trojans defeated a talented East Tech team 61-52 in a nonleague matchup at Findlay High.

"It was pretty bruising," said Gutting, a 6-foot-3, 236-pound junior who played defensive end, linebacker and fullback on the football team.

When he peels off the blue and gold uniform, Gutting says there's plenty of black and blue underneath.

"Pretty much every morning, but I'm used to it," Gutting said. "(East Tech) is definitely strong and athletic, so we knew we had to stay strong with the ball. We'd had a couple of losses in a row and we needed a lift."

Gutting, who had 20 points and 10 rebounds in Friday's loss to Toledo St. John's, had his second double-double, scoring 30 points and grabbing 14 rebounds against East Tech.

Davidson, a 6-7 senior who was a receiver, defensive back and punter on the football field, scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds.

East Tech entered the game with four double-figure scorers spearheading a potent offense averaging almost 75 points a game. After falling behind early, the Scarabs staged three rallies that almost earned them the lead. But Findlay answered each rally with some strong inside play by Gutting or Davidson.

"We thought we could get the ball inside against them," said FHS coach Jim Rucki. "We figured they'd be pressuring us, and if we could get some one-on-one matchups they might have a tough time stopping our post stuff. I thought we did a pretty decent job of that."

"They have football toughness. We have basketball toughness. It doesn't compare," said East Tech coach Brett Moore. "I think we have good finesse, but we need some workhorses. We weren't physical enough. That's been our problem all year."

East Tech, the No. 2-seeded team heading into the Cleveland Senate League playoffs, fell to 11-6 with the loss.

Findlay had lost three straight and four of five -- all to programs ranked among the state's top 10 teams. With Friday's 73-33 loss to No. 5-ranked Toledo St. John's dropping Findlay's record to 8-7, the Trojans needed a win -- any win -- in the worst way.

"That's exactly what I told the guys after the game," Rucki said. "We're still the same team we were yesterday. We still have a long way to go. But just for our own psyche, for our own state of mind, we needed to get that one."

East Tech trimmed a 12-4 deficit to 12-11 thanks to the hot hand of Johnell Free, who scored 10 of his team-high 13 points in the second quarter. The Scarabs twice got within three, the last time at 38-35 on Diashon Bryant's basket late in the third quarter.

Gutting ripped off 10 straight points, though, including the first two baskets of the fourth quarter when junior guard Michael Clark penetrated, then dished off to Gutting underneath for two of his seven assists.

With East Tech overplaying on every possession, Davidson showed off his receiver skills, taking off on an out-of-bounds fly pattern, catching Clark's long pass and throwing down a slam that put Findlay up 50-39. The lead never dropped below nine points the rest of the way.

East Tech did outrebound Findlay 38-31. The Scarabs also harrassed the Trojans into 16 turnovers. Good passing led to close-range shots and a 53-percent shooting night, (23 of 43) however. Findlay also got to the line, outscoring East Tech 13-4 on free throws.

"East Tech is as athletic a team as you're going to see," Rucki said. "They have quickness, and quickness is tough. A lot of teams don't see the quickness we see on a nightly basis. It's tough to deal with. It can make you all of a sudden look pretty shaky with the ball. We still made some mistakes you can't really afford to make and still win big games.

"But, I thought we executed pretty well, we battled hard on the glass, we did some good things."

Findlay's junior varsity improved to 12-4 with its sixth straight win, beating East Tech's reserves 58-42. Grant McKinniss had a team-high 11 points.



EAST TECH (11-6)

K. Taylor 5-14 1-4 12, S. Taylor 2-5 0-0 4, Croskey 3-8 0-0 6, Wilson 5-10 0-0 10, Bryant 3-7 0-0 7, Lowe 0-1 0-2 0, Free 5-16 3-6 13, Binion 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 24-63 4-12--52.

FINDLAY (9-7)

Miller 3-3 0-0 7, Clark 2-3 1-2 6, Davidson 6-11 3-4 15, Gutting 11-21 8-10 30, Buford 0-4 0-0 0, Niswander 1-1 0-0 2, Kairys 0-0 0-0 0, Gobrecht 0-0 1-2 1, Haynes 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 23-43 13-18--61.

Cleve. East Tech

4 16 15 17 -- 52

Findlay 12 19 13 17 -- 61

3-Point GOALS: East Tech 2-12 (K. Taylor 1-3, Free 0-4, Croskey 0-2, Bryant 1-2, Binion 0-1. Findlay 2-3 (Clark 1-2, Miller 1-1).

rebounds: East Tech 38 (Crosky 7, Wilson 6, Bryant 6, S. Taylor 5; Findlay 31 (Gutting 14, Davidson 6).

turnovers: East Tech 12, Findlay 16.

junior varsity: Findlay, 58-42.

Hanneman: 419-427-8408,

davehanneman@thecourier.com


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