COPLEY: The Barberton boys basketball team took Copley’s best shot Tuesday night and bounced back with its own.
Joshua Williams and his Magics teammates didn’t let a 10-point deficit after one quarter crush their spirits.
Instead, the visiting Magics rallied behind strong efforts from Williams and Nate Painter to earn a 67-60 victory.
Williams, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, scored 26 points and had five assists, both game highs, and also grabbed four rebounds to lead the Magics (2-0) over the Indians (0-2).
Painter, a 6-foot-3 senior, had 21 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two blocks.
“Coming in we knew that this would be a wild environment and we wanted to settle things down,” said Williams, who holds a scholarship offer from the University of Akron. “Towards the end we were able to do just that. I was able to create for my teammates.”
Copley led 22-12 after one quarter, but Barberton outscored Copley 35-18 in the middle quarters to hold a 47-40 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Senior Scott Sabol made two 3-pointers in the third to help the Magics erase the deficit.
“We are a veteran team and we are not very deep, but the guys that we do have out there have been through a lot of battles before,” Barberton coach Ken Rector said. “You just could tell during timeouts and even when things were not going our way, Scotty missing some shots, Josh making turnovers, those kinds of things, there was no look in their eyes like they were not going to be able to get the job done. We have put a lot in faith in those five or six guys and they believe in each other, which is a big thing.”
Williams scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, and Painter added eight to seal the win.
“My game plan was just to play off of my teammates and not make mistakes,” Painter said. “I wanted to play smart, move the ball and basically be fundamentally sound.”
Senior Kenny Paramore paced Copley with 14 points and five rebounds. Junior Todd Williams added 11 points and five steals.
“I told the boys after the game that the only positive we can take out of being 0-2 is that they are both non-league games,” Copley coach Mark Dente said. “Our league schedule starts on Friday night at Nordonia, the defending Suburban League champions. So it doesn’t get any easier. We need to come Friday night ready to play and put these past two games behind us.”
Indians seniors DeAire Andrew and Jayln Tyler both scored 10 points. Andrew also had seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks.
“We are definitely athletic and we are a little longer than we were last year,” Dente said. “We are a little bigger with more 6-2 and 6-3 guys, but unfortunately we struggled to put the ball in the basket. Not just jumpers were missed, we also missed layups and our free-throw shooting has been atrocious. We have got to improve on that.”
Williams finished 12-of-14 from the free-throw line.
Magics seniors Jerry Williams (seven points and nine rebounds) and Andrew Daniels (five points and eight rebounds) provided a presence inside.
“Scotty, he could miss 10 in a row and our guys are going to throw it to him every time because he is that good of a shooter,” Rector said. “It goes back to that faith thing. There was no doubt that eventually his shots would fall. When Nate and Scotty are making shots, Josh is getting to the basket and our bigs [Jerry Williams and Daniels] are scoring inside, we are pretty good.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.