LEETONIA - The Leetonia Bears and their coach Mark Taylor went into the locker room clearly disgruntled by Lisbon's 10-point lead at the half of Tuesday's boys basketball game.
"At halftime, We really weren't playing like we were supposed to be playing," Leetonia senior Cody Stokes said. "We knew we needed to turn it on."
What happened next for the Bears to turn the game into a 66-57 victory over Lisbon can only come from solid coaching and a team unwilling to lie down.
Lisbon took a 37-27 halftime lead, before Leetonia went on an 13-0 run three minutes into the second half.
A three-pointer from Stokes to open the second half followed by a two-pointer from his teammate Ian Sevenich then another six points from Stokes off two and-ones - coupled with a fresh defensive formation that shut down Lisbon's perimiter shooting - put the Bears ahead for good
"These guys didn't panic," Taylor said. "They pulled together, they were really cohesive and they fought as one out there."
Taylor switched the Leetonia's defense to protect the perimiter and shut down inside passing by the Devils, who only managed two points the entire third quarter.
"It seemed to stymie them and throw a little confusion out there," Taylor said.
The 6-foot-5 Stokes realized the Lisbon players guarding him in the third quarter were pretty mismatched so he started taking advantage of it, he said.
"Once I knew I could take it down to the hoop, I gained the scoring mentality and took it in," Stokes said.
Stokes led Leetonia with 30 points and 11 rebounds.
"(Stokes) is a cerebral player," Taylor said. "He's very smart, he has instincts and he understands the game."
Taylor also praised Leetonia's "floor general" Nick Altomare for his performance as point guard. Altomare collected 11 points and eight assists.
Other top scorers for Leetonia were senior Ian Sevenich and junior Cody Valentine with 10 apiece. Valentine also had six rebounds.
"It was two different halves," Lisbon coach Chris Huckshold said. "We controlled the tempo in the first half - all the loose balls, all the balls sitting on the rim, they all fell our way. In the second half, the third quarter was bad."
Leetonia improves to 2-0, while Lisbon drops to 1-1.
The Devils got caught up in the tempo of the game and went cold on shooting, he said.
Lisbon visits Mineral Ridge on Friday, while Leetonia travels to Southern Local next Tuesday.
Lisbon's jayvee team defeated Leetonia 52-38.
For Lisbon, Eric Walker scored 17, Rashud Newell scored 16 and Corey Brammer scored 15.
Leetonia's Brandon Dattilio scored 25.
LEETONIA: 10 17 20 19-66
LISBON: 16 11 2 18-57
LEETONIA SCORING: Nick Altomare 1-10-11, Ian Sevenich 4-1-10, Cody Stokes 9-10-30, Cody Valentine 3-4-10, Mike Thorne 1-0-2, Alex Maltbie 0-0-0, Ian Stecker 0-0-0, Trent Ferry 0-0-0, Luke Janci 0-0-0, Zack Van Geisen 0-0-0, Josh Van Geisen 0-0-0, Brandon Dattilio 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 15, 25-33: 66.
LISBON SCORING: Zac Barnes 8-5-24, Zac Rovnak 1-6-9, Drew Sweeney 0-4-4, Matt Spencer 0-0-0, CJ Dawson 2-0-4, Ben Spencer 3-0-6, Jake Borg 4-3-11, Eric Walker 0-0-0, Corey Brammer 0-0-0, Rashud Newell 0-0-0, Zac Allen 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 14, 18-31: 57.
Three-point goals: Leetonia 3-14 (Cody Stokes 2, Ian Sevenich), Lisbon 4-14 (Zac Barnes 3, Zac Rovnak).