Quakers contain Raiders
SALEM – Compared to last Friday’s season opener, it was almost night and day for the Salem boys basketball team.
The Quakers took advantage of South Range with numerous turnovers and eight three-pointers on the way to the 74-38 blowout at John Cabas Gymnasium on Tuesday.
The Quakers (1-1) took control early with a pair of three-pointers, one each from Andrew Dolphin and D.J. Pullie, and played a very strong defense to allow the Quakers to turn over the ball 16 times in the first half alone. The Quakers outscored the Raiders 40-15 by halftime.
On the court the Quakers looked dominant, but coach Rich Hart noted the youth behind the performance.
“We played like a team with no experience,” Hart said. “We don’t have the varsity experience on the team like we should.”
Max Wolfgang, the only senior out of five on the team to return from last season’s varsity team, showed that experience on Tuesday with 15 points, and enjoyed the balanced effort from his team.
“I thought we played a lot better than the first game,” Wolfgang said. “We moved the ball well, shared the ball well. Everyone was real close in poitns, and that’s what we need to do.”
Pullie also put up 13 points, and Mike Ciotti hit for 11.
The Raiders (0-1) struggled often due to the defense and height advantage of the Quakers. The Raiders tried to rely on speed and shooting of Mark Vennetti, who led the Raiders with 12 points, and Garrett Anderson, who scored nine.
Raiders coach John Cullen, returning to a high school environment for the first time in three years, wasn’t thrilled with the outcome, but also learned from this game.
“Salem struggled in their game last week, and they had a really good fourth quarter and carried that over to this game,” Cullen said. “We need to do the same thing especially on defense. You can’t give up 16 turnovers in the first half.”
Cullen sees a young team, but doesn’t feel the team needs to completely change.
“It’s not a major overhaul,” Cullen said. “There are a lot of $1.98 parts that need to be fixed, and we’ll continue to work on that.”
Hart also know the success of Cullen and feels the Raiders will be a strong contender down the road.
“Cullen is a very good coach,” Hart said. “He’s a winner. He’s won everywhere he has gone, and he’ll make winners out of them.”
The Quakers were also dominant in the junior varsity match against the Raiders with a 40-27 victory. Matt Harper led the Quakers with 14 points and Anthony Ritter picked up eight for the Raiders.
Both teams travel on Friday. The Quakers head to Minerva while the Raiders visit East Palestine.
Prior to joining the Raiders, Cullen served as head coach for the Canfield boys basketball team for 28 seasons before joining the Youngstown State women’s basketball team as an assistant coach.
SOUTH RANGE: 7-8-7-16-38
SOUTH RANGE SCORING: Garrett Anderson 4-1-9, Nick Wiery 1-0-2. Cole Berry 0-2-2, Turner Curry 0-0-0, Mark Vennetti 2-5-12, Greg Dunham 2-1-5, Pierce Baird 2-1-5. Rob Matos 0-0-0, Andrew Culler 0-0-0, Jonah Wilson 1-0-2, Mitch Dolak 2-0-4. TEAM TOTALS: 13, 8-12: 38.
SALEM SCORING: D.J. Pullie 2-3-13, Mark Frederickson 1-0-2, Andrew Dolphin 1-0-8, Ryan Hoover 0-2-8, Max Wolfgang 7-1-15, Troy Toothman 1-0-8, Mike Ciotti 4-3-11, Jake Bezon 1-0-2, Tyler Shaffer 0-0-0, Alex Weikart 1-0-2, Carter Rose 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 20, 10-19: 74.
Three-point goals: South Range 1 (Vennetti), Salem 8 (Pullie 2, Dolphin 2, Hoover 2, Toothman 2).