GRAFTON — Southview coach Andy Bastock had his finger on the right button before his Saints hit the basketball floor.
Rebounding, he figured, would be the key to winning the Bob DiFranco Memorial basketball tournament at Kubuski Gymnasium on Saturday night.
Boy, was he right.
Bastock’s Saints controlled the glass, 47-21, and had 21 offensive rebounds to Midview’s five as Southview racked up a 53-46 victory over the Middies. It’s the first-ever holiday tournament championship for Southview.
“That’s the first thing I wrote on the chalkboard in the locker room,” said Bastock, speaking of rebounding. “This game was going to be won by who wanted it more and the first place that shows up is the battle of the boards.
“We knew we had a size advantage and we tried to utilize it.”
That they did. The Saints had 19 points on second chances to Midview’s four. Half of Montrell Elliott’s game-high 16 points came on rebound baskets. He and Josh Biber each grabbed 10 rebounds.
“We got killed on the boards,” said Midview coach Troy DiFranco, whose team was gunning for its third straight title in the tournament dedicated to his late father. “Some of it was boxing out but some of it was them going over the top. We were giving up six inches (in some cases). When it (the position) is even, you’re not going to get it. We’ve got to find a way to get rebounds.”
Southview’s size showed up defensively, too. Brad Gross and Nick Clark, Midview’s two tallest players who scored in double figures in Thursday’s semifinal win over Amherst, managed just 15 total points and nine rebounds Saturday.
Midview’s high scorer Derek Haney had to combat 6-foot-6 Biber on the perimeter. Haney had 14 points, but four came on run-outs after Southview turnovers. He had to battle for his other five buckets.
“We believe in defense,” Bastock said. “That’s our main focus in practice. We try to hold a team to 48 points; our offense wasn’t clicking.”
Southview also out-shot Midview from the floor and limited the Middies to seven free throw attempts, but still couldn’t put the game away. Even after the lead reached 14 points, 51-37, with a tad over three minutes left, the Middies found a way to come back.
Southview missed the first of three one-and-one free throws and the Middies hit three 3-pointers down the stretch.
“They’ve got a lot of 3-point shooters,” Bastock said. “I told them we’ve got to defend the 3-point shooters because they’re going to start shooting them. They hit two in a row; that’s what concerned me.”
“We played well enough defensively to win,” said DiFranco. “But we missed some easy shots in both halves. If we could’ve done four possessions differently, we could have had a ‘W’. But hats off to Southview. They really pounded the glass.”
Contact Roger Negin at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
MIDVIEW (46): Derek Haney 7-0-14, Brad Gross 3-2-9, Nick Clark 3-0-6, Mike Mercado 0-1-1, Kevin Allen 3-1-9, Justin Casselle 0-0-0, John Fernandez 1-0-3, Jordan English 2-0-4, Jacob Klamut 0-0-0, Tim Jaykel 0-0-0, Matt Borsz 0-0-0. Totals 19-4-46.
SOUTHVIEW (53): Josh Biber 1-6-8, Montrell Elliott 8-0-16, Marshall Crum 3-0-6, Quincy Ezell 4-0-8, Quinton Ezell 1-0-3, Mike Anderson 1-0-2, Drew Larenti 1-0-2, Rick Shawver 1-2-4, Tony Sanchez 2-0-4. Totals 22-8-53.
Midview 7 10 18 11 — 46
Southview 15 10 16 12 — 53
Three-point goals: Midview (4-12) Allen 2, Fernandez, Gross, Southview (1-6) Quinton Elzell; Rebounding: Midview 21 (Gross, Mercado 5), Southview 47 (Biber, Elliott 10); Turnovers: Midview 9, Southview 10; Fouls: Midview 13, Southview 14;Fouled Out: None; Field Goal Shooting: Midvew 19 of 48 (39.5 percent), Southview 22 of 53 (41.5 percent); Free Throw Shooing: Midview 4 of 7 (57 percent), Southview 8 of 13 (61.5 percent).