By Rob Kiser
Both the Russia and Lehman Catholic boys basketball team came in with a plan in the Green bracket championship game of the Buckeye Insurance Group Holiday Classic.
Russia’s 70-36 win for its third straight BIG Classic title gives a pretty good indication on how things went for both teams.
“We sat down and talked with the kids this morning,” Russia coach Spencer Cordonnier said after the Raiders had defeated Covington 71-64 in the opening round. “Give Covington credit. They played hard for 32 minutes in that game — and we didn’t.
“We talked about coming out and playing hard for 32 minutes and not relaxing once we got up. And we did that.”
Lehman coach Tim Gleason knew how crucial rebounding was going to be for his team.
“Russia is a great rebounding team,” Gleason said. “We talked about how they were going to come out and try and crash the glass with their size. We prepared for that. We worked on it. We knew we had to box them out. We just didn’t do it.”
Russia got rolling early and never let up.
The Raiders led 23-7, 48-17 and 68-27 at the quarter breaks.
“We were able to have success inside early,” Cordonnier said. “And we had a pretty good inside-out game going.”
Tournament MVP Cole Tebbe scored 13 points in the opening half, while Josh York added 10.
“We just got in too big a hole,” Gleason said. “We got into foul trouble early. That stopped us from being able to pressure and make it a game of transition like we wanted.”
York had 18 points and seven rebounds for Russia, while Tebbe added 15 points.
Kameron Lee led Lehman with 10 points.
“It was good to get on the floor where we are going to play in the tournament,” Gleason said. “To get that experience is a good thing.”
Russia was 25 of 56 from the floor and 14 of 27 from the line, while Lehman, 2-5, was 13 of 31 from the floor and seven of 10 from the line.
Russia, 8-1, won the battle of the boards 33-21 and had 18 turnovers to Lehman’s 27.
The Raiders won the traveling trophy for the third straight time.
“I know we like the fact we get a chance to get on the floor we are going to play in the tournament on,” Cordonnier said. “We like getting two games in and getting a feel for the gym. I was really pleased with the way we came out focused tonight.”
And continued it for 32 minutes — just as planned.
Trevor Monnin 2-0-4, Dylan Cordonnier 1-4-7, Jake Gariety 0-4-4, Cole Tebbe 6-3-15, Josh York 8-2-18, Jack Dapore 3-0-8, Jonah Counts 2-1-7, Connor Monnin 2-0-5, Clay Borchers 0-0-0, Caleb Ball 1-0-2, Lukas Busse 0-0-0, Drew Sherman 0-0-0, Ethan Monnier 0-0-0, Drew Poling 0-0-0. Totals: 25-14-70.
Max Schutt 2-0-4, Stephen Monnin 1-1-3, Dylan Arnold 1-0-3, Kameron Lee 4-0-10, Michael Bunker 1-1-3, Jared Rourke 1-0-2, Ben Frantz 1-2-4, Zack Scott 0-1-1, Jerry Curtis 0-0-0, Ian Smith 2-2-6. Totals: 13-7-36.
3-point field goals — Russia: Corodnnier, Dapore (2), Counts (2), Monnin. Lehman: Arnold, Lee (2).
Score By Quarters
Russia 23 48 68 70
Lehman 7 17 27 36
Records: Russia 8-1, Lehman 2-5.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.