Howland outscores Jefferson; wins 87-74

HOWLAND — The Howland Tigers got another victory Friday evening, but the mood in the locker room wasn’t celebratory.

“We just scored 87 points and this is as angry as I’ve been all year. We gave up 74. That’s the most we’ve given up all year long,” Howland coach Dan Bubon said. “I thought our defensive effort in the second half was terrible. I thought we tried to coast. I didn’t like our emotions in the second half. There were just a lot of things to be upset about.

Howland defeated Jefferson, 87-74, in a non-conference clash to improve to 10-4 on the season.

Senior Frank Rappach led the way with 26 points for Howland. Junior Nathan Barrett had a strong performance as well, registering a double-double, with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

The Tigers did play a strong first half and built a 23-point halftime lead at 51-28.

The start of the third quarter marked the beginning of a 3-point barrage. Rappach got it started when he hit one of his four 3 pointers. Jefferson’s Andrew Vance answered back with one of his own. Then Howland’s Samari Dean hit one, followed by a couple more from Vance. Howland finished with nine made 3 pointers. Jefferson connected on 14.

With a minute left in the third quarter, Jefferson shaved the deficit down to 69-55. Howland’s Branden Fronzaglio was then ejected. Howland finished the quarter with a couple of buckets to push the lead back to 18 at 73-55.

“We had a kid ejected,” Bubon said. “That’s inexcusable. That really turned the game.”

As the final quarter unfolded, Howland got the lead back to 20. Vance then hit a couple more 3s for Jefferson, and suddenly, the lead wasn’t that safe at 14 again.

Vance erupted for a game-high 32 points and drilled nine 3 pointers in the process.

“Andrew went off today,” Jefferson coach Robert Faulkner said. “Nine 3 pointers — that’s a great game.”

With 1:45 remaining in the game, Jefferson got as close as they had been since the first quarter when they made it 87-74. However, neither team scored again as Howland got the win.

“We played better in the second half,” Faulkner said. “Their big guys hurt us underneath in the first half. When we went to a zone, I think that threw them off a bit.”

“I’m really disappointed with how the second unit played,” Bubon said. “Those guys are good enough. They all play big minutes where that shouldn’t have happened. We have a game tomorrow, so I wanted to get guys some rest.”

Howland hosts Austintown Fitch in a key league battle tonight.