YOUNGSTOWN – LaBrae coach Chad Kiser has seen this twice before.
He hasn’t liked either result.
Sunday, at the second annual Lariccia’s See Them Rise High School Basketball Showcase, Kiser saw this befall his boys basketball team’s fate once again – rebounding.
West Middlesex (Pa.) dominated the middle and kept the Vikings off balance at the Covelli Centre in the marquee matchup of the evening, 67-56.
“They killed us in the first half on offensive rebounds, a couple of low-post screens that we just didn’t switch,” said Kiser, whose team drops to 9-3. “That was the difference in the game.”
LaBrae’s Peyton Aldridge led the Vikings with 23 points.
Big Reds coach Chad Mild said his team holding a 24-16 edge on the boards, especially turning some of those into second-chance points, helped his team improve to 11-3.
“When we prepared yesterday, we practiced screening on offense and on Aldridge a lot,” Mild said. “We did a very good job of that tonight.”
West Middlesex came out to an 8-1 start and dominated most of the play, especially around the basket.
Trey Staunch had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Big Reds, while Matthew Dogan added a game-high 24 points and six rebounds. Jeremy Jansco added 13 points.
“He was able to get some drives whenever he wanted,” Kiser said. “He’s a tough ball player. We just weren’t able to contain him.”
Mild was happy with the wealth of scoring his team had.
“I was happy with our guys,” Mild said. “I thought it was a team effort.”
Aldridge had a bucket with 5:39 left in the game to close the Big Reds’ gap to 54-51, but the Vikings could get no closer.
“We came out in the second half and played really well,” Kiser said.
Marcell Richardson, who had eight points and was in foul trouble, had six straight points to start off LaBrae in the third quarter as it trailed 47-38.
“He’s a spark for us,” Kiser said. “He’s got to get to the rim a little bit more. We don’t have a ton of post players that we post up a lot. He’s an athletic post that can slash a lot.
‘”When he stays out of foul trouble, he’s a key for us.”
The Vikings have gone through a bit of a rough patch since the beginning of the year. After starting the season with a 7-0 mark, the Vikings suffered their first loss to Poland on Jan. 8. Since then, LaBrae has gone 2-3.
Kiser, whose team plays Tuesday at Niles, said his team may grow from a setback like this.
“They are if we learn from them,” he said. “Other than that, they’re not good.”