A little more time
HOWLAND – There was a minor glitch near the end of the annual Frank Bubba Classic that had officials and coaches looking at each other for an answer.
Since there’s no official rule on what happens when a game ends in a tie, it’s basically up to whoever comes up with the best idea first in deciding how to proceed. That situation arose Tuesday night when Jimmy Standohar’s 3-point shot sent the game between the Trumbull and Mahoning County All Stars into an extra session.
One voice called for an extra 3 minutes – another shouted out 2 minutes. Mineral Ridge’s Zac Hagy, who played for Trumbull County, suggested another slam-dunk competition, knowing Trumbull had an ace in the hole in 6-foot-7 Peyton Aldridge.
Officials finally settled on a 2-minute period. Mahoning, stung by Standohar’s shot, regrouped to score nine points in the extra session, including seven by Alex DiFrancesco, to win, 101-96, at Howland High School.
DiFrancesco, who played for Austintown Fitch High School, won most valuable player honors for Mahoning with a team-high 29 points. He had a hot hand in the first half, scoring 15 points.
“When that first 3 went in, I was starting to feel it,” DiFrancesco said. “My brother is a sophomore, so my dad and I have been working him out since the season ended. I get to steal some of his reps and just try to relive the glory.”
Mahoning County also was a winner in the girls’ game, rallying late for a 67-65 win.
Once difference between the two games was the manner in which each was officiated. The officials called the girls’ game closer than what is normal for an all-star game. Trumbull County’s Ashley Kirila (Brookfield) fouled out, which is seldom seen in these types of games.
The officials in the boys’ game took the opposite approach, which was to let just about everything go. It resulted in a contest with more flow and runs of points on both sides.
“You get away with more pushing and shoving, but we went out there and had fun,” Trumbull’s Matt Seitz (McDonald) said.
Seitz was named Trumbull’s MVP on the strength of a 15-point performance. He had nine in the first half as Trumbull opened a 52-43 lead. Trumbull led for much of the second half before the winners made a charge.
Among the highlights was an alley-oop pass from Ozzie Hawkins (Newton Falls) to Aldridge (LaBrae), who finished off the play with a two-handed dunk for Trumbull.
Asim Pleas (Liberty) had 12 points for Trumbull. King Garner (Harding) had 11, and Aldridge finished with 10 for the losing team.
Cole Pryjma (Canfield) had 21 points for the winners. Terrell McClain () added 14.
“It was a blast,” Seitz said. “Both teams were competitive. The best of the best in the counties. I was feeling it after a couple of shots. Coach (Nathan Kish of Maplewood) gave me a chance to shine, and I did.”
Trumbull also enjoyed a lead for much of the second half in the girls’ game, only to let it slip away. Kelsie Settle (Sebring) tied the score at 62 with a field goal for Mahoning County. Mahoning’s McKenna Shives (Struthers) then forced a steal, which led to a fielder by Geena Gabriel of Pymatuning Valley that gave the winners a 64-62 advantage.
Cassie Custer (Fitch) extended the lead with a layup for Mahoning to seal the win.
Shives scored 18 points to earn MVP honors for Mahoning County.
“I’m really honored and blessed to have this opportunity to be MVP,” Shives said.
Bree Bishop (Girard) was named Trumbull’s MVP after scoring a team-high 17 points. Gabby Cvengros (Howland) had 13 points for Trumbull.
Aldridge won the dunk contest with a winning effort that saw him leap over a player holding the ball and then slam it home. Chris Miller of Champion won the boys’ 3-point shooting contest. Antonella LaMonica of Kennedy won the girls’ 3-point shooting contest.