McDonald drills MVAC rival Sebring
McDONALD — A broken clipboard sits on the McDonald gymnasium floor. Underneath the bench, after another Blue Devils victory, are the remains of a day at the office for coach Jeff Rasile.
McDonald’s fiery leader, who doubles as a ninth grade World History teacher at Champion High School during the day, helped guide the Devils to a 72-54 triumph over Sebring on Friday.
“Sebring played well in the first half,” said Rasile, whose team improved to 10-1 on the season. “They tried to take Zach (Rasile) out of the game. They jumped on us and hit some 3s. My guys hit some shots to stay in the game.”
The Trojans (9-2), who came in as the No. 2-ranked Division IV team in the state, jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Gabe Lanzer (18 points) helped Sebring get in front. Then, McDonald’s Dominic Carkido (13 points) nailed a pair from downtown to knot the score at 15 heading to the second.
“I was just doing what I’m supposed to do,” Carkido said. “I played my role and knocked down open shots. We needed to stay on Sebring and keep pressing them. Zach took over in the second half.”
Zach Rasile, who scored a game-high 28 points, was held in check early.
He scored just two points in the first quarter and had nine at halftime against a stingy Sebring defense. The senior moved into 11th place on Ohio’s all-time scoring list after passing Jerry Lucas with 2,477 career points.
He really stepped his game up in the second half. He stole an inbound pass from Sebring and converted, giving McDonald a 25-20 advantage. However, Frankie Lozoya hit a 3 for the Trojans, and Lanzer had a nice spin move in the post to tie the game 32-32 at halftime.
“I don’t think it was our prettiest or our best game, but we found a way to win,” Zach Rasile said. “We worked hard, and that’s what it takes. Obviously, I didn’t have my best first half. I wanted to come out and have a good second half. We stayed on them. We know the press wears people down. We thought we’d have a big second half.”
McDonald certainly did.
They outscored Sebring 28-16 in the third quarter behind some long distance deliveries from Zach. He jumped in celebration after drilling his second 3 of the quarter from beyond NBA 3-point range. The Blue Devils took a 60-48 lead into the fourth.
“It was tied at halftime,” Jeff Rasile said. “The third quarter is when Zach got it rolling there for a little bit. I told the team, at the half, that we wanted more movement in our offense. When we were able to do that, it helped create some more space. It was a good win.”
The game was televised locally as the MyYTV Game of the Week. The Devils came in as the eighth ranked D-IV team in the state. McDonald’s Jake Portolese was awarded player of the game honors by the broadcast team. His big-time hustle and effort, plus 3-pointers, along with some powerful moves down low helped him amass 20 points and 15 rebounds.
“We played hard,” Portolese said. “That’s how we win games. It’s been a good season so far, but we still have a long way to go. Our goal is to win a district championship.”