Bene­dic­tine fends off Rich­mond Heights

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Sports - By Mike Coutee [email protected]­

Davin Zei­gler scores 24 points to pace Bene­dic­tine in an 8774 win over Rich­mond Heights in a boys bas­ket­ball head­liner. Mike Coutee was on the scene on MLK Drive in Cleve­land and has a full re­cap.

Bene­dic­tine showed on Dec. 7 why it can be the top team in the North Coast League’s Blue Divi­sion.

Even in an ugly win against Rich­mond Heights on Dec. 7, Coach Rob Stir­cula and his staff will take it.

From their re­bound­ing abil­i­ties and sec­ond-chance op­por­tu­ni­ties, the Ben­gals got the help from Andy Barba and Davin Zei­gler, who cre­ated a two-man wreck­ing crew to lead their team to a 87-74 win against the vis­it­ing Spar­tans.

“A win is a win,” Stir­cula said. “We re­ally haven’t had our roster all to­gether and it’s kind of go­ing up and down this year. Right now, we just plug along and we will try to get af­ter it af­ter that.”

Af­ter a turnover and a free throw by the Ben­gals, Barba’s pass lead to a Zei­gler layup to put them up 6-3 early on. One of the big­gest leads in the game came in the sec­ond quar­ter when Zei­gler’s jumper put the Ben­gals up, 32-23.

“I think it’s hard to guard both of us,” Barba said. “We’re both pretty skilled, com­mit­ted and were not re­ally wor­ry­ing about num­bers. We usu­ally play well to­gether and get ev­ery­one else in­volved as well.”

At the start of the sec­ond half, Rich­mond Heights had the lead for the first time in the game on a Jevon­tea Jones’ tran­si­tion dunk.

The story of the game was Zei­gler’s play­mak­ing skill, which boosts the Ben­gals’ con­fi­dence. A no-look pass to Rory Kil­bane iced things up for good.

“Rich­mond (Heights) was face guard­ing me, so I had to get off the glass and push the ball my­self,” Zei­gler said. “Plus I wanted to get my team­mates in­volved also, re­bound and de­fend.”

The Bowl­ing Green com­mit fin­ished with 24 points. Barba had 15 points, and Kil­bane 10.

Bene­dic­tine fin­ished the third quar­ter on a high note on B.J. Bus­bee’s layup. The fourth quar­ter was all Bene­dic­tine. An­other test will come Dec. 8 as the Ben­gals will face Solon.

Rich­mond Heights was led by Gbo­la­han Adio’s 21 points. The Spar­tans face Fair­port on Dec. 11.

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