2014-15 Lisbon Boys’ Basketball Preview

2014-15 Lisbon Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Chris Huckshold, 6th season at Lisbon (56-59)
2013-14 Record: 21-5 (11-3), ITCL Upper Tier
Finish in League: 2nd place in Upper Tier

2013-14 Team Stats
Scoring: 56.5
Rebounding: 33.4
Turnovers: 14.3
Field Goal Percentage: 44.3%
Free Throw Percentage: 62.4%
Three-Point Percentage: 30.5%
Scoring Defense: 46.0

Returning Leaders
Scoring: Austin Rutecki, 15.1
Rebounding: Austin Rutecki, 7.9
Assists: Josh Liberati, 7.0
Steals: Josh Liberati, 2.7
Field Goal Percentage: Josh Craig, 53.2% (83-156)
Free Throw Percentage: Josh Craig, 75.2% (88-117)
Three-Point Percentage: Josh Craig, 38.9% (7-18)

Roster
#2 – Dougie Minor, Fr.
#3 – Grant Fredrick, Fr.
#4 – Austin Davis, Jr. (5’6/G)
#5 – Josh Liberati, Jr. (5’11/G)
#10 – Noah Barnes, So.
#11 – Branson Brownfield, Fr.
#12 – Austin Rutecki, Jr. (6’3/G)
#14 – Colin Sweeney, So. (5’8/G)
#15 – Trevor Reese, Jr. (6’3/F)
#20 – Josh Craig, Jr. (6’3/F)
#21 – Jeremy Reynolds, Fr.
#22 – Mason Rance, Fr.
#23 – Jared White, Jr. (6’3/F)
#24 – Avery Andric, Jr. (6’2/G)
#30 – B.J. Dickson, Fr.
#31 – Jared Merriman, Sr. (6’2/F)
#40 – Bailey McCullough, So. (5’10/F)
#42 – Jacob Mundy, Fr.
#44 – Zach Shaffer, Jr. (5’9/G)
#50 – Joey Dotson, So.

Lisbon’s Schedule
Dec. 5 – Leetonia, 7:30 pm
Dec. 9 – Rootstown, 7:30 pm
Dec. 12 – Springfield, 7:30 pm
Dec. 16 – at Crestview, 7:30 pm
Dec. 19 – United, 7:30 pm
Dec. 23 – at Beaver Local, 7:30 pm
Dec. 27 – at West Branch, 7:30 pm
Jan. 6 – Jackson-Milton, 7:30 pm
Jan. 9 – Columbiana, 7:30 pm
Jan. 13 – at South Range, 7:30 pm
Jan. 16 – at East Palestine, 7:30 pm
Jan. 20 – at Youngstown Christian, 7:30 pm
Jan. 23 – at Springfield, 7:30 pm
Jan. 25 – at Neshannock, 5:45 pm
Jan. 27 – Crestview, 7:30 pm
Jan. 30 – at United, 7:30 pm
Feb. 3 – at Jackson-Milton, 7:30 pm
Feb. 6 – at Columbiana, 7:30 pm
Feb. 10 – South Range, 7:30 pm
Feb. 13 – East Palestine, 7:30 pm
Feb. 17 – at Minerva, 7:30 pm
Feb. 20 – Heartland Christian, 7:30 pm

It’s almost been seven years since Lisbon finished the season winless at 0-21 during the 2007-08 campaign. Boy, how have times changed since such a disappointing time in Blue Devil basketball? Just last year, Lisbon achieved the best record in school history following their 21-5 finish. This season, the Blue Devils return four of their five starters and look primed for another big year.

Matt Spencer (8.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg) is gone but the team returns a strong junior class led by Austin Rutecki (15.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg), Avery Andric (12.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Josh Craig (10.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Josh Liberati (9.1 ppg, 7.0 apg). Rutecki shot 46.7% from the field (142-304) last year as he made 76 of 106 free throw attempts (71.7%). The 6’3 guard is 46 points shy of reaching 700 for his career and 46 rebounds from accomplishing 400 boards. Andric connected on 32.9% from long distance (52-158) last winter as he’s now made 83 three-point shots during his time on the varsity level. Number 24 is just 30 points short of 500 in his 50 games on the varsity level. Craig has been tough to slow down around the rim as he was a 53.2% field goal shooter (83-156) as a sophomore. Josh also led the team in free throw percentage after making 75.2% of his foul shots (88-117). The 6’3 forward needs 2 rebounds and 24 points to reach the 400/500 club. Liberati has dished out 321 assists in two seasons. Last year, he led the team with 7.0 assists and 2.7 steals.

Coach Chris Huckshold is entering his sixth season at the helm of Lisbon basketball. He points to his team’s attitude, unselfishness, experience and size as some of the strengths he views in his group entering the season. “The league as a whole seems very balanced,” says Huckshold. “The defending champs Springfield are well coached (and) play hard every night. South Range is (also) well coached. East Palestine has some athletes that will cause for some match-up issues.”

The Blue Devils will look to duplicate last season’s success when they open the 2014-15 campaign by hosting Leetonia on Friday, December 5.

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