Findlay High’s boys basketball team will be looking to extend its recent winning streak, gain a bit of revenge in Three Rivers Athletic Conference play and earn a statement win as well during a busy week on the hardwood.
Findlay will host Toledo Scott today in a nonleague contest, face Toledo Central Catholic on Friday in a TRAC matchup at the FHS Gymnasium, and travel to Toledo Start on Saturday to play a game originally set for Nov. 27 but postponed by inclement weather.
One of the storied programs in Toledo prep basketball history, Toledo Scott claimed a Division I state championship in 1990 and won almost 80 percent of its games under Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame coach Ben Williams, who compiled a 429-120 career record in his 23 seasons as Bulldogs’ head coach.
Scott went just 3-21 in 2016-17, though, and 2-19 a year later, the worst back-to-back seasons in program history. The Bulldogs rebounded for an 8-13 record a year ago, but graduated Genesis Warith, who led the Toledo City League in both scoring (21.2 ppg) and rebounding (11.4 rpg). Head coach Rodney Martin also moved on. He’s now coaching the No. 2-ranked (Division II) Rams of Toledo Rogers.
Toledo Scott is currently 2-9 under first-year coach Larry Collins. A pair of 6-foot-2 juniors — Je’Quan Pack and Christian Neal — have been offensive leaders for the Bulldogs.
Six-four junior A.J. Adams (17.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg) and 6-foot sophomore guard Max Roth (12.2 ppg, 19 3s) are averaging double figures for Findlay. Brock Makrancy (28 3s) is averaging 8.8 points a game, senior point guard Isaiah Moore 7.6 and 6-5 junior wing Chris Strzempka 5.6 points and 5.1 rebounds.
Findlay has been solid defensively in back-to-back games, allowing an average of just 42.5 points in wins over Toledo St. John’s (49-46) and Toledo Whitmer (61-39).
On Friday, Findlay (9-4, 6-3 TRAC) will face a physical and athletic Toledo Central Catholic (7-4, 5-1 TRAC) team that muscled its way to a 53-48 win over the Trojans in a Dec. 13 game on its home floor.
Two standouts from Central Catholic’s football team that reached the Division II state semifinals were impact players in that basketball opener as well. Dominique Cole, a 6-6, 250-pound senior center, had 23 points and eight rebounds in that matchup. Jonzell Norrils, an all-state running back for the Irish, was one of three TCC players adding seven points against the Trojans.
Central Catholic built a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter of the December matchup with Findlay, then had to survive a furious comeback bid the Trojans.
Adams would score 10 of his 14 points in first 51/2 minutes of the fourth quarter when Findlay trimmed that 14-point deficit to six (48-42). Two baskets by Roth and another on a drive by Moore got the Trojans within three (51-48) with 35 seconds left. But Cole, who 8-of-9 from the line in the game, made two free throws with eight seconds left to seal it.
Findlay caps its busy week with a nonleague game at Toledo Start. The Spartans are 10-3 overall and a close second to state-ranked Rogers in the Toledo City League.
Two of Start’s three losses — 44-33 in December and 68-39 last Friday — and have been to Rogers in TCL play. The other was a 55-52 loss in the Torrey Pines Invitational Tournament in San Diego to a 22-1 Long Beach St. Anthony team that is ranked No. 11 in California and No. 23 in the nation by MaxPreps.com.