ROOTSTOWN _ Basketball is a team sport and when all players click in unison and play the game as a team the outcome can be AMAZING.
Rootstown shocked visiting Windham Friday night with a 67-57 PCL National Division victory .The Bombers (11-4, 7-2 PCL) maintained their two game lead in the division however because of a Mogadore loss.
The team play of the Rovers (6-8, 4-5 PCL) and the inability of Windham to put the ball in the basket saw Rootstown lead from the opening tip and never trail.
The Bombers missed their first 11 shots and committed five turnovers before scoring their first point with less than a minute remaining in the first quarter. By that time, Rootstown had a 12-0 advantage and finished the first quarter with a 15-3 lead.
Jason Urchek led the Rovers with 25 points and 10 rebounds. The 6-3 senior was the go-to guy who seemed to always be in the right place at the right time. He cashed in with a trio of threes, each coming at crucial times. Point guard Mike Dillon tossed in 14 points for Rootstown with 12 coming in the second half. Adam Bailey pulled down ten rebounds while also scoring 7 points.
Tony Marstiller led Windham with 12 points while Cedric Turner and Drew Apthorpe each had ten. The Bombers managed to cut the lead to five points in the second quarter but trailed at half 26-18.
"We finally put together two great halves, our best of the season," commented Rootstown coach Greg Bryte. "All eight guys contributed big tonight. They played hard and we used our heads."
Rootstown opened the second half with a perfectly executed fast break to Bailey and then Shaun McCoy hit a three to give the Rovers a 13-point lead (31-18). Four consecutive turnovers gave Windham the opportunity to get back into the game. Apthorpe hit one of his threes with one minute left in the third quarter to cut the deficit to only six points (42-36) but the Rovers held on to lead 47-39 heading into the final quarter.
With 3 minutes remaining in the contest, a Jarred Miller basket for Windham cut the lead to only five points (57-52). Dillon and Urcheck each collected key baskets to extend the lead once again for Rootstown and then Sean Francis got in the act with a loose ball grab that he converted into a 63-54 lead with less than a minute to play.
Windham veteran coach Marty Hill spent a long time coaching his team in the locker room following the game.
"They need to do some soul searching and decide to play as a team," said Hill. "Rootstown really deserved to win this game, they played with a lot of heart."
Rootstown 67, Windham 57
ROOTSTOWN (67) _ Adam Laskos 0 2-2 2; Shaun McCoy 3 1-2 8; Mike Dillon 6 2-2 14; Jason Urchek 10 2-4 25; TJ Riggie 0 0-1 0; Adam Bailey 3 1-3 7; Mike Darrah 1 1-2 3; Sean Francis 4 0-3 8. Totals 27 9-19 67.
WINDHAM (57) _ Cedric Turner 3 2-7 10; Drew Apthorpe 4 0-0 10; Larry Ones 1 0-0 2; John Lewis 0 0-2 0; Tony Marstiller 4 4-7 12; Justin Kiser 3 0-0 6; Jarred Miller 4 0-1 8; Jeremy Davisson 1 0-0 3. Totals 23 6-17 57.
Rootstown 15 11 21 20 _ 67
Windham 3 15 21 18 _ 57
Three Point Goals _ Rootstown (4): Urchek 3, McCoy 1. Windham (5): Turner 2, Apthorpe 2, Davisson 1.
Total Rebounds _ Rootstown 31-30
Total Fouls _ Windham 20-15
Total Turnovers _ Rootstown 18-14
JV Score _ Windham 58-46. Leading Scorers: (W) Zach Burns 11 points. (R) Adam Dye 10 points.