Rootstown, OH- Tuesday night in Rootstown it was a battle of two teams looking for their first win of the season. The Garfield G-MEN came in at 0-3 while host Rootstown was off to a 0-4 start.
The G-MEN won the tip and got off to a fast start taking a 9-2 lead on a Nick Edic three that led to a Rover timeout. Rootstown came up with a couple big steals and also some big buckets by talented forward Cameron Mahone to cut the deficit to four at 22-18 after one quarter.
The second quarter started sloppy on both ends as both teams exchanged turnovers for the first two scoreless minutes until Mahone scored for the Rovers pulling them within two. From there it was all Garfield the rest of the half as Edic hit two threes late the last of which was wide open from the corner to end the half. The G-MEN took a 14 point lead at 42-28 into halftime. Mahone had 14 point for the Rovers to lead all scorers while Aidan Hill and Nick Edic each chipped in 11 points for the G-MEN.
Rootstown was able to get themselves going a bit to start the 2nd half scoring the first four points of the 3rd quarter. Five straight points from Cameron Mahone for the Rovers brought them to within five at 47-42 with under four minutes to play in the 3rd quarter. Garfield was able to put together a strong finish to the quarter and take a 54-45 lead into the fourth.
Garfield started the 4th quarter with some full court pressure and aggressive defense. Every time it looked like the Rovers would make a run, Garfield was right there to counter it. Four straight points with under four minutes to go for the Rovers pulled them within seven at 64-57. Unfortunately for Rootstown that is the closest they would get. A dagger three by Garfield senior guard Jackson Sommer put a damper on the Rovers comeback attempt. They were able to get it back down to seven with 35 seconds to play after a Cole Hostetler three, but it was too little too late for the Rovers. Garfield closed out the game with some clutch free throws taking home their first win of the season 76-68.
Preston Gedeon led the way for Garfield with 20 points and those clutch late free throws while Aidan Hill and Nick Edic each scored 17. Cameron Mahone had a stellar game in a losing effort for the Rovers leading all scorers with 25 points.
I talked with Garfield coach Andrew Olesky after the game.
This game recap is brought to you by Daystar Ford