Throughout his coaching career at Dublin Scioto, and before that at New Philadelphia and DeSales, coach Tony Bisutti's most successful teams have resembled one another.
Throughout his coaching career at Dublin Scioto, and before that at New Philadelphia and DeSales, coach Tony Bisutti’s most successful teams have resembled one another.Each has won with tough, half-court defense and a patient, disciplined offense that takes high-percentage shots and reaches the free-throw line frequently.
“I always tell the kids, ‘You resemble your coach’s personality in that you’re a little ugly, at least on the offensive end, but when you get the job done on defense, good things are bound to happen,’?” Bisutti said. “Our defense this year has been real good. We’ve been real hard to score on, and that’s been the key to our success.”
Rebounding after 5-16, 8-13 and 11-11 seasons, the Irish have limited opponents to an average of 40.1 points a game while coasting to an 11-1 record. Undefeated Ohio Capital Conference Cardinal Division rival Westerville North handed Scioto its only loss, 58-43 more than a month ago.
The difference between this Scioto team and those of recent seasons is simple.
“We’re way more physical now because those young kids have matured,” Bisutti said. “Some years, we’ve had real good individual stoppers on defense. This is more of a team effort, and the kids have bought into their roles. There’s a lot of communication in the structure of what we do both offensively and defensively.”
On offense, seniors Antonio Bisutti (the coach’s son) and Josh Ashwill have carried the load.
“They feed off each other so well,” Tony Bisutti said. “They’ve played together since sixth or seventh grade, and they’ve formed the sort of chemistry where they kind of know what each other will do. Josh is a great scorer and shooter, and Antonio is more of a set-up guy, but they can be interchangeable. It’s definitely a luxury to have a guard tandem like that.”Nubians on a roll
After the graduation of three starters from a team that made back-to-back Division IV state tournament appearances, Africentric coach Mike Bates entered the season cautiously optimistic.
“With all the young players we had in the program, I thought it might take awhile for us to jell,” Bates said. “I’m hard to please — just ask the kids — but I’ve got to admit that things have come together much quicker than I anticipated.
“I don’t like to compare, but this team has developed a great chemistry. They’ve come together through the ranks, and I think they’ve come to accept that this team has a certain stamp and identity. Right from the get-go, they’ve bought into what we hope to achieve.”
The Nubians are 12-1 overall and 8-0 in the City League South Division.
Bates is especially happy with the development of senior point guard Trevon Saunders, who leads the area in assists, averaging 7.9 a game.
“I was a point guard myself, and I’ve ridden Trevon especially hard to be a coach on the floor,” Bates said. “He has really blossomed. The steady, productive play of Trevon and our other guard, Kenny Robinson, has allowed our two sophomore post players to develop at their own pace.”This and that
The state’s No.?1- and No.?2-ranked Division I teams, Northland and Westerville North, will play back-to-back games in the Good Samaritan Flyin’ To The Hoop Invitational on Saturday in Kettering. Northland (11-0) will face Wilmington (7-2) at 1:15 p.m., followed by Westerville North (10-0) vs. Quality Education Academy of Winston-Salem, N.C. (9-8) at 3. The 20-game event runs from Friday through Monday. … Ryan Logan of Fredericktown (12-2) recently broke the school’s 60-year-old career scoring record. Logan, a 6-foot-7 senior guard-forward, has signed to play at Stonehill, a Division II program near Boston. … Licking Heights (11-1) is shooting 52 percent from the field, which is exceptional considering that the Hornets are 49 of 123 (39 percent) from three-point range. Licking Heights is outscoring opponents by an average of 73.3-49.5.