Short-handed Warriors fall to Mooney

BOARDMAN – The West Branch Warriors did the best with what they had Wednesday.

With most of the team suspended due to a violation of the school’s code of conduct, West Branch dropped a 66-26 decision to sixth-seeded Youngstown Mooney in a Boardman Division II sectional final.

West Branch brought only two of its regulars – senior Beau Taylor and sophomore Kip DeShields – playing five sophomores and three freshmen.

Four players scored their first varsity points Wednesday and others saw their first varsity action.

The Warriors were able to stay close in the first half, trailing 17-11 in the first quarter and 32-20 at halftime. Mooney went on a 34-6 run in the second half to put the Warriors away.

Mark Handel topped Mooney with a game-high 14 points. Joey Kleeh contributed 13 points and Doug Caputo had 12 points and seven rebounds.

For the Warriors, DeShields led the way with nine points, all in the first half, and 11 rebounds. Taylor and Kyle Ziegler each added four points.

West Branch finishes the season with a 7-17 record

Mooney advances to play top-seeded Poland in the district semifinals at 7 p.m. Monday.

Poland pulled away from Crestview for a 69-38 win in Wednesday’s nightcap.

W. BRANCH: 11- 9- 2- 4-26

Y. MOONEY: 17-15-14-20-66

WEST BRANCH SCORING: Beau Taylor 2-0-4, Kip DeShields 4-0-9, Kyle Ziegler 1-2-4, Lucas Austin 0-0-0, Jake Evanoff 0-0-0, Chipper Tuel 1-0-2, Bryce Butcher 1-0-3, Brandon Utley 1-0-2, Jeremy Gorby 1-0-2, Austin Smith 0-0-0, Daniel Laut 0-0-0. TOTALS: 11, 2-4: 26.

YOUNGSTOWN MOONEY SCORING: Joey Kleeh 5-3-13, Mark Handel 7-0-14, Joe Cunningham 1-0-3, Andrew Armstrong 4-0-8, Doug Caputo 4-4-12, Anthony Filo 1-0-2, George LeFlore 2-1-5, Timmy Qurkin 0-0-0, George Brandenstein 0-0-0, Chrsitian Creighton 0-0-0. Marcus Penza 0-3-3, Danny Martin 2-0-6, Ross Lanzo 0-0-0, Kyle Gallagher 0-0-0, Dante Spurio 0-0-0. TOTALS: 26, 11-17: 66.

Three-pointers: West Branch 2 (DeShields, Butcher), Mooney 3 (Martin 2, Cunningham).