Tag Archive for: LaBrae


By Matt Maher

LEAVITTSBURG, OH – The Vikings were on a mission to earn their 20th win of the season on Tuesday night and their opponent was on a mission to avoid their 20th loss and after a hard fought battle the kings of the MVAC showed everyone they were more than just that and took down their Northeast 8 opponent by the score of 70-62. 


The first quarter saw these two fierce competitors play a very tight game that saw several lead changes but ultimately saw LaBrae take the lead of 17-13 into the second but Girard stayed right behind them and never got too far out of reach from here. Dom Philips was electric from everywhere and that electricity started production in the first with an 8 point start including two 2’s a 3 and a made free throw. Stephen Sims also showed up with 5 points of his own. The Vikings showed a more balanced offense with four different guys scoring in the first. Austin Rowe and David Blackmon III both came out with 6 points while Derek Wilson warmed himself up with a 3 and Jay McGarry hit 2. 


The Vikings continued their offensive night and never lost the lead by putting up 17 more points to Girards improved 14 points. Philips continued to lead his team with 4 more points all found with tough shots down low to give him 12 first half points,  while Kaiden Claire and Cam Herrick both sank a 3 apiece. Austin Rowe continued to contribute, this time with two made 3’s to give him 12 first half points to match Girards Philips. Jay McGarry also sank two 3’s to help his team stay atop of the Indians.


While the IDom Philips continued to Impress, the Indians continued to trail after the third, with a 15-13 difference that went the way of LaBrae and a 49-40 overall score at the buzzer, Girard needed a huge boost going down the stretch. Philips continued his dominance with an 8 points quarter all found from within the paint. Sims found 2 more points while Claire hit another 3. Derek Wilson found himself atop his team in scoring this frame with 6 points all from within the arc while Rowe added another 5 points with 3 coming from range. 


The Indians geared up and showed a great push in the final 8 minutes and even outscored LaBrae 22-20 but it was too little too late as the Vikings just couldn’t be denied one last victory before heading into the postseason. The Vikings were fouled 9 times in the fourth and their free throw shooting, an excellent 14-for-17, ended up being the difference maker it needed to be. Girard saw scoring from all over the quart including two 3’s from Claire and two ore from Herrick as well as 6 points in the paint from Sims including a perfect steal and a breakaway late and 4 more points from Philips who would get the only two free throws of the quarter for his team and sank them both. 


Despite a solid effort everywhere on the floor for Philips and Girard, LaBrae had enough left in the tank after an excellent campaign to pull off another victory and send another team home wondering what more they could do. LaBrae celebrated their win over Girard while also celebrating their first place finish in the MVAC,complete with t-shirts and plenty of photos. Dom Philips led all scorers with 24 points with Austin Rowe a triple behind him with 21. Girard (2-20) gear up for tournament play when they travel to Glenville on February 27th at 7:00PM while LaBrae earned the first round bye and awaits the winner of Manchester vs Keystone and will play on March 1st at 7:00PM.


LEAVITTSBURG OH- In a showcase of offensive firepower, LaBrae left no doubt about their dominance on Friday night as they surged to a commanding 55-27 victory over Springfield. Utilizing their high-octane offense to full effect, LaBrae overwhelmed their opponents, leaving them struggling to keep pace.

Leading the charge for LaBrae were Jay McGarry, Derek Wilson, and David Blackmon, each contributing 13 points to lead their team’s scoring effort. Alongside them, Austin Rowe added 11 points, further solidifying LaBrae’s offensive prowess.

Despite Springfield’s best efforts to mount a comeback, they were unable to contain LaBrae’s relentless attack. Dylan Sheely led Springfield’s scoring with 8 points, while Isaac LaMorticella and Sean Guerriero added 5 points each in a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful effort.

With this win, LaBrae improves their impressive record to 19-2 as they prepare to close out the regular season with a matchup against Girard on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Springfield, with a record of 16-4, looks to bounce back as they host South Range in their upcoming game on Tuesday.


KINSMAN OH- In a highly anticipated matchup between two teams eyeing a deep tournament run, Badger hosted LaBrae on Thursday night in a clash that lived up to its billing. In a thrilling contest that kept fans on the edge of their seats, Badger managed to fend off the visiting Vikings to secure a hard-fought 62-57 victory.

Leading the charge for Badger was Hannah Betts, whose stellar performance saw her tally an impressive 18 points, showcasing her scoring prowess when it mattered most. Avery Rice and Brianna Huscroft also made significant contributions, notching 15 and 12 points respectively, to propel Badger to victory.

On the opposing side, LaBrae fought valiantly, with standout performances from Ella Kuszmaul, who tallied 15 points, along with Marissa Levensky and Riley Rowe, who added 13 and 12 points respectively to keep the game competitive until the final buzzer.

With this win, Badger concludes their regular season on a high note, boasting an impressive record of 20-2 as they shift their focus to the upcoming tournament. Despite notching a loss, LaBrae (17-5) remains a formidable contender heading into postseason play, with their sights set on a strong showing in the tournament. Badger’s next opponent is yet to be determined as they enjoy a bye, while LaBrae will kick off their tournament campaign by hosting Norwayne next Wednesday, setting the stage for an exciting postseason showdown.


In a historic regular season finale, Crestview made program history by finishing undefeated for the first time ever, with a stellar 22-0 record. The Rebels sealed their remarkable achievement with a commanding 64-33 road victory over LaBrae.

Leading the charge for Crestview was Addison Rhodes, who delivered a standout performance with 27 points, supported by Luvrain Gaskins contributing 18 points and Emily Downey adding 8 points to the winning effort.

Despite a spirited effort from LaBrae, with Ella Kuszmaul scoring 11 points, they couldn’t overcome Crestview’s dominance.

Now, Crestview (22-0) eagerly awaits the start of tournament play on February 21st, where they will face off against Andrew’s Osborne Academy. The Rebels enter the postseason with momentum and confidence, poised to make a deep run.

On the other hand, LaBrae (16-4) looks to fine-tune their game in a tournament tune-up opportunity against Cardinal on Monday, gearing up for postseason action.



LEAVITTSBURG OH-  LaBrae’s sophomore sensation, Austin Rowe, burst onto the scene with an extraordinary freshman season that left spectators in awe. Known for his exceptional skills and knack for making crucial plays, Rowe quickly established himself as a player to watch.

The dreaded “sophomore slump” seemed to have no place in Rowe’s trajectory. His secret? A relentless work ethic combined with unshakeable confidence on the court. While some players may find the transition to their second year challenging, Rowe embraced the opportunity to elevate his game and exceed expectations.

One key factor contributing to Rowe’s success is the trust bestowed upon him by his coaches. Always given the green light to shoot from anywhere on the floor, Rowe’s confidence soars. This freedom has not only allowed him to showcase his scoring abilities but has also made him a dynamic threat in various game situations.

Beyond the court, Rowe’s basketball journey is deeply rooted in family ties. His mom, leading the charge as the head coach of the girls’ team, brings a unique perspective and unwavering support to his game. Adding to the family affair, Rowe’s sister is a fellow player on the LaBrae basketball squad. The Rowe family’s basketball discussions can get competitive, with each member vying for the title of having the best game on any given night.

As LaBrae notches an impressive 14-2 start to the season, Rowe’s impact on the Vikings is undeniable. His skill set, combined with leadership qualities, has been a driving force behind the team’s success. Looking ahead, Rowe is poised to continue shaping the Vikings’ basketball legacy over the next two pivotal years of his high school career. The court is his canvas, and Austin Rowe is painting a masterpiece that promises to captivate the audience for seasons to come.

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LaBrae dominated on the road Thursday night, delivering a commanding performance against Campbell in a decisive 55-14 victory. The Vikings showcased their offensive prowess and defensive tenacity, leaving little room for their opponents to mount a response.

Marissa Levensky led the scoring charge for LaBrae with an outstanding 17-point performance, closely followed by Ella Kuszmaul with 15 points. Mariah Jones contributed 9 points, adding to the well-rounded offensive effort displayed by the Vikings.

Campbell, facing a formidable LaBrae squad, found themselves limited on the scoreboard. Diamon Sims led the charge for Campbell with 12 points, but the Vikings’ relentless defense proved challenging.

With this emphatic win, LaBrae’s record now stands at an impressive 15-3. The Vikings will aim to maintain their winning momentum as they host Grand Valley on Saturday. Meanwhile, Campbell (2-16) looks to regroup and kickstart a turnaround on Monday as they face Liberty.


By Matt Maher 

BROOKFIELD, OH – The 5th place Warriors welcomed the 1st place Vikings to town for one heck of a battle that saw Brookfield hold their own and stay extremely close to the powerhouse LaBrae has proven themselves to be. While the Warriors stood strong and showed everyone they could tussle with the big dogs they could never deliver the final blow and take back the lead and the result was a 66-59 win for LaBrae. 


Brookfield started off well with a nice stop after the tip and the first 2 points of the game but it didn’t take long for LaBrae to wake up and show us what they could really do and the result was a 7 point run that would help lead them to a 22-12 1st. Brookfield saw their scoring come from Matteo Fortuna, Judah DeJoy and Riley Russo who all scored 4 points in the paint. Jay McGarry and Austin Rowe would have an impressive 1st with McGarry sinking two 3’s and Rowe sinking two 3’s as well as a 2, Derek Wilson would also find his first 4 points of the night as well.


The second quarter was even and the score reflected that with both teams putting up 14 points. DeJoy and Teagan Barbie both hit 3’s while Shaun Dungee went a perfect 2-for-2 from the line. Derek Wilson accounted for 11 of LaBraes points with three made 2’s and 50% from the line with 3-of-6 made free throws, Rowe found the other 3 from beyond the arc.


Brookfield stepped up their game and built off of a solid 2nd and finished the 3rd 21-15. Owen Boone found himself leading LaBrae in the 3rd with a made layup and-1 and two more made free throws. Jaxson Lancaster would also go 2-for-2 and Rowe and Wilson both hit 3’s. The headline of the quarter was Matteo Fortuna who found 13 points all by rushing into the paint and either laying them in or drawing fouls, he found for 2’s and went 5-for-5 from the line. 


The 4th quarter stayed close but Brookfield would only score 12 while LaBrae found 16 more points to cap off the night. Fortuna went cold only hitting 1-of-2 free throws and Dungee, DeJoy and Barbe all hit 3’s. Rowe stepped up once more for LaBrae with 7 more points including a 3 and two 2’s. Boone added two more points by going 2-for-2 from the line  and McGarry capped his night off with a 3.


While LaBrae showed a great effort and earned the victory, Brookfield looked fantastic against the MVAC’s best and showed that they have what it takes to stand toe to toe with the top teams. LaBrae saw Austin Rowe finish with 16 points, Derek Wilson with 18 and Jay McGarry with 10 while Brookfield was led and at times carried by Matteo Fortuna who led all scorers with 21 points. LaBrae (13-2, 9-1) will be back at home on February 2nd when they host Liberty at 7:00PM while Brookfield (6-10, 4-6) will hit the road to take on Campbell Memorial on February 2nd at 7:00PM.


EAST PALESTINE, OH- As the high school basketball season unfolds, the competition is fierce, and teams are jockeying for position in the rankings. Your Sports Network (YSN) has evaluated teams based on various factors, including the Rating Percentage Index (RPI), winning percentage (WP), opponent winning percentage (OWP), and opponent’s opponent winning percentage (OOWP) and recent success/momentum. Let’s dive into the rankings:

1. John F. Kennedy Catholic (Warren)
– **RPI:** 0.728116
– **WP:** 0.923077
– **OWP:** 0.635416
– **OOWP:** 0.545958
– **W/L:** 12-2

 2. Ursuline (Youngstown)
– **RPI:** 0.690662
– **WP:** 0.833333
– **OWP:** 0.603117
– **OOWP:** 0.584951
– **W/L:** 10-2

3. LaBrae (Leavittsburg)
– **RPI:** 0.64529
– **WP:** 0.846154
– **OWP:** 0.537842
– **OOWP:** 0.474336
– **W/L:** 11-2

4. East Liverpool – 0.637339

5. David Anderson (Lisbon) – 0.631076

6. Canfield – 0.631733

7. Poland Seminary (Poland) – 0.612005

8. Pymatuning Valley (Andover) – 0.612984

9. Cardinal Mooney (Youngstown) – 0.617002

10. Badger (Kinsman) – 0.61758

11. West Branch (Beloit) – 0.61894

12. Springfield (New Middletown) – 0.603519

13. Austintown Fitch – 0.600702

14. Edgewood (Ashtabula) – 0.594858

15. Heartland Christian (Columbiana) – 0.583468

16. Newton Falls – 0.57736

17. Memorial (Campbell) – 0.577266

18. Columbiana – 0.574458

19. South Range (Canfield) – 0.589136

20. Hubbard – 0.509149

21. Lowellville – 0.526699

22. Waterloo (Atwater) – 0.561961

23. Howland (Warren) – 0.523109

24. East (Youngstown) – 0.521267

25. McDonald – 0.492494




Lakeview (Cortland)



United (Hanoverton)

Orange (Pepper Pike)

Note: The teams are ranked in descending order based on their RPI values.

These rankings provide a snapshot of the current landscape in high school basketball. The teams are battling hard, and every game counts as they aim for success in the season. Stay tuned for more updates as the competition unfolds.


By Matt Maher 

LEAVITTSBURG, OH – Two of the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference’s (MVAC) beast ducked it out Tuesday night when LaBrae welcomed Newton falls to town. While LaBrae sits atop the MVAC Grey division it was the Tigers (3rd) who would climb the mountain and take down the Vikings by the final score of 64-56.


These two juggernauts battled in a close first quarter where the tigers would narrowly lead 14-12 after the first 8 minutes. The Vikings held multiple 5 point leads in this frame but Newton Falls found their groove in the second 4 minutes and set the tone moving forward. LaBrae saw Austin Rowe lead his team with 5 points, 3 made free throws including an and-1 and David Blackmon III would add 4 points in the paint as well. Carson Howard led his squad with 5 points in the first and Jabriel Rufai snatched another 4.


The second Quarter was where the Tigers truly took control with 17 points to LaBraes 6 it wasn’t even close. Rowe added a nice 3 and Blackmon found a 2 and went 1-for-2 from the line to account for all Vikings points. Newton Falls saw Landon Mcgregor enter the chat with three made 2’s for 6 points while Howard continued to score with 5 more points.


Newton Falls continued to outdo themselves coming out of the break with 21 points but LaBrae kept close by with 17 points. LaBrae saw Jay McGarry score his first 5 points while Rowe hit a 3 and went 2-for-2 from the line and Jackson Lancaster found 3 more points with a 2 and 1 of 2 made free throws. Cameron Huff found himself on top of his team with 6 points all from beyond the arc which is where he excels from. Zach Stinson added 5 more points with two 2’s including an and-1. 


LaBrae found life in the 3rd with an impressive 21 point performance and much better defense that limited Newton falls to just 12 points. Huff found 6 more points from beyond the arc while both Howard and Rufai had the same point line with a made 2 and going 1-for-2 from the line for 3 points each. Austin Rowe looked rejuvenated this frame with three made 3’s all from well beyond the arc he really turned it up. Derek Wilson scored 8 points, all 2’s and Owen Boone brought the boom with two made 2’s. 


Despite a good second half and Austin Rowes 22 point night, the Vikings just couldn’t stop the Tigers who built momentum off of a dominant 2nd quarter and great play from Carson Howard with 16 points and Cameron Huff with 14 as well as solid team play. Newton Falls (10-4, 6-2) will be home on January 26th to take on the Liberty Leopards at 7:00PM while LaBrae (11-2, 7-1) will stay home to take on the Champion Golden Flashes on January 26th at 7:00PM.


WARREN OH- In an intense matchup on Monday night, Champion secured a season sweep of LaBrae with a hard-fought 52-47 victory. The game took an unexpected turn as LaBrae surged to a 21-12 lead after the first quarter, but Champion rallied for a remarkable comeback.

Kayla Haynie showcased her scoring prowess for Champion, contributing 16 points, including four three-pointers. Carlie Easterday added 11 points and 7 rebounds, while Bella Meyer and Addie Warzala chipped in with 8 points and 7 points, respectively, enhancing the team’s overall performance.

On the LaBrae side, Mariah Jones led the scoring effort with an impressive 19 points, securing the game-high. Ella Kuszmaul contributed 13 points, and Riley Rowe added 8 points to bolster the Vikings’ offensive efforts.

Notably, the victory marked a significant milestone for Champion head coach Michael Cole, achieving his 200th career win, a testament to his coaching prowess and the team’s success under his leadership.

Champion (13-4) looks ahead to their next challenge, hosting Campbell on Thursday. LaBrae (12-3) aims to bounce back in their upcoming game on Thursday as they host Brookfield, seeking to regain their winning momentum after a hard-fought battle against Champion.