By Michael Ginocchi 

Beloit, OH-
The first round sectional game for the West Branch Boys basketball team wasn’t your typical matchup. Hosting the formidable and underseeded East Golden Bears, the Warriors knew they were in for a tough battle, especially considering the Bears were seeking revenge for their earlier season loss to West Branch by just two points in overtime.The game lived up to expectations, with both teams giving it their all in a hard-fought and physical contest. In the end, West Branch managed to secure a narrow 50-47 victory, clinching their spot in the sectional championship. 


West Branch was led by Camden Lane, who had a significant impact with 14 points. His three-point shooting, not typically a strong aspect of his game, played a crucial role. Lane sunk three three-pointers, including a contested shot from the corner, showcasing his ability to deliver in key moments. His unexpected success from beyond the arc was pivotal in securing West Branch’s hard-fought victory. 


Jeremiah Thomas had a nice performance scoring 12 points while Cooper Adnerson contributed 10.The Warriors’ big men played a crucial role by showcasing physicality and dominance on the boards, effectively thwarting East’s attempts to secure rebounds.


Isiah McCray, the standout player for Youngstown East, faced tough defense throughout the game, limiting his usual impact. Despite this, he still managed to put up 16 points, including a last-second attempt at a buzzer-beater to force overtime. Cameron Sly and Tyris Davis also made significant contributions, each finishing in double figures to bolster Youngstown East’s scoring effort.


With the Win West Branch improves to 19-4 and will host 20th seeded East Cleveland Technical on Friday Mar. 1 for a trip to districts. Youngstown East ends their season at 11-10.