Scott Sabol helps Barberton rally past Perry and advance to Saturday’s Division I district final against Timken.
Scott Sabol can swing the momentum in Barberton’s favor in a matter of seconds. The Perry Panthers found out the hard way Thursday night.
Sabol drained six straight 3-pointers, including three to start the second half, and scored 22 points as the Magics rallied to beat Perry 57-51 in a Division I district semifinal at Memorial Civic Center.
Barberton (19-5) moves on to face Timken on Saturday for a trip to the Columbus regional.
The three Sabol 3s to start the third quarter came in just under a minute and a half. They turned a 26-25 Perry lead into a 34-26 Barberton advantage.
The Magics have seen a lot of this from Sabol. He has hit almost 100 3-pointers this season.
“He’s a great shooter and the best we’ve ever had,” Barberton head coach Ken Rector said. “... The kids trust him. They know if they can get him a shot, they’re pretty sure it’s going to go in.
“I was proud of him too. A lot of times he passes up some shots, but tonight he was confident.”
Sabol’s array of 3s began in the first quarter when the Magics trailed 17-5. He made two straight in the second quarter to help cut a 20-13 Panthers lead down to 23-21.
“We really needed something like that to jump start us both offensively and defensively,” Rector said.
Sabol’s third-quarter 3s forced Perry to play catch up the rest of the night. The Panthers rallied to within two with a minute left, but six straight free throws helped Barberton pull away.
“We knew they were going to keep coming back,” Rector said. “They hit a couple of big shots ... They won the loose ball battle. They won the offensive rebounds.”
Joshua Williams, a promising young sophomore, also made six straight field goals at one point and finished with 21 points for Barberton. He and Sabol each grabbed five rebounds.
Perry (17-7) went almost 10 minutes without a field goal in the second half. The Magics couldn’t pull away, but the Panthers were unable to cut into their lead. A missed layup with just under three minutes left summed up Perry’s struggles.
Jeremiah Jackson’s 3-pointer with 2:24 left stopped the drought and cut the Panthers’ deficit to 46-43. A Drew Tormasi 3 at the 1:00 mark brought them to within 50-48.
It was the closest the Panthers could get the rest of the way.
“We battled back, but we just couldn’t close it out,” Perry head coach Paul Wackerly said.
The Panthers were fortunate to have a shot in the final minute. They hit just 3 of 18 field goals in the fourth quarter. All three came from beyond the 3-point arc.
Page 2 of 2 - “I think we got some shots we wanted,” Wackerly said. “We missed a couple of easy bunnies.”
Jackson scored Perry’s first eight points and had 12 of his game-high 27 in the first quarter. Tormasi finished with 13 points, while Mitchell Paxton grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.
Barberton 57, Perry 51
at Memorial Civic Center
PERRY (17-7) Jackson 12 0-0 27, Weston 2 0-0 6, Tormasi 4 3-3 13, Paxton 0 1-2 1, Osborn 0 2-2 2, Sibert 0 2-2 2. Totals 18 8-9 51.
BARBERTON (19-5) Graham 0 1-2 1, Sabol 6 4-4 22, Painter 3 2-4 9, Jo.Williams 5 5-7 21, Je.Williams
1 2-3 4. Totals 15 14-20 57.
Perry 17 9 12 13 — 51
Barberton 10 15 17 15 — 57
3-point goals—Sabol 6, Jackson 3, Tormasi 2, Painter. Fouls—Perry 17-13. Fouled out—Tormasi, Osborn, Daniels. Rebounds—Perry 33 (Paxton 8), Barberton 28 (Sabol 5, Jo.Williams 5).