ShareThis Page
Ford City guard nearly sets school record |

Ford City guard nearly sets school record

Bill West
| Saturday, December 10, 2011 12:00 a.m

Friday night’s tip-off tournament game between host Ford City and United introduced a sizeable collection of first-time starters to Sabers fans, but for the most part, it showcased the skills of the home team’s most proven player.

Senior Jon Shanty, the lone full-time starter to return for Ford City, exploded for 40 points during the Sabers’ 67-41 win over District 6’s United in the season opener. He scored 30 points in the second half, 24 of which came from 3-pointers. He finished with 10 3-pointers — just three short of the school record — and made all eight of the free throws he attempted.

“I don’t think I’ve ever scored 30 points,” said Shanty, who fell one point short of tying the school record, set by Chris Zilla in 1995. “Tonight was just my night. … I was definitely on my game and real comfortable shooting.

“I think everybody handled their first game well. A lot of new guys haven’t played varsity basketball. They’re all from football. And different sports have different atmospheres. So these guys did a good job with that.”

Shanty’s 3-pointer just before halftime sent Ford City (1-0) into the locker room with a 31-15 lead. Two of Ford City’s newer faces, first-year coach Greg Hutcherson and senior Hunter Bower, a first-year member of the team, walked behind most of the team after the halftime buzzer sounded and smiled wide as they spoke.

Hutcherson, a head high school basketball coach for the first time, had little to complain about during the win. His team used his up-tempo offense and full-court pressure schemes to build a 12-6 lead through the first quarter and rarely relented thereafter.

“Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous for the game,” Hutcherson said. “I was more anxious and confident. … These guys made it easy… I give them all the credit.”

About Shanty’s performance, the coach said: “I told him before the game, ‘This is your gym. Go put a show on.’ … Jon went out and did what he’s supposed to do. … Hopefully he can continue to play at that high level.”

Senior Tyler Nuzzo, who saw significant minutes as a junior, started the Sabers’ scoring with three consecutive baskets. He scored 8 of his 11 points in the first quarter.

Junior Dave Lattanzio, another of the team’s few players with varsity experience, scored seven of his nine points in the first half.

Bower, like many of Ford City’s newcomers, didn’t have much luck scoring; the 6-foot-5 forward finished with two points. But his thunderous block midway through the first quarter highlighted an impressive defensive performance by the Sabers, who held their opponent to just 23 points through three quarters and whose pressure led to 24 United turnovers.

Senior guard Martin Brison, another first-year member of the high school program, made life difficult for United’s backcourt with his constant pestering.

While Brison, nicknamed “Honey Badger” after LSU football defensive standout Tyrann Mathieu, enjoyed watching his opponents throw the ball away and struggle to run their offense, he loved Shanty’s shooting spectacle just a little more.

“To see Jon going off like that, it was real fun being out there,” Brison said, “just watching him go nuts, straight cashews.”

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.