Parma finds way to bounce Twinsburg boys basketball from playoffs

Steve Batko
Correspondent

Who would have thought that Parma’s dynamic guard duo would not have been the dagger to Twinsburg’s chances of pulling off a first round upset in basketball tournament action?

Parma's Darius Davis and Allan Eason did some damage.

Twinsburg Tigers

However, it was unheralded George Burton, who caught fire to vault the Redmen past Twinsburg 61-44 in a Division I Northeast 6 sectional contest at Parma Senior High Feb. 24.

Twinsburg had its season some to a halt at 7-16 overall as Parma is familiar to the Tiger program.

Tiger head coach Phil Schmook’s two sons – Joey and Anthony Schmook — both coach on Parma.

In fact, Phil Schmook was a 1980 graduate at Parma, where he shined for the Redmen basketball and baseball programs.

“Both sons coach there and so I am so familiar with their team and their players – it was the first time to play against them,” said Phil Schmook.

“It was a difficult time around the house,” added Schmook. “I went into this bracket – it was a choice I had. They were all tough choices.”

Burton, a 6-foot-1 wing, was thrust into the limelight a bit more as Parma lost a big man prior to the tourney game. Burton pumped in a career-high 16 points.

“He (Burton) put in five three-pointers and he usually is not a big huge scorer,” Schmook pointed out.

“When I was coaching at Maple Heights (both of his sons transferred from Parma to Maple to play under him), Allan Eason was there and he was part of the travel teams as a young man, so I saw him grow into a player.”

“They have two guards in Eason and Davis (only a sophomore) that are going to be scholarship kids,” said Schmook. “They are the best pair that we have seen this year.”

Parma (10-7) was eliminated by second seed Cleveland St. Ignatius (16-7) in a sectional final.

Eason, averaging 23.9 points a game, is a 1,000-point scorer and his first triple against the Tigers set a single season school record. He had 16 points against Twinsburg.

Twinsburg held Davis, another prolific scorer, in check in the first half with solid defense.

However, Davis caught fire by exploding for 19 second half points.

“We had to go to man-to-man in the second half on defense and really had no answer for Davis,” remarked Schmook.

Burton was the one who hurt the Tigers as well.

“I think new tried different ways to take them (Eason and Davis) out of their games and we had some success, but other kids hurt us,” explained Schmook.

For the most part, the Tigers weren’t killed by turnovers or a lack of execution. It was shooting and making buckets that has haunted Twinsburg this crazy season.

“Just as it has been the entire year, it wasn’t turnovers, it was just missed shots,” noted the coach.

There were times this winter that the Tiger’s field goal percentage was below 25-percent as a team.

“I think it was a tough season to gain consistency with not playing till Jan. 8 and then we got 23 games in in less than two months – that was the positive of the season is that we got our seniors games to compete in for their final season,” Schmook went on to say.

“It didn’t make it easy on the kids though,” said Schmook, alluding to some of the last-minute schedule additions and road trips that Tiger officials made happen.

“We got the kids opportunities to play basketball and we are happy to have our senior kids to have completed a full season. I thought we played harder and at a greater intensity level as the season progressed.”

Tiger seniors include Dante’ Yarbrough, Trevell Williams, P.J. Suggs, and Roman Sims.

“The seniors will be missed, but we had about five sophomores getting good minutes in the rotation, plus our juniors,” issued Schmook, who also likes his program’s positive youth movement.

Junior point guard Reggie Bussey will be a fixture next year, along with sophomore guards and wings David Coniglio, Adam Williams, Brennan Hopp, Jake Bond, and Mylen McGhaw.

In addition, juniors John Morris (a wing) and Ravon Willis (guard) also saw key minutes for the Tigers as did freshman wing Josh Lee.

Coniglio and Suggs scored nine points in the loss at Parma while Hopp added five.