Type to search

Bombers top G-Men in emotional night in Garrettsville

Bombers top G-Men in emotional night in Garrettsville


Windham senior guard Chase Eye initiates the Bombers’ offense during the second half of Friday’s game.
Tom Nader/Portage Sports

By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


After a scattered first quarter that included eight turnovers, a 4-of-13 shooting performance and a 13-8 deficit, first-year Windham boys basketball head coach Cody Apthorpe demanded that his team take care of the ball.

The Bombers responded with their best eight minute of the young season.

And it was the turning point in what eventually became a lopsided 63-43 non-league victory over rival Garfield on Max May Night.

The win was the first of Apthorpe’s career, taking over for Marty Hill after his 47-year Hall of Fame career.

Windham sophomore Jack Eye prepares to shoot a free throw during the second half of Friday’s game in Garrettsville. Eye finished with a game-high nine rebounds.
Tom Nader/Portage Sports

In the game-changing second quarter, Windham outscored the G-Men 23-10 and it started from the start with a pair of back-to-back 3s from Zack Turk and Chase Eye that gave the Bombers (1-1) a 14-13 advantage.

The lead changed hands four more times in a span of two minutes, including Garfield’s last lead of the game at 18-16.

Eye, however, sparked a spirited 11-0 run that flipped the game permanently into Windham’s favor.

Eye dashed to the hoop for a pair of layups, Carlos Bruton added one of his own and Turk nailed another 3-pointer from deep and suddenly Windham bounced out to a 27-18 lead with 1:55 left int he second quarter before taking a 31-23 lead into halftime.

“It was super emotional night, and we had told our guys that they would not have to manufacture their own energy tonight. The gym was going to be buzzing with its own energy, and we talked during pregame about containing ourselves and staying focused. It took us a quarter to figure that out, but once we did, our talent and ability took over.”

Windham extended its lead to 36-25 midway through the third quarter and continued to pull away to where the G-Men never shrunk their deficit back to single-digits.

Garfield was plagued by turnovers throughout the game and finished with 26 miscues, with many coming in the game’s first three quarters.

Windham senior Lucas Churchill dribbles into the lane against the defense of Garfield’s Carter Bates.
Tom Nader/Portage Sports

The G-Men (0-2), who are a very young team that are learning the speed and physicality of the varsity game, also struggled to find offense and shot just 14-of-52 (27 percent) and 4-of-26 (11 percent) from 3-point range.

“Experience is a valuable too, and we don’t have much of it so we are being forced to gain experience quickly this year,” Garfield head coach Andy Olesky said. “You have to credit Windham tonight, though. They capitalized on every one of our mistakes and things just really snowballed on us.”

Windham shot 27-of-55 (49 percent) and also buried four 3-pointers on 15 attempts.

Much of the offensive action for the Bombers was ignited by Eye, who was simply electric on both ends of the court.

The senior, who is a four-year letterman, scored 24 points, hitting 10 of his 16 field-goal attempts. He also had four rebounds, five assists, seven steals and two blocked shots. On more than one occasion, the 6-foot guard’s leaping ability was on display as he sprung up and above the pack for rebounds, blocked shots, jumpers and layups.

“He is invaluable to us,” Apthorpe said of his senior leader. “There are a lot of good things about Chase, but probably the best is that you never have to worry about whether or not he is going to show up and give his best effort. He always gives everything he has and he sets a great tone for us.”

Eye was joined in double figures by Bruton, who had 12 points. The 5-foot-11 sophomore also had seven rebounds and five steals.

Garfield’s Jackson Sommer releases a free throw during Friday’s first half. Sommer scored a team-high 15 points. Tom Nader/Portage Sports

Senior Lucas Churchill added 10 points for the Bombers, as well as five rebounds and six assists.

Sophomore Jack Eye led all players in the game with nine rebounds as Windham out-rebounded Garfield, 38-24.

Garfield’s offensive leader was Jackson Sommer, who scored 15 points and hit three 3-pointers. He scored 12 of his points in the first half.

Apthorpe’s first win was a special moment, but he first pointed to his players for the milestone.

“I am just happy for the kids. They played a great game,” Apthorpe said. “What I will remember about tonight is that Coach (Marty) Hill was here for the game and that means a lot. My wife was here, my son was here and my family was all here. That is special to me.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *