MANSFIELD — Senior High coach Marquis Sykes did his best Wolfgang Puck impersonation Friday night, using a traditional recipe to cook up a win over crosstown rival Madison.
The Tygers swiped 21 offensive rebounds and forced 22 turnovers in a 76-53 Ohio Cardinal Conference victory at Malabar Intermediate School’s newly-renovated gym.
Winning the battle of the boards and taking advantage of opponents’ miscues have long been staples of Senior High’s diet. The Tygers feasted again Friday, scoring 17 points off turnovers and 16 points on second-chance opportunities.
“We want to crash the offensive boards and when we do and are successful at it, it’s generally a good night for us,” Sykes said. “When we don’t, it could be a night for us to struggle.
“I thought we got on the offensive glass, especially in the third quarter. That was the game, right there.”
The Tygers (2-1, 1-0) led 33-30 at the half before outscoring the Rams (0-2, 0-1) 21-6 in the third quarter. Dontavious Burtin and Quan Hilory led the charge, combining for 14 points in the period.
“It’s unfortunate the (Mansfield Senior) run was because of rebounding,” Madison coach Tim Mergel said. “It’s one thing if they’re executing offensively, but we are getting stops.
“We’re just not cleaning up possessions. If you’re giving up 21 offensive rebounds, you’re not winning.”
Normally a starter, Burtin came off the bench Friday after reporting late to a team function during the week. The 6-foot-5 senior scored a team-high 17 points on 7 of 12 shooting and swiped eight rebounds.
“He came in with fire and played well once he settled down,” Sykes said. “ He was pressing a little bit because he missed those first three or four minutes of the game. He felt he had to come in and really make an impact.
“Once he calmed down and started finishing at the rim, he was good to go.”
Hilory backed Burtin with 14 points, while De’Zion Taylor added 11. Senior Jakobe Reese grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
“That is what we need from him,” Sykes said of Reese. “If he continues to rebound like that, his scoring average will go up. I’m extremely proud of that guy.”
Jashawn Au led Madison with a game-high 18 points. Tyler Tackett added 10.
A junior, Tackett is Madison’s lone returning letterman.
“We can say that we’re young, but as the year goes on that excuse doesn’t hold much water,” Mergel said. “We’ve got to grow up pretty fast.
“To our guys’ credit, we played hard. I’ve got a great group of kids. We just have to learn to play the game the right way consistently.”