Conneaut Valley’s Doug Beil scored a career-best 25 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in the Indians 64-52 win over West Middlesex on Friday at Conneaut Valley High School. It was the first 20-point performance by a Valley player this season. The win likely earns the Indians a spot in the District 10 Class A boys playoff field. The District 10 committee is scheduled to announce the playoff brackets today.

CONNEAUTVILLE — Conneaut Valley’s seniors closed down their home court in style, and the Indians made a bold claim to a playoff berth after unloading on visiting West Middlesex, 64-52, Friday.

“Senior night,” said Doug Beil, one of nine 12th-graders that had their last pow-wow at Valley High last night. “We were playing off emotion. And we were fighting for a playoff spot. ... We made sure we got it.”

Valley is now 14-9 overall and 7-4 in Region 1. The Indians have a make-up game against Kennedy Catholic left on the schedule. So, the worst Valley could finish is in a tie for third place in the region with Linesville. With a win over Kennedy, they could tie for second with West Middlesex (16-7, 8-4). Either option should be enough to get the Indians in the District 10 Class A playoff bracket.

“They were motivated,” said Valley coach Bob Leupold. “It was senior night. These seniors have been together since the seventh grade. And West Middlesex beat us three times and knocked us out of the playoffs last year.”

West Middlesex also beat Conneaut Valley earlier this season, 72-64. But it was a different, more driven Indians squad taking the court this time around.

According to Leupold, “We executed well on offense. We kept going to the hoop. We stayed aggressive.”

This was especially true in Doug Beil’s case. The 6-foot-1 swingman lit up the scoreboard for 11 points in just the first quarter as Valley and Middlesex trade the lead five times before the Indians took it permanently at 11-9 following Beil’s 3-point play.

Beil would go on to score a career-best 25 points. It was the first 20-point performance by a Valley player this season.

He also had a monster night on the boards, grabbing 14 rebounds.

“He was everywhere,” Leupold said about Beil. “He stepped up huge.”

Setting up many of Beil’s chances was freshman guard Casey Baker who had 10 assists on the night, including a few super-slick hand-outs to Beil in the paint.

“Casey just shredded West Middlesex’s defense in that first half,” said Leupold. “He found Doug Beil I don’t know how many times.”

Beil added another seven points in the second quarter to finish the first half with 18. Tyler Jones added five points in the frame No. 2, including a reverse-layup at the buzzer that sent the Indians into the lockerroom leading 34-19.

During the second half, Conneaut Valley had to contend with some tough defensive pressure by the trailing Big Reds.

“We knew they were going to come out in the second half and press us,” said Leupold. “I told the kids to look for the high post. We’d kick it out and we’d either turn around and shoot it try to penetrate. We just needed to keep attacking.”

Jones added another six points in the third quarter and finished the game with 12 total. Beil scored four more.

In the fourth, it was Hakeem Spotswood’s turn. He scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter and drew three shooting fouls in the second half. He played a key role in keeping a scrambling West Middlesex team at arm’s length as the clock wound its way down.

The heart and soul of Middlesex’s effort was Troy Mild. He tallied 25 points before fouling out with a little under two minutes to go. By comparison, the next highest scorer in the game for the Big Reds had six points.

West Middlesex also had to finish the game without shooting guard Matt Murray, who went down with an apparent ankle injury in the second quarter and did not return.

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