Barrino scores 27 in Malvern win

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CCM/Carol McIntire Malvern senior J’Allen Barrino (10) lays a shot in over Dawson Young of Smithville in the season opener Friday at Malvern. Barrino scored 27 points.

By Carol McIntire


J’Allen Barrino is a name the Smithville Scotties aren’t likely to forget any time soon.

The 6-3 Malvern senior guard was inside, outside, under the basket and on the baseline making shots, stealing the ball, grabbing rebounds and basically tearing holes in the Scotties defense on opening night of the 2023-24 season for both teams.

Barrino ended the night with 27 points, just shy of half of the points the host Hornets scored in the 59-36 win. Barrino also grabbed eight boards to share rebounding honors with teammate Jared Witherow and forced multiple turnovers on the Scotties. 

Early in the contest, the defending Wayne County League champions put up a fight, scoring the first points of the game on an inside basket by Quinn Maibach and matching the Hornets shot-for-shot for a 12-12 tie at the end of the quarter. 

After an uncontested shot on the inbounds pass to open the second quarter, Malvern Coach Dennis Tucci called a timeout and aggressively explained to his team how he wanted them to play. 

The “chat” proved to be effective as the Hornets went on an 11-2 run to take a 27-16 lead at intermission. 

Barrino tied the game at 14-14 and added a quick bucket on a drive inside. He stole the ensuing inbounds pass, raced to the other end and laid the ball over the hoop and through the net.

Jax Riggenbach scored his team’s only other points of the quarter on an inside shot that was followed up with a 3-pointer by Barrino, who scored 19 of his team’s first half points. He ended the night with 12 field goals, the one 3-pointer, and sank two of three free throw attempts. He was also responsible for a major portion of the Scotties 18 turnovers. Malvern committed 11 turnovers.

The Scotties held their counterparts in check in the third period, with both teams scoring 11 points.

In typical Tucci style, the Malvern skipper rotated players in and out, keeping his team fresh in the fourth quarter and outscoring the visitors 21-9 to secure the win.

Junior Eric Swain joined Barrino in double figures with 10 points. Witherow added eight points, Mitch Minor 5, Drake Hutchison 4, Rodney Smith 3 and Dylan Phillips 2.

Three Scotties broke the double figure mark, led by Ethan Piatt with 12 points. Maibach and Evan Steiner chipped in 10 apiece. 

The winners shot 58 percent from the field (26 of 45) compared to 40 percent for Smithfield (16 of 40). The winners sank five of 10 foul shots while the Scotties were 0-2 at the charity stripe.

Malvern won the battle for rebounds 31-22 and committed eight fouls compared to nine for the visitors.

JV game: Malvern 57-33.  

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