ELYRIA – Abe Valentine made a solid debut as a high school basketball player Tuesday night.
The 6-foot freshman scored 16 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds in Open Door`s impressive 67-48 season-opening win over visiting Lake Ridge in a Northeast Liberty Conference game.
After a close-fought opening quarter, the Patriots turned the game into a romp by outscoring the Lions 20-7 in the second.
Lake Ridge (0-2, 0-2 in the NLC) did manage a comeback of sorts in the third quarter with a 10-0 run, cutting a 45-22 deficit to 45-32, but Valentine`s layup ended the run and Open Door then coasted the rest of the way.
Valentine scored Open Door`s first three points of the game and seven in the first quarter as he set the tone for the Patriots` up-tempo offense – which was led by senior Brendan McNabb`s 24 points. McNabb had all four of his team`s 3-point goals.
“It was an up-tempo game and I tried to get my shots and they kept falling,” Valentine said.
Does he feel out of place surrounded by four seniors and two juniors on the squad?
“No, I`m very comfortable,” he said. “The others have made me feel welcome. Everything is working out nice.”
“Abe got off to a nice start. I think he did a fantastic job tonight,” Open Door coach Jason Penley said. “But overall there were some things I didn`t like about our game tonight. We did a good job in the first half but then in the second we got sloppy at times. And defensively we gave Lake Ridge too many second-chance shots.
“But a win is a win is a win.”
Lake Ridge coach James Knight felt the effect of missing Samie Farhat and Jack Kirwin – two players he expected to be among the team`s scoring leaders – who are both sidelined by injuries.
“We`re hurting without our two top scorers,” Knight said. “Both should be back after the Christmas break.
“We had some matchup problems tonight. That freshman (Valentine) gave us a hard time. We didn`t do a good job on defense, which to me was the key to the game.”
Open Door shot a sizzling 56 percent from the field which overwhelmed the Lions, who shot 41 percent. The Patriots also finished with a 33-28 edge in rebounding, led by Valentine`s nine and Jacob Dodd`s eight.
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Open Door 67, Lake Ridge 48
LAKE RIDGE (48) – Nick Marinik 6-0-12, Diego Chahda 5-0-11, Richie O`Neill 3-2-8, Adam Severs 3-0-7, Oliver Hansen 2-0-5, Atit Shah 1-0-3, Dominic Vellose 1-0-2, Mark Betters 0-0-0, Andrew Hyland 0-0-0. Totals 21-2-48.
OPEN DOOR (67) – Brendan McNabb 9-2-24, Abe Valentine 6-4-16, Jacob Dodd 4-2-10, Michael Terry 3-1-7, Erikc Mann 1-3-5, Yonathon Samuel 2-1-5, Garrett Mitchell 0-0-0, Patrick Elder 0-0-0, Peter Rader 0-0-0. Totals 25-15-67.
Lake RidgeÂ Â Â 15Â Â Â 7Â Â Â 12Â Â Â 14Â Â Â – Â Â Â 48
Open DoorÂ Â Â 20Â Â Â 20Â Â Â 10Â Â Â 17Â Â Â – Â Â Â 67
Three-pointers: Lake Ridge 4 of 5 (Chahda, Shah, Severs, Hansen), Open Door 4 of 9 (McNabb 4). Field-goal shooting: Lake Ridge 21 of 51 ( 41 per cent), Open Door 25 of 44 (56 per cent). Free-throw shooting: Lake Ridge 2 of 8, Open Door 15 of 21. Rebounds: Lake Ridge 28 (Vellose 5), Open Door 33 (Valentine 9, Dodd 7). Turnovers; Lake Ridge 19, Open Door 18. Total fouls: Lake Ridge 18, Open Door 10.
Junior varsity: Lake Ridge 50, Open Door 46.