VERMILION — The chaos unleashed by the Vermilion Sailors is not by accident. Bodies are supposed to slam to the floor, turnovers are meant to be plentiful. But the true intent of the Sailors’ approach doesn’t come clear until the late stages of the game, when their opponents are moving just a half-step slow.
Vermilion’s frenetic pace has paid immediate dividends this season, vaulting the Sailors to the top of the West Shore Conference at a time they were supposed to be rebuilding. The Sailors improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the WSC after knocking off Midview 58-46 on Saturday afternoon.
Over the past three years, Vermilion and Midview have engaged in one of Lorain County’s most spirited basketball rivalries — helped in large part by the success of each respective program.
But while the Middies (1-3 overall, 1-1 WSC) kept pace in nearly every phase of the game, they fell short in one significant area: free throw shooting.
Vermilion’s relentless attacking of the basket resulted in a 21-9 advantage in free throw attempts. More harmful to the Middies, though, was the disparity in shots made. The Middies made only one of their foul shots, while the Sailors knocked down 16.
Nick Farley, a 6-foot-4 sophomore forward, said Vermilion’s advantage was the result of its physical edge.
“Toward the end of the second quarter, (Midview was) starting to get a little tired — you could feel it,” said Farley, who scored a game-high 17 points. “They were taking a lot of fadeaways that were hitting the front of the rim.”
Actually, a lot of shots were flying off the rim. No one shot better than 40 percent from the field and both teams had more than 20 turnovers each.
“But that’s the kind of pace we play at,” said Vermilion coach Kurt Habermehl. “Sometimes it hurts us, sometimes it’s very beneficial to us. But one thing we try to do is wear out the other team. And with the number of guys we have playing, we have a chance to do that.”
Midview watched an 18-18 tie midway through the second quarter collapse under a 9-0 run capped by Farley’s basket-and-one. The Sailors built a double-digit lead in the third, one that would not be threatened down the stretch.
“We had great looks and we just didn’t knock down shots,” said Midview coach Troy DiFranco “We missed a lot of layups. We shot 1 of 9 from the free throw line. We talked before the game about the importance of getting more free throw attempts than they did. And they killed us there.”
Midview’s slow start can be partly the result of four straight games on the road. The Sailors host their next five, but the first three dates are killers against Brunswick, Rocky River and Amherst.
Contact Pete Alpern at 329-7135 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vermilion 58, Midview 46
MIDVIEW (46): Kevin Allen 3-0-6, Justin Casselle 1-0-3, Mike Mercado 1-0-2, Jordan English 2-0-6, Nick Clark 1-1-3, Brad Gross 5-2-12, Derek Haney 5-0-10, Matt Borsz 2-0-4. Totals: 20-1-46.
VERMILION (46): Kurt Innes 2-0-4, Andy Pena 1-1-3, Derek Barbato 2-1-5, Justin Turner 3-4-12, Tim Clark 3-2-8, Nick Farley 4-7-17, Derek Hoebing 4-1-9. Totals: 19-16-58.
Midview 12 9 16 9 — 46
Vermilion 12 17 17 12 — 58
Three-point goals: Midview 5 (English 2, Gross 2, Casselle); Vermilion (Turner 2, Farley 2). Field goals: Midview 20 of 50 (40 percent), Vermilion 19 of 51 (37 percent). Free throws: Midview 1 of 9, Vermilion 16 of 21. Turnovers: Midview 21, Vermilion 22. Total fouls: Midview 18, Vermilion 19.
Fouled out: None. Junior varsity: Vermilion, 53-43.