ELYRIA — It was a frustrating Friday night for Elyria Catholic at the Coliseum.
The Panthers missed at least 10 easy shot attempts — known in basketball circles as “bunnies” — within two feet of the basket in a 50-43 North Coast League loss to Holy Name.
“Time after time the ball looked like it was going to fall, only to bounce away,” EC coach Alan Januzzi said. “And I shook my head saying, ‘How in the heck did that not go in?’”
But despite their bad luck at making easy shots fall, the Panthers still made a good run at Holy Name (6-0, 3-0 in the NCL) in the final quarter.
The Green Wave took the lead for good, 13-10, with 6:55 left in the first half on an old-fashioned three-point play by Tom McCarthy. They used hot outside shooting to build the lead to 14 with six minutes left in the fourth quarter, 42-28.
But then shots started falling for Elyria Catholic (2-6, 0-3) and the Panthers pulled within three points, 44-41, with 2:13 remaining on Joe Fitch’s layup But that was the closest the Panthers could get as the Green Wave padded its lead at the free throw line in the final minutes.
“They just scrambled,” said Holy Name coach Mark Krakowiak of Elyria Catholic’s rally. “I knew they would play hard. And we got away from attacking. That’s something we’ve got to work on. But the bottom line is we held the lead most of the game and made the free throws down the stretch.”
Januzzi was shaking his head in his office after the game.
“I really thought we outplayed them,” he said. “If we had just made half of those easy shots that missed we would have had the lead.
“Obviously we’re disappointed at not winning, but the kids played well in a lot of ways. Sure we missed a lot of close-in shots, but 90 percent of the battle is working to get good shots. And we did that.”
Elyria Catholic made one more field goal than Holy Name but the visitors had many more free-throw attempts (22 to 8), making 14 of them.
The Panthers also did a better job handling the ball, losing just 17 on turnovers compared to Holy Name’s 19.
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holy Name 50, Elyria Catholic 43
HOLY NAME (50): Tom Berlekamp 6-2-17, Kevin Krakowiak 3-0-8, Mike Yurcak 2-2-7, Tom Loehmann 1-5-7, Tom McCarthy 2-2-6, Johnny McGoun 0-3-3, Danny Day 1-0-2, Andy Junak 0-0-0. Totals 15-14-50.
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (43): Cody Schuster 5-0-11, Joe Januzzi 3-0-8, Joe Fitch 3-1-7, Kevin Fentner 1-4-7, Paul Kubuski 3-0-6, Adam Kirsch 0-2-2, Jacob Schuster 1-0-2, Ryan Taylor 0-0-0, Josh Russ 0-0-0. Totals 16-7-43.
Holy Name 7 17 13 13 — 50
Elyria Catholic 10 7 11 15 — 43
Three point goals: Holy Name 6 of 16 (Berlekamp 3, Krakowiak 2, Yurcak), Elyria Catholic 4 of 12 (Januzzi 2, Cody Schuster, Fentner); Field goals: Holy Name 15 of 38 (38 percent), Elyria Catholic 16 of 52 (30 percent): Free throws: Holy Name 14 of 22, Elyria Catholic 7 of 8; Rebounds: Holy Name 36 (Day 8, Yurcak 6), Elyria Catholic 33 (Cody Schuster 9, Kubuski 8); Turnovers: Holy Name 19, Elyria Catholic 17; Fouls: Holy Name 11, Elyria Catholic 16.
Junior varsity: Holy Name 46, Elyria Catholic 38.