PARMA — A quick look at the box score might have some jaws dropping after Elyria’s 86-77 victory over Normandy on Tuesday night.
The Pioneers finished with a 42-5 advantage in bench points during the Northeast Ohio Conference crossover game, mostly due to Elyria’s leading scorer, Demetrius Dalton, being held out of the starting lineup after missing two games.
“It was tough missing those games and I’m upset that I let my teammates down,” Dalton said. “So, yeah, I guess I did have a little extra motivation to come in here and play well tonight.”
Dalton, who was suspended for the two games by coach Bob Walsh for a disciplinary issue, hit five
3-pointers en route to a game-high 30 points — scoring 28 points and grabbing all five of his rebounds in the final three quarters.
“(Dalton’s) a rhythm player,” Walsh said. “When he gets in a rhythm, nothing can stop him. Not even me or (assistant) Coach (Brett) Larrick.”
Rounding out the bench points for Elyria was senior forward Mykel Williams, who scored all 12 of his points in the first half. Williams had several huge baskets during the second quarter to keep the Pioneers (8-3) in the game.
Walsh said bench players have to be ready when called upon, even ones who are used to starting.
“There’s no, ‘I need a minute to get ready,’ or anything like that,” Walsh said. “If you have your name called, you’d better be ready to come into the game and contribute immediately.”
The Pioneers starters didn’t do too shabby, either. Senior point guard Promis Cabbil scored 13 points, senior guard Rayshawn Camel added 11 and Seryrell Davis and Travis Noble each finished with 10. Davis, who was sitting on the bench for most of the first half after picking up two quick fouls, scored all 10 of his points in the second half.
“Our defense really went away from us in the fourth quarter,” Invaders coach Jim Madison said. “The guys started pressing and just trying to do too much. We’ve got to learn to take better care of the ball.”
It was Normandy’s defense that seemed to be the biggest factor in the first half. The Invaders (8-4) showed patience with their zone, holding Elyria to just 11 first-quarter points and forcing the Pioneer guards to make several bad entry passes that the Normandy defenders easily pulled down.
“They were trying to slow us down with that 1-3-1 half-court trap, and it was fairly effective in the first half,” Walsh said. “I think by the fourth quarter we may have worn them down. That’s when we really turned up what we call our scramble defense.”
Dalton’s layup with just under four minutes remaining gave the Pioneers a 71-70 lead, and Elyria began building on it from that point. Noble squeezed in a pair of tough shots under the basket, Davis had a pair of putback baskets and Camel drained a pull-up jumper — and suddenly the Pioneers were up 81-75.
A steady performance at the free throw line put the game away.
“We’ve been playing these type of knockdown-drag-out games with Normandy for the past three years,” Walsh said. “Coming in their place and coming out on top of another one of those — it’s big.”
The Invaders were led by senior guard Kyle Caiola’s 22 points. Dalton said stopping Caiola and playing good defense was the key for the Pioneer coming into the game. Senior forward Josh Ebinger added 18 points, junior guard Bobby Wypasek had 15 and senior forward Jordan Ebinger finished with 14 for Normandy.
But nobody shot the lights out like Dalton, who mixed his long-range bombs with dazzling drives through the paint that ended with reverse layups or fallaway jumpers off the glass.
“We knew Dalton was a great shooter,” Madison said. “We just let him get open too many times. He hurt us bad.”
Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or email@example.com.
Elyria 86, Normandy 77
ELYRIA (86): Promis Cabbil 4-4-13, Ricky Smallwood 0-0-0, Demetrius Dalton 11-3-30, Rayshawn Camel 4-1-11, John Yeaples 0-0-0, Seryrell Davis 5-0-10, Alex McKenna 0-0-0, Travis Noble 5-0-10, Mykel Williams 4-4-12. Totals: 33-12-86.
NORMANDY (77): Josh Ebinger 7-3-18, Bobby Wypasek 4-5-15, Kyle Caiola 7-8-22, Corey Baumer 1-1-3, Matt Houdek 0-0-0, Dael Sovchik 0-0-0, Jordan Ebinger 5-3-14, Jake Squirek 0-2-2, John Merry 0-0-0, Ronnie Malaga 1-1-3. Totals 25-23-77.
Elyria 11 26 24 25 — 86
Normandy 14 24 22 17 — 77
Three-point goals: (E) Dalton 5, Camel 2, Cabbil. (N) Wypasek 2, Jordan Ebinger, Josh Ebinger. Turnovers: Elyria 14, Normandy 18. Rebounds: Elyria 38 (Davis 8), Normandy 35 (Jordan Ebinger 12). Fouls: Elyria 22, Normandy 16.
Junior varsity: Elyria 73, Normandy 53.