But when it came time to play big, well, the Middies got the job done on this night, turning in a 64-57 win in West Shore Conference matchup that didn’t lack for intensity.
Two technical fouls and an intentional foul were called in the battle of longtime rivals.
“Our kids came out ready to play tonight,” Midview coach Troy DiFranco said after his team improved to 6-5, 4-2 in the WSC. “You always hope that they’re ready to play against a rival. They came out and played well at both ends of the floor and jumped out to an early lead.
“But hats off to North Ridgeville, they never gave up and made it pretty interesting down the stretch.”
The diff, as they say down at The Q, might have only been seven, but the game was never that close until the closing minutes.
The Middies came out playing a strong trapping, pressure defense that rattled the Rangers and held them to just seven points, all of which came in the first three minutes.
While the Midview offense was rolling, the North Ridgeville offense was sputtering, missing several uncontested layups and open shots.
The Middies led 15-7 after a quarter then pushed that to 34-19 at the half.
“I call this the last-game syndrome,” Rangers coach Bill Noggle said after his team slipped to 6-6 and 3-4. “The last couple of games we’ve been winning, but I think their effort and mental part of the game is slipping.
“That can’t happen. I’m proud of the fact that they never gave up. That’s something we preach, but we’ve got to start the games with a little more energy and a lot more mental focus than we did tonight.”
Midview got a strong game from 6-foot senior Eddie Brezina and 6-2 junior forward Justin Morris, who led the scoring with 18 and 17 points, respectively.
“Justin and Eddie had great games tonight,” DiFranco said. “Justin may not be as tall as some of the posts, but he’s as strong as any of them and he showed it tonight.”
Brezina was 12-of-16 from the free throw line, while Morris had 12 points in the paint.
Midview’s defense took Rangers point guard and best scorer, Danny Montgomery, out of the game and almost made him a non-factor. Montgomery, who was coming off a 31-point performance against Westlake, was held to 11 points before fouling out with 6:40 to go in the game.
He was one of three Rangers to foul out of the game.
Contact Ron Nenadal at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Midview 64, North Ridgeville 57
Midview (64): Brezina 3-12-18, Morris 6-5-17, Linn 3-5-11, Geyser 2-1-6, Mains 1-2-5, Manning 1-0-3, McClinton 1-0-2, Snoddy 1-0-2, Colangelo 0-0-0, Briggs 0-0-0, Gott 0-0-0. Totals 18-25-64.
North Ridgeville (57): Montgomery 4-2-11, Grazzetti 4-0-12, Szylakowski 4-2-10, Sismour 2-3-7, Alpine 2-2-6, Nelson 2-0-5, Pycraft 0-3-3, Striebing 1-1-3, Clark 0-0-0. Totals 19-13-57.
Midview 15 19 15 15 - 64
N Ridgeville 7 12 12 26 - 57
Three-point goals: North Ridgeville 6-17 (Nelson, Grazetti 4, Montgomery), Midview 3-5 (Mains, Manning, Geyser). Field goals: North Ridgeville 19-48 (39 percent), Midview 18-43 (41 percent). Free throws: North Ridgeville 13-25 (52 percent), Midview 25-38 (65 percent). Rebounds: North Ridgeville 23 (Striebing 7), Midview 28 (Linn 6). Turnovers: N Ridgeville 8, Midview 11.
Junior Varsity: North Ridgeville 53, Midview 32.