November 22, 2014

Elyria
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Gene Legeza Classic: Lorain’s Jerome Golson leads West rally

OBERLIN — It might be a friendly exhibition game featuring the best senior basketball players in Lorain County, but don’t let Lorain’s Jerome Golson know that.

The Lorain Titan scored a team-high 24 points to help lead the West squad to a 115-104 come-from-behind victory over the East squad Sunday at Oberlin College.

Afterward, Golson enjoyed giving the East squad a couple of verbal jabs.

“I had to get hot and now they (East) lost,” said Golson, who had 12 points in each half. “(East) thought they were going to win and told us we were the underdogs. They thought they were the all-stars. I guess that wasn’t the case.”

Defenses on both teams took the night off as the operative words were run, gun and fun. The teams put up a combined 105 shots in the first half and 208 for the game, which featured at least a dozen dunks as each team let the other have the lane more often than not.

Columbia coach Matt Sheets, who, along with Wellington’s Dan Gundert, coached the West squad, was more a spectator than an active participant.

“There wasn’t much for me to do except enjoy some basketball,” Sheets said. “The talent that is out on the floor is a great representation of the type of basketball this county has to offer. This is the easiest game I’ve ever had as a coach.”

The West was up early before the East came back to take a 50-47 lead at halftime. Midview’s Patrick Linn led the East with 9nine points in the first half but it was Clearview’s Anthony Fears who powered them in the second half. Fears finished with a game-high 25 points as he scored 18 points in the second half.

Despite the loss, Fears enjoyed going up against the Lorain contingent of Golson, Thomas Wimbush and AJ Craighead (eight points).

“I’ve been playing them for a lot of years,” Fears said. “We play together in the offseason, so it was fun playing against them and trading baskets.”

The East squad built on its halftime lead and led by double-digits before Golson and Wimbush (16 points) sparked the comeback. However, it was Wellington’s Nathan Starkey and Avon’s Claude Gray who put the finishing touches on the victory.

Starkey provided the punch late as he scored 16 of his 19 points in the final minutes of the game as the West overtook and ran away from the East.

“My teammates did a great job of finding me,” Starkey said. “(Golson and Wimbush) did a great job getting us back into the game. After I hit a couple of shots the ball kept finding its way back to me.”

Claude, Lorain County’s Mr. Basketball, scored 10 of his 14 points in the final 10 minutes.

“I can’t imagine a better way to end my career as an Avon Eagle,” Gray said. “First the Mr. Basketball award and then walking off the court with a win. I’m going to miss playing with my teammates and playing against these guys out here. Whether they realize it or not, every one of them has helped make me a better player.”

Linn finished with 15 points while Elyria’s Demetrius Walton (11 points) and Anthoni Horton (10 points) and Avon Lake’s Eric Stuczynski (10 points)all finished with double-digits for the East.

The game also brought an official end to the high school coaching career of Keystone’s Greg Morgan and he made sure it was a family affair. His father, Joe, sat next to him on the East bench as a special assistant and his two young sons served as ball boys for the team.

“This was a lot of fun,” Morgan said. “A lot of talent out there led to a lot of points. It was nice to have my dad out there with me. He’s been a big fan and was very excited about coming out tonight. I’m going to miss this but I’m going to move on to a different phase at the junior high level and working with kids individually.

“I love coaching basketball but all the stuff that goes along with that nowadays takes away from the coaching aspect. Moving on gives me a chance to just coach.”

West 115, East 104

EAST (104): Anthony Fears 11-0-25, Patrick Linn 7-0-15, Demetrius Walton 4-2-11, Eric Stuczynski 4-1-10, Anthoni Horton 4-2-10, Caleb Shillace 4-0-9, Hunter Skolnicki 3-0-7, Riley Moore 2-0-6, Eddie Brezina 2-0-4, Brandon Murway 2-0-4, Brandyn Sittinger 1-0-3. Totals 44-5-104.

WEST (115): Jerome Golson 10-0-24, Nathan Starkey 9-0-19, Thomas Wimbush 8-0-16, Claude Gray 7-0-14, Mike Maloney 3-0-9, AJ Craighead 4-0-8, Trevon Tucker 4-0-8, Brady Shaw 3-0-6, Kyle Smith 2-0-4, Ryan Poyle 2-0-4, Jason Perry 1-0-3. Totals 51-0-115.

East 50 54 — 104

West 47 68 — 115

Three-point goals: East 11-23 (Fears 3, Moore 2, Walton, Skolnicki, Shillace, Sittinger, Stuczynski, Linn), West 13-34 (Starkey 5, Golson 4, Maloney 3, Perry). Field goals: East 44-102 (43 percent), West 51-106 (48 percent). Free throws: East 5- 6 (83 percent). Rebounds: East 48 (Horton 11), West 52 (Perry 9). Turnovers: East 18, West 12. Total fouls: East 3, West 1.

Contact Hans Schneider at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.