ELYRIA — The “golden ball,” which is emblematic of the Lorain County Holiday Classic championship, resides again in the Elyria High trophy case.
After a two-year hiatus, the gold-colored basketball replica went home Saturday night after the Pioneers (2-0) won the classic title after a tough 49-42 victory over Elyria Catholic. It was the 13th title for the Pioneers in the classic’s 15-year history.
The trophy left Elyria for the first time last November when Lorain captured the tournament championship. EC’s Panthers won it, but kept it in town, when they won the title in 2010.
Saturday’s dramatic final saw the Panthers take a 19-7 lead less than two minutes into the second quarter. But with the help of a 10-2 run in which five Pioneers scored, Elyria gained a tie at 24 by halftime. Sophomore Sybil Roseboro, who nailed Elyria’s three 3-point baskets, drilled two in the second quarter.
“Sometimes I have games like this, but usually I’m more of a passer,” said Roseboro, an All-Classic Team selection. “I hear people talk about how Elyria Catholic has never beaten Elyria, so we kept that going.”
Pioneers senior Mary Jones scored six of her 14 points in the third quarter as Elyria took a 35-31 going into the fourth. But the Panthers came back. They engineered a little 5-1 run halfway through the period, punctuated by senior Karissa McGrath’s putback that tied the score at 38.
Then things turned in the Pioneers’ favor in less than 30 seconds. With EC (1-1) trailing 41-40, freshman guard Riley Schill drove for what appeared to be the go-head basket with 3:14 left. But she was whistled for charging into Elyria’s Alexis Roseboro and the basket was waved off.
Sybil, who was fouled making a putback 17 seconds later, made it a 44-40 Elyria lead. Then with 2:45 to go, EC’s McGrath also drove for a basket, but was called for charging — against Alexis Roseboro again — and that basket was also nullified. Without the two charging fouls, it would have been tied at 44 with just under three minutes to play.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen back-to-back offensive fouls called and baskets called off,” EC coach Eric Rothgery said. “And I’m not saying they were bad. That’s basketball, you know? They were nice takes to the hoop. I like the girls to be aggressive. So they called a foul. That’s the way it is. If we make free throws, we still win.”
The Pioneers made five of eight foul shots the rest of the way to create the final score. Jones, who was also named to the All-Classic team, said the victory was important.
“This means a lot,” she said. “We came out and once we realized we were behind, we needed to get our head in the game. So we did that and we executed very well. I was pretty proud of that.”
Sybil Roseboro matched Jones’s 14 points and Alexis Middlebrooks finished with 10. No one in the EC lineup scored in double figures, although Josie Carandang and Brittney McNamara had nine apiece and McGrath and Riley Schill each added eight.
“For an early game, to get into a close game like that — obviously we’d like to be able to win by a ton,” Pioneers coach Mike Walsh said, “but we were in a close game this time and I thought down the stretch we did a lot of good things … some big plays individually and the team made.
“Alexis Roseboro’s two charges were real huge. As you could see how excited our bench got, we’re really into trying to take the charge. For her to get those two near the end, I thought that was real big.”
Champion Elyria landed three players on the six-member All-Classic team: senior Mary Jones, junior Alexis Middlebrooks and sophomore Sybil Roseboro. Also chosen were seniors Brittney McNamara and Karissa McGrath of Elyria Catholic, and junior Destiny Wilson of Lorain.
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elyria 49, Elyria Catholic 42
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (42): Julia Scarpelli 0-0-0, Josie Carandang 2-3-9, Brittney McNamara 3-1-9, Riley Schill 2-4-8, Shannon Hopkins 2-2-6, Brooke Nedrich 1-0-2, Karissa McGrath 4-0-8, Becky Horvath 0-0-0, Erin Herschelman 0-0-0. Totals: 14-10-42.
ELYRIA (49): Sybil Roseboro 5-1-14, Mikayla Christian 0-0-0, Shayla Middlebrooks 1-0-2, Mary Jones 7-0-14, Jocelyn Spraggins 0-1-1, Alexis Roseboro 0-6-6, Jocelyn Middlebrooks 3-4-10, Mariah Johnson 1-0-2. Totals: 17-12-49.
Elyria Catholic 15 9 7 11 — 42
Elyria 7 17 11 14 — 49
3-point goals: Elyria Catholic 4-10 (McNamara 2, Carandang 2); Elyria 3-7 (Sybil Roseboro 3). Field goals: Elyria Catholic 14-52 (26.9 percent); Elyria 17-64 (26.5 percent). Free throws: Elyria Catholic 10-22; Elyria 12-22. Rebounds: Elyria Catholic 36; Elyria 35. Turnovers: Elyria Catholic 25; Elyria 17. Fouled out: None.