Mustangs shooting guard Phil Black scored 25 of his game-high 32 points in the first half, but the Titans overcame a pair of double-digit leads in the second half, only to fall at the buzzer, 63-62, in Lake Erie League play at Maple Heights High School.
Black was unstoppable in the second quarter, connecting on four straight 3-pointers during a 15-5 Maple Heights run that put them up 40-28 at halftime. Many of his shots were heavily contested and well beyond the 3-point arc.
“We tried everything. We went to three different defenses on him,” Titans coach Andy Bastock said. “We tried to glue a guy on him and he came off screens with very little space, but even with a hand in his face and a little bit of space he was able to knock them down.
“I tried to keep the kids positive in the timeouts and called a timeout to try to break his rhythm. It’s tough for a team to see a kid shooting, shooting, shooting and hitting nothing but the bottom of the net every time.”
Maple Heights (2-2, 1-2 LEL) opened the second half with a 5-2 run that gave it its biggest lead of the game, 45-30, with 5:52 remaining in the third period. That’s when Bastock’s halftime adjustments started to pay off.
He opened the second half in an extended zone, the “Amoeba” zone made famous by John Cheney at Temple.
He moved guards Eddie Williamson and Andre Phillips out, almost to the 3-point line at the top of the zone. The Titans (1-3, 0-3) forced turnover after turnover and used a 10-0 run to cut the Mustangs lead down to five.
“We extended a 2-3 zone and tried to put as much pressure on the 3-point line as we could and made sure we knew where Phil Black was at all times,” Bastock said. “We wanted to trap him when he got it and make someone else beat us.”
Maple Heights 63, Lorain 62
LORAIN (62): Luis Cheers 12-1-25, Eddie Williamson 3-2-8, Andre Phillips 3-1-8, Demon Hisle 0-0-0, Andrew Ralston 2-0-5, Sherman Saunders 2-1-5, Dalandrious Henderson 0-2-2, Gerald Howard 3-0-6, Rashod Berry 1-1-3. Totals 26-8-62.
MAPLE HEIGHTS (63): Phil Black 12-2-32, Dwayne Fields 4-0-8, Marquis Roberson 2-0-5, Isiah Ivey 3-3-9, Andre Wilson 2-1-7. Totals 23-6-63.
Lorain 16 12 14 20 — 62
Maple Heights 19 21 12 11 — 63
Three-point goals: Lorain 2-14 (Phillips, Ralston), Maple Heights 9-18 (Black 6, Wilson 2, Roberson); Field goals: Lorain 26-69 (37.7 percent), Maple Heights 23-46 (50 percent); Free throws: Lorain 8-19 (42.1 percent), Maple Heights 6-19 (31.5 percent).
Junior varsity: Lorain, 43-29.
Contact Mike Perry at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.