ELYRIA — Open Door senior Brooke Camera got the hoop in sharp focus from long range Thursday night.
She hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter, which got the Patriots offense rolling on the way to a 40-26 win over First Baptist in the inaugural Open Door Christmas Classic.
The Patriots improved to 6-2 in the second game of a doubleheader.
At 4 p.m. Saturday, Open Door will play for the tournament championship against Christian Community School of Eaton Township.
The Warriors (2-3) defeated Kingsway Christian of Orrville, 38-21, in the opener.
Saturday’s showdown gives Christian Community a chance to avenge a five-point home-court loss it suffered to Open Door on Dec. 13.
Camera, who finished with a team-high 10 points, said she thought her second-quarter threes gave the Patriots impetus.
“It gave our confidence a little boost,” she said. “It gave us the confidence that we can win this game. It kept us going and gave us momentum.”
When Camera hit her first three with just over three minutes gone in the period, Open Door had fallen behind 6-5 after leading 5-2 after eight minutes.
First Baptist tied it at 8-all on junior Sam Iler’s drive to the basket. But that gave the Patriots incentive.
They went on a 15-0 run, which included Camera’s second three, baskets by Christa Mindling, Elizabeth Nejadfard, Alexis Werley, Briana Rodgers and Danielle Turner, and two foul shots by Camera.
Werley, who scored eight points, said a berth in the title game of the Patriots’ own tournament felt good.
“It shows that we worked as a team and came together,” she said. “We had some rough areas, but we came through.”
She also said the Patriots’ Dec. 13 victory over Christian Community was very close.
“It was back and forth, but we’ll be better on Saturday,” she said.
First Baptist, which trailed 25-9 at the break, refused to fold. The Sabres, down 37-16 going into the final eight minutes, won the fourth quarter 10-3. Their defense improved, forcing Open Door into 13 second-half turnovers, and put together what could have been a profitable run in the fourth.
In a span of 2:37, the Sabres shot 13 foul shots, but made only four. Otherwise, with only 70 percent free-throw shooting, for instance, they could have been within 10 points with more than five minutes to play.
First Baptist’s Iler scored a game-high 11 points and, like Camera, was the only player on her team to score in double figures.
“This was a good game for us, because we started out really slow,” Open Door coach Bud Turner said. “We kept them in the game and when you keep a team in the game, it really gives them confidence. But we started making some nice passes, making some steals and getting some easy baskets and that really helped us pull it out.”
First Baptist coach John Milam said his team improved after halftime.
“We were breaking their press and we worked on that a lot,” he said. “Our biggest problem was we couldn’t make a basket. Even in the first half, we made some nice passes and good decisions, but we couldn’t seem to make baskets. I can’t even complain about the shots. But we’re not a real good shooting team.”
First Baptist will play Kingsway Christian in the third-place game at noon Saturday.
Open Door 40, First Baptist 26
FIRST BAPTIST (26): Sam Iler 4-3-11, Tori Odle 2-2-6, Julia Odle 2-1-5, Devon Snelling 1-0-2, Grace Kudlo 0-2-2, Madisyn Johnson 0-0-0, Cynthia Bores 0-0-0. Totals 9-8-26.
OPEN DOOR (40): Brooke Camera 3-2-10, Alexis Werley 3-2-8, Briana Rodgers 3-0-6, Danielle Turner 3-0-6, Valerie Kayanja 2-0-4, Christa Mindling 1-0-2, Lauren Turner 1-0-2, Elizabeth Nejadfard 1-0-2, Brianna Bryant 0-0-0, Siomara Elliott 0-0-0, Jordan Newkirk 0-0-0. Totals 17-4-40.
First Baptist 2 7 7 10 — 26
Open Door 5 20 12 3 — 40
Three-point goals: First Baptist 0-2; Open Door 2-8 (Camera 2). Field goals: First Baptist 9-33 (27.3 percent); Open Door 17-43 (40.3 percent). Free throws: First Baptist 8-20; Open Door 4-9. Rebounds: First Baptist 37; Open Door 38. Turnovers: First Baptist 20; Open Door 18. Fouled out: None.
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.