December 20, 2014

Elyria
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Boys basketball: Elyria Catholic flattens Brookside with final flourish

ELYRIA — Brookside opened the fourth quarter by erasing Elyria Catholic’s seven-point lead. The Cardinals took their first lead since early in the third when Cameron Drew hit three free throws.

Brookside would not score again.

The Panthers rattled off 13 unanswered points over the final 3:47 to seal a 61-51 non-conference victory and improve to 3-6.

“I called the timeout and I told them the mistakes that we’re making were the mistakes a fourth grade CYO team makes,” Elyria Catholic coach Jason Smith said. “We weren’t finding where our guy was, we weren’t boxing out and we weren’t being patient on offense.

“When they got on their run it was one pass and a shot or one pass and a drive (for us). We wanted to get easier baskets. We did that and that’s how we (finished).”

EC’s Tyler Riddell led all scorers with 21 points, shooting 6-of-15 from beyond the arc. He scored the Panthers’ first 11 points, rattling off three straight 3-pointers and a layup.

“I’ve been in a slump the last four games or so,” Riddell said. “I’ve had college stuff on my mind. Tonight I just came out and the home crowd got me pumped. I just came out and fired.”

Xavier Bennett had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, including five free throws during the Panthers’ 13-0 run. He also had a crucial block with 3:19 to play.

On Brookside’s ensuing possession, Bennett drew a charge from Nathan Keith, who then threw the ball toward an EC player and received a technical.

“Xavier Bennett in the fourth quarter was an absolute monster,” Smith said. “He’s shorter than those guys and was battling with the best of them. When he flips that light switch on, there’s no stopping him. That blocked shot was a difference maker. It got the fans and our bench going.”

Turnovers doomed the Cardinals (3-5), who committed 19 of them, 13 in the second half. Elyria Catholic capitalized on the Cardinals’ eight third-quarter turnovers with an 11-1 run to take a seven-point lead into the fourth.

But Brookside cleaned up its act for the first 4:13 of the final period. Tim Crnko kicked off the run with a 3-pointer, followed by a layup by Keith and a jumper from Mitto Agosto. It looked like Brookside would seize the momentum when Conner Riddell fouled Drew in the act of shooting a 3-pointer, but the free throws wound up being the final points for the Cardinals.

“We did a heck of a job to get back into the game, but they picked up the pressure and we didn’t handle it the way we wanted to handle it,” Brookside coach Brent Schremp said. “We had too many turnovers in that key stretch and they had too many second-chance opportunities.”

Crnko led Brookside with 12 points. Keith and Alex Robinson each had 11 with Keith snagging eight rebounds. Kelvin Jones had a game-high 12 rebounds and was one point shy of a double-double.
Daniel Whitacre also hit double figures for the Panthers with 10 points.

Contact Chris Sweeney at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

Elyria Catholic 61, Brookside 51

BROOKSIDE (51): Cameron Drew 0-3-3, Nathan Keith 4-3-11, Kelvin Jones 4-1-9, Alex Robinson 5-1-11, Tim Crnko 5-0-12, Mitto Agosto 1-2-4, Bryan Tran 0-0-0, Christian Gray 0-1-1. Totals 19-11-51.
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (61): Xavier Bennett 3-5-11, Tyler Riddell 7-1-21, Daniel Whitacre 4-2-10, Conner Riddell 2-0-5, Cory Strasko 3-2-8, Ceeven Shelton 1-2-4, D.J. Graham 0-0-0, Angelo Cruz 1-0-2, James Tirbaso 0-0-0. Totals 21-12-61.

Brookside              18     7     13    13    —    51
Elyria Catholic    15    12    18    16    —    61

Three point goals: Brookside 2-13 (15 percent, Crnko 2), Elyria Catholic 7-24 (29 percent, T. Riddell 6, C. Riddell); Field goals: Brookside 19-51 (37 percent), Elyria Catholic 21-51 (41 percent); Free throws: Brookside 11-16 (69 percent), Elyria Catholic 12-20 (60 percent); Rebounds: Brookside 37 (Jones 12), Elyria Catholic 22 (Bennett 10); Turnovers: Brookside 9, Elyria Catholic 19. Total fouls: Brookside 17, Elyria Catholic 15.
Junior varsity: Elyria Catholic, 68-39.