HENRIETTA TWP. — High school basketball games typically have ebb and flow. Saturday’s game between Firelands and Open Door wasn’t one of them. The Falcons rolled over the Patriots, 60-33.
Firelands (6-5), which won for the fifth time in six games, was led by senior guard Nick Bauer’s 16 points. Sophomore guard Casey Smith and junior forward Logan Sittinger contributed 12 and 11, respectively.
Senior Nick Cipriano, along with sophomores Andrew Patterson and Danny Stintsman, each scored eight points for Open Door (3-9), which lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Firelands put the game away in the second quarter, shooting 12-of-26 (46 percent) from the field in the first half, including 6-of-13 from 3-point range. The Falcons forced 13 turnovers in the first 16 minutes, while only committing only four.
“Our focus was taking care of business and executing the game plan, doing what we do at practice,” said Bauer, who scored 13 points in the first half. “It was tough playing with Joe (Hyster) in foul trouble, but we rallied around him and came away with a ‘W.’”
The Falcons’ leading scorer at 14.6 points per game, Hyster went scoreless in the first half and had only five for the night. The Firelands senior went to the bench with his third foul with about four minutes left in the half, then fouled out with 4:25 left in the game.
“Our shots were going down tonight,” said Bauer. “We’ve been working hard at practice and it paid off. We came out with energy tonight. We pressured the ball and forced them to turn it over. We played straight man most of the time and trapped every once in a while.”
Firelands played fairly efficiently with only six turnovers through three periods.
“We hang our hat on how hard we play and our defense,” said Firelands coach Brett Bartlett. “Offensively, the first quarter they were playing a zone. We got good ball movement. Guys were making the extra pass. We were penetrating and finding the open guys. That’s what we’ve been working on, and it showed tonight.”
Firelands limited Open Door to 8-of-15 shooting and 2-of-7 from 3-point range in the first 16 minutes.
“Our defense in the middle quarters really allowed us to pull away,” said Bartlett. “Everybody that played tonight contributed. We had some steals, some turnovers and some defensive rebounds that led to easy baskets. It all started with our defense.”
It was the third double-digit loss of the week for Open Door, which was routed on the road by Cornerstone Christian on Friday night, 77-28.
“We don’t want to make excuses,” said Open Door coach Todd Wright. “The facts are we scheduled back-to-back nights, and they were prepared to play both. Defensively, we played well and rebounded well. I have to give Firelands credit. They knocked down a lot of shots. We’ve struggled shooting the ball all year. When the game starts getting away, it makes it tough.”
Open Door’s shooting cooled considerably in the second half (5-of-17, 29 percent).
“They pressured our guards out front,” said Wright. “It’s something we’re handling a little better than we were earlier in the year, but clearly it’s an area of focus for us.”
Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Firelands 60, Open Door 33
OPEN DOOR (33): Troy Atwood 1-0-2, Danny Stintsman 4-0-8, Connor Hardt, 0-2-2, Zach Thomas 2-0-5, Andrew Patterson 3-2-8, Nick Cipriano 3-0-8. Jacob Lowe 0-0-0, Caleb Crowder 0-0-0, Drew Zaborowski 0-0-0. Totals 13-4-33.
FIRELANDS (60): Trevor Davis 1-2-5, Nick Bauer 5-3-16, Jim Willbond, Logan Sittinger 5-1-12, Kevin Rollins 0-1-1, Casey Smith 5-0-12, Brett Helton 2-0-4, Joe Hyster 0-5-5, Cole Sklarek 0-0-0. Totals 20-13-60.
Open Door 12 6 5 10 — 33
Firelands 18 17 16 11 — 60
Three-point goals: Open Door 3-13 (Cipriano 2, Thomas), Firelands 8-18 (Bauer 3, Willbond 2, Smith 2, Davis). Field goals: Open Door 13-32 (41 percent), Firelands 20-47 (43 percent); Free throws: Open Door 4-6 (67 percent), Firelands 12-15 (80 percent); Rebounds: Open Door 27 (Hardt 9), Firelands 21 (Bauer 5). Turnovers: Open Door 26, Firelands 11. Total fouls: Open Door 14, Firelands 11. Fouled out: Hysteri.
Junior varsity: Firelands 46, Open Door 11