After trailing by only three points after the opening quarter, the Rangers had a disastrous second period that paved the way for a 58-29 loss to Elyria.
In the other three quarters, the Pioneers only outscored the Rangers 29-24. But in the second, Elyria outscored Ridgeville 29-5.
In that second quarter North Ridgeville missed seven straight field-goal attempts, six straight free throws and had 11 turnovers in 17 possessions against Elyria’s full-court press. Thanks to the turnovers, the Rangers only attempted eight field goals in the quarter, making two. Elyria, on the other hand, hit on 11-of-17 from the field, three of them beyond the arc.
For the game, North Ridgeville (4-11) had 27 turnovers, while Elyria (9-5) had only 13.
Alexis Middlebrooks, a 6-foot junior, led the way for Elyria with 14 points, despite having an upset stomach the whole game. She shared scoring honors with 5-6 senior Mary Jones. The pair also led in rebounds with seven for Middlebrooks and six for Jones.
Middlebrooks was delayed leaving the locker room after the win due to an illness that was apparently caused by eating something that didn’t agree with her stomach before the game.
“I think I ate a poisoned hot dog,” she said with a laugh. “On the floor I didn’t feel sick. It was just when I sat down.”
Middlebrooks sat for a considerable time, with Elyria coach Mike Walsh clearing his bench midway through the third quarter and again in the fourth.
“After the first quarter, coach stressed on us focusing on the press and we did in the second,” she said.
“At the beginning of the game, we didn’t have our focus,” Jones said. “But in the second, we came together as a team. My defense kept me going. It always helps my offense.”
“When we can get a few scores, it gets our press going,” Walsh said. “Our offense really depends on our defense. We are using three different presses and it has really been working the last three or four games. Our girls really enjoy using the three presses.”
North Ridgeville settled down after the disastrous second quarter but was too far behind.
“We just broke down on offense,” North Ridgeville coach Amy Esser said. “We didn’t play as a team. We came out strong at first but then started making a lot of mental mistakes.”
Elyria 58, North Ridgeville 29
ELYRIA (58): Mary Jones 4-5-14, Alexis Middlebrooks 7-0-14, Samantha Harjar 3-0-8, Jocelyn Spraggins 3-0-6, Alexis Roseboro 2-1-5, Mariah Johnson 2-0-4, Sybil Roseboro 1-0-3, Mikayla Christian 1-0-2, Shayla Middlebooks 1-0-2, Cheyenne Rodriguez 0-0-0, Sierra White 0-0-0, Alex Dick 0-0-0. Totals 24-6-58.
NORTH RIDGEVILLE (29): Isabella Pecchia 3-3-9, Alyssa Riley 3-1-7, Cassie Mattix 2-0-4, Kelly Wisniewski 1-0-3, Sam Wiles 1-1-3, Cortney Judson 1-0-2, Kami Mohler 0-1-1, Jordan Butcher 0-0-0, Emilie Groh 0-0-0, Ashley Caraszi 0-0-0, Leah Lindak 0-0-0. Totals 11-6-29.
Elyria 10 29 9 10 — 58
North Ridgeville 7 5 6 11 — 29
Three-point goals: Elyria 4-9 (Harjar 2, S. Roseboro, Jones), NR 1-4 (Wisniewski); Field goals: Elyria 24-61 (39 percent), NR 11-45 (24 percent); Free throws: Elyria 6-12 (50 percent), NR 6-19 (31 percent); Rebounds: Elyria 41 (A. Middlebrooks 7, Jones 6), NR 48 (Pecchia 5); Turnovers: Elyria 13, NR 27; Total fouls: Elyria 15, NR 7. Junior varsity: Elyria, 38-19.
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or email@example.com.