The No. 4-seeded Meteors, though, especially their tandem of outstanding guards, were a little better, bordering on flawless.
Midpark senior Chris Calton and junior Michael Schuller combined for 47 points in the Meteors’ 64-49 victory, the margin of which only was that wide due to late fouling by Midview. In fact, the Middies cut a once-10-point lead to two late in the third quarter, but the Meteors duo always answered the call, first with big baskets to answer Midview charges, and later with pinpoint accuracy at the free throw line.
“Midpark is one of the most patient teams around, and it’s tough to play against a team like that,” said senior Wes Davic, who praised the Midview community, schools, coaches and his teammates after his only season was complete. Davic transferred from Strongsville before this season.
“Their guards would wait for us to slip up and take advantage,” he said.
Calton and Schuller scored all but one of Midpark’s points in the third, none bigger than the final six of the quarter, all from Calton. Midview trailed 29-24 at the half, and Calton scored to open the third. But Davic, the Middies’ leading scorer, converted a three-point play — his first basket of the game — to trim it to four.
Later, Midview’s Dylan Eason scored to cut it to 36-34. But Calton, who scored 23 overall and missed only one field-goal attempt, hit two free throws, then a 3-pointer on which he was fouled. He hit the free throw for a 42-34 lead after three.
“It was frustrating,” said Midview coach Troy DiFranco, who mixed up defenses to limit the duo, including a triangle-and-two look. “They still hit shots. They both played very well and we had trouble stopping them. When we did double them, they were good enough to be able to pass out of the double team and find the open man for a layup.”
Midview made one more charge, with Eason hitting back-to-back threes early in the fourth to get as close as five, at 46-41. But Schuller scored six straight, and Midpark made 16 of 19 free throws in the fourth quarter, even after the Middies denied Calton and Schuller the ball and made others shoot free throws.
All told, Schuller and Calton — each in their third years playing varsity, Midpark coach Duke Barther said — combined to make 15 of 20 field goals and 14 of 16 free throws.
“They’ve played 60 varsity basketball games already,” Barther said. “In big games, when we need them, they’re more composed certainly now than maybe they were last year. They made plays when Midview was able to cut into our lead.”
Eason and Grant Overy, both juniors, led Midview with 11 apiece, while Davic scored eight as the Meteors concentrated their defensive effort on denying him the ball.
“This is never a fun time of the year, you never want the season to end,” DiFranco said. “They tried to take Wes out of it, and I don’t think he forced anything, he got his teammates involved. He’s a smart player, and he understood that they were gearing toward him.”
Midpark 64, Midview 49
MIDVIEW (49): Wes Davic 2-4-8, Devin Dombrowski 3-0-6, Dylan Eason 4-0-11, Grant Overy 2-6-11, Tyler Pasenow 3-1-9, Jack Duffner 2-0-4. Totals 16-11-49.
MIDPARK (64): Christian Calton 8-5-23, Michael Schuller 7-9-24, Dylan Nguyen 0-6-6, Mark Lombardo 2-0-5, Nolan Gerrity 1-2-4, Shelton Jackson 1-0-2. Totals 19-22-64.
Midview 12 12 10 15 — 49
Midpark 17 12 13 22 — 64
Three-point goals: Midview 6 (Eason 3, Overy, Pasenow 2), Midpark 4 (Calton 2, Schuller, Lombardo); Field goals: Midview 16-41 (39 percent), Midpark 19-37 (51 percent); Free throws: Midview 11-17 (65 percent), Midpark 22-28 (79 percent); Rebounds: Midview 23 (Davic 7), Midpark 23 (Lombardo 5); Turnovers: Midview 6, Midpark 3; Total fouls: Midview 19, Midpark 14; Fouled out: Pasenow, Overy.
Contact Joel Hammond at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.