April 19, 2014

Elyria
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Boys basketball: Elyria’s winning formula … starting fast, playing tight defense … works well in rout of Parma

Elyria's A.J. Johnson puts up a shot against Parma in the first half Friday night at Elyria High School. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

Elyria’s A.J. Johnson puts up a shot against Parma in the first half Friday night at Elyria High School. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Through two games, the script’s been identical for Elyria High.

Grab the early lead, clamp on some defense and pull away to a win. It worked last week against Midview and it certainly worked again Friday night as the Pioneers wore out Parma 66-40 to open Northeast Ohio Conference Lake Division play.

Elyria (2-0) opens Westlake’s brand new gym tonight in non-conference play, a game that figures to be much closer than Friday’s.

“Real sloppy first half,” Elyria coach Brett Larrick said. “Lot of missed layups. We played hard. I don’t know how focused we really were.”

Against Midview, Elyria rolled out to a 20-9 first-quarter lead and won by 12. Friday it was 20-7 early on and had the Pioneers converted a few missed free throws and layups, no telling what the final spread could have been.

The Pioneers had three players in double figures led by senior Isaiah Walton’s 18 points and junior Hunter Parsh’s 13. Senior AJ Johnson turned in a career high 14-point performance to go along with a half-dozen rebounds.

“At first I was a little nervous,” Johnson said. “As soon as the game gets going, I calmed down a little bit. I know my team really needs me. We just wanted to put them away.”

“That’s the thing,” Larrick said. “We tell him (Johnson) he’s got to have the hands ready, catch and finish.”

Johnson was the beneficiary of a couple of nice feeds from Walton.

“He has confidence in me and trusts me with the ball,” Johnson said of Walton.

“We had three guys in double figures and a couple more close,” Larrick said. “That’s good. That’s two games in a row. We need that. We’re going to need different guys every night.”

Elyria forced Parma into 30 turnovers while committing only 11, the kind of differential Larrick wants to see night-in and night-out.

“We rushed our shots a little bit the first half,” Larrick said. “Free throws and layups I wasn’t really happy with. We had a messed-up rotation — Trynell (Oliver) was out with a concussion. We were putting guys in different spots a little bit.”

Jarred Shultz collared eight rebounds, Walton six and Johnson five.

Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or timothygeb@msn.com. Follow him on Twitter @gebby67.

 

Elyria 66, Parma 40

PARMA (40): Zack Toth 5-0-11, Tyler Deutsh 2-0-4, Nicasio Agosto 2-0-4, Skylar Pastva 5-3-13, Greg Smalley 1-0-2, Sean Ivancic 1-0-2, Nick Banker 2-0-4, Anthony Gaudio 0-0-0, Kyle Lyon 0-0-0. Totals 18-3-40.
ELYRIA (66): Hunter Parsh 4-2-13, Isaiah Walton 6-5-18, Anthony Duckett 0-0-0, Jarred Schultz 3-2-8, AJ Johnson 6-2-14, Marquise Dalton 1-0-2, Ronnie Smith 3-0-7, Chris Jamison 2-0-4, Chris Yates 0-0-0, Howie Smith 0-0-0. Totals 25-11-66.

Parma 12 10 12 6 — 40
Elyria 20 12 15 19 — 66

Three-point goals: Parma 1-12 (Toth), Elyria 5-17 (Parsh 3, Walton, Smith). Field goals: Parma 18-44 (41 percent), Elyria 25-55 (45 percent). Free throws: Parma 3-4 (75 percent), Elyria 11-18 (61 percent). Rebounds: Parma 31(Pastva, Smalley 6), Elyria 25 (Schultz 8). Turnovers: Parma 30, Elyria 11. Fouls: Parma 12, Elyria 11. Fouled Out: None. Junior Varsity: Parma 51-49 (OT).