ELYRIA — Swirling, constant snow made roads treacherous for drivers Saturday night, but that was nothing compared to the tough going Open Door had against Independence.
The Patriots (1-3) felt the effects of having two of their top players in foul trouble early, falling 81-51 to the Blue Devils in independent action.
Andrew Patterson and Danny Stintsman were the stars that got into foul trouble in the second quarter and Independence (4-2) capitalized, holding the Patriots to a single basket in that quarter. By halftime Independence pushed a 21-18 first quarter lead to 47-28.
Patterson was on the bench the final 5:54 of the first half and Stintsman the final 6:39, both with three fouls.
A junior, Patterson led Open Door with 21 points. He fouled out with 4:58 left and Independence leading, 79-49.
“We just have to play smarter basketball,” said Patterson. “You can’t make silly fouls, play straight, play good defense. We can’t get ourselves in that situation. We need to be out there giving it our all.”
Senior forward Pat Wisniewski led Independence with 26 points, nailing 12 of 14 shots. The visitors’ starting five of Wisniewski, Tom Hockenberry, Brett Teare, Dan Baran and Dan Mathews outscored the Patriots’ starters, 65-39.
A lot of that had to with Patterson and Stintsman’s foul woes.
“We put ourselves in that situation,” said Patterson. “The second half we could have made it up but we just didn’t play good basketball. It starts on defense and not making silly fouls.”
Independence was nothing short of incredible from the field, making 33 of 46 shots for 73 percent. Open Door shot 20 of 47 for 43 percent.
“Patterson and Stintsman are the two best players on the floor many times,” said Open Door coach Todd Wright. “With them not in there it makes it tough.”
Turnovers also hurt the Patriots, who had 24, with 17 of those coming in the first half.
“Andrew and Danny are our two main stoppers on defense,” said Wright. “They certainly exploited us there. We tried to go zone in the second half to protect our guys (that were in foul trouble), but then they starting knocking down 3s. We eventually had to come out of that and get back into our man-to-man game.
“Independence likes to get to the glass. They have some very athletic kids. They can get there and finish well.”
The Independence bench forced many of Open Door’s turnovers, particularly in the first half. The Blue Devils pushed a 19-18 advantage with 56 seconds left in the first quarter to a 19-point cushion (47-28) by halftime.
Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Independence 81, Open Door 51
INDEPENDENCE (81): Pat Wisniewski 12-1-26, Kevin Dougherty 1-0-2, Tom Hockenberry 5-0-11, Brett Teare 4-2-10, Nick Brunsman 3-3-9, Dan Baran 2-0-4, Jim Wotowiec 0-0-0, Ryan Dworznik 0-0-0, Mike Martin 2-0-6, Dan Mathews 5-4-15. Totals 30-10-81.
OPEN DOOR (51): Jamir Moultrie 0-3-3, Caleb Crowder 1-4-6, Will Lovitt 0-0-0, Drew Zaborowski 1-0-2, Dustin Hackney 1-0-2, J.P. Miraldi 1-0-3, Danny Stintsman 2-1-5, Zach Thomas 2-1-7, Andrew Patterson 8-5-21, Cory Kushinski 1-0-2. Totals 17-14-51.
Independence 21 26 21 13 — 81
Open Door 18 10 17 6 — 51
Three-point goals: Independence 5-10 (Martin 2, Mathews, Wisniewski, Hockenberry), Open Door 3-7 (Thomas 2, Miraldi). Field goals: Independence 33-46 (72 percent), Open Door 20-47 (43 percent); Free throws: Independence 10-24 (42 percent), Open Door 14-21 (67 percent); Rebounds: Open Door 23 (Patterson 7), Independence 28 (Teare 5). Turnovers: Open Door 24, Independence 16. Total fouls: Independence 24, Open Door 20. Fouled out: Patterson.
Junior varsity: Independence 55,