ELYRIA — The Lakewood girls showed up at the Elyria Catholic Coliseum on Wednesday night with one loss on their record.
It must have been to the Celtics or Spurs or somebody.
Well, maybe not. Even so, the Rangers looked like world beaters in pinning a 68-36 West Shore Conference loss on previously once-beaten EC.
Lakewood (7-1, 5-0 WSC) rolled to a 12-2 lead after five minutes, led 21-6 after eight minutes and put it out of reach, 38-17, by halftime.
The Rangers did it with 57.4 percent field-goal shooting and a trapping, claustrophobic defense that held the Panthers to barely 23-percent shooting from the field and single-digit scoring in the first and fourth quarters.
A dozen Lakewood players logged minutes and 11 of them scored. Five Rangers nailed six of 11 threes.
EC coach Eric Rothgery said the Rangers are a good team that played well.
“We got off to kind of a slow start, and for us to have come back from that tonight, we would have had to play a nearly perfect game,” said Rothgery, whose Panthers fell to 8-2, 3-2. “And they would have had to make some mistakes, but neither of those things happened. They didn’t make mistakes and we were far from perfect.
“But we’re going to get there,” he said. “We’re still a very young team. We’re working on building a little bit of depth — you know, when a team like Lakewood can roll three and four girls in at a time, it gets difficult. We want to be at that point sometime this season, and we think we can get there. You don’t feel good to lose like that, but we’re going to bounce back and learn from it.”
The Rangers defense paid particular attention to the Panthers’ Riley Schill, sophomore guard, who leads the team in scoring at 15.9 points per game.
“Elyria Catholic’s a little short-handed right now,” Lakewood coach Mike Harper said, referring to starting guard Josie Carandang, who is out with a back problem. “That really hurts them. They’re a really good basketball team and once they get Josie back, you’ll see a different team out there.
“However, I like what we’re able to do. I think, athletically, we can get out and pressure the ball. (EC guard) Riley Schill, she’s a soldier, she’s a really good player. I love to watch her play and compete, and we throw a lot at her — double-teams, hedges, we try to keep someone in her face at all times. But my hat’s off to my girls. It was a good, solid team effort.”
Schill and freshman post Jessie Lee scored 10 points apiece.
Lakewood post Madison Clause, a 5-foot-10 junior, scored a game-high 17 points and 5-7 freshman Ryann Greenfield finished with 10.
Clause said the Rangers work hard in practice and a focus is defense.
“It’s about repetition and getting the fundamentals down, and doing what we have to do to win games,” Clause said. “When we defend a team, it’s very help-focused. Defense is our main thing. Defense wins games. Defense is a very big part of practice, especially on Mondays.”
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Lakewood 68, Elyria Catholic 36
LAKEWOOD (68): Maggie Rowell 2-0-4, Mikayla Harper 1-0-2, Megan Barrett 0-0-0, Taylor Shaw 4-0-9, Ryann Greenfield 4-0-10, Christin Donahoe 2-0-5, Allison Mazzeo 1-0-3, Christina Kamkutis 1-0-2, Mallory Shaw 0-2-2, Madison Clause 6-5-17, Erin Hoffert 3-0-7, Tori Milicevic 3-1-7. Totals 27-8-68.
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (36): Julia Scarpelli 0-3-3, Riley Schill 4-1-10, Nora Hopkins 2-0-5, Margot Novak 0-1-1, Becky Horvath 0-3-3, Natalie Tremont 1-2-4, Jessie Lee 3-4-10, Maddy Johnson 0-0-0, Adrianna Davies 0-0-0, Sam Filiaggi 0-0-0. Totals 10-14-36.
Lakewood 21 17 18 12 — 8
Elyria Catholic 6 11 16 5 — 36
Three-point goals: Lakewood 6-11 (Greenfield 2, Mazzeo, T. Shaw, Donahoe, Hoffert), Elyria Catholic 2-12 (Schill, Hopkins). Field goals: Lakewood 27-47 (57.4 percent), Elyria Catholic 10-43 (23.3 percent). Free throws: Lakewood 8-10, Elyria Catholic 14-25. Rebounds: Lakewood 24, Elyria Catholic 31. Turnovers: Lakewood 13, Elyria Catholic 22.
Junior varsity: Lakewood, 61-23