July 30, 2014

Elyria
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Girls basketball: Elyria coach questions team’s effort after Twinsburg hands Pioneers second blowout loss in three days

Elyria's Shayla Middlebrooks shoots in the first half against Twinsburg. DAVID RICHARD / CHRONICLE

Elyria’s Shayla Middlebrooks shoots in the first half against Twinsburg. DAVID RICHARD / CHRONICLE

TWINSBURG — After watching his team lose by 30 or more points for the second time in three days, Elyria coach Brian Arth walked out of his team’s locker room with a look of disbelief and disgust etched on his face.

Not only had the Pioneers been run off the court by host Twinsburg in a 69-37 loss at the Fight or Flight Invitational, Arth had also run out of answers as to why his team has struggled at times this season.

“I’m at a loss for words,” he said. “I thought I was walking into a good situation here but right now it doesn’t look that way because we have girls who don’t want to play hard. It’s tough. I keep hoping that we can turn the corner and the light will turn on, but as of right now it hasn’t.”

Elyria (4-6) trailed from the outset and found itself down 29-10 by the midway point of the second quarter. The Tigers connected on eight 3-pointers and forced 24 Pioneer turnovers with their pressure defense.

“We were hitting our shots,” said Twinsburg coach Julie Solis, whose team is off to a 6-4 start after playing in the last three Division I state championship games and winning titles in 2011 and ’12. “We’re pretty fast, so if we play with discipline on the defensive side we’re going to be pretty successful. We just got over .500 this weekend and we’re continuing to get better every day.”

Solis’ husband Mark was the football coach at Elyria from 2004-06 and at Lorain High in 2011 and ’12.

Miami of Ohio recruit Baleigh Reid led the Tigers with a game-high 19 points. Aloneet Durden added 17 for Twinsburg. Meanwhile, Shayla Middlebrooks led the Pioneers with eight.

It was the third game in five days for Elyria, which lost to Magnificat 61-20 in Friday’s opening game of the tournament.

“It’s not a good situation,” Arth said. “I know we have a lot of talent but we just don’t play hard. It’s very frustrating for us as a coaching staff because it’s tough seeing kids just going through the motions because I know they can play a lot better.”

Junior Sierra White had eight rebounds for Elyria despite playing most of the game in foul trouble after getting whistled for her third personal in the second quarter.

After trailing 39-22 at the half, the Pioneers didn’t make a field goal until the 2:18 mark of the third quarter when Meaira Williams made her only bucket of the day. By that time the Tigers had extended their lead to 55-26.

“There is still a lot of time left in the season to correct things,” Arth said. “It’s just all a matter of how the girls respond.”

Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

Twinsburg 69, Elyria 37

TWINSBURG (69): Aloneet Durden 7-0-17, Tranae Conard 2-0-6, Jaime Sanborn 3-1-7, Dasja Anderson 2-0-4, Baleigh Reid 7-4-19, Shaundrea Butler 4-0-9, Marisa Howard 3-0-7. Totals 28-5-69.
ELYRIA (37): Sybil Roseboro 1-1-4, Mikayla Christian 1-4-6, Shalya Middlebrooks 4-0-8, Samantha Harjar 2-0-5, Meaira Williams 1-2-4, Sierra White 2-2-6, Dierra Hammonds 1-1-3, Mariah Johnson 0-1-1. Totals 12-11-37.

Twinsburg 19 20 21 9 — 69
Elyria 8 14 11 4 — 37

Three-point goals: Twinsburg (Darden 3, Conard 2, Reid, Butler, Howard), Elyria (Roseboro, Harjar). Field goals: Twinsburg 28-65 (43 percent), Elyria 12-42 (29 percent). Free throws: Twinsburg 5-12 (42 percent), Elyria 11-21 (52 percent). Rebounds: Twinsburg 32, Elyria 31. Turnovers: Twinsburg 17, Elyria 24. Total fouls: Twinsburg 20, Elyria 11.