MAYFIELD HTS. — Adversity is thrown at you in all sorts of ways during the course of a basketball season, but overcoming it is a totally different issue.
Friday, at Mayfield, Elyria faced all kinds of challenges before coming away with a 61-57 win to improve to 8-3 on the year.
With its second-leading scorer and top rebounder – senior Jarred Schultz — and its sixth man – senior Ronnie Smith — back in Elyria, the eight Pioneers that were eligible found a way to overcome a scrappy effort from the Wildcats (2-9).
“We had to work hard going through the adversity we had for different things,” said senior Trenell Oliver, who picked up the slack with career highs in rebounds (15) and points (14). “Teammates missing and stuff. We had to work hard — all eight of us.”
Schultz (13.4 points, 10.4 rebounds) and Smith (7.9 points, 1.5 steals, 1.7 assists) didn’t accompany the team to Mayfield after violating team and school rules earlier in the day.
“It was a gutty effort — one of the best we’ve seen,” coach Brett Larrick said. “No time to game plan. No time to fix things. Not the prettiest game we’ve had by far. It was just a really gutsy effort.”
Larrick wouldn’t elaborate on the fate of Shultz or Smith.
“We’ll know Monday,” he said. “Bad decisions (by both). We’ll figure it out on Monday. It was a last-minute thing. I’m extremely proud of those guys in the locker room.”
Isaiah Walton put the Pioneers on his shoulders — scoring 22 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out six assists. With Elyria’s rotation all messed up, the Pioneers committed a months-full of turnovers (28) against a team with issues of its own.
Mayfield’s leading scorer and rebounder — 6-foot-4 senior Zach Nahra — was out with a sprained ankle from Tuesday’s loss to Gilmour.
“All of our togetherness really got tested just to see if we could get past the adversity and still come out with the win,”
Walton said. “I really think we all came together to pull out a tough win over here.”
“Trenell, (Anthony) Duckett, big Chris (Jamison) — all eight we had — I’m extremely proud,” Larrick said. “There was a lot of pressure. We’ll fix things on Monday.”
Duckett hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter and Jamison came off the bench to chip in a couple key rebounds and six points. Hunter Parsh added seven points to the mix and Marquise Dalton and A.J. Johnson played good defense. Chris Yates, who hasn’t played much this year, was called on to spell Oliver, Jamison and Johnson inside.
Mayfield was led by senior Ryan Bailey (13 points, four rebounds), and juniors Alex LoPiccolo (11 points) and Luke Bicon (six points, five rebounds).
“We battled and played hard,” Mayfield coach Kevin Niemczura said. “You have to be proud of the effort.”
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elyria 61, Mayfield 57
ELYRIA (61): Hunter Parsh 2-1-7, Isaiah Walton 5-11-22, Anthony Duckett 2-1-7, Trenell Oliver 6-2-14, AJ Johnson 1-0-2, Marquise Dalton 1-1-3, Chris Jamison 2-2-6, Chris Yates 0-0-0. Totals 19-18-61.
MAYFIELD (57): Ryan Bailey 6-1-13, Patrick Tighe 3-0-6, Alex LoPiccolo 5-0-11, Matt Flowers 3-1-7, Brook Krajcirik 3-0-6, Luke Bican 3-0-6, Gage Bican 2-0-4, Joey Casey 1-0-2, Deville Whitfield 0-0-0, Thomas Strasshofer 1-0-2, Mike Galloway 0-0-0, Mike Buda 0-0-0. Totals 27-2-57.
Elyria 16 15 10 20 — 61
Mayfield 14 11 12 20 — 57
Three-point goals: Elyria 5-10 (Parsh 2, Duckett 2, Walton), Mayfield 1-7 (LoPiccolo). Field goals: Elyria 19-38 (50 percent), Mayfield 27-63 (43 percent). Free throws: Elyria 18-28 (64 percent), Mayfield 2-6 (33 percent). Rebounds: Elyria 37 (Oliver 15), Mayfield 27 (Luke Bican 5). Turnovers: Elyria 28, Mayfield 14. Total fouls: Elyria 10, Mayfield 20. Fouled out: None.
Junior varsity: Elyria, 61-57.