NORTH RIDGEVILLE — It took a total team effort by Lake Ridge on Monday night.
Nate Lyon led the way with 14 points, Marc Ayad added 12 and the Royals thrived using a “methodical offense” in a 57-40 non-conference win over Hearts for Jesus.
Lake Ridge (4-8) didn’t waste any time, scoring nine straight points on a pair of field goals each by Marc Ayad and Nate Lyon. Ayad’s first basket was a 3-pointer that got the Royals rolling.
“We’re getting there,” Ayad said. “From where we started, we weren’t doing so well. Now we’re flowing pretty well. It’s working a lot. We have tons of plays and we know them. As a unit, we’re just getting better and better. The confidence level is rising a lot.”
The Royals controlled the game and held a double-digit lead most of the way. Hearts for Jesus (2-8) was able to cut the deficit to seven late in the second quarter on a Tyler Boll basket, but Lake Ridge’s Sam Waldock answered with back-to-back field goals to push the lead back to 11.
Waldock, who is a transfer from Sandusky Perkins, scored nine in his Royals’ debut.
Lake Ridge’s Chris Miller was a beast on the boards, pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds, while also adding eight points.
He had the game’s highlight in the second quarter when he slashed through two defenders and scored on a one-handed layup while crashing to the floor to ignite the Royals’ bench.
Lake Ridge also got six points each from Scott Chriss and Josh Scofield to equal a balanced scoring attack. Scofield also snagged 11 rebounds, while Chriss added seven. The Royals outrebounded the Guardians 48-38.
“What has helped us was getting blown out by some teams,” Miller said. “When we lost, we really came together as a team. We ironed out our mistakes and we’re able to beat a team like Hearts for Jesus by 17 like we did.
“Our chemistry is finally starting to come together. It’s starting to get fun, which makes us play even better.”
Lake Ridge coach Brian Ansberry is confident with the direction his team is heading.
“The plan going in was to pressure them, that’s our style of play,” Ansberry said. “We full-court press even though we don’t go very deep, but our guys are in great shape. They hustle and play their butts off.
“The No. 1 thing I’m proud of is the 100 percent effort they’re giving. Regardless of wins or losses, our effort has been there. That’s what I expect out of my guys and they expect that out of me. When I see that on the floor, I’m happy regardless of the score.”
Hearts for Jesus was led by Boll, who scored 14 points, and Jed Murtha, who added 12 points and nine rebounds.
Guardians coach Bill Taylor was disappointed with the loss, but was impressed with Lake Ridge’s play.
“Lake Ridge ran its offense very methodically against us,” Taylor said. “They were very patient and eventually found good shots.
“On our end, we shot very, very poorly. We had different guys step up and score tonight, but we just need to get three guys shooting well on the same night. We haven’t been able to string together and get a consistent offensive attack.”
Contact Steve Walker at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lake Ridge 57, Hearts for Jesus 40
HEARTS FOR JESUS (40): Evan Chmura 2-1-7, Tyler Boll 7-0-14, Andy Taylor 0-2-2, Jed Murtha 4-4-12, Mitchel Rizzuti 1-0-2, Sito Moreno 1-0-2, Joe Timura 0-1-1, Chad Walker 0-0-0, Isaac Johnson 0-0-0. Totals 15-8-40.
LAKE RIDGE (57): Chris Miller 4-0-8, Scott Chriss 2-2-6, Josh Scofield 3-0-6, Marc Ayad 5-0-12, Nate Lyon 6-1-14, Sam Waldock 4-1-9, Collin Harris 1-0-2, Niko Ortiz 0-0-0, Will Cousino 0-0-0. Totals 25-4-57.
Hearts for Jesus 8 12 12 8 — 40
Lake Ridge 17 12 15 13 — 57
Three-point goals: Hearts for Jesus (Chmura 2), Lake Ridge (Ayad 2, Lyon). Field goals: Hearts for Jesus 15-48 (31 percent), Lake Ridge 25-65 (38 percent). Free throws: Hearts for Jesus 8-23 (35 percent), Lake Ridge 4-9 (44 percent). Rebounds: Hearts for Jesus 38, Lake Ridge 48. Turnovers: Hearts for Jesus 15, Lake Ridge 11.
Junior varsity: Lake Ridge, 35-19