ELYRIA — One regional online poll had Villa Angela-St. Joseph ranked 15th in Northeast Ohio when the Vikings invaded Elyria Catholic on Wednesday night.
But in what some might consider an upset, the Panthers held VASJ scoreless in the first quarter and rolled to a 47-24 non-conference victory.
This was no upset.
The Panthers (12-2) buried the Vikings on the backboards 53-27, held them to 22 percent field-goal shooting, played a role in their missing all eight 3-point field-goal attempts and held them to single-digit or no scoring in three of four quarters. The Vikings fell to 9-3.
“I think this was probably our most complete game of the season,” Panthers coach Eric Rothgery said. “The (season-opening) Lorain game was a pretty complete game, so it’s been a long time. I felt like all facets were clicking for us.
“At the start of the season, I thought it would take some work to get where we are now. I also thought this was within the realm of our possibility. I feel like we’re good enough to play with anybody, but average enough that when we’re down, we’re down. We have to keep up the intensity and keep practicing hard.”
With sophomore Riley Schill scoring eight points — including the team’s two 3-point baskets — Elyria Catholic rolled to a 15-0 lead after eight minutes. The Panthers lost the shutout a half-minute into the second quarter, but opened the margin to 29-11 at halftime.
Panthers sophomore Josie Carandang, who returned to action recently after nursing a back problem, scored six points in the second quarter.
“We got some good offensive looks today and that’s what we’ve been working on a lot in practice,” said Natalie Tremont, the lone senior on the EC roster. “It means a lot that we’re getting our team together. We know we can do it now, so when we go play bigger (schools), it’s like a confidence boost for us.”
After a 10-3 run that started late in the third quarter, the Panthers led 42-17 two minutes into the fourth. Jessie Lee, EC’s 5-foot-11 freshman post, scored seven of her 11 points in the second half. Schill, who scored eight of the Panthers’ first 10 points, finished with a game-high 18. Junior Mariah McGhee scored 14 for the Vikings.
“We knew where they were ranked and we just wanted to come out here and prove ourselves,” Schill said. “Tonight was good because the last couple games we didn’t feel like we were improving. We thought we played better and it’s a good win for us.”
The big margin of victory gave EC a chance to work on what it calls its motion offense, which is designed to run time off the clock and create chances for easy baskets.
“We’ve been putting in a lot of new stuff on (the motion offense),” Schill said. “People think we’re going to drive to the hoop every time on that, but we want to have some more options. We’ve been working on putting in some more.”
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elyria Catholic 47, Villa Angela-St. Joseph 24
VILLA ANGELA-ST. JOSEPH (24): Brijae Journee 2-0-4, Mariah McGhee 4-6-14, Toni Beuck 0-0-0, Shamaurice Mowler 2-0-4, Aaliyah Owens 1-0-2, Tyonna Foster 0-0-0. Totals 9-6-24.
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (47): Julia Scarpelli 0-0-0, Josie Carandang 3-0-6, Rachel Cairns 1-0-2, Riley Schill 8-0-18, Nora Hopkins 0-0-0, Margot Novak 1-0-2, Becky Horvath 2-2-6, Natalie Tremont 0-0-0, Jessie Lee 5-1-11, Meredith Ternes 0-0-0, Adrianna Davies 0-0-0, Samantha Filiaggi 1-0-2, Cara Provenzale 0-0-0, Kristen Konno 0-0-0, Maddy Johnson 0-0-0. Totals 21-3-47.
Villa Angela-St. Joseph 0 11 6 7 — 24
Elyria Catholic 15 14 9 9 — 47
Three-point goals: Villa Angela-St. Joseph 0-8; Elyria Catholic 2-4 (Schill 2). Field goals: Villa Angela-St. Joseph 9-41 (22 percent); Elyria Catholic 21-58 (36.2 percent). Free throws: Villa Angela-St. Joseph 6-12; Elyria Catholic 3-12. Rebounds: Villa Angela-St. Joseph 27; Elyria Catholic 53. Turnovers: Villa Angela-St. Josepha 22; Elyria Catholic 19.
Junior varsity: Villa Angela-St. Joseph, 48-17.