NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Open Door big men Andrew Patterson and Danny Stintsman were looking down on their opponents Thursday night, but no disrespect was meant.
Patterson, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, and Stintsman, a 6-2 junior, are taller than anyone on the Lake Ridge team, and the Patriots used that to their advantage in a 46-36 non-league win.
Patterson scored 15 points and corralled a game-high 12 rebounds as the Patriots improved to 5-7.
“Lake Ridge doesn’t have much height so I came out and looked at them and thought it would be a shame if I didn’t get a lot of rebounds tonight,” Patterson said. “If they would have outrebounded us, it would have been a sign there is something wrong with our team.”
Patterson had nine points in the first half, but Open Door was up only 21-18 at halftime. Stintsman finished with six points and nine rebounds.
With the inside game under control, junior Drew Zaborowski started to make things happen from beyond the 3-point arc. Zaborowski had a game-high 18 points, 12 of which came on his four 3-pointers, as Open Door extended its lead in the second half.
“All this week I’ve been in the gym shooting around, getting our shots down and I really felt good today,” said Zaborowski, a junior. “Early in the game we weren’t boxing out and we were hedging on screens. Once we cleaned some of that up in the second half we started to really play well.”
Zaborowski has been a streaky shooter all season and Open Door coach Todd Wright was happy to see him come through with a big game.
“If we have a shooting contest in practice, Drew wins it going away,” Wright said. “I see every day what a great 3-point shooter he is, but unfortunately he hasn’t been able to do it in games.”
After Zaborowski hit a 3-pointer with 47 second to play in the third quarter that put the Patriots up 32-25, Lake Ridge was never able to cut the deficit to fewer than six points.
Lake Ridge (3-9) was led by junior Nate Lyon, who scored the team’s first seven points on his way to a 12-point performance.
“Every team we play is bigger and stronger than us so from Day One we have focused on being scrappy and executing our game plan, which tonight involved pressing Open Door and playing zone defense,” Lake Ridge coach Brian Ansberry said. “We executed everything we wanted to do tonight, but we just couldn’t put the ball in the bucket. I was proud of our effort. Sometimes the ball doesn’t go your way.”
Ansberry feels a game against a fellow Division IV school like Open Door can be a good midterm exam for a Lake Ridge team with no seniors.
“Playing a team like Open Door gives us a measuring stick and gives the players a lot of confidence because we played a talented, well-coached team and we hung with them until the end,” he said. “Our goal is to be playing our best basketball when the tournament hits. No matter what happened tonight everybody makes the playoffs, so we just have to keep working to be ready.”
Wright hopes his team will take the lessons learned in the win to its game Saturday against Patriot Athletic Conference-leading Lutheran West.
“We’ve talked a lot about what it is going to take to win. Regardless of who scores or how a game plays out, what do we have to do to win,” Wright said. “And the focus has to remain on things like boxing out and taking care of the basketball.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Door 46, Lake Ridge 36
OPEN DOOR (46): Caleb Crowder 1-0-2, Drew Zaborowski 6-2-18, J.P. Miraldi 1-1-3, Danny Stintsman 2-2-6, Andrew Patterson 5-5-15, Cory Kushinski 1-0-2. Totals 16-10-46.
LAKE RIDGE (36): Josh Scofield 2-0-5, Chris Miller 4-1-9, Scott Chriss 2-0-4, Nate Lyon 5-1-12, Marc Ayad 1-0-2, Sam Waldock 2-0-4. Totals 16-2-36.
Open Door 12 9 11 14 — 46
Lake Ridge 5 13 7 11 — 36
Three-point goals: Open Door (Zaborowski 4), Lake Ridge (Lyon, Scofield). Field goals: Open Door 16-34 (47 percent), Lake Ridge 16-55 (29 percent); Free throws: Open Door 10-16 (63 percent), Lake Ridge 2-5 (40 percent); Rebounds: Open Door 33, Lake Ridge 25; Turnovers: Open Door 24, Lake Ridge 15; Total fouls: Open Door 11, Lake Ridge 10.
Junior Varsity: Open Door, 35-30.