The Bulldogs had their players’ road numbers written in the scorebook instead of the numbers on their home whites, drawing an administrative technical foul before the game even started.
However, once the clock started rolling, Olmsted Falls took care of business in a 68-60 win over the previously undefeated Titans.
The Bulldogs (12-2, 6-1) connected on 22 of 25 free throws and pulled away with a 14-4 run to end the third quarter and start the fourth.
No Olmsted Falls player scored more than 15 points, but eight players scored and three hit double figures.
Olmsted Falls also took better care of the ball, turning it over 13 times and just four times in the second half.
The Titans (11-1, 4-1) coughed it up 21 times.
“I thought (Olmsted Falls) played a little bit harder the entire game,” Berea-Midpark coach Duke Barther said. “I’m disappointed that maybe we weren’t prepared to play as hard as they did, and that’s on me. We have to be prepared to play hard. Every 50-50 ball wasn’t 50-50 … it was 80-20 to Olmsted Falls.”
The Titans’ were unable to pull closer than eight points after Olmsted Falls pulled out to a 58-46 lead with 4:15 left in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs hit their free throws, connecting on 8-of-9 in the final 1:44, while Berea-Midpark struggled from the line late.
“We missed the front end two or three times at the end of the game that could have cut it to six points,” Barther said. “That was a big thing.”
Senior Nick Fritz led the Bulldogs with 15 points while seniors Adam Asadorian and James Sabatka added 11 each. All 11 of Sabatka’s points came at the free throw line, where he cashed in 11 of 12.
Alex Mitchell added eight points and 12 rebounds while senior point guard Sam Lombardo scored eight points and did a solid job of bringing the ball up against the Titans’ pressure defense.
“(Sam) had a great game tonight … a really heady game, a smart game,” Olmsted Falls coach Chris DeLisio said. “He attacked at the right time and kind of pulled it when it needed to be pulled — especially at the end when they went to the half-court trap and we had to handle some of their pressure.”
Lombardo said he had a simple approach.
“It’s all about trusting your teammates and knowing when the pressure is coming that they are going to step up and help me,” he said. “That’s what it was tonight … trusting each other.”
Alex Brown led the Titans with 24 points and seven rebounds.
Contact Mike Perry at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olmsted Falls 68, Berea-Midpark 60
BEREA-MIDPARK (60): Alex Brown 10-2-24, Michael Schuller 0-2-2, Devon Posey 4-3-11, Doktavious Coker 2-0-6, Nolan Gerrity 3-2-8, Brett Swinnerton 2-1-5, Joey Bachie 1-2-4, Marlon Robertson 0-0-0, Dylan Nguyen 0-0-0. Totals 22-12-60.
OLMSTED FALLS (68): Sam Lombardo 4-0-8, Alex Mitchell 3-0-8, Adam Asadorian 3-3-11, James Sabatka 0-11-11, Nick Fritz 3-8-15, Ryan Sosic 2-0-4, Evan Burnell 0-0-0, Brian Kurz 0-0-0, Kevin Meehan 2-0-4, Evan Manley 1-0-2, Troy Hurrell 0-0-0. Totals 19-22-68.
Berea-Midpark 17 13 11 19 — 60
Olmsted Falls 19 13 14 22 — 68
Three-point goals: Berea-Midpark 4-17 (Brown 2, Coker 2), Olmsted Falls 5-14 (Mitchell 2, Asadorian 2, Fritz). Field goals: Berea-Midpark 22-50 (44 percent), Olmsted Falls 19-50 (38 percent). Free throws: Berea-Midpark 12-21 (57.1 percent), Olmsted Falls 22-25 (88 percent). Rebounds: Berea-Midpark 34 (Brown 7), Olmsted Falls 35 (Mitchell 12). Turnovers: Berea-Midpark 21, Olmsted Falls 13. Total fouls: Berea-Midpark 22, Olmsted Falls 18. Fouled out: Brown.
Junior varsity: Olmsted Falls, 50-49