EAST CLEVELAND — Losing stinks, and close losses often are more difficult to stomach. But when those close losses subsequently help a team eventually learn how to win them, they become a little more worthwhile.
Youthful Lorain, which has suffered close losses throughout the season in its meat-grinder schedule, looked quite comfortable down the stretch on a rare Wednesday, weather-induced game at Shaw.
And Titans coach John Rositano said those prior losses were a factor: Lorain calmly rebounded from one final Cardinals’ run before clearing the defensive glass, making free throws and taking care of the basketball in a 66-62 victory.
“We’re doing a lot better job closing this type of game out,” Rositano said. “We played with a lot of energy, and we didn’t turn the ball over, we got fouled and we made our free throws. That team being the last-place team in our league shows a lot about the type of league we play in and schedule we play.”
The Titans are 9-10 overall and 5-7 in the Lake Erie League, with their three most recent league losses, after getting Devon Andrews back, coming by an average of five points.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, are 1-10 in the LEL, but showed no signs of backing down, even in the face of a couple Lorain spurts that could have put the game away. The Titans led by two after the first quarter and three at half, thanks to a strong 1-2 punch inside with Andrews and Rashod Berry.
Yet the Cardinals answered with 15 in the half from Zachary Whiteside, whose herky-jerky shot — and his success, hitting on 3 of 4 first-half 3-point attempts — surprised Lorain. Shaw took the lead in the third after Lorain committed seven turnovers, including on its first four possessions. But a late Demon Hisle 3-pointer got the Titans back in front, at 52-51, after three.
“We trusted each other (at that point), and remained focused,” said Berry, who scored 18 points on 9-of-14 shooting.”
The Titans looked to run away with the game after scoring seven straight to start the fourth, including another Hisle three and an Andrews dunk after a steal. But Andrews was injured on the dunk — and Shaw recovered.
The Cardinals scored the next eight, and the Titans struggled as Andrews looked to return. When he did, Shaw went right at him, as he struggled to keep Shawn Adams in front of him. From then, Rositano subbed Andrews out on defense and in on offense, and he, along with point guard Eddie Williamson at the line, helped finish off the Cardinals.
Contact Joel Hammond at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lorain 66, Shaw 62
LORAIN (66): Davierre Andrews 0-2-2, Eddie Williamson 2-3-7, Demon Hisle 3-4-13, Devon Andrews 5-7-17, Gerald Howard 3-0-6, Xavier Harrison 1-0-2, Rashod Berry 9-0-18, Nazihar Bohannon 0-1-1. Totals 23-17-66.
SHAW (62): Maurice Lashley 2-0-5, Benjamin Smith 1-0-3, Keon Smith 1-0-3, Dimitrius Anglen 2-0-4, Shawn Adams 5-1-11, Zachary Whiteside 10-0-24, Javon Hill 3-0-6, Jeffery Sears 3-0-6. Totals 27-1-62.
Lorain 23 16 13 14 — 66
Shaw 21 15 16 10 — 62
Three-point goals: Lorain 3-10 (Hisle 3), Shaw 7-14 (Lashley, B. Smith, K. Smith, Whiteside 4). Field goals: Lorain 23-46 (50 percent), Shaw 27-60 (45 percent). Free throws: Lorain 17-23 (74 percent), Shaw 1-2 (50 percent). Rebounds: Lorain 24 (Devon Andrews 7), Shaw 29 (Whiteside 8). Total fouls: Lorain 10, Shaw 17. Turnovers: Lorain 13, Shaw 11. Fouled out: None.
Junior varsity: Shaw, 58-48.