ELYRIA — After three straight double-digit losses, Elyria needed something positive Friday and it got it on Senior Night with a 64-45 win over Mayfield.
Isaiah Walton, one of the seniors honored before the game, played through Mayfield’s football mentality to score 25 points and pass Robert Nelson for seventh place on the all-time career Pioneers scoring list with 1,083 points.
His 13-of-17 free throw performance only tells part of the story of the physical by the Wildcats, who fell to 5-13 and 3-6.
“It felt good to finally get out of our drought,” said Walton after back-to-back-to-back losses to Lakewood, North Royalton and Medina. “We didn’t take them lightly. We did what we needed to do to get the win.”
Walton’s classmates certainly pitched in. Seniors Trenell Oliver and A.J. Johnson combined for 21 points and 11 rebounds. Seniors Chris Jamison and Chris Yates got their first starting roles.
“It’s cool to have everyone come out and support the seniors,” Walton said. “We’ve been in this school for four years and it feels good to have Senior Night and have good memories of my four years here.”
The Pioneers will take a 14-6 record to Vermilion today for a 2 p.m. makeup game. Elyria is 7-2 and second in Northeast Ohio Lake Division play — both losses to champion North Royalton.
“I thought we did a decent job taking care of the ball except for a couple stretches,” said Elyria coach Brett Larrick, who started his five seniors and even managed to get senior student manager Spencer Novarese dressed and in the game at the end. “It really came down to us switching our defenses a little bit the first half. Second half, we stuck with the zone and we were really active.”
It didn’t hurt that Mayfield shot only 26 percent from the floor after the last three opponents shot over 50 percent.
“We defended, rebounded and got great shots,” Larrick said. “It’s really not our last home game. It’s a little different situation (with the tournament) so we’ll see how that goes.”
“The last few weeks, I’ve been really pressured hard,” Walton said. “You just have to stay mentally focused and keep my teammates involved — just keep playing hard and not get frustrated.”
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elyria 64, Mayfield 45
MAYFIELD (45): Ryan Bailey 2-2-8, Patrick Tighe 0-4-4, Alex LoPiccolo 2-1-5, Zach Nahra 3-2-10, Brook Krajcirik 0-0-0, Luke Bican 1-0-2, Gage Bican 0-0-0, Matt Flowers 4-3-11, Joey Casey 0-0-0, Deville Whitfield 0-0-0, Thomas Strasshofer 2-0-5, Mike Galloway 0-0-0, Mike Buda 0-0-0, Jake Roach 0-0-0. Totals 14-12-45.
ELYRIA (64): Isaiah Walton 6-13-25, Trenell Oliver 5-1-11, A.J. Johnson 5-0-10, Chris Yates 0-0-0, Chris Jamison 1-0-2, Hunter Parsh 4-0-8, Anthony Duckett 1-2-4, Marquise Dalton 1-0-2, Chris Atkinson 0-0-0, Kyle Ringer 1-0-2, Bobby Russell 0-0-0, Spencer Novarese 0-0-0, Nate Marks 0-0-0. Totals 24-16-64.
Mayfield 12 8 9 16 — 45
Elyria 18 16 13 17 — 64
Three-point goals: Mayfield 5-12 (Bailey 2, Nahra 2, Strasshofer), Elyria 0-5. Field goals: Mayfield 14-53 (26 percent), Elyria 24-53 (45 percent). Free throws: Mayfield 12-19 (63 percent), Elyria 16-24 (66 percent). Rebounds: Mayfield 28 (Flowers 5), Elyria 43 (Duckett 9). Turnovers: Mayfield 13, Elyria 18. Fouls: Mayfield 21, Elyria 13.
Junior varsity: Elyria, 61-53.