December 21, 2014

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Boys basketball: Gavin Skelly soars as Demons roll past Lorain

Westlake's Gavin Skelly drives past Lorain's Eddie Williamson, center, and Xavier Harrison. LINDA MURPHY/CHRONICLE

Westlake’s Gavin Skelly drives past Lorain’s Eddie Williamson, center, and Xavier Harrison. LINDA MURPHY/CHRONICLE

WESTLAKE — Once Gavin Skelly got going, Lorain couldn’t stop him.

The senior center and Northwestern commit scored 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in Westlake’s 64-40 victory in a Division I sectional final Saturday afternoon at Westlake High School.

“We never let off the gas,” Skelly said. “Lorain is probably one of the greater teams in the Cleveland area. Really well-coached, but we both played pretty hard. It was fun.”

Lorain (12-12) was without one of its best players — Devon Andrews. The junior wing was suspended for what coach John Rositano said was a school violation.

“It was my decision that school is more important than basketball,” Rositano said. “It was my decision not to play him. We’re student-athletes, we’re students first. The kid is a great kid and I love the kid to death, but you’ve got to follow the rules.”

Early on, Lorain was holding its own without Andrews, taking a 13-8 lead and holding Skelly to two points at the 7:40 mark of the second quarter.

Things changed quickly.

Skelly and teammate Joe Hadib-Nissan — who was shut out in the first quarter — combined for 13 of Westlake’s 18 points in the second quarter.

Hadib-Nissan finished with 11 points and four rebounds for Westlake (17-5).

“It was a big game against a terrific team with a terrific coach and they were nervous,” Westlake coach Shawn Hood said of his players. “In the second quarter we settled in a little bit.”

The barrage continued in the third. Skelly scored four of the Demons’ six points to start the half, and grabbed the second of seven offensive rebounds, all of which went for field goals. Westlake ultimately outscored Lorain 37-10 over a 12:47 stretch after the Titans went up five early in the second.

“Quite honestly they manhandled us physically,” Rositano said. “To say I’m disappointed is an understatement because I didn’t see this coming. They’re not 20-some points better than us.”

Cameron Brown was also big for Westlake, scoring 10 points and adding seven rebounds, three on the offensive end. Hood said it was unfortunate Lorain was without Andrews because Brown was prepared to guard him and he believed his junior would have held his own.

“He was awesome,” Hood said. “Cam is really starting to come on defensively.”

Contact Chris Sweeney at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

Westlake 64, Lorain 40

LORAIN (40): Davierre Andrews 2-3-7, Gerald Howard 2-0-4, Rashod Berry 0-2-2, Eddie Williamson 2-4-8, Demon Hisle 1-2-5, Nazihar Bohannon 4-0-8, Xavier Harrison 0-0-0, Jaheel Moon 2-0-4, Robert Oursler 0-0-0, Kevin Davis 1-0-2. Totals 14-11-40.

WESTLAKE (64): Connor Meek 2-0-5, Cameron Brown 5-0-10, Gavin Skelly 12-3-27, Joe Hadib-Nissan 5-1-11, Makis Beach 2-0-5, Anthony Trujillo 2-1-6, Josh Gibson 0-0-0, Andris Balodis 0-0-0, Danny Slavik 0-0-0, Bobak Rashidria 0-0-0. Totals 28-5-64.

Lorain 11 7 13 9 — 40

Westlake 8 18 25 13 — 64

Three-point goals: Lorain 1-17 (Hisle), Westlake 3-15 (Beach, Meek, Trujillo). Field goals: Lorain 14-48 (29 percent), Westlake 28-62 (45 percent). Free throws: Lorain 11-15 (73 percent), Westlake 5-7 (71 percent). Rebounds: Lorain 29 (Bohannon 11), Westlake 35 (Skelly 15). Total fouls: Lorain 13, Westlake 11. Turnovers: Lorain 17, Westlake 7.