ELYRIA — Fans attending the season-opening boys basketball game at Elyria High on Friday night certainly came away with an odd experience.
Elyria won the game 71-59 against the young-but-scrappy Midview Middies, but that may have been secondary to what happened before the game even tipped off.
A fire alarm just prior to the playing of the national anthem forced fans to exit Elyria’s gymnasium. Play didn’t resume for nearly 30 minutes until the alarm was proven to be false.
Once play started, the Pioneers used an eight-point run midway through the first quarter to take a 20-9 lead they never relinquished, although the Middies certainly kept things interesting all night.
“That’s never happened,” Elyria coach Brett Larrick said.
“Twenty-one years, I’ve never seen anything like that,” Midview coach Troy DiFranco said. “You’re so excited, the kids are so pumped up — first game. The national anthem’s about to start. That was crazy.”
Isaiah Walton led Elyria with 24 points but fouled out on a weird back-court sequence where he and Midview’s Daimion Mahone both got tangled up on the floor and battled each other to get loose. Both were whistled for technical fouls and it was Walton’s fifth on the night.
“We have to learn from our mistakes,” Walton said. “I’m proud of my teammates for stepping up. Hunter (Parsh) and Ronnie (Smith) really helped out with the scoring.”
“Couple silly fouls,” Larrick said. “We need him in the game. He’s going to have to rebound and be in there to shoot the ball, pass the ball — he’s got a lot to carry for us.
“Hunter made some shots and Ronnie gave us a spark off the bench. Jarred (Schultz) and A.J. (Johnson) did some things. We’re going to need it from everybody.”
Smith added 15 and Parsh 14 for the Pioneers. Schultz had 14 rebounds.
“That was my first start,” said Parsh, the quarterback on the football team who got a late start due to Elyria’s playoff run.
“We had to refocus (when the alarm went off). It was a good experience.”
“It was a good opening night win for us,” Larrick said. “We had a good first quarter, but then we got a little careless and undisciplined. Midview changed some things on us. Their kids battled and played hard the entire game.”
“I’ll take my guys any day,” DiFranco said. “We’re young but we’ve got guys who’ve been injured diving on the floor for loose balls. We cut it down to six (51-45 early in the final quarter) but (Elyria) went on a 10-0 run and our kids still didn’t quit.”
DiFranco started three sophomores against Elyria and the three combined for 34 points and seven rebounds in their debut. Jacob Wells (14 points), Logan Bolin (11) and Mahone (nine) all had their moments.
Midview trailed 25-12 early in the second quarter but three straight 3-pointers from Jacob Wells (2) and Grant Overy got the Middies right back in the game at 25-21. Elyria led 38-26 at the half.
“We lost Parsh too many times,” DiFranco said. “He hurt us from behind the (3-point) arc. It was a tough first game, it wasn’t the outcome we wanted but effort-wise, I thought our kids battled.”
Elyria scored 10 straight points to build the margin to 63-46 and made six of seven free throws in the last three minutes to maintain a safe margin.
“We did enough to get the win at the end,” Larrick said. “Little different situation having your point guard out and different people having to handle the ball. We made some free throws down the stretch. We tried to run some time (off the clock) at the end. We did that decent for awhile but we turned it over some. There’s still some things we need to work out.”
Elyria 71, Midview 59
MIDVIEW (59): Matt Randolph 3-2-10, Jacob Wells 6-0-14, Logan Bolin 4-2-11, Daimion Mahone 4-1-9, Jack Duffner 1-1-3, Grant Overy 3-1-9, Kyle Warner 0-0-0, Brett Zupanic 0-0-0, Ryan Miller 0-0-0, Vince Blevins 1-1-3. Totals 22-8-59.
ELYRIA (71): Hunter Parsh 5-0-14, Isaiah Walton 10-3-24, Anthony Duckett 2-0-4, Jarred Schultz 2-2-7, AJ Johnson 1-3-5, Trenell Oliver 1-0-2, Ronnie Smith 5-3-15, Marquise Dalton 0-0-0. Totals 26-11-71.
Midview 12 14 18 15 — 59
Elyria 23 15 13 20 — 71
Three-point goals: Midview 7-22 (Randolph 2, Wells 2, Overy 2, Bolin), Elyria 8-20 (Parsh 4, Smith 2, Walton, Schultz). Field goals: Midview 22-52 (42 percent), Elyria 26-57 (46 percent). Free throws: Midview 8-14 (57 percent), Elyria 11-15 (73 percent). Rebounds: Midview 29 (Duffner 10), Elyria 35 (Schultz 14). Turnovers: Midview 17, Elyria 16. Total fouls: Midview 18, Elyria 15. Fouled out: Mahone, Walton. Technical foul: Mahone, Walton.
Junior varsity: Midview, 37-36.