LORAIN — It was a night of celebration within Admiral King’s gymnasium.
Two former Admirals legends had their jerseys retired during halftime, the seniors and their parents were recognized during a pregame ceremony and Admirals coach Mike Scott earned career win No. 50 as the Admirals rolled over Maple Heights in a 72-56 Lake Erie League Erie Division game.
“Who told you that?” Scott said with a laugh. “I’m just glad it happened on this night. It was a special night for the whole school.”
The Admirals (9-6, 2-5 LEL) set the pace with an energetic full-court press that caused the Mustangs (6-11, 0-6) to turn the ball over several times. Admiral King turned the miscues into points, taking a 20-9 lead after one quarter and a 38-24 lead at the half.
“We really emphasized defense coming into tonight,” Scott said. “We were able to do some trapping and force them to make some mistakes. We still have some work to do because they did manage to get several easy layups.
“This is the time we’ve got to get ready for the playoffs.”
The Admirals have won four straight and seem to be riding the standout performances of players like 6-foot-4 junior center Adrian Casey and 5-10 junior guard Christopher Kimbro.
Kimbro helped spark the Admirals with a seven-point,
five-rebound first quarter, and Casey dominated the paint for a team-high 24 points and 11 rebounds.
“We’re really playing as a team right now,” Casey said. “You can see the team chemistry when we’re out on the court. It’s like we know the other players’ instincts, and know what each other is going to do before we do it.”
Casey’s performance was especially impressive because he was doing battle with Mustangs 6-5 junior center Dave Thomas — who finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The two players were a mess of long arms and flailing bodies as they battled for rebounds and tried to earn putbacks for their teams.
“(Thomas) is fast and strong,” Scott said. “But that’s what the LEL’s all about. Teams in this league come at you fast and they come at you strong every night.”
Maple Heights was led by senior guard Marcus Pearl’s
game-high 27 points. But besides Pearl and Thomas, the rest of the Mustangs managed just nine points.
Senior guard Michael Hannibal also scored in double figures with 10 points, while 11 total Admirals got on the scoreboard in the win.
Contact Shaun Bennett at 329-7137 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admiral King 72, Maple Heights 56
MAPLE HEIGHTS (56): Victor Jones 0-2-2, Kevin Collier 1-0-2, De’Andre Grant 1-0-2, Antoine Cook 1-0-2, Marcus Pearl 8-9-27, Kevin Thomas 0-1-1, Dave Thomas 9-2-20. Totals: 20-14-56.
ADMIRAL KING (72): Cody Buckholz 1-0-2, Bryant Parker 1-0-2, Malcolm Barnett 1-1-4, Christopher Kimbro 5-1-11, Brandon Alexander 1-0-2, Terrance Atkinson 3-2-8, Darell Williams 1-0-3, Christopher Compas 0-0-0, Michael Hannibal 4-0-10, Gary Donald 0-0-0, Holley Tyrell 1-0-3, Adrian Casey 10-4-24, Anton Chaney-Harris 1-1-3. Totals 29-9-72.
Maple Heights 9 15 12 20 — 56
Admiral King 20 18 20 14 — 72
Three-point goals: (MH) Pearl 2. (AK) Hannibal 2, Barnett, Tyrell, Williams. Turnovers: Maple Heights 21, Admiral King 10. Rebounds: Maple Heights 41 (D. Thomas 10), Admiral King 36 (Casey 11). Fouls: Maple Heights 15, Admiral King 18.
Junior varsity: Admiral King 65, Maple Heights 58 (OT).