GARFIELD HEIGHTS — Apparently there is no love lost between Garfield Heights and Elyria these days.
Taller, deeper and quicker, Garfield Heights took care of business Friday night in dominating Elyria 92-44 in Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division play.
“One of (Elyria’s) coaches said something that was very inappropriate,” said Bulldogs coach William “Sonny” Johnson.
“I thought it was ignorant to say (Garfield) has the best players money can buy. We let our team hear that and after that we just wanted to pick it up a little bit.”
Johnson apparently was referring to allegations of recruiting at Garfield Heights.
“You can’t coach size,” admitted Elyria coach Brett Larrick. “(Johnson) had two new kids come in this year — 6-foot-9, 6-foot-6. We don’t have one kid 6-6. That’s a little tough when you bring those kids in.”
The Bulldogs — certainly the favorite to defend their conference title — spotted the Pioneers a first-quarter lead before turning on the jets to win easily.
Garfield, after losing its opener to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, improved to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in league play. Elyria, losers of six straight, fell to 1-8, 0-3.
“(Garfield) pressing us the full game up 40 is not how you represent a program,” said Larrick. “It’s only going to make us better in the long run. I almost have to thank them for that. We’ll get better because of it.”
One look at Garfield’s roster and you understand the tough task the Pioneers faced. The Bulldogs have three players listed at 6-9 and three others at 6-6.
But the Pioneers started off well. Senior Travis Noble — the lone returning starter off last year’s district champion — scored all 10 of his points in the first quarter in helping Elyria to a 19-13 lead at the first break.
“I’m proud of our guys,” Larrick said. “We battled. We represented our program the way we wanted.”
The outcome’s not what we hope for right now and we’re not going to be there for a little while. We understand that, but the first quarter we did some things and took them out of what they wanted to do.
“We’re not a good enough team yet handling the ball — handling peoples’ runs — but I’m very proud of our guys. I thought we played hard.”
The ‘Dawgs’ — as their uniforms call them — pressed and hounded the Pioneers the whole game.
Garfield took off and never looked back in the second quarter — hitting a pair of
3-pointers to grab the lead. It outscored Elyria 33-6 in the quarter with unanswered runs of nine and 16 points along the way.
“We work on our speed and quickness,” Johnson said. “We know most of the teams we play don’t have the athletes we have. We know they’re going to slow the ball up and move the ball a lot so we try to work on a lot of traps and things like that.”
Garfield continued its onslaught by outscoring Elyria 46-19 in the second half after securing a 21-point haftime lead.
Garfield forced 19 turnovers over the course of the middle two quarters in putting the game on ice. Senior Roy Brown and sophomore Trey Lewis each threw in a trio of threes and combined for 46 points. Six-foot-6 sophomore Will Weeks and 6-9 seniors Fred Chatmon and Mario Hines combined to pull in 27 rebounds for the Bulldogs. Garfield won that battle, 48-34.
Junior Mike Cannon led Elyria’s scoring with 11 points and 6-5 junior and 6-5 sophomore Chase Ferris held their own on the boards with 11 and six rebounds respectively but it simply was not enough.
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Garfield Hts. 92, Elyria 44
ELYRIA (44): Will Rudolph 4-0-8, Mike Cannon 3-3-11, Travis Noble 4-0-10, Josh Brubaker 0-0-0, Chase Ferris 2-0-4, Maurice Woods 2-1-5, Matt Velazquez 1-0-2, Brandon Mueller 0-0-0, Dimitrius Lovett 0-0-0, DeSean Davis 0-2-2, Shiloh Taylor 1-0-2. Totals 17-6-44.
GARFIELD HEIGHTS (92): Carl Jones 2-5-9, Roy Brown 9-6-27, Mario Hines 1-5-7, Trey Lewis 7-2-19, Will Weeks 4-1-9, Kenny Simpson 0-0-0, Andre Jackson 1-0-2, Othello Greer 1-0-3, Fred Chatmon 2-1-5, Reggie Taylor 1-0-2, William Dayse 3-0-6, Terrance Davis 0-2-2, Joshua Rickerd 0-0-0, Darren Hill 0-1-1. Totals 31-23-92.
Elyria 19 6 9 10 — 44
Garfield Heights 13 33 20 26 — 92
Three-point goals: Elyria 4-12 (Cannon 2, Noble 2). Garfield Heights 7-17 (Brown 3, Lewis 3, Greer). Field Goals: Elyria 17-49 (35 percent). Garfield Heights 31-61 (51 percent). Free Throws: Elyria 6-17 (35 percent). Garfield Heights 23-35 (66 percent). Rebounds: Elyria 34 (Rudolph 11). Garfield Heights 48 (Weeks 11). Turnovers: Elyria 23, Garfield Heights 10. Fouls: Elyria 21, Garfield Heights 21. Fouled Out: Noble.
Junior Varsity: Garfield Heights 70-51.