EATON TWP. — It hasn’t been the kind of season they wanted, but the Middies finally had the kind of game they wanted Friday night.
The result was a 49-40 upset of West Shore Conference leader North Ridgeville.
How satisfying was this one for the Middies? Well, the win brought the Rangers’ seven-game win streak to a grinding halt and handed them their first conference loss. It also cut the Rangers’ league lead to a single game over second-place Vermilion, with the second half of the conference schedule starting Tuesday.
“It feels great to knock them off their undefeated streak in the conference,” Midview senior Brad Gross said of the Rangers. “It feels good because we did it on our home court. They came out hot and were shooting the ball very well, but we just waited it out and then just locked them up on defense.”
Middies junior Nick Clark agreed.
“It felt great to knock off an undefeated team in our conference,” said Clark, who led the Middies with 15 points and had half (eight) of their rebounds. “I knew we had it in us from Day 1 and we had to get over that little bump we had. Tonight’s game did that for us.”
The game started out as if North Ridgeville (7-3, 6-1 WSC) was going to show the Middies just who was boss in the WSC, as the Rangers jumped out to a 19-8 lead behind the hot hand of senior guard Jake Rigsby, who scored 12 of his game-high 16 points in the quarter on four 3-pointers.
Danny Montgomery added another three and Keene Cockburn (10 points on the night) added four points in the Rangers’ first-quarter burst.
The Middies (5-7, 3-4) had other ideas, though, and they went on a 7-0 run to close the gap to 19-15 at the end of the quarter.
They then outscored the Rangers 12-6 in the second quarter to take a
27-25 lead into the half.
Midview’s defense held North Ridgeville to single-digit scoring the final three quarters and was especially stingy in the second half as the Rangers were held to just 15 points. After North Ridgeville scored 19 in the first quarter, it had just 21 the rest of the night.
“Offensively and defensively this had to be the smartest game we have played all year,” Midview coach Troy DiFranco said. “The kids really knew when to hang on to the ball and when to shoot it. We took good shots almost all night. Defensively, the kids were in the right positions and the effort was outstanding.”
“I’m really proud of the kids because they put so much time in and the season hasn’t gone exactly the way they thought it would. This is a big win and maybe they can gain some confidence from it. Some of the kids started doubting themselves and this win will help them.”
North Ridgeville coach Bill Noggle thought he knew what his team’s primary problem was — besides Midview, that is.
“I don’t think you can say we were overconfident, I just don’t think we were focus like we should have been,” Noggle said. “You have to give Midview all the credit. They came out and outplayed us. They were able to execute their game plan and we weren’t. They dictated what we did on offense. I told the kids good teams lose games like this, but it’s just how you bounce back from them.”
The game was a disappointment to Rangers center Drew McGhee, who was held to eight points, but had a game-high 10 rebounds.
“They didn’t do anything that surprised us,” he said. “We practiced all week on them doubling down on me. They just came out and played good defense all night long. We couldn’t run anything on offense. They played their game tonight.”
The loss was the Rangers’ second in a row to the Middies, who also won last year’s regular-season finale after North Ridgeville had wrapped up the conference title.
Contact Ron Nenadal at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Midview 49, North Ridgeville 40
NORTH RIDGEVILLE (40): Drew McGhee 3-2-8, Keene Cockburn 5-0-10, Dan Montgomery 2-0-5, Jake Rigsby 5-1-16, Nick Rogerson 0-0-0, Zach Wade 0-0-0, Ryan McNamara 0-0-0, Jason Ice 0-1-1, Dominique Qualls 0-0-0, Conor Sullivan 0-0-0, Mark Szylakowski 0-0-0, Madison Hamilton 0-0-0, Robert Michael 0-0-0. Totals: 15-4-40.
MIDVIEW (49): Nick Clark 4-7-15, Cody Gunselman 3-1-9, Andrew Agee 3-0-8, Justin Casselle 2-1-7, Brad Gross 2-1-6, Mike Mercado 1-2-4, Anthony Zunis 0-0-0, Jacob Klamut 0-0-0, Joe Yusko 0-0-0, Jordan English 0-0-0, Anthony DiVencenzo 0-0-0, Tim Jaykel 0-0-0, Joshua Wells 0-0-0. Totals: 15-12-49.
North Ridgeville 19 6 7 8 — 40
Midview 15 12 9 13 — 49
Three-point goals: North Ridgeville 6 (Rigsby 5, Montgomery), Midview 7(Casselle 2, Gunselman 2, Agee 2, Gross). Rebounds: North Ridgeville 29 (McGhee 10), Midview 16 (Clark 8). Turnovers: North Ridgeville 16, Midview 6. Total fouls: North Ridgeville16, Midview 9.
Junior Varsity: North Ridgeville, 46-44 (OT)