BAY VILLAGE — Elyria Catholic didn’t have just one star that led the way Friday, it had eight.
Every Panthers player scored and also contributed on the defensive end in a 52-49 win over Bay in West Shore Conference action.
Elyria Catholic (4-7, 3-3 WSC) got a game-high 16 points from senior Daniel Whitacre, though the little things are what had Panthers coach Jason Smith excited.
He especially liked a 13-0 run his Panthers reeled off that covered the final 2:38 of the first half and went well into the third quarter, pushing their lead to as much as 12.
“The key to that run was getting the loose balls,” Smith said. “If you go back and watch the game film you’d see that not only did we come up with those balls, but we did the right things when we had the ball. We were patient and we made our layups. We had eight guys play tonight and every single one of them hustled their tails off. Everybody was scrapping after every loose ball until the final buzzer.”
Bay (6-5, 3-4) battled back behind the 3-point shooting of Chris Kazanas and Ben Chase to pull within two points in the final minute of play, but the Panthers were able to deny the Rockets a good look at the basket on their final possession.
Sophomore D.J. Graham eventually pulled down a rebound with 3.5 seconds to play to seal the win.
Kazanas, Chase and Griffin Thompson each scored 13 points for Bay.
“We focus on team defense in practice and tonight it was a total team effort,” Whitcare said. “We wanted to be as patient as possible and to keep them out of the lane and force them to take outside shots.”
The teams traded baskets for much of the first half before Bay took its biggest lead, 20-14, midway through the second quarter. Elyria Catholic regrouped to take a 24-20 lead into halftime.
“They’re a good ball club so we knew we needed to force them to play from behind and try to grind it out,” Whitacre said. “We have a lot of big games coming up beginning with Oberlin on Tuesday, so we have to keep playing at this level.”
Ceeven Shelton and Tyler Riddell scored 10 points each for EC.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elyria Catholic 52, Bay 49
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (52): Cory Strasko 0-2-2, Daniel Whitacre 5-5-16, D.J. Graham 1-1-4, Tyler Riddell 4-1-10, Connor Riddell 1-1-3, John Stursa 2-0-5, Ceeven Shelton 4-1-10, Xavier Bennett 1-0-2. Totals 18-11-52.
BAY (49): Terry Carras 1-0-2, Chris Kazanas 4-2-13, Ben Chase 4-4-13, Griffin Thompson 5-3-13, Sam Strauss 2-0-4, Scott Rapps 2-0-4. Totals 18-8-49.
Elyria Catholic 10 14 14 14 — 52
Bay 14 6 8 21 — 49
Three-point goals: Elyria Catholic (Whitacre, Graham, Riddell, T. Stursa, Shelton), Bay (Kazanas 3, Chase 2); Field goals: Elyria Catholic 18-42 (43 percent), Bay 18-56 (32 percent); Free throws: Elyria Catholic 11-17 (65 percent), Bay 8-11 (73 percent); Rebounds: Elyria Catholic 29, Bay 34. Turnovers: Elyria Catholic 15, Bay 12. Total fouls: Elyria Catholic 14, Bay 15.
Junior varsity: Bay, 68-56