ELYRIA — Things went bad early and often for the Elyria Pioneers on Saturday night.
Elyria made just two field goals in the first half and struggled to get into any kind of rhythm, falling 46-33 to Strongsville in Northeast Ohio Conference action.
The Pioneers committed eight turnovers and went 0-for-5 from the field before Shayla Middlebrooks deposited a 3-pointer at the 1:49 mark of the first quarter for her team’s first points of the game. Elyria went 1-for-8 from the field and 0-for-4 from the foul line, and found itself down 9-3 after one quarter.
The Pioneers got even colder and didn’t score for more than an eight-minute span. Middlebrooks’ second 3-pointer came with 40 seconds left in the second quarter. A free throw by Mikayla Christian with 17 seconds left was the only other point by the Pioneers in the first half. They went 1-for-9 in the quarter and trailed Strongsville 18-7 at halftime.
“I think we played well, we just couldn’t hit a shot,” Elyria coach Brian Arth said. “Strongsville plays a good half court defense. They’re so big, so it made it tough. I’m very proud of my girls for not giving up.”
Elyria is missing senior guard Jocelyn Spraggins, who is out for the season with an ACL injury. She’s missed the last four games after getting injured against North Royalton last Saturday.
The Pioneers are counting on Sybil Roseboro and Mikayla Christian to man the guard positions. Roseboro scored eight of her 12 points in the fourth quarter. She shot 4-for-17 in the game and had one 3-pointer.
Middlebrooks added 12 — including three threes — but also struggled from the field, going 4-for-19. Sierra White scored just three, but pulled down 10 rebounds, while Meaira Williams scored five points and grabbed eight rebounds.
As a team, Elyria shot 10-for-51 (20 percent) from the field and 9-for-27 (33 percent) from the free throw line.
“The big thing is we lose by 13, but we were 9-for-27 from the foul line,” Arth said. “If you count the one-and-ones, it’s about 9-for-33. Our effort was there, but we didn’t shoot well at all. That happens.”
Strongsville had the size advantage, although Elyria outrebounded them 46-32. Keri Hill led the Mustangs with
17 points and 10 rebounds, while Gabi chipped in 11 points.
“We wanted to go inside, that’s our strength right now,” Strongsville coach Jeff Eicher said. “We’re still young. We’re just really starting to gel. I don’t think were where we need to be yet.”
Contact Steve Walker at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strongsville 46, Elyria 33
STRONGSVILLE (46): Erin Sims 1-4-6, Gabi 5-1-11, Carli Steffanik 1-0-2, Keri Hill 5-7-17, Camryn Hill 0-4-4, Sydney Sally 0-1-1, Cassie Martin 0-2-2, Sara Leahy 0-1-1, Taylor Thall 1-0-2, Delfina Glover 0-0-0. Totals 13-20-46.
ELYRIA (33): Sybil Roseboro 4-3-12, Shayla Middlebrooks 4-1-12, Meaira Williams 1-3-5, Sierra White 1-1-3, Mariah Johnson
0-0-0, Mikayla Christian 0-1-1, CiCi McIntosh 0-0-0, Samantha Harjar 0-0-0. Totals 10-9-33.
Strongsville 9 9 8 20 — 46
Elyria 3 4 7 19 — 33
Three-point goals — Strongsville (none); Elyria (Middlebrooks 3, Roseboro). Field goals — Strongsville 13-31 (42 percent); Elyria 10-51 (20 percent). Free throws — Strongsville 20-32 (63 percent); Elyria 9-27 (33 percent). Rebounds — Strongsville 32; Elyria 46. Turnovers — Strongsville 27, Elyria 29.
Junior varsity — Strongsville, 49-35.