ELYRIA — Thanks to the play of sophomore J.P. Miraldi, Open Door coach Todd Wright will finally be able to get a good night’s sleep.
Miraldi scored a game-high 28 points to lead the Patriots to a 75-67 win Saturday over Christian Community in the championship game of the Open Door Christmas Classic.
It was the first time in the two-year history of the event that Open Door won the championship trophy.
“Trying to win this tournament has been something that has been keeping me up at night,” Wright said. “This is an event we expect to win and want to win badly and last year we didn’t get it done, so this is a great relief to me. It’s a great testament to how our guys played the last two nights. I’m happy they can enjoy this.”
Junior Danny Stintsman put Open Door (3-3) on top 10-7 with back-to-back baskets late in the first quarter. The Warriors would never lead again.
The game turned into a battle of attrition with two technical fouls, three intentional fouls and 61 total fouls called in the game. Four players, three from Christian Community, fouled out and the teams combined to shoot 79 free throws.
“We can’t control the officials but we can control the fact that we went 10-for-26 from the free throw line in the first half. That’s what sunk us,” Warriors coach Brenda Fox said. “We played with character and fought hard. It’s just hard to lose a close game like this.”
K.J. Miller led Christian Community with 21 points before fouling out with 45 seconds left. Miller had just scored a basket to pull the Warriors within four at 69-65.
Miller and Miraldi were joined on the all-tournament team by the Warriors’ P.J. Norris, who scored 10 points; First Baptist’s Chase Parker and Mark Fralic of Heritage Christian. Open Door junior Andrew Patterson was the tournament MVP. Patterson scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
Open Door held on for the win despite committing 28 turnovers.
“We played pretty well and we stuck with it as a team,” Miraldi said. “That’s how we were able to win. Basketball is a game of runs and every time they got close we held it together. It meant a lot to all of us to bring the title home this year.”
Heritage Christian defeated First Baptist 50-38 in the consolation game. Chase Parker had 16 points and his brother Chad had 12 to lead the Sabres..
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Open Door 75, Christian Community 67
CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY(67): Jack Babet 1-2-4, Alante Johnson 3-0-6, Nate Hull
3-0-6, K.J. Miller 9-1-21, Tom Nowoslawski 3-2-8, Jacob Pshock 1-4-6, P.J. Norris 3-2-10, Jacob Baker 0-2-2, Isaac Miller 2-0-4. Totals 25-13-67.
OPEN DOOR (75): Caleb Crowder 3-1-7, Drew Zaborowski 0-2-2, Dustin Hackney
2-2-6, J.P. Miraldi 9-6-28, Danny Stintsman 2-4-8, Andrew Patterson 5-9-19, Cory Kushinski 1-3-5. Totals 22-27-75.
Christian Comm. 10 21 19 17 — 67
Open Door 16 20 15 24 — 75
Three-point goals: Christian Community (K.J Miller 2, Norris 2), Open Door (Miraldi 4). Field goals: Christian Community
25-73 (34 percent), Open Door 22-53
(42 percent). Free throws: Christian Community 13-31 (42 percent), Open Door 27-48 (56 percent); Rebounds: Christian Community 45, Open Door 43; Turnovers: Christian Community 24, Open Door 28; Total fouls: Christian Community 37, Open Door 24.
Heritage Christian 50, First Baptist 38
FIRST BAPTIST (38): Matt Plog 1-0-3, Chase Parker 6-3-16, Brett Snelling 1-0-2, Devin Kime 0-1-1, Corey Williams 2-0-4, Chad Parker 6-0-12. Totals 16-2-38.
HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (50): Mark Fralic
6-5-17, Jon Szerszen 4-0-8, Mark Brown 3-2-8, Brandon Keller 4-4-12, Brent Koninzinski 0-1-1, Hayden Hoffman 1-2-4. Totals 18-14-50.
First Baptist 10 13 5 10 — 38
Heritage Christian 14 18 8 10 — 50
Three-point field goals: First Baptist (Plog, Chase Parker)