AVON — Elyria’s Jarred Schultz shook his head in disbelief when told he had scored a career high 28 points Saturday in the Lorain County Holiday Classic consolation game against Avon Lake.
“They were all layups,” he said. “I didn’t think I had 28.”
Layups count, too, as Schultz and the Pioneers powered their way past Avon Lake 79-58 to claim third place at the 16th annual holiday event.
“We’re kind of mad we’re third,” said Schultz who also grabbed 11 rebounds. “We thought we were the best team in the county but we lost to Lorain (on Friday night). It’s just one game. We’re trying to get better every day.”
It’s always interesting to see how a team reacts after a tough loss. Elyria (6-2) dropped a hard-fought game to the Titans — this year’s Classic champions — on Friday night but roared out to a quick 26-11 advantage as the first quarter came to a close, and were never really threatened.
“Not the game we wanted to be playing in,” Elyria coach Brett Larrick said. “Our guys very easily could have not shown up (Saturday). We talked about the start of the game. I felt we did a really nice job with our tempo — especially on offense.”
“Elyria’s a good basketball team and they exploited the things they needed against us,” Avon Lake coach Eric Smith said. “They jumped out early and I thought that was huge.”
Avon Lake trimmed the margin to 42-30 after a 3-pointer by Jake Russell with under two minutes to play in the first half, and appeared to have a steal to possibly set up another score. But a foul was whistled on the play and Elyria’s Isaiah Walton connected on a pair of free throws to take some starch out of the Shoremen.
The Pioneers put the game on ice with a 12-5 run to start the second half, increasing their lead to 58-39.
Avon Lake, playing the tournament without seniors Brad Hamilton (6-foot-4) and Ben Oxley (6-6), fell to 2-6.
“That’s 12 points and 10 rebounds,” Smith said of Hamilton. “That hurts, and Ben Oxley’s out. We should have Ben back the first of the year and Brad is a day-to-day thing with the boot (ankle injury).”
Elyria exploited Avon Lake inside with both Schultz and A.J. Johnson, who came through with 13 points and six rebounds. Walton finished with 12 points.
Christian Jones led the Shoremen with 18 points.
“He’s good,” Smith said of Schultz. “He’s the key to that basketball team. We all know Isaiah’s really good. We all know they have the knock-down shooter (Hunter Parsh), but (Schultz) makes that team go. He plays well off Isaiah.”
“Give our guys credit for coming out ready to play,” Larrick said. “We created for each other. We got a lot of guys easy baskets. We only made two threes tonight, which is good and bad. Good thing because we attacked the rim — we got putbacks, we got layups and we scored more points.”
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Elyria 79, Avon Lake 58
ELYRIA (79): Hunter Parsh 1-0-2, Isaiah Walton 3-5-12, Anthony Duckett 1-0-2, Jarred Schultz 13-2-28, AJ Johnson 5-3-13, Ronnie Smith 1-3-6, Trenell Oliver 1-2-4, Marquise Dalton 3-0-6, Chris Jamison 1-4-6, Howie Smith 0-0-0. Totals 29-19-79.
AVON LAKE (58): Quinn Cantleberry 2-0-4, Jason Hessel 3-1-8, Christian Jones 6-4-18, Jace Russell 3-0-9, Matt Molina 0-0-0, Seth Muck 0-1-1, Max Seipel 0-0-0, AJ Outcalt 1-1-3, Luke Harris 2-2-7, Christian Neujar 3-0-6, Nick Horton 0-0-0, Brandon
Doyle 0-2-2. Totals 20-11-58.
Elyria 26 20 21 12 — 79
Avon Lake 13 21 11 13 — 58
Three-point goals: Elyria 2-10 (Walton, Smith), Avon Lake 7-11 (Russell 3, Jones 2, Hessel, Harris). Field goals: Elyria 29-54 (54 percent), Avon Lake 20-56 (36 percent). Free throws: Elyria 19-25 (76 percent), Avon Lake 11-15 (73 percent). Rebounds: Elyria 28 (Schultz 11), Avon Lake 29 (Molina 5). Turnovers: Elyria 6, Avon Lake 12. Total fouls: Elyria 15, Avon Lake 20. Fouled out: None.
Junior varsity: Elyria, 49-33.