LORAIN — Look out: Lorain is coming.
The Titans, who’ve played three games with a full squad after getting Devon Andrews back, is running on full throttle. And when the Titans develop a killer instinct, they could be even more dangerous.
Lorain used its size inside and the interior skill of Andrews and Rashod Berry to finish off a game Clearview team 74-68 on Saturday night before a sellout crowd at old Southview High School. Tickets were largely gone by the end of the freshman game, with “Sold Out” signs on the doors by halftime of the JV game.
Despite the victory, all the Titans (8-6) wanted to talk about was how they, for the second straight night, failed to go for the jugular. A night after beating Bedford 71-65 despite holding a bigger lead in the second half, the Titans failed to build on a lead that grew to 16 late in the third quarter.
“The crowd made everything better tonight, and made us want to play hard,” said Berry, who, along with Andrews, scored 26 points. Combined, the tandem made 26 of 37 shot attempts. “Our confidence has been way better lately and helping us score more on offense. Our thing is our defense has been going down. We need to come back to practice and improve.”
Yet despite that interior efficiency, Clearview (10-3) hung around by what Lorain coach John Rositano called “trading baskets.” The Clippers fell behind early, 10-2, as they adjusted to Lorain’s physicality in the paint, coach John Szalay said. But they rebounded to cut the lead to 23-22 in the second quarter, after two straight Gerrell Williams buckets.
The Titans, though, scored six quick ones and 12 of the final 17 of the half — six from Andrews, four from Berry — to lead 35-27. They extended the lead to 12 early in the third, and after Clearview’s Jason Young answered with two jumpers, the Titans later scored seven in a row, helped by two straight baskets from Gerald Howard, for a 48-33 edge.
Lorain led by as many as 16, at 54-38, late in the third, after two more baskets from Andrews, who’s averaging 21 in his three games back. Yet there came the problem: On nine occasions from then on, the Clippers answered Lorain baskets, and cut the lead to the six-point final margin with 15 seconds left.
“We get a 16- or 18-point lead and that is the second straight game where we start trading baskets,” Rositano said. “The really good teams stretch that to 25 points. You can’t trade baskets against a good team like Clearview. You just have to lock down teams when you get up on them. You got your hands around their neck and you have to squeeze.”
Clearview got 24 from Williams, including 16 in the second half, plus 15 from Eric Burkey, 14 from Young and 10 from Daimon Knowles. But the Titans hurt Clearview on the glass, outrebounding the Clippers 34-22 and registering 14 second-chance points.
“It’s tough to match up against them,” Szalay said. “The game was a little more physical than maybe we’re used to. On the low block, it’s more physical against a team like that. Once we adjusted to that, I thought we played better.
“We hung in there, but (Andrews) was able to get to the rim whenever he wanted and they rebounded so well.”
Contact Joel Hammond at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lorain 74, Clearview 68
CLEARVIEW (68): Gerrell Williams 12-0-24, Eric Burkey 5-2-15, Jason Young 7-0-14, Daimon Knowles 4-0-10, Iben Huff 2-0-5. Totals 30-2-68.
LORAIN (74): Daviere Andrews 1-0-2, Eddie Williamson 1-2-4, Demon Hisle 2-0-6, Devon Andrews 13-0-26, Gerald Howard 4-0-8, Rashod Berry 13-0-26, Nazihar Bohannon 1-0-2. Totals 35-2-74.
Clearview 11 16 15 26 — 68
Lorain 16 19 21 18 — 74
Three-point goals: Clearview 6-14 (Burkey 3, Knowles 2, Huff), Lorain 2-6 (Hisle 2). Field goals: Clearview 30-58 (52 percent), Lorain 35-60 (58 percent). Free throws: Clearview 2-5 (40 percent), Lorain 2-5 (40 percent). Rebounds: Clearview 22 (Young 8), Lorain 34 (Berry 12). Total fouls: Clearview 9, Lorain 12. Turnovers: Clearview 10, Lorain 13.
Fouled out: None.
Junior varsity: Lorain, 58-32.