EATON TWP. — Jack Duffner provided the offense Midview needed in regulation Friday night. Logan Bolin provided the spark in overtime.
In a back-and-forth battle between two fierce West Shore Conference rivals whose schools are separated by a seven-mile stretch of Rt. 57, 32 minutes wasn’t enough time to settle things between the Middies and Elyria Catholic.
They needed four more minutes.
And in those extra four minutes, Bolin, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, scored eight of his 16 points and of his team’s 16 points, helping Midview defeat the Panthers 78-72.
Duffner, a 6-6 senior, finished with a career-high 27 points on an 11-of-22 shooting performance and added a team-high 11 rebounds for the Middles (7-6, 4-4). Duffner’s layup with 10 seconds remaining in regulation tied the game at 62 and sent the teams into overtime. EC falls to 7-6 (4-4).
“It was an awesome game,” Midview coach Troy DiFranco said. “I’m really proud of all the guys. Everybody stepped up. Jack was huge.
“It couldn’t happen to a better kid. We wanted to go at them early and often, and he didn’t disappoint. We had a lot of guys playing well around him, which made it difficult for them to guard.”
With Midview leading 58-54, EC’s Jeremy Holley sank a layup, followed by a Middie turnover and a 3-pointer by Kevin Kelley with one minute remaining to make it a 59-58 Panthers lead.
Kyle Rudolph sank a midrange jumper with 49 seconds left to temporarily give Midview a 60-59 lead, but EC came right down the floor and a Ceeven Shelton 3-pointer with 40.8 seconds remaining made it 62-60 EC.
“That’s got to be one of the most fun games I’ve ever played,” said Duffner, who scored 15 points in the first half and snapped out of cold third quarter with 10 in the fourth. “My teammates fed me the ball from the very beginning. We had a scouting report that said Holley plays a bit off on post guys, so our plan going in was to feed me the ball early and often, and it worked out pretty well.”
Following Duffner’s layup, EC eschewed a timeout and raced down the floor. Conner Riddell fired a 3-pointer from the left elbow that clanged off the rim. The long rebound caromed to D.J. Graham at the foul line and he fired up a shot a split second after the buzzer sounded.
The referees blew the whistle on an apparent Midview foul, which would have sent Graham to the line for two shots and a chance to win the game. But after conferring with the scorer’s table and themselves, they determined time had expired before the shot attempt and the foul, sending the game into overtime.
“I did think that D.J. got the shot off, and I’ve never seen the referees get together and go to the table in high school and wave it off,” EC coach Phil Kuchta said. “The referee blew the whistle. … I don’t know how D.J. didn’t shoot foul shots there.
“I’m not saying they’re wrong. I’m not saying the referees didn’t do a great job trying to make an honest call. But we heard (an official) say he heard the whistle before he saw the light, and he asked for help from the table, and they disagreed.”
In overtime, with EC doubling Duffner, it was Bolin who scored the Middies’ first six points. His pair of free throws with 1:15 remaining gave the Middies a 72-66 lead, and a Duffner layup with 45 seconds remaining increased that lead to 74-66.
“Throughout the whole game, we kept feeding Jack,” Bolin said. “In the overtime, they started clamping down on him, so they didn’t have any inside help. They left it open, so all we had to do was attack it. I was just in the right place at the right time.”
Rudolph added 12 points, while Grant Overy came off the bench with 15 to pace a well-rounded Midview scoring effort.
For EC, Holley had 19 points and 15 rebounds, Shelton added 17 points and 13 boards and Graham added 12.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game, and give Midview a lot of credit,” Kuchta said.
“This is a tough place to play. Midview’s student section was awesome. This was a tournament-type atmosphere. It was a great West Shore Conference game, and I’m proud of my kids because they battled. We wanted it bad, but I think Midview wanted it a bit more.”
Contact Dan Gilles at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Midview 78, Elyria Catholic 72 (OT)
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (72): Jeremy Holley 6-7-19, Ceeven Shelton 6-4-17, D.J. Graham 3-5-12, Jacob Kuchta 3-2-9, Conner Riddell 2-0-4, James Tirbaso 1-2-4, Kevin Kelley 1-0-3, Angelo Cruz 1-0-3, Darrin Guice 0-1-1. Totals 23-21-72.
MIDVIEW (78): Jack Duffner 11-5-27, Logan Bolin 4-3-16, Matt Rudolph 4-3-12, Daimion Mahone 1-0-2, Vince Blevins 0-0-0, Grant Overy 4-4-15, Kyle Warner 2-1-6, Jacob Wells 0-0-0, Dimitri Redwood 0-0-0, Brett Zupancic 0-0-0. Totals 28-16-78.
Elyria Catholic 14 17 13 18 10 — 72
Midview 15 20 12 15 16 — 78
Three-point goals: Elyria Catholic 5-25 (Graham, Kelley, Cruz, Shelton, Kuchta), Midview 5-12 (Overy 3, Warner, Rudolph). Field goals: Elyria Catholic 23-68 (34 percent), Midview 28-63 (44 percent). Free throws: Elyria Catholic 21-25 (84 percent), Midview 16-19 (84 percent). Rebounds: Elyria Catholic 40 (Holley 15, Shelton 12), Midview 47 (Duffner 11, Overy 9). Turnovers: Elyria Catholic 15, Midview 20. Total Fouls: Elyria Catholic 19, Midview 15.
Junior varsity: Midview, 45-37