ELYRIA — It was a winning weekend for Brett Larrick and his Elyria Pioneers.
The Pioneers took apart a solid Midview team 73-45 on Saturday for their fifth win in six starts after an impressive defensive performance Friday at Strongsville. Midview lost for just the second time in seven outings.
“We talked about it,” Larrick said. “We came in (Saturday morning). It’s a quick, tough turnaround. Midview’s been playing well. … Our defense — how we played (Friday) night will win this game. Great, great two days for our guys.”
It certainly was.
Elyria’s effort from Friday carried over into Saturday with much better efficiency. The Pioneers didn’t really create a lot of offense off their defense at Strongsville but they certainly did against the Middies. Time after time, a defensive stop led to a transition basket that simply wore down Midview mentally.
“Our coach has been getting on us heavy about stepping up our defense,” freshman point guard MarSaun Robinson said. “Getting in the passing lanes will get us wide-open layups and lead to transition offense.”
Elyria jumped in front 12-6 and never let up. The lead was 26-16 at the two-minute mark of the second quarter and grew from there.
The Pioneers completely took control in the third quarter, outscoring the Middies 24-9 for a 52-29 lead entering the final quarter. The lead ballooned to as much as 33 points at 69-36 with 3:23 to go in the game.
Five Elyria players — four starters and one of the top reserves in Dontae Beckett — scored in double figures. Justin Koepp led the way with 16 points, eight rebounds, four blocked shots and three assists. Roman Carter (12 points), Robinson (11) and Deviian Williams (10) were the others.
Williams had his second straight strong rebounding night with 12 as the Pioneers dominated the boards, 33-24.
“Winning is fun,” said Beckett, coming off a tough football season. “We have a really good family bond. When we go to practice, we just work hard.”
That hard work has paid off. Larrick has the team playing at a high level going into the Christmas break.
“We kept saying in the huddle — defense, rebound then run, defense, rebound then run,” Larrick said. “I thought we passed the ball really well. I thought we got out and ran the break.”
Will Waddell, the fifth starter, did his part underneath on defense. Caleb Rogers, Josh Ball, Izaiah Thomas and Josiah Grantham all put in good minutes as well.
“They’re a tough team,” Midview coach Jim Brabenec said of the Pioneers. “That just shows what we’ve got to do to become a program like them. Coach Larrick does an awesome job with those guys. I thought all five guys on the floor — they played hard every second they were on the floor.”
Elyria held Midview’s top scorer — Gage Carnes – to eight points and seven rebounds, well below his season averages of 17.5 and 8.5. Sophomore Jonny Manning led the Middies with 14 points and seven boards.
Next up for the Pioneers is the Holiday Classic on Friday at Lorain, where they’ll take on the Titans on the first night.
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elyria 73, Midview 45
MIDVIEW (45): Aiden Breggins 2-0-4, Seamus Higley 0-0-0, Gage Carnes 4-0-8, Vince Birth 2-0-5, Jonny Manning 6-2-14, Isiah Johnson 2-0-4, Trevor Porter 0-0-0, Dane Reichard 1-0-3, Brandon Gilchrist 1-0-2, Breadon Haywood 1-0-2, Marcell Young 1-0-3, Andrew Gooch 0-0-0, Joe Ferritto 0-0-0. Totals 20-2-45.
ELYRIA (73): MarSaun Robinson 4-0-11, Deviian Williams 5-0-10, Roman Carter 5-0-12, Will Waddell 1-0-2, Justin Koepp 7-1-16, Dontae Beckett 5-0-10, Caleb Rogers 1-0-3, Josh Ball 2-0-5, Izaiah Thomas 1-0-2, Josiah Grantham 1-0-2, Scott Ethington 0-0-0. Totals 32-1-73.
Midview 9 11 9 16 — 45
Elyria 14 14 24 21 — 73
Three-point goals: Midview 3-16 (Birth, Reichard, Young). Elyria 8-16 (Robinson 3, Carter 2, Koepp, Rogers, Ball). Field goals: Midview 20-49 (41 percent), Elyria 32-60 (53 percent). Free throws: Midview 2-4 (50 percent), Elyria 1-2 (50 percent). Rebounds: Midview 24 (Carnes, Manning 7), Elyria 33 (Williams 12). Turnovers: Midview 13, Elyria 7. Fouls: Midview 6, Elyria 8.
Junior varsity: Midview, 51-41