ELYRIA — With the toughest portion of its schedule right around the corner, Elyria Catholic knew it needed to kick off the unofficial second half of the season in a big way Wednesday when it hosted Euclid in a non-league game at the Coliseum.
Thanks to the ballhanding and shooting of guard Faith Williams and the inside presence of its trio of 6-footers, Elyria Catholic passed its first post-Christmas test with flying colors, rolling to a 56-37 win.
Sophomore Abby Winnen led the way with 14 points for Elyria Catholic (6-3), while Williams tossed in 13 and Ally Winnen added 10 as the Panthers won for the fifth time in its last six games.
It was only the second time this season Elyria Catholic scored more than 55 points in a game.
“We’ve got to keep progressing offensively,” EC coach Eric Rothgery said. “I think tonight showed we’re moving in the right direction. Christmas isn’t really the halfway point of the season yet but people kinda look at it like that so you want to start to get everything kicked up.”
The Elyria Catholic defense kicked in during the second quarter, holding Euclid to two points. Euclid (2-8) was held to six points in the third quarter as Elyria Catholic built a 41-21 lead.
Abby Winnen had nine of her points in the first half while Ally Winnen had nine first-half rebounds as Elyria Catholic took control of the game early.
“We were passing pretty well today and we were moving and cutting to the the ball,” Abby Winnen said. “When we play a high-low offense is when we get our best looks at the basket, we get fouled and we get to the free throw line. That’s our best offense and that’s what we were able to do tonight.”
Elyria Catholic also did a good job of taking care of the basketball, turning it over just five times through the first three quarters.
“We had good off-ball movement tonight and we really got everybody involved,” Rothgery said. “When Faith can get everybody involved early we’re going to be tough to defend. Our goal is to get the ball inside to our bigs and work it back out. If we can do that we can create some mismatches with our size.”
Megan Scheibelhut, one of only three seniors on the Elyria Catholic roster, had eight points and eight rebounds.
“This was a good bounce-back win for us after a tough loss at Normandy last week,” Scheibelhut said. “We executed really well on offense running our plays. We needed this. We need to keep doing this. We’ve been rough with our offense but now we’re getting it going and starting to make some shots.”
Euclid’s Constance Chaplin, who is regarded as one of the top players in the Greater Cleveland Conference, led all scorers with 19 points.
At times, Euclid was its own worst enemy, shooting 32 percent (7-for-22) from the free throw line and turning the ball over 21 times.
“We wanted to come out tonight and get our mojo back,” Abby Winnen said. “We felt like we should have won against Normandy so this win is important to boost our confidence back up.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elyria Catholic 56, Euclid 37
Euclid (37): Constance Chaplin 9-0-19, Freddi King 2-1-5, Alexis Reese 2-5-9, Alayah Talton 1-1-4, Mackenzie McDonald 0-0-0. Totals 14-7-37.
Elyria Catholic (56): Meghan Allegretto 2-0-4, Faith Williams 4-4-13, Regan Schill 2-0-5, Abby Winnen 5-2-14, Kaylie Griffin 0-2-2, Megan Scheibelhut 4-0-8, Ally Winnen 4-2-10. Totals 21-10-56.
Euclid 13 2 6 16 — 37
Elyria Catholic 15 13 13 15 — 56
Three point goals: Euclid (Chaplin, Talton), Elyria Catholic (Ab. Winnen 2, Williams, Schill). Field goals: Euclid 14-42 (33 percent), Elyria Catholic 21-54 (39 percent). Free throws: Euclid 7-22 (32 percent), Elyria Catholic 10-11 (91 percent). Rebounds: Euclid 36, Elyria Catholic 33. Turnovers: Euclid 21, Elyria Catholic 12. Total fouls: Euclid 12, Elyria Catholic 18. Technical foul: King.
Junior varsity: Euclid, 31-25