LORAIN — What a difference a day made for Elyria at the in the 20th annual Lorain County Holiday Classic.
The Pioneers, after a dreadful performance Friday, came back with a strong effort Saturday, defeating Oberlin 65-44 in the consolation game.
Elyria (6-2) shot just 29 percent from the floor Friday in losing to Lorain. Saturday, it shot a blistering 53 percent against the Phoenix (3-5).
Sure, Lorain’s defensive effort gets a lion’s share of the credit for the difference but there was no doubt the Pioneers played a much better game on the offensive end Saturday.
“I thought the second half was better,” Elyria coach Brett Larrick said. “Playing at 6 o’clock is tough. Not the game we wanted to be playing in. We had to try to get our guys going. I thought Caleb Rogers was really, really big for us getting our energy and tempo going.”
Oberlin made things interesting for one half. The Phoenix trailed 28-22 at the break but with Rogers coming off the bench to spark the defense and offense, the Pioneers outscored Oberlin 18-10 in the third quarter to take command. Rogers finished with a career-high 13 points. He also had six rebounds.
“MarSaun (Robinson) had three fouls so we had to put him on the bench,” Rogers said. “I had to step up and play the point guard. Coach Larrick told us to forget about (Friday) night and our focus was on (Saturday).”
Larrick’s talk must have worked. Justin Koepp, after an off night against Lorain with just six points, came on strong against the smaller Phoenix. Koepp scored 24 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and had three blocked shots. Robinson, who finished with 11 points in spite of the foul trouble, came back with a strong effort after a pedestrian performance against Lorain.
“We had to put that game away from (Friday),” said Koepp. “We’ll get back in practice and get back after it. We had to come out, play hard and get this win.”
Deviian Williams had nine points and seven rebounds for Elyria. The Pioneers controlled the boards, 40-26.
Oberlin’s Justin Smith finished with 19 points and six rebounds. Devon Yarber had six points and six rebounds while freshman Trejan Chambers had seven points and Aaron Hopkins five points and five rebounds.
Overall, even with two losses in the tournament, Oberlin coach Kurt Russell wouldn’t trade the experience.
“The first half, we were running our sets and did pretty well,” Russell said. “Give Elyria credit. They picked up a little bit. I thought our younger guys got a little flustered. It’s great competition for us. We appreciate being here.”
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Elyria 65, Oberlin 44
ELYRIA (65): MarSaun Robinson 5-0-11, Deviian Williams 4-1-9, Roman Carter 1-0-3, Will Waddell 0-0-0, Justin Koepp 11-2-24, Caleb Rogers 5-3-13, Josh Ball 0-0-0, Josiah Grantham 1-0-3, Izaiah Thomas 0-0-0, Dontae Beckett 1-0-2, Scott Ethington 0-0-0. Totals 28-6-65.
OBERLIN (44): Justin Smith 7-0-19, Devan Yarber 1-4-6, Trejan Chambers 1-5-7, Giles Harrell 1-1-3, Aaron Hopkins 2-1-5, Jeremiah Austin 0-0-0, David Hopkins 1-2-4, Azarie Hairston 0-0-0, Marquis Aquiniga Moore 0-0-0, Cory Middlebrooks 0-0-0. Totals 13-13-44.
Elyria 12 7 18 19 — 65
Oberlin 7 15 10 12 — 44
Three-point goals: Elyria 3-10 (Robinson, Carter, Grantham), Oberlin 5-16 (Smith 5); Field goals: Elyria 28-53 (53 percent), Oberlin 13-48 (27 percent); Free throws: Elyria 6-10 (60 percent), Oberlin 13-17 (76 percent); Rebounds: Elyria 40 (Koepp 13), Oberlin 26 (Smith, Yarber 6); Turnovers: Elyria 13, Oberlin 13; Fouls: Elyria 19, Oberlin 10.
Junior varsity: Elyria, 42-41
- Boys basketball: Lorain turns to defense to turn game around, beat Sandusky for fourth straight Lorain County Holiday Classic title
- High school basketball: Lorain tops young and inexperienced Elyria in the Lorain County Holiday Classic
- High school basketball: Sandusky rolls Oberlin in the Lorain County Holiday Classic