BAY VILLAGE — Sustainability is a buzzword in everything from manufacturing to public policy, and the Elyria Pioneers needed some during their 64-52 loss to the Bay Rockets on Monday night in non-league play.
The Pioneers came out strong and put the Rockets a bit off their game early on an emotional Senior Night at the Launch Pad. Elyria held a 24-22 lead after the first quarter on solid offense, aggressive defense and crisp 50 percent shooting on threes in the first half.
If only Elyria (5-17) could have sustained it for all four quarters.
“I’ve known all along we can shoot the ball when we get the right people in the right places. We shared it a little bit better today,” Pioneers coach Anthony Brown said. “But when you lose, you know how to lose and you find ways. We found ways.”
By contrast, the Rockets (14-8) delivered a consistent one-two punch of senior Halle Orr and junior Maeve Johnston, who delivered on the many opportunities that came their way. Orr was the game-high scorer with 24 points and led Bay with seven rebounds, while Johnston registered 23 points on 9-for-12 shooting with six boards. Together they connected on 17 of 26 shots and seven of eight free throws.
“The uncontested fastbreak layups, turning the ball over at the top of the offense, they leak out and they get layups,” Brown said. “It’s hard to finish a game out, especially when we come out hitting like we were hitting. I don’t know how many baseline drives we gave up for buckets.”
Bay shot 53 percent on the night, while the Pioneers’ hot start deteriorated to 36 percent shooting (33 percent behind the arc) during each of the middle quarters, when Bay held Elyria under double digits and opened an 11-point lead after three.
Elyria didn’t help itself at the foul line, going 4-for-11. The Pioneers were outrebounded by six but still managed to extend possessions with 13 offensive rebounds but struggled to finish with points.
“You’ve got to limit the turnovers. The turnovers were just plentiful. A lot of our turnovers were just careless,” Brown said. “It wasn’t because of intense ball pressure. Just careless. No ball faking, not penetrating, not throwing secure passes. We’ve been doing it all year, it isn’t anything new. We’re 5-17 for a reason.”
Elyria had three scorers in double digits, led by Tiffany Means with 14. Tristyn Thurman added 12, all from the 3-point arc, and Toni McClinton had 10. Means and Thurman displayed quick hands on defense with five and four steals, respectively.
Elyria opens sectional play at home Saturday against Lorain.
“It’s just one of those things where we’ve got to fix it before Saturday,” Brown said. “That’s our goal. We got a win at home last year in the tournament, we’re trying to get another one this year.”
Contact Fred Steiner at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bay 64, Elyria 52
ELYRIA (52): Tristyn Thurman 4-0-12, Angelina Aulisio 1-0-2, Toni McClinton 4-1-10, Chelsea Farris 4-1-9, Tiffany Means 5-2-14, Tylese Noble 2-0-5, Michaela King 0-0-0, Savannah Bauer 0-0-0, Justyce Nelson 0-0-0. Totals 20-4-52.
BAY (64): Maddie Edgerly 2-4-8, Halle Orr 10-4-24, Grcae Linehan 0-0-0, Jessica Rychel 0-0-0, Maddie Andrews 0-0-0, Haley Andrejcak 4-0-9, Maeve Johnston 9-3-23, Barbara Aldridge 0-0-0, Kayla Koz 0-0-0. Totals 25-11-64.
Elyria 24 7 8 13 — 52
Bay 22 13 15 14 — 64
Three-point goals: Elyria 8-24 (Thurman 4, Means 2, Noble, McClinton), Bay 3-9 (Johnston 2, Andrejcak). Field goals: Elyria 20-55 (36 percent), Bay 25-47 (53 percent). Free throws: Elyria 4-11 (36 percent), Bay 11-16 (69 percent). Rebounds: Elyria 26 (Farris 7), Bay 32 (Orr 7). Fouls: Elyria 18, Bay 12. Turnovers: Elyria 21, Bay 19.
Junior varsity: Bay, 47-18.