LORAIN — Lorain girls basketball coach Mark Feldmann has no use for moral victories.
After his Titans suffered a 64-54 home loss to Cleveland Heights, one of the top Division I teams in Northeast Ohio, Feldmann took no solace in seeing his team cut a 12-point deficit to four in the final minutes of the game … he wanted to see his Titans remain undefeated.
“I’m not happy we were in it, I want to win,” he said. “Give my kids credit, though. They scrapped back. We battled them.”
After the teams were tied 26-all at halftime, Lorain (3-1, 1-1 Lake Erie League) took a 31-30 lead on a Mackenzie Barriclow jumper with 5:53 left in the third quarter. Cleveland Heights (4-0, 1-0) turned up the defensive pressure, forcing Titans turnovers on four straight possessions, leading to a 10-0 Tigers run that gave them their biggest lead of the game, 40-31, to that point.
“That was a bad time to commit turnovers,” Feldmann said. “There was a little stretch where they went up by nine, then we got it back to three or four. My kids were gassed, though. We had some young kids out there, with a couple of freshmen on the floor.
“The ball just didn’t bounce our way in that early to mid-third quarter.”
Lorain closed the third quarter on a 6-1 run to cut the Cleveland Heights lead to four at 43-39, but the Tigers pulled away by opening the fourth on a 10-2 run.
The Titans pulled to within two posessions, 56-52, with 1:22 left in the game, but couldn’t get any closer.
A big reason Cleveland Heights was able to secure the road win was its dominance on the glass. The Tigers outrebounded Lorain 53-32 and pulled down 27 offensive boards that led to 34 second-chance points.
Jayden Weaver led the Tigers with 18 rebounds while Hannah Hicks and Shanya Rhodes added nine rebounds each.
Mikiya Hermon led Lorain with 10 rebounds, but no other Titans player had more than four.
“I just did what my coaches wanted me to do,” Hermon said. “Against their bigger girls I had to get good position and just jump and go after the ball. We played hard and fought back after we fell behind. I guess we’ll have to get them next time.”
Feldmann said he tried to counter Cleveland Heights’ size with quickness.
“We decided to kind of go small tonight because we know they’re a matchup nightmare for us,” he said. “We thought we were a matchup nightmare for them because those bigs have to guard, too. It was effective for most of the game.
“Towards the end they got a couple putbacks and they got to the line a whole bunch early in the fourth quarter. They knocked their free throws down.”
Normanjane Bohannon led Lorain in scoring with 19 points while Barricklow added 14 and Iyhanna Williams 10.
Jaden Weaver paced the Tigers with 16 points off the bench.
Cleveland Heights 64, Lorain 54
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS (64): Iyhanna Williams 2-4-8, Shanya Rhodes 1-1-3, Hannah Hicks 2-1-6, Hayley Sims 3-4-12, Jaden Weaver 7-2-16, Tomisha Pierce 2-0-4, Kennedy Clark 7-1-15. Totals 24-13-64.
LORAIN (54): Ashley Hisle 2-7-11, Normanjane Bohannon 5-7-19, Nicole Ortiz 1-0-2, Mackencie Barricklow 7-0-14, Mikiya Hermon 2-2-6, Kiara Jenkins 0-1-1, Brooklyn Ferguson 0-1-1. Totals 17-18-54.
Cleveland Heights 12 14 17 21 — 64
Lorain 12 14 13 15 — 54
Three-point goals: Cleveland Heights 3-12 (Sims 2, Hicks), Lorain 2-10 (Bohannon 2). Field goals: Cleveland Heights 24-68 (35.2 percent), Lorain 17-48 (35.4 percent). Free throws: Cleveland Heights 13-28 (46.4 percent), Lorain 18-28 (64.2 percent). Rebounds: Cleveland Heights 53 (Weaver 18), Lorain 32 (Hermon 10). Turnovers: Cleveland Heights 10, Lorain 15. Total fouls: Cleveland Heights 21, Lorain 15.
Junior varsity: Lorain, 41-31.