ELYRIA — Brett Larrick drew up a game plan he thought would work for his Elyria Pioneers on Tuesday night against Brunswick.
The Blue Devils’ Kyle Goessler blew it up.
“I don’t think we did a really good job with it,” Larrick said. “Maybe the first quarter. I said if he gets close to 30, we’d be in trouble.”
Goessler had 27 points and Brunswick managed to hang a 58-55 loss on the Pioneers in Greater Cleveland Conference play.
The idea was to keep the ball out of Goessler’s hands, and through the first quarter the Pioneers did a good job as Goessler missed all five of his shots.
“He’s a pretty good player,” Elyria junior Aiden Carter said. “In the first quarter, I did a pretty good job. He had zero points. Second quarter, I gambled a little bit and got two fouls.”
Elyria (5-6, 1-4 GCC) start strong, rolling to a 13-4 lead off a nine-point run fueled by three straight driving layups by Carter and a Josiah Grantham 3-pointer.
It was still 20-14 after Caleb Rogers hit a three but Carter picked up those two fouls in the second quarter and that’s all Goessler needed to get going.
Brunswick (7-4, 4-1) snapped a four game losing skid and has now beaten the Pioneers five straight times.
“Coming off four losses, really tough,” Goessler said. “It was just really important for us to bounce back. We haven’t been getting off to great starts lately. Same thing (Tuesday). We were able to come out in that second quarter with a spark and got ourselves back in the game.”
“(Goessler) put us on his shoulders there in the first half,” Brunswick coach Joe Mackey said. “(Elyria) was winning the majority of the game. We just stuck with it. Stuck with the zone (defense) and hit some timely shots, got some timely stops, hit some big free throws and just found a way to win.”
Brunswick made eight 3-pointers — four each from Goessler and Tre Massey – and the Blue Devils hit six of their nine free throws.
“We said their shooters are really good,” Larrick said. “We did a lot of good things for part of the game but you can’t beat teams in this conference part of the game. We’ve got to get back to our good leadership, doing our things the right way and being disciplined in what we do.”
Elyria had a 45-41 lead early in the fourth quarter but after another Carter 3-pointer with 5:57 to play put the Pioneers in front 48-46, Brunswick’s 2-3 zone started paying dividends. The Blue Devils outscored Elyria 10-2 over the next three minutes for a 56-50 lead.
“Brunswick executed better than we did down the stretch,” Larrick said. “That’s the Brunswick team and give them credit. They had a couple offensive rebounds where we kind of ran into each other and they get a three.”
Elyria’s last gasp at a comeback came up short. After a Will Waddell free throw, Grantham hit a layup but Trevor Massey countered with a pair of free throws for Brunswick. Waddell, who led Elyria in scoring (16) and rebounding (11), tipped in a missed shot and was fouled to close the deficit to the final margin.
He missed the free throw but Brunswick was charged with an offensive foul giving the Pioneers one last shot with 2.4 seconds to go. Rogers’ 3-pointer rimmed out at the buzzer.
“(Goessler) started to get going,” Waddell said. “Defensively, we didn’t guard him as a team. He got his team going. We just needed a better team effort.”
Brunswick 58, Elyria 55
BRUNSWICK (58): Kyle Goessler 11-1-27, Trevor Mackey 2-2-6, Josh Stacho 0-0-0, Tre Massey 5-3-17, Max Ferrell 3-0-6, Joe Hunter 1-0-2, JC Asturi 0-0-0, Jeff Buttitta 0-0-0. Totals 22-6-58.
ELYRIA (55): Aiden Carter 6-0-13, Caleb Rogers 1-4-7, Nate Collins 0-0-0, Josiah Grantham 5-0-12, Will Waddell 7-2-16, MarSaun Robinson 3-1-7, Jahkai Owens 0-0-0, Izaiah Thomas 0-0-0. Totals 22-7-55.
Brunswick 7 20 14 17 — 58
Elyria 13 15 15 12 — 55
Three-point goals: Brunswick 8-21 (Goessler 4, Massey 4), Elyria 4-13 (Grantham 2, Carter, Rogers). Field goals: Brunswick 22-47 (47 percent), Elyria 22-48 (46 percent). Free throws: Brunswick 6-9 (66 percent), Elyria 7-11 (64 percent). Rebounds: Brunswick 26 (Goessler, Ferrell, Hunter 5), Elyria 27 (Waddell 11). Turnovers: Brunswick 9, Elyria 8. Fouls: Brunswick 9, Elyria 10.
Junior varsity: Brunswick, 53-43