ELYRIA — Open Door has had it pretty easy at home this season, cruising to easy victories in their first four games.
Things got a lot tougher Thursday against Cleveland Horizon Science.
But thanks to a big fourth quarter, the Patriots were able to keep their perfect home record intact with a 71-61 Lake Effect Conference win.
The Patriots were down three to start the fourth but quickly took control with a 13-0 run that gave them a lead they wouldn’t give up.
The win was the sixth straight for Open Door, which improved to 7-2, 4-0 in the league. Horizon Science fell to 7-3, 1-3.
“It’s great to be challenged and I thought Horizon did a great job tonight,” Open Door coach Todd Wright said. “We had some players evolve into different roles in this game and they found their way.”
Miles Hunt played a huge role in the Patriots’ second-half comeback.
After the Patriots fell behind 50-42 midway through the third quarter, Hunt fueled a big Open Door push to get within a 3-pointer of the lead heading into the fourth.
Hunt had six points to close the quarter, coming up with a couple of offensive rebounds and strong finishes.
“We were down for a while and we needed something, needed to get something going,” Hunt said.
“I got in the middle and they had a tough time guarding me.”
Hunt wasn’t done. He gave Open Door its first lead at 56-54 since early in the second quarter with a runner in the lane.
Following Hunt’s basket a weight seemed to be lifted off the Patriots, who went on to score the next 10 points.
Jared Bublinec was a huge factor during the Patriots’ early fourth-quarter spurt, scoring 10 of his game-high 27 points in the period.
Trey Brooks also helped take the game over in the fourth with two big baskets. His driving layup midway through the quarter gave the Patriots their biggest lead of the game at 64-54.
“They really pushed us and it was a great team win today,” Hunt said. “We were able to keep guys out the middle in the fourth quarter and hold them to seven points.”
The teams traded baskets, and leads, from the opening tip. There were 13 lead changes in the first half as neither team could gain any real separation.
Horizon Science senior Xavier Treece dominated for the majority of the first half, driving to the basket relentlessly and finishing strong at the rim. He scored eight straight points late in the second quarter, helping the Dragons to a 39-34 lead at half time.
“We came out and played really well in the first half, especially defensively,” Horizon Science coach Daniel Buryanek said. “They’re a very good team over there and I thought we kind of ran out of energy.”
Brooks had 22 points for the Patriots and did a good job of helping to slow down Treece in the second half, getting two blocks and a steal.
Open Door held the Dragons to just seven points in the fourth quarter.
“We just had to dig a little deeper on the defensive end in the second half,” Wright said. “Treece was killing us in the first half but I thought we did a lot better late in the game.”
Open Door 71, Horizon Science 61
HORIZON SCIENCE (61): Casey Milton 1-0-2, Mack Pampley 8-0-21, Javion King 3-0-6, Joseph Riley 4-0-8, Ke’Shaun Carter 0-0-0, Desentez Barringer 1-0-2, Xavier Treece 9-4-22. Totals 26-4-61.
OPEN DOOR (71): Trey Brooks 8-3-22, Mark Yakobchuk 0-2-2, Caleb Daniel 0-0-0, Masson Whiley 0-0-0, Miles Hunt 4-4-12, Jared Bublinec 9-6-27, Gavin Dobbins 4-0-8, Josh Zaborowski 0-0-0. Totals 25-15-71.
Horizon Science 15 24 15 7 — 61
Open Door 15 19 17 20 — 71
Three point goals: Horizon Science 5-13 (Pampley 5), Open Door 6-18 (Brooks 3, Bublinec 3). Free throws: Horizon Science 4-6 (66 percent), Open Door 15-21 (71 percent). Total fouls: Horizon Science 18, Open Door 9. Turnovers: Horizon Science 15, Open Door 14.
Junior varsity: Horizon Science, 44-34