Monday, June 24, 2019 Elyria 77°

Court Report

High school basketball: Lorain leans on defense, stays atop LEL with big win

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Lorain's Taevon Pierre-Louis dunks a rebound in the fourth quarter against Warrensville Heights. DAVID RICHARD / CHRONICLE


LORAIN — Warrensville Heights came into Lorain looking to cap a tough week with a statement win.

The Tigers knocked off Cleveland Heights by 10, then played St. Vincent-St. Mary down to the wire in a nine-point loss. The Titans, on the other hand, were playing their first game since beating Cleveland Heights two weeks ago.

To top it all off, Friday’s game was originally supposed to be played at Warrenville, but was moved to Lorain after the school’s sprinkler system malfunctioned, causing water damage.

Lorain didn’t let the layoff, or the venue change, or the fact that Warrensville Heights was on a roll derail its defense, which fueled the Titans to an 80-64 win, keeping its perfect Lake Erie League record intact at 6-0.

“You could tell in the first half that our shots were a little bit off,” Lorain coach John Rositano said. “But for the most part, defensively, we locked in and followed the game plan. I thought we held two of their better players frustrated. We won the game on the defensive end and rebounding because I thought in the first half we weren’t as sharp as we usually are.”

The Titans, 11-1 overall, took about five minutes to get going, but finished the first quarter with a 9-0 run thanks to strong defense that forced five turnovers by Warrensville Heights (9-5, 4-2).

Offensively, it was Devon Grant who sparked things with a jumper and a 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions. The Titans hit all four of their free throws to cap the run, and then stretched the lead to 25-9 midway through the second thanks to eight more points from Grant.

The senior finished with a game-high 21 points, 11 from the free throw line.

“We just stuck to our game plan,” said forward Taevon Pierre-Louis, who finished with a team-high 11 rebounds and 14 points. “Our coaches told us how to play against their players and we just came, played and followed the game plan.”

Warrensville Heights managed to cut the deficit to single digits in the third, trailing by nine with just over two minutes left in the quarter. That’s when the Titans laid down the law — closing on a 10-3 run thanks largely to sophomore Aiden Brown.

The 6-foot-5 forward gave Lorain a lift off the bench in two ways. First, he provided more size to combat what was a strong rebounding effort from the Tigers, led by Aundray Farmer’s 14. Brown had three of his four boards in the third quarter.

Second, he scored six of those 10 points — all layups and most of them set up by Aaron Whitehead, who scored all five of his points in the second half.

“Everything starts with defense,” Brown said. “When we work hard on defense, it transitions to offense. When I’m getting stops on defense, it helps me on the other side and I was rewarded with easy buckets.”

Kam Davis delivered the finishing blows to the Tigers in the fourth. The senior guard had a strong game defensively against Brandon Rush, limiting him to seven points after he had 29 and 23 against Cleveland Heights and St. Vincent-St. Mary.

Davis had not scored through the first three quarters, but when he was called upon he delivered back-to-back 3-pointers to give Lorain a 69-50 lead. His eight points came in the fourth quarter.

“I feel like I’ve been in a shooting slump all season,” Davis said. “When I hit the first one, they did a good job of giving me the ball back. And after that I knew they were going to close out hard, so I went to the hole.”

Contact Chris Sweeney at 329-7135 or Follow him @CSweeneyCT on Twitter.

Lorain 80, Warrensville Heights 64

WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS (64): Ramelle Arnold 7-2-19, Daivon Porter 3-0-8, Aundray Farmer 2-1-7, Omahn Dobbins 6-2-15, Brandon Rush 2-3-7, Keith Harris 0-2-2, Anthony Wright 1-0-2, Kaylin Heard 0-0-0, Deangelo Bell 2-0-4. Totals 23-10-64.

LORAIN (80): Jordan Jackson 5-1-13, Deonte Benejan 5-0-11, Taevon Pierre-Louis 4-5-14, Devon Grant 4-11-21, Kam Davis 3-0-8, Aaron Whitehead 1-3-5, Aiden Brown 4-0-8. Totals 26-20-80.

Warrensville Heights 7 18 18 21 — 64

Lorain 14 21 26 19 — 80

Three-point goals: Warrensville Heights 8-27 (Arnold 3, Farmer 2, Porter 2, Dobbins), Lorain 8-22 (Davis 2, Grant 2, Jackson 2, Benejan, Pierre-Louis). Field goals: Warrensville Heights 23-63 (37 percent), Lorain 27-58 (47 percent). Free throws: Warrensville Heights 10-17 (59 percent), Lorain 20-28 (71 percent). Rebounds: Warrensville Heights 26 (Farmer 14), Lorain 36 (Pierre-Louis 11). Total fouls: Warrensville Heights 10, Lorain 17. Turnovers: Warrensville Heights 17, Lorain 10.

Junior varsity: Lorain, 46-44.

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