LORAIN — Devon Grant continues to establish himself as one of the all-time greats in Lorain’s illustrious basketball history.
No telling when or if Grant could ink his name on the same line as the iconic Bubbles Harris of Admiral King or the late, great Clearview star Froggie Davis with 50 points in a game.
“If my coaches let me do it,” Grant said when asked about scoring 50 or more. “It just looks like the spurts just stop at times. It happens. It was a pretty good game, a fun game.”
Lorain, ranked seventh in the state in Division I, toyed with Clearview in an 86-55 win to improve to 12-1. Division II Clearview, coming off a big win over Columbia on Friday, fell to 12-3.
There wasn’t much doubt about the outcome although it took a little while for Lorain to get going. It was 8-6 three minutes into the game but the Titans outscored the Clippers 15-4 to close the quarter.
Then it was Grant’s time to shine.
Grant had 24 points by halftime — scoring 18 in a memorable second quarter. He made seven shots in a row at one point, including four 3-pointers from various spots on the floor. He went on a personal 11-0 run to put the Titans comfortably in front, 43-18, with about 2ﾽ minutes left in the half.
He finished his second-quarter flurry with a self-assisted dunk off the backboard that had the crowd in awe. He finished with 29 points.
“He’s a special player,” Lorain coach John Rositano said. “He knows how to get to his spots any time he wants. … He’s always working on his shot. He can shoot it, he can get to the basket, he’s unselfish. He’s just a really good player. He makes it easy for others around him to play good basketball.”
“In that second quarter, Grant was just phenomenal,” Clearview coach John Szalay said. “He went on that run. That hurt us. They’re good. A lot of teams are in over their heads against them, aren’t they?”
Grant was far from a one-man wrecking crew. Taevon Pierre-Louis scored 16 points and pulled in a half-dozen rebounds. Deonte Benejan had 13 points and Jordan Jackson added eight rebounds and seven points.
Grant tries to get his teammates involved.
“I try to be a pass-first, point-guard-first player but when my buckets come, they come,” Grant said.
Lorain played its signature tenacious defense in the first half.
“I thought the first half, they dug in,” Rositano said. “It made it difficult for (Clearview) to get in any kind of rhythm offensively. Again, that’s what our defense goes on, trying to make guys who don’t normally score, try to score.”
In the second half, the game turned into a fun-filled, dunkfest with the Titans putting on an offensive show at the glass. The Titans hit 11 3-pointers and shot 50 percent from the floor.
“It’s fun for me,” said Aaron Whitehead, one of Lorain’s top subs. “Everybody’s happy. Nobody’s mad after the game. Everybody’s just enjoying their time.”
Lorain was obviously the better team coming in but Rositano tipped his hat to Szalay and the Clippers.
“I have a lot of respect for John and what he does at Clearview,” Rositano said. “His willingness to bring his guys over and play against a big Division I team says a lot about him and his players. They don’t back down. They play hard and I have a lot of respect for that.”
Szalay certainly respects the Titans but he wanted his team to compete a little harder at times.
“I called a timeout,” Szalay said. “I understood but I thought they needed a slap in the face sort of. I said, ‘Hey, they’re throwing the ball off the backboard where they don’t care if they make it. They’re just having fun at your expense.’ But then Jamir (Billings) hit a couple of shots. I thought we played hard for the most part.”
Billings, a promising sophomore, led Clearview with 18 points, while Jaylen Paschell and Javon Todd each scored 10. Paschel and Todd each had five rebounds.
Lorain 86, Clearview 55
Clearview (55): Jaylen Paschel 5-0-10, Josiah Hitchens 4-1-9, Chase Christensen 0-0-0, Javon Todd 4-2-10, Jamir Billings 7-0-18, Joe Norris 0-0-0, Jordan Reed 1-0-2, CJ Fleming 1-0-2, Dylan Rebman 2-0-4. Totals 24-3-55.
LORAIN (86): Jordan Jackson 3-0-7, Taevon Pierre-Grant 8-0-16, Devon Grant 12-0-29, Deonte Benejan 5-1-13, Kam Davis 1-0-3, Aiden Brown 2-0-4, Aaron Whitehead 2-0-5, Luis Suarez 2-0-5, Jaco Lee 1-0-2, Jae’Von Manning 1-0-2, DeVante Jackson 0-0-0, Kamron Thomas 0-0-0. Totals 37-1-86.
Clearview 10 13 16 16 — 55
Lorain 23 23 26 14 — 86
Three-point goals: Clearview 4-16 (Billings 4), Lorain 11-26 (Grant 5, Benejan 2, Jackson, Davis, Whitehead, Suarez). Field goals: Clearview 24-61 (39 percent), Lorain 37-74 (50 percent). Free throws: Clearview 3-5 (60 percent), Lorain 1-6 (16 percent). Rebounds: Clearview 32 (Paschel, Todd 5), Lorain 41 (Jackson 8). Turnovers: Clearview 14, Lorain 3. Fouls: Clearview 6, Lorain 6.
Junior varsity: Lorain, 73-30