LORAIN — It might not have been Lorain’s best night, but the Titans once again found a way to get it done.
In a game where the final score was a bit misleading, Lorain kept its perfect Lake Erie League record intact with a 75-54 victory over Bedford on Tuesday evening.
The game was much closer than the 21-point final margin, with the Bearcats going on multiple runs to hang around.
The Titans ended up pulling away in the fourth quarter to win for the fifth straight time and improve to 13-1 overall, 7-0 in the LEL.
“I thought we played well in spurts but we didn’t play a solid 32-minute game the way we have been,” Lorain coach John Rositano said. “We moved the ball well for the most part and showed that we have a lot of guys that can score the basketball.”
Devon Grant led the way with 23 points but received a ton of help, as three other Titans scored in double digits.
Grant helped put away the game in the fourth quarter, scoring eight quick points as the Titans turned a nine-point lead into a 67-51 advantage.
Grant also had two beautiful assists during the big fourth quarter.
“I had a lot of teammates step up and make big plays, which was a huge help for us,” Grant said. “I had to knock down shots at different times that we needed a bucket.”
After leading by 15 at the half, the Titans saw their lead cut in half in the third quarter.
A 7-0 run by the Bearcats forced a Lorain timeout as their lead sunk to 46-39 midway through the third.
Deonte Benejan pushed Lorain’s lead back to double digits with a 3-pointer and he also came up with a steal and block to close out the third quarter.
Benejan finished the game with 12 points, five rebounds and three steals.
“My teammates trust me with the ball to make the right play,” Benejan said. “I tried to get to my spots then make a play.”
Lorain had big spurts from four different players at key parts. Jordan Jackson, Taevon Pierre-Louis, Grant and Benejan all had runs where they scored at least six straight points for the Titans.
Grant and Benejan did it in the second quarter. Grant knocked down three long-distance 3-pointers in less than two minutes, giving the Titans a 34-20 lead.
“I was just getting out in transition because they weren’t getting back quick enough,” Grant said.
Lorain was sloppy with the ball at times, committing 16 turnovers.
Those mistakes were key in the Bearcats staying in the game, as their long, athletic players scored consistently in transition. Bedford had three runs of at least seven straight points, all of which came thanks to two or more Lorain turnovers.
“We got a little sloppy at times, there’s no doubt,” Rositano said. “I thought we left some points on the board because of turnovers.”
Taevon Pierre-Louis chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds while Jackson had 12 points.
Bedford (6-8, 1-6) had three players reach double digits, including a team-high 19 points from Anthony Lett.
“We competed well and played a lot better than the last time we played,” Bedford coach Pete Priola said. “We continued to chip away and I was happy with what I saw out of my guys.”
Lorain forced 20 turnovers, turning those opportunities into 22 points.
Lorain will travel to Shaw on Friday then heads home for a huge LEL clash against Garfield Heights on Saturday.
Lorain 75, Bedford 54
BEDFORD (54): Tre Miller 3-1-7, Chaze Harris 3-4-10, Austin Rozier-Bush 1-0-3, Anthony Lett 9-1-19, Malik Simmons 5-1-11, Verterio Smith-Lowery 2-0-4, Kyle Fowler 0-0-0. Totals 23-7-54.
LORAIN (75): Aaron Whitehead 3-0-6, Jordan Jackson 6-0-12, Taevon Pierre-Louis 6-2-14, Devon Grant 8-2-23, Deonte Benejan 5-1-12, Kam Davis 0-0-0, Aiden Brown 4-0-8. Totals 32-5-75.
Bedford 10 15 16 13 — 54
Lorain 14 26 12 23 — 75
Three-point goals: Bedford 1-4 (25 percent, Rozier-Bush), Lorain 6-20 (30 percent, Grant 5, Benejan). Free throws: Bedford 7-10 (70 percent), Lorain 5-10 (50 percent). Total fouls: Bedford 13, Lorain 11. Turnovers: Bedford 20, Lorain 16.
Junior varsity: Lorain, 57-46.