ELYRIA — In the time it took fans to unwrap the layers of clothing that made traveling outdoors on a frigid Tuesday night almost bearable and snuggle into their seats at a packed Open Door Christian gymnasium the Patriots took all of the drama out of the game.
Open Door (12-2) scored the first 15 points and never looked back on its way to a 77-51 win over Oberlin.
Senior Carter Wright, who finished with 13 points, said as the Patriots inch closer to the Lake Effect Conference playoffs and the Division IV district tournament every game takes on added importance.
“We’ve really gotta treat every game like it’s our last,” Wright said. “I’m a senior, we’ve got a good group of seniors, so we’ve got to come out ready every night. We knew we were going to have to work hard to win so we thought what a better way to do it than from the tip.”
Patriots senior forward Trey Brooks scored nine points in the first 4:51 and finished with a game-high 18 points.
“We wanted them to know coming into our gym it’s not going to be easy to beat us,” Brooks said. “They came in with a lot of energy and I knew I had to set the tone for us. Getting a good start like that takes teams out of their game early.”
The Phoenix (4-9) finally got on the board on an Aaron Hopkins 6-foot jumper with 1:44 left in the opening period.
Once Oberlin finally kick-started its offense into gear it played even with the Patriots for most of the second and third periods before Open Door went on a late 16-6 run.
“We competed pretty well tonight,” Oberlin coach Kurt Russell said. “We’re still a very young team so we’re just gaining more and more experience. In the future we’re going to be a team to watch out for.”
Freshman Andre Yarber led the Phoenix with 16 points.
Oberlin cut the Open Door lead to 34-25 late in the first half on a driving basket by sophomore Trajen Chambers. Chambers appeared to hit his head on his way down to the ground after getting fouled. He left the game and did not return.
The Phoenix also made a brief run in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to eight, but it never really threatened the Patriots, who have won 11 in a row after starting the year 1-2.
It wasn’t just Wright and Brooks finding the bottom of the net for the Patriots. Jared Bublinec had 12 points, Miles Hunt 10 and all 10 players on the roster got their names in the scoring column.
“Depth isn’t something we’ve had the luxury of a lot around here and I’m so glad to have it this year,” coach Todd Wright said. “Those guys coming off the bench do a great job and I’m confident in all 10 guys.
“We have so much respect for Oberlin, we know they can play. All of these guys know each other, it’s a friendly rivalry. Our guys really came out ready to compete tonight. We still have some things to figure out and clean up to play our best basketball but we’ve really been playing well and running toward our full potential.”
Open Door 77, Oberlin 51
OBERLIN (51): Greg Richardson 0-1-1, Andre Yarber 6-3-16, Azare Hariston 3-2-8, Trajan Chambers 1-2-4, Giles Harrell 1-6-9, Mikah Jones-Smith 2-1-5, Aaron Hopkins 3-0-6, David Hopkins 1-0-2. Totals 17-15-51.
OPEN DOOR (77): Josh Zaborowski 3-0-6, Mark Yakobchuk 1-2-4, Tylan Needham 1-0-2, Trey Brooks 7-2-18, Caleb Daniel 0-1-1, Miles Hunt 4-2-10, Carter Wright 6-0-13, Mason Wiley 2-0-4, Jared Bublinec 3-5-12, Gavin Dobbins 2-1-7. Totals 29-13-77.
Oberlin 7 19 11 14 — 51
Open Door 17 19 17 24 — 77
Three-point goals: Oberlin (Harrell, Yarber), Open Door (Dobbins 2, Brooks 2, Bublinec, Wright). Field goals: Oberlin 17-56 (30 percent), Open Door 29-58 (50 percent). Free throws: Oberlin 15-20 (75 percent), Open Door 13-17 (76 percent). Rebounds: Oberlin 31, Open Door 24. Turnovers: Oberlin 23, Open Door 21. Total fouls: Oberlin 17, Open Door 18. Fouled out: Harrell.
Junior varsity: Oberlin, 61-29.