ELYRIA — The Open Door victory tour rolls on.
Behind a game-high 24 points from senior Trey Brooks, the Patriots won their 16th consecutive game and earned the right to play for a league championship Thursday, defeating St. Martin de Porres 93-62 in a Lake Effect Conference semifinal game.
As they have all season, the Patriots (17-2) played before a packed house that lifted their voices with every 3-pointer, steal and layup.
“We knew coming into the game there was going to be a lot of energy in the building,” Brooks said.
“We were all prepared for it and excited for it. One of our goals this season was to win the conference so we came out tonight working towards our goal.”
Brooks heated up in the second half as Open Door led by as many as 35 points while holding the Lions (11-8) without a field goal for the first 7:10 of the third quarter.
The Patriots will face Andrews Osborne in the Lake Effect Conference Championship game tonight at 7:30 at Oberlin College. Open Door defeated Andrews Osborne 76-56 when the teams played at Quicken Loans Arena on Dec. 7.
Miles Hunt scored 15 of his 21 points in the first half as Open Door rolled to a 45-29 advantage.
“We knew we had to come out of the game and play aggressive,” Hunt said. “We’re hungry to win this tournament championship and bring it back to the school. We love playing at home for our fans, our administration and everyone in our community, so we were ready for tonight.”
St. Martin de Porres, which never led, made its best stand late at the end of the first quarter and into the second when it went on a 7-0 run to cut the Patriots’ lead to 22-20. Elijah Respress and CarRein Smith led the Lions with 12 points each.
With the Patriots beginning a stretch of three games in three days, building an early lead was huge as it allowed them to rely on their bench down the stretch and give their starters some extra rest. After tonight’s LEC championship, the Patriots will be back at home Saturday to face Danbury.
Mark Yakobuchuk had a pair of 3-pointers off the bench for the Patriots, who had eight as a team.
“We knew we had to clamp down on defense because that’s a St. Martin team that can really shoot,” Open Door coach Todd Wright said. “I felt like our guys came out with the energy we needed. Once we get stops, that’s when we’re best on offense. We were able to transition and get some open looks on offense. I really feel like we came out and did when we wanted to do.”
Jared Bublinec added 15 points and Carter Wright 12 for Open Door.
“One of our goals at the start of the year was to win a conference championship and we’re one step closer now,” Wright said. “We were so glad to have this semifinal game at home. We had a great crowd and I’m so happy for the seniors, really for all the guys, that they got to play another game at home.”
Open Door 93, St. Martin de Porres 62
ST. MARTIN DE PORRES (62): Bryant Greer 2-0-5, Shane Cummings 0-5-5, CarRein Smith 6-0-12, Sincere Smith 2-4-8, Wendell Edwards 1-0-3, Isaac Barrow 1-0-2, Elijah Respress 4-2-12, Robert Grey 4-4-14, Sincere Crosby 0-1-1. Totals 20-16-62.
OPEN DOOR (93): Josh Zaborowski 1-3-5, Mark Yakobuchuk 3-0-8, Tylan Neadham 0-2-2, Trey Brooks 10-2-24, Miles Hunt 9-2-21, Carter Wright 2-0-4, Mason Wiley 2-0-4, Jard Bublinec 5-0-13, Gavin Dobbins 4-4-12. Totals 36-13-93.
St. Martin de Porres 15 14 8 25 — 62
Open Door 22 23 25 23 — 93
Three-point goals: St. Martin de Porres (Grey 2, Respress 2, Greer, Edwards), Open Door (Bublinec 3, Brooks 2, Yakobchuk 2, Hunt). Field goals: St. Martin de Porres 20-59 (34 percent), Open Door 36-61 (59 percent). Free throws: St. Martin de Porres 16-25 (64 percent), Open Door 13-16 (81 percent). Rebounds: St. Martin de Porres 29, Open Door 46. Turnovers: St. Martin de Porres 16, Open Door 20. Total fouls: St. Martin de Porres 14, Open Door 19. Fouled out: Smith
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