KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE Elyria High School's MarSaun Robinson (2) takes the ball out while he is guarded by Euclid High School's Garvin Clarke (1) on Friday night, February 15.
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ELYRIA — It’s been a match-up problem all year for Elyria when it goes up against teams with length and size.
Friday was no different as tall, physical Euclid took control early and beat the Pioneers, 71-52, in Greater Cleveland Conference action.
“We have to do a better job boxing out,” Elyria coach Brett Larrick said. “Even when they did miss, we couldn’t get the rebound. Give them credit, they shot the lights out, they moved the ball really well.”
In January, Elyria (8-13, 2-11), lost 84-65 in Euclid and were outrebounded, 48-23. Friday, the Panthers won the board battle again, 33-23, and shot 50 percent from the field including 9-of-18 3-pointers.
“They shot well outside and rebounded inside,” Larrick said. “It’s a tough match-up.”
Six-foot-6 senior Mario Lacy led the scoring and rebounding with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Garvin Clarke added 14 points and a handful of assists. Four others scored at least five points.
“(Clarke) is a heck-of-a guard,” Larrick said. “He got out of traps, saw the right play, made the right play. Give them credit. (Coach T.J. Kwasniak) has done a really good job with them.”
The Panthers had won only nine games in two years in the GCC before Kwasniak took over the program last year. This year, Euclid (13-7 overall, 9-4 GCC) will finish no worse than second in the league. Mentor (11-2 GCC) has already sewn up the title outright. Elyria closes the regular season at Mentor next Friday.
“We played well,” Kwasniak said. “What we haven’t done is put teams away for whatever reason. (Friday) was the first time we’ve done that. When we’re making shots, we’re hard to beat. We made some threes. (Elyria) did what they should do -- make us shoot. They had to pick their poison and they picked the right one. It was just our night.”
Elyria ran a zone defense hoping Euclid would miss from outside but unfortunately, the Panthers hit their first five shots on the night to grab a 14-2 lead. That set the tone. Euclid led, 59-34, after three quarters.
It was Senior Night and although Elyria will have at least one more home game in the upcoming tournament, Larrick was quick to praise his seniors. As a nice touch, Larrick had his two senior managers -- Zack Schuster and Steven Hastings -- dress with the varsity and both got in the game late. Schuster had a 3-pointer ring around the rim and out, while Hastings scored on a lay-up.
“They’ve been a part of us all four years,” Larrick said. “(Our seniors) have battled all year. They’ve been good leaders.”
One of those seniors — Will Waddell — led the scoring with 15 points. He also had seven rebounds.
“I just want to say, I’ve come a long way,” Waddell said. “I wouldn’t be where I was without the hard work from my coaches, even my dad. Gym nights, we’d go into the gym and work.”
Elyria’s four seniors all started Friday -- Waddell, Caleb Rogers, Izaiah Thomas and Josiah Grantham.
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Euclid 71, Elyria 52
EUCLID (71): Mario Lacey 7-3-17, Garvin Clarke 6-1-14, Octavious Hardy 5-0-11, Ke’Saun Key 2-0-5, Reggie Priah 3-0-9, Reggie Watts 1-0-3, Latryal Alexander-Davis 0-0-0, Ezel Oliver 1-0-3,Tyress Duckworth 1-0-3, Cody Rodgers 3-0-6, Jahmir Davis 0-0-0, Jaydon Wonton 0-0-0, Cameron Smith 0-0-0, Steven Key 0-0-0. Totals 28-4-71.
ELYRIA (52): MarSaun Robinson 1-0-2, Caleb Rogers 6-0-12, Izaiah Thomas 2-0-4, Josiah Grantham 2-0-4, Will Waddell 6-2-15, Aiden Carter 0-1-1, Jahkai Owens 3-0-7, Dez Shelton 2-0-5, Jesse Stevens 0-0-0, Jahmil Reed 0-0-0, Daylan Sharlow 0-0-0, Zack Schuster 0-0-0, Steven Hastings 1-0-2. Totals 23-3-52.
Euclid 19 19 21 12 — 71
Elyria 10 11 13 18 — 52
Three-point goals: Euclid 9-18 (Priah 3, Clarke, Hardy, K.Key, Watts, Oliver, Duckworth), Elyria 3-15 (Waddell, Shelton, Owens). Field goals: Euclid 28-52 (54 percent), Elyria 23-51 (45 percent). Free throws: Euclid 4-5 (80 percent), Elyria 3-9 (33 percent). Rebounds: Euclid 33 (Lacy 10), Elyria 23 (Waddell 7). Turnovers: Euclid 12, Elyria 9. Fouls: Euclid 10, Elyria 7. Fouled Out: None.
Junior varsity: Euclid 61-45.