PARMA — It would have been easy for Elyria Catholic to just let a Great Lake Conference outright championship come to it Tuesday.
But the Panthers didn’t come this far to have another team hand them the crown.
After falling behind by 18 points to Parma at the half, EC tightened the screws on defense and Jarred Logan exploded on offense in a 69-61 overtime win, clinching the outright title in style.
Bay wound up losing to Holy Name on Tuesday, which would have given the Panthers an outright championship either way. But, clearly, EC didn’t want any handouts.
“It feels great because we don’t have to share it with anyone this year,” said center Branson Taylor, who scored 13 points and led the team with eight rebounds. “It’s been a long time since we didn’t have to share one. We didn’t get the job done at Bay, so we had to get it done here.”
Parma (10-12, 5-6) looked as if it was going to run away with things after the first half. It had scored 19 unanswered points during a nearly seven-minute stretch starting at the end of the first quarter. Josh Rose provided a lift from the bench, scoring 11 points in the second quarter, including the first eight with a layup and back-to-back threes.
EC (12-9, 10-2), on the other hand, committed 11 first-half turnovers and scored just five points in the second quarter as Parma built an 18-point lead. Makail Cottingham also did plenty of damage, with eight of his team-high 16 points in the half.
“We decided we were going to switch all ball screens for Cottingham.” EC coach Rob Palmer said of his halftime adjustments. “We were going to go ahead and jump him, keep him out of the paint and force them to make an extra pass. That kid is a heck of a player, but defensively we made the adjustments we needed to make.”
The switch worked. Cottingham was held to four points for the rest of regulation and struggled with foul trouble — picking up his fourth late in the third quarter and fouling out with 1:19 left in overtime.
Logan also imposed his will in the second half, dropping 12 points in the fourth quarter alone. He finished with a game-high 25, including two huge 3-point shots down the stretch. The first came after Parma pushed its lead back to 52-45 on back-to-back threes, pulling the Panthers back within four at the 4:15 mark.
His second three came with 52.3 seconds left to keep EC alive, pulling it within 57-56.
“Every time we’re down, as a leader I have to do my part to make sure that everybody goes in the right direction,” Logan said. “I knew I had to turn up the intensity.”
Parma connected on two free throws to make it 59-56, EC ball with 25 seconds left. The Panthers looked to Edward Wright, who secured the rock and fired a three about halfway toward the midcourt line off the left arc.
It swished through to tie the game.
“I just knew I had to hit that,” said Wright, who finished with 10 points. “I knew I had to be clutch. I came up in the clutch, made the shot, because I knew that’s what we needed as a team. We’ve had to fight through adversity throughout the season and it showed tonight. We were down big, we knew we’ve been in that situation and wanted to make a change. We did, and we came back.”
The Panthers scored one field goal in overtime and connected on six of seven free throws to put things away. EC was money all night from the line — missing just one of its 20 attempts. David Griffin hit all seven of his free throws for 17 points. He, along with his brother Jack, were a big reason the Panthers forced 10 turnovers after halftime.
“We had two guards who were just going crazy turning things up on defense,” Logan said of the Griffins. “Everybody, together, helped the team get more intense. We just played our game in the second half.”
Elyria Catholic 69, Parma 61 (OT)
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (69): Jarred Logan 8-7-25, Edward Wright 3-2-10, Branson Taylor 5-3-13, Jack Griffin 1-0-2, David Griffin 4-7-17, Nate Damron 1-0-2, Eli Palmer 0-0-0, Luke Costantino 0-0-0. Totals 22-19-69.
PARMA (61): Manny Allen 2-0-4, Kevin Ivancic 2-1-6, Jordan Terbrack 2-1-5, Makail Cottingham 6-3-16, Michael Ebbing 0-0-0, Allan Eason 3-6-14, Josh Rose 5-0-14, Corey Gray 1-0-2, Bobby Hausler 0-0-0, Brayden Humbel 0-0-0. Totals 21-11-61.
Elyria Catholic 11 9 18 21 10 — 69
Parma 14 22 10 13 2 — 61
Three-point goals: Elyria Catholic 6-15 (David Griffin 2, Logan 2, Wright 2), Parma 8-22 (Rose 4, Eason 2, Cottingham, Ivancic). Field goals: Elyria Catholic 22-47 (47 percent), Parma 21-54 (39 percent). Free throws: Elyria Catholic 19-20 (95 percent), Parma 11-17 (65 percent). Rebounds: Elyria Catholic 30 (Taylor 8), Parma 20 (Terbrack 7). Total fouls: Elyria Catholic 16, Parma 23. Fouled out: Damron, Terbrack, Cottingham. Turnovers: Elyria Catholic 21, Parma 17.
Junior varsity: Parma, 56-48.