Elyria Catholic's Jarred Logan dunks Friday night during a win over Rhodes. JESSE GRABOWSKI / CHRONICLE
ELYRIA — Rhodes junior guard Marion Landingham kept landing counter punches Friday night, but Elyria Catholic junior Edward Wright landed the knockout blows in the Panthers’ 90-84 Senior Night victory.
Landingham scored 10 of his game-high 35 points in the final minute of play to turn a comfortable EC win into a nail-biter.
Landingham connected on a 3-pointer with 1:19 left in the game to cut Elyria Catholic’s lead to 86-77.
After a Panthers’ turnover, Landingham was fouled shooting a 3-pointer. He connected on two of three from the line to pull the Rams (12-11) within seven points at 86-79. Another Elyria Catholic turnover led to another Landingham 3-pointer, slicing the Panthers’ lead to 86-82 with 48 seconds showing on the clock.
Senior Branson Taylor missed a short jumper for Elyria Catholic and when Landingham grabbed the rebound, took it coast-to-coast and scored on the other end, the Panthers’ lead was just 86-84 with 35.7 left.
Wright sealed the win for Elyria Catholic (13-9) by hitting all four of his free throws over the final 25 seconds.
“I think with the festivities of the night we probably weren’t as focused as we needed to be in the second half,” Elyria Catholic coach Rob Palmer said. “(Rhodes) is a good team and we give them all the credit in the world, but we had some lapses of judgment.
“I’m happy we were able to build a lead and I’m still happy with where we are right now, heading into the tournament. We can always be better.”
Every time the Panthers would take a big lead, Rhodes would hunt them down. Most of the time it was Landingham doing the damage.
At the end of the first half a Wright jumper gave Elyria Catholic a 38-21 lead. Landingham scored 12 points in a 16-4 Rams’ run over the final 3:40 of the half to pull Rhodes within five points at intermission.
Landingham scored the first basket of the second half, but the Panthers responded with a 16-7 run to take a 58-48 lead at the 4:00 mark of the third.
“They wouldn’t go away and had one guy that hit a lot of big shots,” said EC senior Jarred Logan, who scored 20 of his 21 points in the first half. “Every single time it felt like we would get a little momentum, we’d hit a big shot then he would hit a big shot. It was a tough one but we had to be the team that lasted longer. We played a full game.”
Juniors Eli Palmer and Nate Damron were critical off the bench for the Panthers. Palmer scored 11 points, five in the fourth quarter, while Damron scored 10.
“Eli got to the right spots and knew what he had to do to get our offense flowing,” Logan said. “Nate is a workhorse. He never stops. I know he’s got to be a pain for other teams because he plays so hard and he never stops going.”
Palmer thinks Wright has grown over the course of the season.
“He can shoot the ball and he’s gaining confidence,” he said. “He’s also growing as a leader. He is such an important part of what we’re doing. He makes Jarred better, Jarred makes him better and when those two start feeding off each other it’s hard to beat us.”
Wright, who was 8-of-14 from beyond the arc in the game, said his team made things easier on him.
“Tonight my teammates really found me in my spots,” he said. “I felt hot so I kept shooting the ball. My teammates felt confident in me and I was able to knock them down.”
Logan also liked the contribution of senior Gunner Ziegman, who earned the Senior Night start. Ziegman did not score, but his disruptive defense played a big hand in the Panthers forcing 19 first-half turnovers.
“I liked the rotation,” Logan said. “We had Gunner Ziegman start, and he doesn’t usually start. He came in and gave us huge starting minutes. He was the spark plug, the one that got us going on defense. It’s huge because we know we’re deep and have guys that can step up like he did tonight.”
The Panthers, the No. 3 seed in their Division III district, must now wait to see who they will face in the first round of the OHSAA tournament. Elyria Catholic will host the winner of the Brooklyn-Mantua Crestwood game Friday at 7 p.m.
Contact Mike Perry at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Elyria Catholic 90, Rhodes 84
RHODES (84): Jamal Sumlin 6-1-15, Amarion Dickerson 4-1-9, Sherman Lawson 0-0-0, Ziair Daniels 3-1-9, Deangelo Williams 7-2-16, Marion Landingham 11-6-35. Totals 31-11-84.
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (90): Jarred Logan 10-1-21, Edward Wright 10-5-33, David Griffin 3-2-9, Gunner Ziegman 0-0-0, Branson Taylor 1-0-2, Nate Damron 5-0-10, Jack Griffin 3-0-6, Eli Palmer 5-0-11, Luke Costantino 0-0-0. Totals 37-8-90.
Rhodes 16 21 17 30 — 84
Elyria Catholic 21 21 22 26 — 90
Three-point goals: Rhodes 11-24 (Landingham 7, Sumlin 2, Daniels 2), Elyria Catholic 10-21 (Wright 8, D. Griffin, Palmer). Field goals: Rhodes 31-59 (52.5 percent), Elyria Catholic 37-61 (60.6 percent). Free throws: Rhodes 11-17 (64.7 percent), Elyria Catholic 8-12 (75 percent); Rebounds: Rhodes 35 (Landingham 9), Elyria Catholic 23 (Logan 8). Turnovers: Rhodes 24, Elyria Catholic 17. Total fouls: Rhodes 14, Elyria Catholic 18 . Fouled out: Dickerson. Junior Varsity: Rhodes, 54-47 OT.