EATON TWP. — The first quarter was too much for Midview to overcome.
Berea-Midpark used a big early run to take control, then cruised to a 66-55 win Wednesday in a Division I sectional opener.
After Isiah Johnson’s 3-pointer gave the eighth-seeded Middies a 3-2 lead, the Titans used a 10-0 run over the next five minutes to take charge. Ninth-seeded Berea-Midpark (13-9) never trailed again.
“Something we really talked about before the game was the first four minutes,” Midview coach Jim Brabenec said. “We wanted to try not to let Berea get a lead. When they have a lead they’re as good as anybody. We came out and got down, then it was an uphill climb to try to scratch and claw to fight our way back into a game against them.”
Midview (11-12) scored just seven points in the first quarter on 3-of-14 shooting. Johnny Manning, a 6-foot-6 wing, did not attempt a shot in the first quarter and didn’t score until there were 40 seconds left in the first half.
“He was open a few times and missed some bunnies he usually makes,” Brabanec said. “He wasn’t able to get to the free throw line a ton, but we’re proud of how Johnny competed. He played hard. All our kids played hard.”
Berea-Midpark coach Duke Barther said his team’s defense was focused on Manning, playing the entire game in a zone that clogged up the key.
“It was a 1-2-2, but we were always going to know where he was at,” said Barther, whose Titans will face top-seeded Lorain Saturday at 7 p.m.
“We knew we were going to be a little late on some of their shooters and there were times they capitalized on that and made shots, but our discipline of not leaving Manning even when shots were being made was really good.”
The Titans led 30-21 late in the first half before the Middies closed the half on a 5-0 run.
Berea-Midpark built its lead to 46-38 heading into the fourth quarter but Midview turned the defensive pressure up. After playing a 2-3 zone for the first three quarters, the Middies went to a full-court man-to-man press that did the job.
The offense, however, was a different story.
Midview scored the first points of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 46-40. They forced five straight turnovers over the next 2:35, but couldn’t convert them into points.
“It was just a lack of execution offensively,” said Johnson, a senior, who finished his high school career with 10 points. “We couldn’t even get our layups to go. That was an important stretch in the game. If it would have went our way I think we could have had a different outcome.”
Josh Finkovich led the Titans with 20 points while Dwayne Holland added 16.
Marcell Young paced Midview with 19 points with Manning scoring eight and grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. Johnson added four steals.
“I’ve been able to coach Isiah for four years and I can’t say enough good things about that kid,” Brabanec said.
“All the seniors. We have seven of them and not one of them complained all year. They bought into what we’re doing. They practiced hard and were the essence of good teammates. We’re definitely going to miss them.”
Berea-Midpark 66, Midview 55
BEREA-MIDPARK (66): Omar Siggers 0-4-4, Austin Mills 0-0-0, Dwayne Holland 6-4-16, Lian Levesque 4-2-10, Josh Finkovich 6-2-20, Alex Kvak 3-1-7, Jordan Cupach 2-4-9. Totals 21-17-66.
MIDVIEW (55): Isiah Johnson 4-0-10, Andrew Gooch 1-0-3, Dane Reichard 3-0-9, Marcell Young 7-0-19, Johnny Manning 4-0-8, Nyko Vidal 0-0-0, Jesse Franklin 2-2-6, Anthony Binion 0-0-0. Totals 21-2-55.
Berea-Midpark 15 15 16 20 — 66
Midview 7 19 12 17 — 55
Three-point goals: Berea-Midpark 7-15 (Finkovich 6, Cupach), Midview 11-35 (Young 5, Reichard 3, Johnson 2, Gooch). Field goals: Berea-Midpark 21-40 (52.5 percent), Midview 21-60 (35 percent). Free throws: Berea-Midpark 17-23 (73.9 percent), Midview 2-5 (40 percent). Rebounds: Berea-Midpark 35 (Levesque 7), Midview 31 (Manning 11). Turnovers: Berea-Midpark 14, Midview 10. Total fouls: Berea-Midpark 10, Midview 20 . Fouled out: Reichard.