EUCLID — A quick glance at the rebounding totals will tell anyone all the need to know about Elyria’s Greater Cleveland Conference game at Euclid on Friday night.
The Panthers pounded the boards and ended up pounding the Pioneers (5-7, 1-5 GCC) in the process, 84-65. Euclid (5-5, 3-3) outrebounded Elyria 48-23.
Elyria made a game of it through the first half but the physical pounding took its toll. The Pioneers came out to start the second half down just 33-27 and Will Waddell’s basket made it 33-29 a minute into the third quarter.
“I thought the first half, we did a lot of good things,” Elyria coach Brett Larrick said. “We struggled to score. We missed some shots we typically make. We kept playing, we were fighting. I thought we did some good things -- mixing up our defenses. They went on a couple runs.”
Euclid’s size posed a huge problem for Elyria. Octavious Hardy is 6-foot-5, and Reggie Priah is not only 6-3 but a good 250 pounds of bulk as well. The Panthers list five players on their roster at 6-3 or bigger. Elyria’s Waddell and Izaiah Thomas are the biggest Pioneers at 6-2.
“You see the matchup,” Euclid coach T.J. Kwasniak said. “Our size is just the difference. (MarSaun) Robinson tried to keep (Elyria) in it. He went Superman in the second half. We knew they were going to battle. You watch the tape -- they’re undersized, they don’t back down but at the end of the day, we were just too big.
“How many times would they get us to miss a shot and we’d go up and get the rebound and put it back?”
Hardy was credited with 20 rebounds -- just three less than Elyria’s total. Priah had eight and led the scoring with 21 -- many when he simply overpowered the defender on the way to the basket.
“They pounded us on the boards and inside and we just didn’t adjust,” Larrick said.
After Waddell scored, the Panthers dropped the next 15 points on the Pioneers and suddenly it was 48-29. Even Robinson’s hot finish to the game couldn’t turn things around. Elyria’s sophomore guard finished with a career-high 29 points -- 18 coming in the second half. He hit six of 10 from 3-point range.
“He was shooting the ball well,” Larrick said. “He tried to carry us and do it all by himself. He shot it well. We need everybody to be playing well.”
Waddell finished with 10 points and five rebounds. Josiah Grantham scored nine points.
Elyria will try to bounce back tonight when it hosts Clearview.
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Euclid 84, Elyria 65
ELYRIA (65): Aiden Carter 1-1-3, MarSaun Robinson 9-0-18, Caleb Rogers 2-1-6, Izaiah Thomas 0-0-0, Josiah Grantham 4-0-9, Will Waddell 5-010, Nate Collins 0-0-0, Jahkai Owens 2-0-4, Jesse Stevens 1-0-2, Jahmil Reed 1-0-2, Glenn Smith 0-0-0. Totals 25-7-65.
EUCLID (84): Garvin Clarke 9-0-18, Tyrese Duckworth 4-0-11, Octavious Hardy 4-1-9, Ke’Saun Key 3-0-6, Reggie Priah 8-5-21, Ezel Oliver 0-0-0, Reggie Watts 2-0-6, Latrayl Alexander 3-0-6, Mario Lacey 1-1-3, Kevin Carswell 0-0-0, Cody Rodgers 1-0-2, Jay Wanton 1-0-2, Jaiden Cox-Holloway 0-0-0. Totals 36-7-84.
Elyria 12 15 11 27 — 65
Euclid 15 18 25 26 — 84
Three-point goals: Elyria 8-21 (Robinson 6, Rogers, Grantham), Shaker 5-13 (Duckworth 3, Watts 2). Field goals: Elyria 25-60 (42 percent), Euclid 36-66 (54.5 percent). Free throws: Elyria 7-10 (70 percent), Euclid 7-12 (58 percent). Rebounds: Elyria 23 (Waddell 5), Euclid 48 (Hardy 20). Turnovers: Elyria 6, Euclid 14. Total fouls: Elyria 9, Euclid 11.
Junior varsity: Elyria, 45-43.