ELYRIA - A dozen played and 11 scored as Elyria`s girls opened the basketball season with a 64-37 rout of Vermilion on Friday night.
With Honesty King scoring a game-high 25 points, the Pioneers won for the 17th straight time in their own invitational tournament. It was the second game of the ninth annual Lorain County Holiday Classic, which Elyria has won every year. Admiral King torched shorthanded Keystone 61-14 in the opener.
In an all-Division I final, the Pioneers and Admirals square off for the championship about 7:30 tonight.
Vermilion and Keystone, which is missing three players because of injuries, meet in the 6 p.m. consolation game.
Sailors coach Anjie Caffarel said her plan had been to keep King and Tai Dotson on the bench as much as possible. It was effective up to a point.
Dotson fouled out in the first minute of the fourth quarter. King spent chunks of the second, third and fourth quarters on the bench in foul trouble. King picked up her third personal just over halfway through the second period and her fourth less than two minutes into the third.
"We knew we wanted to get Honesty and Dotson on the bench," Caffarel said. "We did that. Was Honesty going to get her points? Of course. She`s a very good player."
King said she and the rest of the Pioneers will have to avoid fouls tonight if they hope to win their ninth consecutive tournament crown.
"We just wanted to come in and play hard, and those were just dumb little fouls I picked up," King said. "Offensively, I felt like the whole team was doing good. Almost everybody was hitting their shots and we were doing good on the boards."
King, who drilled all five of the Pioneers` 3-point field goals, had 18 points the first half. The bench time she logged helped slow her to a 3-point goal in the third and two baskets in the fourth. Brigette Jones, who scored 11 points the second half, finished with 13 for Elyria.
Vermilion hung with the Pioneers through most of the first half. The Sailors were within five points after a quarter and the margin was a workable 13 at the break.
"These girls aren`t going to give up," said Caffarel. "They want to win. But I think there`s no doubt we can hang with any team, but I think there will be times when our youth will get the better of us."
Vermilion started two sophomores.
In fact, the Sailors maintained a 2-0 lead for most of the first two minutes on Jordan Dawson`s layup in the first 10 seconds. But the Pioneers` Tess Sito sandwiched two drives to the basket around King`s first 3-pointer, Dotson added a foul shot and the Pioneers were in business 8-2.
The Sailors put together a 6-2 run in the last three minutes of the first quarter. Baskets by Anne Hamilton, Katie Swinehart and Katie Finley cut the lead to 12-10, But King hit her second three of the quarter just before the buzzer to make it a five-point lead.
Hamilton, who nailed Vermilion`s two 3-point baskets, scored a team-high 13 points and Finley finished with 10.
"It was a good first win, but it was a first game as well and in the beginning we made a lot of nervous mistakes," said Pioneers coach Mike Walsh. "We were trying to go too fast, flying down the floor instead of being under control. But then they settled down a little bit and there were a lot of positives. We were a little sloppy, but there were things we can fix."
VERMILION (37): Julia Clark 0-0-0, Katelyn Peterson 2-1-5, Katie Finley 3-4-10, Katie Karres 1-1-3, Katie Swinehart 1-0-2, Jordan Dawson 2-0-4, Anne Hamilton 4-3-13. Totals 13-9-37.
ELYRIA (64): Kourtney Schweitzer 1-0-2, Kassandra Messenger 1-0-2, Stephanie Littlejohn 1-0-2, Darcy Warden 0-0-0, Charnele Oliver 0-2-2, Honesty King 10-0-25, Ashley Nemes 1-1-3, Brigette Jones 4-5-13, Tai Dotson 1-1-3, Tess Sito 3-0-6, Kristen Burrey 1-2-4, Alesha Mahone 1-0-2. Totals 24-11-64.
Vermilion 10 7 4 16 - 37
Elyria. 15 15 16 18 - 64
Three-point goals: Vermilion 2-7 (Hamilton 2); Elyria 5-12 (King 5). Field goals: Vermilion 13-38 (34 percent); Elyria 24-80 (30 percent). Free throws: Vermilion 9-15; Elyria 11-23. Rebounds: Vermilion 33; Elyria 42. Turnovers: Vermilion 30; Elyria 9. Fouled out: Dotson.