ELYRIA — Fast starts are something Elyria coach Brett Larrick would certainly like to see all season.
For the second time in as many games, the Pioneers jumped in front early and maintained a comfortable lead throughout in a 73-42 win over Westlake on Tuesday in non-conference play.
“Absolutely our energy, our defense,” Larrick said of what he liked in the win. “Our defense has been pretty good for the first two games. We were able to defend, especially to start the game. If we’re able to defend and rebound, we can get out and run.”
At the DiFranco tournament Saturday, Elyria started the game on a 10-0 run in knocking off North Ridgeville. The Rangers shot 34 percent and had 19 turnovers. Tuesday it was 9-0 before Westlake scored.
The Demons (0-2) shot only 27 percent from the floor and had 16 turnovers. Elyria (2-0) led 24-7 after the first quarter.
Those are numbers Larrick knows his team could use as they open Greater Cleveland Conference play Friday at home against Solon.
Caleb Rogers hit his first five shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, and finished with a career-high 26 points in leading the way. For the game, Rogers was 11-of-15 and 4-of-7 from three.
Many of Rogers’ baskets came on fast breaks or by simply beating his defender to the basket on the dribble. Rogers also had eight rebounds.
“We focus real hard on our defense,” Rogers said. “We broke our defense down in practice — help side defense. We focused on their best player, who we thought was No. 14 (Anthony Rego). We talked about how we were going to help on him, how much we were going to help on him.”
Rego, a three-year starter for the Demons, had eight points but on just 2-of-15 shooting from the floor.
“Rego, we knew he was a really good player,” Larrick said. “We knew he’d be aggressive. Aiden Carter did a really good job on him and our help was really good.”
It was a tough night for Westlake, which made only two of 17 3-pointers.
“We did the same thing against Rocky River,”first-year Westlake coach Freeman Blade said. “We spotted them 20 and then we had to battle back. The sense of urgency got dissipated real quick.”
While Westlake struggled to put the ball in the basket, Elyria thrived. The Pioneers shot 56 percent from the floor, and while many were layups and close-range shots, it was the defense that provided the fast-break opportunities.
Larrick was able to utilize his bench — another factor he’ll need going into league play – as 10 Pioneers scored. MarSaun Robinson finished with 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the floor, while Carter chipped in eight points and Jesse Stevens seven. Tyren Lee contributed six rebounds.
Elyria 73, Westlake 42
WESTLAKE (42): Caleb Schubert 1-0-2, Jacob May 1-0-2, Anthony Rego 2-4-8, Joey Geagea 3-0-6, Justin Garcia 5-0-12, Matt Sarsem 1-2-4, Dylan Bednar 1-2-4, Jimmy Dickey 0-2-2, Nate Klima 0-2-2, Jack Collins 0-0-0. Totals 14-12-42.
ELYRIA (73): Aiden Carter 4-0-8, MarSaun Robinson 4-3-12, Caleb Rogers 11-0-26, Josiah Grantham 1-2-4, Will Waddell 1-1-3, Tyren Lee 1-0-2, Jahmil Reed 2-0-4, Jesse Stevens 2-3-7, Izaiah Thomas 1-1-3, Jahkal Owens 1-1-4, Glenn Smith 0-0-0. Totals 28-11-73.
Westlake 7 12 10 13 — 42
Elyria 24 10 18 21 — 73
Three-point goals: Westlake 2-17 (Garcia 2), Elyria 6-18 (Rogers 4, Robinson, Owens). Field goals: Westlake 14-52 (27 percent), Elyria 28-50 (56 percent). Free throws: Westlake 12-18 (66 percent), Elyria 11-19 (58 percent). Rebounds: Westlake 33 (Garcia 8), Elyria 35 (Rogers 8). Turnovers: Westlake 16, Elyria 11. Fouls: Westlake 16, Elyria 19.
Junior varsity: Elyria, 64-58