LORAIN — It was a homecoming for Lorain, and the Titans weren’t very gracious hosts.
In its first home game since last season’s run to the state semifinals in Columbus, Lorain jumped on Richmond Heights early and rolled to a dominant 83-51 victory.
Devon Grant scored 18 of his game-high 31 points in the first quarter as the Titans (2-0) took a 28-11 lead and were never threatened.
Grant made five 3-pointers before halftime, added eight rebounds and didn’t play the final 6:03.
“He’s just a special player,” Lorain coach John Rositano said of Grant, who scored 32 points in Lorain’s season-opening win over Euclid.
“He’s very unselfish, but he knows when he has to score and when he has to turn it on. He got it going in that first half.”
The game was briefly delayed in the first period when the teams had a brief confrontation. The officials handed out technical fouls to both teams and play continued.
That’s when Grant took over, scoring the game’s next 10 points to put the Spartans (1-3) in a big hole.
“That’s our instincts and we were also disrespected by them,” Grant said. “I’m not going to say too much but we were disrespected by them.”
Rositano said the Titans have to expect their opponents to try to get into their heads.
“We keep telling the guys we’re an elite team, and when you’re an elite team there are teams that are going to try to get you out of your game, to say things or do things to get you out of your game,” he said. “After a few seconds I thought our guys did a good job of regaining their composure and getting back to just playing basketball.”
Lorain led 44-22 at halftime before blowing it open with a 25-14 third quarter.
“They’re a state contender in Division IV and our guys were a little juiced up to play them,” Rositano said of the Spartans. “The crowd was into it, first time back after a state Final Four appearance. It was a great crowd, a great atmosphere and our home-court environment is something special.”
Jordan Jackson had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Lorain, while Aiden Brown pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds off the bench.
“You practice what you play, and I’ve been doing that in every practice, going hard,” Brown said. “I have to finish more of my layups, but my job is to play defense and get rebounds. That’s what I tried to do tonight.”
Rositano was encouraged by Brown’s effort.
“Aiden Brown was a beast on the boards,” he said. “He got every rebound. He knows he’s in the game to rebound and to defend the block and he does a good job of that. He’s a high-energy guy, long, a high motor. You need guys like that coming off the bench.”
Jevontae Jones led the Spartans with 11 points.
“I’m not disappointed,” Richmond Heights coach Quentin Rogers said. “At the end of the day they competed. I thought fouling was out of control and all our key guys got into foul trouble early. That hurt, then they got a little jittery and fed into the crowd a little bit.
“That’s the reason we came here. We came here to put them in tough environments and to play against tough teams. There are a few things we can work on but we’ll be fine.”
Lorain 83, Richmond Heights 51
RICHMOND HEIGHTS (51): Curtis Houston 3-0-7, Jevontae Jones 3-5-11, Gbolahan Adio 4-0-10, Anthony Maxie 2-0-4, BJ Carter 3-1-7, Jamar Talbert
2-0-4, Isaiah Martin 1-0-2, Inkenne Onu 0-1-1, Torres Hickerson 2-0-5. Totals 20-7-51.
LORAIN (109): Jordan Jackson 5-3-13, Taevon Pierre-Louis 1-6-8, Devone Grant 7-12-31, Deonte Benejan 6-0-13, Kam Davis 0-0-0, Aaron Whitehead
3-0-7, Aiden Brown 0-2-2, De’Vante Jackson 2-1-5, Luis Suarez 1-0-2, Kamron Thomas 1-0-2. Totals 26-24-83.
Richmond Heights 11 11 14 15 — 51
Lorain 28 18 25 12 — 83
Three-point goals: Richmond Heights 4-20 (Adio 2, Houston, Hickerson ), Lorain 7-17 (Grant 5, Benejan, Whitehead). Field goals: Richmond Heights 20-53 (37.7 percent), Lorain 26-67 (38.8 percent); Free throws: Richmond Heights 7-17 (41.1 percent), Lorain 24-33 (72.7 percent); Rebounds: Richmond Heights 35 (Adio 8), Lorain 52 (Brown 17, Jackson 10). Turnovers: Richmond Heights 22, Lorain 15. Total fouls: Richmond Heights 19, Lorain 20. Fouled out: Jones, Carter.
Junior varsity: Lorain, 69-17