Cleveland Heights, Ohio- The Cleveland Heights Tigers hosted their second annual ELB Invitational (Everything Lead's Back) Saturday, which showcased 10 of the top teams in the Cleveland area. The Invitational, was which started by Tiger head coach J.R. Bremer lived up to any expectations set by fans in attendance.
Closing out the event, Bremer's Tigers (9-4) faced off against the Gilmour Academy Lancers (5-7) and showed why it's much deserving of being ranked inside the top-10 of the latest Cleveland.com top 25 high school poll. The three headed monster of senior guard's Rayvelle Duncan, Shemarion Hardy and Jaeden Lawson combined for 52 of the Tigers total 74 points. The Tigers ended the first half up 44-26 with Lawson leading the way with 18.
The Tigers started the second half on a 12-0 run before senior Lancer guard Brandon Rose made a driving layup to get Gilmour on the board.
The Tigers never lost control of the game, throwing down various tomahawk and windmill dunks and playing relentless defense outclassing the Lancers. Rose scored his 1000th career points, knocking two free throw before his family and other fans in the stance greeted him as he walked off the court. Rose would finish with a team high 25 points.
Lawson finished with a team high 24 points to help the Tigers improve to 10-4. The Lancers dropped to 5-8 continuing it's losing streak to three.
Villa Angela-St. Joseph 77, Hawken 74:
The game of the night that had fans on their seat was between the Hawken Hawks (7-6) and Villa Angela-St. Joseph Vikings (4-8).
Hawken started the game fast and sound led by the hot shooting of junior guard Taj Caver. Caver scored 10 of the Hawks 16 first quarter points frustrating the likes of Vikings head coach Ashen Ward and his young Vikings squad.
The Vikings found themselves down but not out at the halftime break down 35-30 despite playing an egregious first half of ball. Caver as well as freshman guard Daron Hill made life miserable for the Vikings troughout the third quarter as well taking advantage of the space the Vikings gave them on defense and the bully style ball they were delivering on boards.
The Vikings still found themselves going into the final quarter down 11 with an real chance to win. Ward gave every available player an opportunity to play in the game. Once particular player, sophomore wing Ari Jones took advantage of any minutes given. After not playing much in the first half, Jones delivered a much needed spark for the VASJ team desperately looking to turn their season around. Jones scored 20 fourth quarter points including 5 triples that earned him MVP of the game.
With less than a minute, he receiving a pass from Quandell Wright the game at 74. With 4 seconds on the clock, sophomore shooting guard Sean Shenker put the game away with a corner three of his own securing the comeback for the Vikings. Jones finished with 21 points, while Caver and Hill finished with a combined 47.
Solon 63, Glenville 48:
One of the best point guards in the area, senior RayQuan Thompson scored 21 points to lead the Comets (6-7) to a comfortable victory over the Glenville Tarblooders (7-5).
The Tarblooders consistent mistakes of not boxing out and giving the Comets opportunities at second chance points via the free throw line was the main reason why the could never find a solid rhythm to get back in the game.
Head coach Michael Holt called a timeout midway through the third ripping into his players causing two players to play lights out. Seniors Damarion Oliver and Jakobi Laster combined for 31 points breathing a small glimpse of hope into the game. Comets forward Xavier Doss battled Glenville junior forward on the boards with each snagging over 8 rebounds. The Tarblooders would get the deficit down to single digits in the third before Solon put their foot back on the gas to close the quarter out.
Jones lived at the free throw line for majority of the fourth quarter after finishing the first half with 10 points knocking down 8 free throw in a row closing the game out. He was named MVP of the game.
Strongsville 66, University School 56:
After losing a tough conference game Friday night against the Mentor Cardinals (7-6), the Strongsville Mustangs were looking to get back on winning side against the University School Prepppers (9-4). The first quarter was a battle with the Mustangs carrying a slim 13-12 lead in the second which was just as tight of a quarter with the Mustangs by 1 holding a 28-26 lead at the half.
The game would be decided with the fourth quarter when the Mustangs scored 19 points in four minutes behind clutch scoring of senior point guard Justin Wyspasek, sophomore forward Josh Byers and junior guard Nick Quirino who combined for 15 points in the quarter. Sophomore point guard Brayden Wyspasek added seven points to help knock off the Preppers.
Preppers junior guard Justin Belcher led all scorers with 28 points. Justin Wyspasek took him MVP of the game.
East Tech 64, Shaw 54:
Starting the day off, the hot East Tech Scarabs (10-5), winners of their last five straight games took on the Shaw Cardinals (1-10) looking to show those early in attendance why they truly are one of the top schools in the Senate League. Senior guard Mohammed Shakir provided the Scarabs with an instant spark of offense with 15 first half points before sitting out the second half with a minor groin injury.
Senior guard Malik Bennett and sophomore guard Trayvon Thomas stepped in the absence of Shakir combined for 24 points to keep the streak alive at 6 games.
Post game interviews for all five games can be accessed at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0lC3sW-8FSCsyELfR-mZ_g