The Lutheran East Falcons (8-2) traveled to take on the St. Ed's Eagles (7-0) Wednesday night in a game where the Eagles sought to be tested by one the area's dominant programs. Both teams entered the contested ranked inside the top 12 of the latest Cleveland.com high school top 25 poll.
The game drew a near sold out crowd even attracting the faces of Garfield Heights and Lutheran West head coaches Sonny Johnson and Jordan Duke.
Junior center Wendell Henry put the Eagles on the board first with a contested three. The Eagles jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Falcon freshman phenom TJ Crumble received a no-look pass from senior point guard Cody Head. Both players would combine for 10 of the teams 13 points in the first. Senior forwards Cam Grant and Danny Lavelle accounted for nine of the Eagle's 18 total points.
The five point lead by the Eagles wouldn't last much into the second quarter. Falcons coach Sam Liggins's team made the necessary adjustments to give his team a huge boost for the half. The Falcons started the quarter on a 7-0 run behind a layup from Crumble and a layup and much needed three pointer from both junior big man Jesse McCullough and junior guard Chauncey Brashers. Eagles senior guard Breyvn Coleman scored his first bucket of the game on a step back three to stop the run giving the Ealges a 21-20 lead. Head would take things into his own hands scoring 9 of the Falcons 18 points giving the team a 32-30 halftime lead.
Eagles coach Eric Flannery's team came out the second half more aggressively. Instead of settling for highly contested three's, they instead relied on a lot of wide open baseline passes for layups. Grant as well as senior guard Lucas Perusek attacked the baseline for easy layups so much that Falcon fans became frustrated. Six different Eagles scored in the third while Head, Crumble, Brashers and McCullogh fought hard to keep their team within three at 48-45 entering the fourth.
Momentum shifted the Eagles way tremendously in the fourth. A missed out of bounds call that hit the back of the backboard gave the Eagles a 4 point lead that the Falcons could never dig themselves out of. Head and MCCullough collectively scored 12 of the teams 16 points. Junior guard Anthony Bruce was injured on a missed foul call knocking him out of the game which essentially ended up being the coup de grâce to the Falcons losing 66-61.
Cody Head lead all scorers with 23 points while Lucas Perusek led the Eagles with 15 points.
The Eagles remain perfect at 8-0 looking for 9-0 Friday as they host Bloomfield Hills from Michigan. The Falcons dropped to 8-3 looking to end their losing streak as they face Combine Academy(NC) in the Flying to the Hoop event Saturday in Dayton.
I talked with Ed's coach Eric Flannery after the big win.
This game recap is brought to you by Brunswick Auto Mart