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Jesse McCulloch's dominant 40 point 15 rebound performance leads Lutheran East to a senior night 95-81 victory over Mentor

Cleveland Heights Ohio- Lutheran East came into the matchup undefeated at home looking to add another high level program to their win column. Mentor won seven of their last ten games coming into the game. Their offense was on fire over that stretch in which they scored at least 85 points in every game. Jesse McCulloch and Ronald Taylor combining for 65 points proved to be too much for the Cardinals on Lutheran East’s senior night.

I got to speak with Head Coach for Lutheran East Sam Liggins about the win.

“We can score, we got talented guys," said Liggins. "We play a team like Mentor they kind of dictate the pace, you gotta kinda play their game a little bit. We have the firepower to play that brand of basketball as well.”

Both teams came out in the first going back and forth trading baskets. Jesse McCulloch and Ian Ioppolo both came out the gate battling. McCulloch ended the quarter with eight points and Ian ended with nine. Both teams hit multiple threes in the quarter. Ronald Taylor hit a couple for Lutheran East. Mentor ended the period leading 22-21.

That same high pace carried into the second quarter for both teams. McCulloch forced a timeout early in the quarter with a dunk. McCulloch continued to score throughout the quarter. Him and Ioppolo traded buckets at the two minute mark, Lutheran East led 38-37. The half finished with both teams tied at 40. 

The third quarter was a bit slow for both teams, Lutheran East led 48-47 with five minutes to go. Lutheran East started to get going later in the quarter. They closed the third with an 8-0 run. Anthony Bruce knocked down a three, Chris Hill converted a three point play and Jesse McCulloch got a dunk. They ended the quarter leading 67-58.

Lutheran East came out in the fourth and completely put the game away. They went on an explosive 23-8 run in the first five minutes of the quarter. They forced several turnovers and broke Mentor’s press which allowed them to get wide open buckets. 

Chauncey Brashers found McCulloch a number of times for easy layups around the basket. Bruce scored an and one and Ronald Taylor got a couple of breakaway dunks. The Falcons ended the game on top, 95-81.

Jesse McCulloch finished with 40 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks. Ronald Taylor finished with 25 points and five steals and six three point makes. Ian Ioppolo led Mentor with 33 points, Matthew Biddell finished with 19 points.

Lutheran East will be back in action February 17th at 7 Pm to take on Louisville High School.


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