Lakewood, OH- Wednesday night, the St. Ed's Eagles (20-2) faced the Elyria Pioneers (19-7) in the Division 1 District semifinal at Lakewood High School to determine who moved closer to a chance to appear in Dayton for the state championships in a few weeks.
The Eagles entered as not only of the favorites to represent northeast Ohio in Dayton, but also one of the more complete teams in the state led by seniors Cameron Grant, Breyvn Coleman, Lucas Perusak, Danny Lavelle and junior Wendell Henry.
St. Ed's dominated the first quarter on both sides of the court jumping out to an early 14-2 lead behind the scoring of five different players. Junior guard Brian Sullivan scored five of his game total seven points. Junior point guard Mateo Medina scored the only points of the quarter for Elyria.
The Eagles started the second on a 7-0 run behind the duo of Henry and Grant. The Pioneers fought back in the second quarter behind the scoring attack from sophomore guard Jayden Crutcher, who after going scoreless in the first, scored 8 of the teams 14 total quarter points. Henry and and Elyria senior forward Steven Furcron showed their competitiveness a little too much, which resulted in both receiving a technical foul to calm the tense situation.
Elyria continued to fight back putting the Eagles in lopsided foul trouble with a 10-4 count at one point through the quarter before junior guard Joey Scarpitti knocked down two triples to close the half helping the Eagles take a double digit 30-18 lead of the Pioneers.
The Eagles opened the third quarter with another 7-0 run behind a Lavelle triple and layups from Perusak and Henry. Cruthcher followed with a triple to keep the Pioneers with 15. The Eagles finished the quarter on a 22-20 run following a layup from Angelo Kulacz assisted by Ricky Bussey Jr. to lead 53-38 going in to the final quarter.
The Eagles defense proved to be too much as Cam Grant opened the quarter with a layup up, followed by Coleman with an Denzel Ward interception like steal and finding Lavelle for a triple to electrify those from the Eagles nest in attendance. Cam Grant followed with another layup, essentially being the coup de grâce for Elyria.
Both team would go deep into their bench for a platoon swap, securing the win for Eagles to move on to the District finals where they'll face the winner of Medina/Maple Heights Saturday at 2pm. This ends the season for the Pioneers.
Cam Grant led the Eagles with 18 points, followed by Henry with 14 points and Lavelle with 11. Crutcher led Elyria with a game high 20 points, followed by Ryan Walsh with 15.