WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio - Monday night, the Warrensville Heights Tigers, under the guidance of first-year head coach Demetrius Johnson, secured a emphatic 80-42 victory against Cleveland John F. Kennedy. This game was not just a win for the team but also marked Coach Johnson's first home win, leading the team at his alma mater.
The "We Can" Era Begins
The victory signals the beginning of the "We Can" era for Warrensville Heights, particularly significant considering the team's struggle in the past two seasons with only five total wins. The game was played on the newly named Brad Sellers Court, with a packed audience witnessing this turnaround.
"Tonight was a surreal moment," Johnson said postgame.
"Playing in front of a sellout crowd, the boys worked so hard to get here in practice and watching film. This night was for them. For them to play like did and the fans to show up, it was an unbelievable moment for them, but also for me."
The event attracted notable figures, including NBA stars Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers, G-League star Isaiah Mobley of the Cleveland Charge, and Warrensville Heights Mayor/ NBA alumni Brad Sellers himself. Their presence underscored the game's high anticipation and their support for both teams.
The Eagles' Valiant Effort
Despite the lopsided score, the Fighting Eagles who are viewed as a potential dark horse in the Senate League, displayed commendable resilience attacking the boards and forcing the Tigers to settle for tough jumpers. Senior guard Demarius Logan shined brightly for the Eagles, scoring a game-high 19 points.
Tigers' Roaring Performance
The Tigers of Warrensville Heights showed their prowess, led by senior guard and Brush transfer Chris “CJ” Brownlee Jr., who led the team with 16 points. A pivotal moment of the game was when the crowd, with Warrensville ahead by 20 points, chanted for junior guard Tylin Bryant to join the action. Bryant did not disappoint, hitting two deep three-pointers, much to the delight of the Tiger Nation.
"We had to set the tone today. It's our first home game in a new gym. We knew the atmosphere was going to be electric and crazy. We mentally prepared for this game. It was sloppy in the beginning, but we'll get back to the drawing board and figure it happy. I'm happy we got the win," Brownlee Jr. said about the environment of the game postgame.
A Team Effort
A notable aspect of Warrensville Heights' victory was the team's depth, with 12 different players scoring during the game. This highlights the team's collective strength but also promises a bright future for the program showing they've fully bought into Coach Johnson's leadership and vision for his young squad.
This victory is more than just a win; it's a statement of resurgence for the Warrensville Heights basketball program and community. As the "We Can" era takes off, it will be interesting to see how the team builds on this momentum. With such a solid start, the future looks promising for Coach Johnson and his squad. The 2-0 Tigers host Lake Erie League rival Maple Heights on this upcoming Friday. Tip-off is at 7:30 at Brad Sellers Court.