GARFIELD HEIGHTS — We always think we have more time.
“I thought there were more than two seconds,” said Elyria Catholic coach Alan Januzzi, referring to a timeout he called with his team behind 57-54 in the dying moments of Friday night’s game against Trinity.
“I don’t like to call time out in that situation,” Januzzi said. “It allows the defense to become set. I just thought I had to call it.”
The timeout did give EC a reprieve. Januzzi called it just as Kevin Fentner was about to try a 3-point shot with a high degree of difficulty while surrounded by defenders.
In the end, it didn’t matter. After the timeout, Trinity’s Justin Cristman intercepted the inbounds throw to preserve the Trojans’ victory.
The loss dropped Elyria Catholic to 4-12 and 1-8 in the North Coast League.
Trinity is 3-14 and 2-7 in the NCL.
There were several stretches of the game the Panthers would like to replay.
Trinity scored 12 unanswered points between the first and second quarters, and rallied from a 46-40 deficit by outscoring Elyria Catholic 14-3 in a 4:24 stretch. The Panthers committed turnovers on their first five possessions of the second period.
“That’s part of the game,” Januzzi said. “We try to play through these things. A three-point game comes down to a possession here and a possession there. But it is the little things throughout the game that hurt.”
But there were bright spots. EC dominated the game’s first seven minutes in forging a lead of 18-10. The Panthers went on a 10-0 run in the second quarter to open a 28-22 advantage and hit 18 of 20 free throws.
“I want to think about the positives,” Januzzi said. “This was a good effort on the road. We talk about effort and energy and they did a good job with that.”
Fentner led the way with
21 points, including 11-of-11 at the foul line, and added four assists. Joe Fitch chipped in with 15 points.
Phil Barile led Trinity with
16 points, all in the second and fourth quarters. He hit one free throw in a double-bonus situation that gave EC a final glimmer of hope with nine seconds remaining.
“He’s been in a shooting slump most of the year,” Trinity coach Paul Prospal said. “I think he’s finally out of it. He was a big factor tonight.”
Cristman, a junior, added
15 points and led all rebounders with eight. He scored nine points in the first quarter.
Contact Steve Byrne at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Trinity 57, Elyria Catholic 54
ELYRIA CATHOLIC (54): Cody Schuster 2-0-4, Joe Fitch 7-1-15, Ryan Taylor 1-4-6, Kevin Fentner 4-11-21, Paul Kubuski 1-0-2, Joe Januzzi 1-0-2, Nick Ksenich 0-2-2, Spencer Roule 1-0-2. Totals 17-18-54.
TRINITY (57): Kyle Haire 0-2-2, Jim Gehring 3-3-9, Justin Cristman 6-2-15, Phil Barile 6-1-16, Brandon Evans 4-1-9, Shawn Higgs 0-0-0, Matt Delewski 1-0-2, Jim Gerrick 2-0-4. Totals 22-9-57.
Elyria Catholic 18 12 10 14 — 54
Trinity 15 14 10 18 — 57
3-point goals: Elyria Catholic 2 (Fentner 2), Trinity 4 (Barile 3, Cristman). Rebounds: Elyria Catholic 18 (Fitch, Roule 4), Trinity 24 (Cristman 8). Turnovers: Elyria Catholic 16, Trinity 13. Total fouls: Elyria Catholic 16, Trinity 17. Fouled out: Kubuski. Junior varsity: Trinity 50, Elyria Catholic 35.