Elyria Pioneers have their way with Keystone Wildcats

Elyria's Bryanna Trozzo, right, goes up for two points over Keystone's Jillian Petters, left, and Jennifer Schaffer in the third quarter last night. MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL

Elyria's Bryanna Trozzo, right, pulls in a rebound in the third quarter on Thursday night. MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL

ELYRIA — In front of family, friends and alumni, Elyria’s seniors celebrated in a big way.

The host Pioneers, who were having senior and alumni night, jumped out to a 22-point lead at the end of the first quarter en route to a 64-16 non-conference win Thursday.

“We played pretty well,” Elyria Coach Mike Walsh said. “We’ve been playing a lot better lately. The key has been our defense ... especially our presses.

“We told them, we have senior night. We’ve got alumni night. We’ve got the pep band showing up. Go out there and show them what we can do. They were pumped up and excited before the game.”

After Jocelyn Spraggins hit a layup almost three minutes into the game, Elyria’s (11-5) press started to create turnovers. Back-to-back steals lead to five straight points by senior Mary Jones (game-high 17 points) to give them a 7-0 lead.

Jones, the five-foot, six-inch guard, continued to make plays whether it was scoring or making a nice pass for an assists. She finished the quarter with 10 points, four steals and two assists. Meanwhile, Elyria was able to build up a 22-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“It was kind of weird, being here for three years and see everyone else and their senior night and then it’s you,” Jones said. “It was really a special night. I wanted to come out and win on senior night. The past few years we haven’t been able to do that, so I wanted to make sure we did.”

Keystone (5-9) struggled shooting the ball in the first half as they were unable to make a single field goal. Elyria continued play well at both ends and held a 37-0 lead at the half.

“They are starting to play the game offensively more together as a team,” Walsh said. “Not that they weren’t trying that before, but we weren’t in sync offensively. “ It seems these last 4-5 games we are making the extra pass. We’re using the ball fake and getting it inside to the open person instead of trying to force it in there.”

While Walsh was happy to see the way the offense was playing, Jones knows what is going to allow the Pioneers to continue their success.

“Our defense was a huge part,” Jones said. “Talking and communicating is a huge thing. Our defense is going to helps us in the long run.”

Keystone notched its first points of the game with Morgan Myers draining a three 10 seconds into the second half. Myers led the Wildcats with seven points.

Though Jones led the Pioneers in scoring, there was plenty of balance with nine players scoring. Sybil Roseboro added 10 points, while Spraggins and Alexis Middlebrooks added nine and eight respectively.

Elyria seniors Alexis Roseboro (four points) and Bryanna Trozzo (six points) along with Jones have been a part of the program all four years. The trio knew what needed to be done before the game.

“We normally say the word turn-up,” Jones said. “(It) means let’s go. Let’s get focus. I told the team mates in the huddle we’re not playing for ourselves as seniors but for everyone on the team. Everyone needs to take ownership.”

With the conference schedule picking back up traveling to Mayfield Saturday, the Pioneers will be looking to see where they fit in.

“Hopefully we will see how much better we got when we step back into the conference where we struggled in the first half.” Walsh said.

@MJournalSports

Last Updated: 1/24/2013 11:29:35 PM EST

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