Elyria Pioneers fight off Westlake Demons in sectional final

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Elyria’s Jocelyn Spraggins, center, loses her glasses and the ball while trying to drive to the hoop surrounded by Westlake defenders on Wednesday night.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Elyria's Alexis Middlebrooks, right, fouls Westlake's Madison Dunlap in the third quarter on Wednesday night.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Elyria forward Alexis Middlebrooks, left, goes up for a basket over Westlake’s Monica Fury, front, and Rebecca Essig, right, in the fourth quarter on Wednesday night.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Elyria's Jocelyn Spraggins, center, drives the lane through three Westlake defenders to score in the third quarter on Wednesday night.

ELYRIA — The Pioneers couldn’t have asked for a better opening to their second round game of the Division I Elyria District tournament against Westlake.

Elyria opened the game with a 17-0 run and a 19-4 lead after the first quarter.

But the game was ultimately decided in overtime — still in favor of Elyria, 48-45.

After the lopsided opening, Westlake took complete control of the game until the waning seconds when Elyria junior Alexis Middlebrooks hit a shot under the basket to force overtime.

Between the late surge from Elyria and the first quarter, Westlake outscored the Pioneers 34-19 and had the game in hand with a six-point lead late in the fourth.

“I don’t like to use my timeouts until the end, but tonight I just had to,” Elyria coach Mike Walsh said. “We definitely got into a sort of panic mode out there. On defense we just stood there. On offense we did not react well to their steal attempts.”

A late 3-pointer from Mary Jones got the Pioneers back within 2. The clutch basket was one of a trio of 3-pointers on the night for the senior, and part of a team-high 17 points.

“I just told myself to keep going,” Jones said. “In all my years playing we have never been a part of March Madness. And I think that added some extra motivation for us tonight.”

Jones, Jocelyn Spraggins, and the Middlebrooks’(Alexis and Shayla) pushed the ball down low early and often for the Pioneers. Well timed and solid pump fakes created many easy baskets to start things off. Elyria opened the game shooting 11 of 15 from the field.

Elyria took control of the game in overtime. It was the only period besides the first where it outscored the Demons. Sophomore Sybil Roseboro hit another timely 3-pointer for her team to go up by five points with under a minute left.

“I think I passed my Dad in age tonight,” Walsh joked. “When we hit those lulls we have to simply continue fighting. Having a repeat of what happened in the middle of the game tonight will get us beat if we don’t correct it.

“If you’re hot shooting you shoot, if you’re not you shoot until you’re hot.”

Alexis Middlebrooks was a constant post presense and barely missed a double-double with eight points and 11 rebounds. Spraggins and Shayla Middlebrooks added six and four points, respectively.

A tenacious effort and efficient shot-making almost got the Demons the win.

Freshman Monica Fury willed her team into the lead late and was all over the floor on both ends. Impressive post moves and hook shots in traffic earner her a game-high 19 points. She also grabbed 10 rebounds.

Senior Liz Kobe contributed 10 points, including a 3-pointer late in the fourth that put Westlake up by five points — and what many presumed to be the game-deciding shot.

Elyria moves on to face the Amherst Comets next Wednesday night.

Elyria 48, Westlake 45 OT

Division I Elyria District

WESTLAKE — Monica Fury 6-6 19, Liz Kobe 4-1 11, Rebecca Essig 2-2 6, Maggie Zimmerman 2-0 4, Rachel Collins 2-0 4, Madison Dunlap 1-0 2. TOTALS 17-9 45

ELYRIA — Mary Jones 7-0 7, Sybil Roseboro 4-1 10, Alexis Middlebrooks 4-0 8, Jocelyn Spraggins 3-0 6, Shayla Middlebrooks 2-0 4, Mikayla Christian 1-1 3. TOTALS 21-2 48.

3-POINT GOALS — W: Kobe, Fury; E: Jones (3), Roseboro.

Score By Quarters

Westlake (15-8, 8-5) 4 14 9 13 5 — 45

Elyria (15-8, 3-7) 19 9 3 9 8 — 48

Team Statistics

Field Goals — W 17 of 59 (29 percent), E 21 of 51 (41 percent).

Free Throws — W 9 of 12 (75 percent), E 2 of 9 (22 percent).

Rebounds — W 37 (Fury 10), E 36 (Alexis Middlebrooks 11).

Turnovers — W 13, E 12.

@MJournalSports

Last Updated: 2/20/2013 11:23:45 PM EST

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