Lorain Titans hold on for win over Shaw Cardinals

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Lorain Rashod Berry dunks the ball in the third quarter against Shaw on Friday night at Lorain High School. The Titans held on to beat the Cardinals, 59-57.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Lorain's Sherman Saunders, left, goes up for two points over two Shaw defenders in the first quarter Friday night at Lorain High School.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Shaw's Justin Mitchell, left, and Lorain's Louis Cheers battle for a loose ball in the second quarter Friday night at Lorain High School.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Shaw's Michael Parks, right, blocks Lorain's Eddie Williamson's shot in the first quarter Friday night at Lorain High School.

LORAIN — When Lorain scouted Shaw, it knew Thomas Austin couldn’t shoot the 3-pointer.

So when Austin hoisted a 3 in the closing seconds with the game tied at 57, all Titans coach Andy Bastock could do is watch.

“When he took it the first thing that went through my mind was, ‘Oh, god, I know he’s going to hit it just because the scouting report says he can’t,’” Bastock said with a laugh. “Then I saw when it left his hand that it wasn’t a very good shot.”

The shot hit the front of the rim and into the hands of Louis Cheers, who was fouled and calmly sank both free throws at the other end to give Lorain a 59-57 win Friday night in Lake Erie League action and a sweep of the season series.

Cheers didn’t have a field goal the entire game, getting all nine of his points at the free-throw line — none bigger than the two with 1.6 seconds left in regulation that helped snap a four-game skid for the Titans (5-9, 4-6).

“I was ready to knock the free throws down,” said Cheers, who swished both. “I was relieved (after the first free throw) because all we needed was one with one second left on the clock.”

Cordell Smith’s last-second heave nearly went in, hitting just right of the basket before bouncing back onto the court.

Smith, a senior, had 18 points for the Cardinals, 10 coming in the third quarter in which they turned a 12-point halftime deficit into a 42-40 lead heading into the fourth.

“He’s their best player, the kid averages over 20 points a game,” Bastock said about the Smith. “We held him to 12 the first meeting, but I know the kid’s a heck of a player. I shook his hand at the end of the game and told him I’m glad I don’t have to see him anymore because he’s always somebody that makes me nervous.”

The Titans, who started the game on a 9-0 run, had the lead the entire game until Austin’s free throw at the 3:09 mark in the third gave Shaw its first lead.

The Cardinals overcame a dismal first half in which they shot just 8 of 27 (30 percent) from the field. They started the game 0-for-5 shooting the ball and had six turnovers before Michael Parks (game-high 19 points) gave them their first basket with 2:55 left in the first.

Trailing 53-52 in the fourth, Shaw received two technical fouls — its third and fourth of the game — sending Demon Hisle and Andre Phillips to the line for a pair of free throws.

Hisle missed both but Phillips made both of his to give Lorain a 55-52 advantage with 1:58 left in the game.

There were five technical fouls handed out, including one to Bastock.

“It was kind of a hard-played, sloppy-type game, “Bastock said, “but I thought our kids kept their cool — probably better than me in that game — and did what they had to do down the stretch to do just enough to win.

After a pair of free throws from Eddie Williamson gave Lorain a 57-55 lead, Shaw tied it on a basket from Austin, who couldn’t convert the and-1 opportunity to give the Cardinals the lead with 53.8 seconds remaining.

The Titans made 12 of 17 free throws in the fourth, including a 6-for-7 effort from Williamson, whose seven points also came via free throws.

Phillips, who made a big 3 midway through the fourth that regained the lead for Lorain, finished with a team-high 13 points. Rashod Berry added 12 points off the bench, including six in the first quarter that included a furious two-handed slam dunk.

The Titans will take a break from LEL action Tuesday when it travels to Sandusky to take on the Blue Streaks.

Lorain 59, Shaw 57

Lake Erie League

SHAW — Smith 7-4 18, Austin 3-3 9, Lashley 2-0 4, Whiteside 2-1 5, Parks 7-5 19, Campbell 1-0 2. TOTALS 22-13 57.

LORAIN — Gerald Howard 2-0 4, Sherman Saunders 4-2 10, Andre Phillips 4-4 13, Eddie Williamson 0-7 7, Louis Cheers 0-9 9, Rashod Berry 6-0 12, Andrew Ralston 0-1 1, Demon Hisle 1-0 3. TOTALS 17-23 59.

3-POINT GOALS — L: Phillips, Hisle.

Score By Quarters

Shaw 6 12 24 15 — 57

Lorain (5-9, 4-6) 16 14 10 19 — 59

Team Statistics

Field Goals — Shaw 22 of 57 (39 percent), Lorain 17 of 35 (49 percent).

Free Throws — S 13 of 14 (93 percent), L 23 of 36 (64 percent).

Rebounds — S 25, L 25.

Turnovers — S 18, L 24.

J.V. — Shaw, 39-36.

@PaulBarney18

Last Updated: 1/25/2013 11:55:35 PM EST

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