Bay Rockets come back, knock off the Holy Name Green Wave; Padua Bruins rip Brookside Cardinals

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Bay's Scott Rapps, left, drives the baseline to score against Holy Name's Brian Spencer in the second quarter.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Bay's Ryan Voiers jumps into the air to save the ball from going out of bounds in the first quarter against Holy Name.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Padua's Joe Leary, center, scores two points between Brookside's Christian Gray, left, and Bryan Tran in the fourth quarter.

MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Brookside's Nathan Keith, center, fights his way though to Padua defenders chasing a loose ball.

WESTLAKE — For Bay, it wasn’t how it started ... but how it finished.

Battling from behind for almost the entire game, the Rockets finally took the lead late in the fourth quarter. They made eight free throws down the stretch to overcome a herculean 44-point game by Holy Name’s Lawrynce Johnson for a 75-71 Division II Westlake District Sectional win Tuesday.

“This was not our best effort defensively,” Bay coach Jason Frolo said,” but we found a way. During this time of year, it’s about survival.”

Trailing by as many as nine in the first half, the Rockets (11-12) started to chip away at Holy Name’s lead. A big part of it was limiting the Green Wave to several one-shot possessions by grabbing the defensive rebound.

The rebounding allowed Bay’s offense to get into gear.

Craig Linder, who came off the bench to lead Bay with 20 points, gave them a 49-48 lead late in the third quarter with a three. Linder and fellow senior Chris Kazanas continued to spark Bay’s offense in the fourth quarter.

Kazanas (17 points) hit a layup, while Linder tied the game at 60 with a free throw. A 3-pointer by Linder gave Bay a 63-60 lead. The duo’s chemistry showed with Linder hitting Kazanas with a nice pass for a layup in the final minute to help keep the Green Wave at arms’ length.

“He (Kazanas) is one of my best friends,” Linder said. “We have been playing together for so long; there is a natural chemistry between us. Being a senior, there is a sense of urgency. I didn’t want to wait to make something happen.”

Johnson kept things interesting with a deep 3 — his sixth of the game, but Linder and Ben Chase closed with out with four free throws to seal the win.

After stressing the importance of rebounding at the half, Frolo was pleased to see it come to pass with the Rockets holding a 25-13 advantage in the second half.

“It was a total team effort on the boards,” Frolo said. “We challenged everyone at the half to get on the boards and give ourselves more opportunities on offense.

“Craig makes things happen when he comes in, while Chris has been a steady performer for us.”

Beisdes Linder and Kazanas, Ben Chase had 15 points. Scott Rapps used his six-foot, six-inch frame to score 14 points and grab a team-high 10 rebounds.

The Rockets will play Buckeye Friday at 6 p.m.

Padua 69, Brookside 44: Padua’s one-two combination of Matt Milliken in the first half and Ty Placek in the second half propelled the Bruins to a Division II Westlake District Sectional win.

“When you have a shooter like him (Placek), you have to focus on him, but it also helped open other things up for them,” Brookside coach Brent Schremp said. “We needed to score early and we missed some easy looks in the first half. Placek got loose in the second half and hit some shots.”

The Cardinals (7-16) struggled from the field in the first quarter and didn’t score a basket until almost five minutes were gone. By the time Alex Robinson scored, Padua held a 9-3 lead.

Milliken got loose in the second quarter, scoring eight of his 18 points in it. It allowed Padua to extend its lead to 35-14 at the half.

The second half didn’t prove to be any kinder to the Cardinals with Placek drilling four 3-pointers in the third quarter. He added two more in the fourth quarter en route to a game-high 28 points.

“He’s done that a time or two this season,” Padua coach Jake Lantz said. “He can certainly shoot the ball, but I thought we did a good job of dribble penetration setting him up for his shot.”

Robinson was outstanding for Brookside in his final game. He led his team with 20 points and at times was the Cardinals’ only offense. He scored all seven points in the first quarter and added five more in the second quarter.

“He (Robinson) played a heck of a game,” Schremp said. “Being a senior, he came out aggressive and knocked down shots for us.”

Last Updated: 2/27/2013 12:09:25 PM EST

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