Elyria Pioneers can’t keep up with Magnificat Blue Streaks

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Elyria's Mary Jones shoots a 3-pointer during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Division I Elyria District final against Magnificat at Elyria Catholic High School.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Elyria's Sybil Roseboro shoots a jump shot during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Division I Elyria District final against Magnificat at Elyria Catholic High School.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Elyria's Alexis Middlebrooks takes a shot during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Division I Elyria District final against Magnificat at Elyria Catholic High School.

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE The Magnificat Blue Streaks celebrate after the final buzzer of Saturday’s Division I Elyria District final against Magnificat at Elyria Catholic High School.

ELYRIA — Last year, Magnificat won its first district title in 10 years, before eventually losing to Wadsworth in the regional semifinals.

The Blue Streaks lost their entire starting five, and nine players total from that team to graduation, so very few people gave them a chance at repeating the type of success they had a year ago.

On Saturday they took a big step in not only repeating last year’s success, but taking it another notch further, as they beat Elyria 51-39 to advance to the Sweet 16, where they will meet Wadsworth once again in the regional semifinals.

“Here we are again, and it feels awesome,” Magnificat coach Meghann Hubach said. “After losing basically our whole team last year, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Thankfully I had a great group of girls ready to step in, and now we get another shot at Wadsworth. I’m excited.”

After dominating their first two tournament opponents, the Blue Streaks had their hands full against a very good Elyria team.

Alexis Middlebrooks and Mary Jones combined for 13 points in the first quarter, giving the Pioneers an early 13-8 lead.

Elyria’s full-court pressure forced the Blue Streaks into a very uncharacteristic 10 turnovers in the first quarter.

Magnificat started to turn things around in the second, going on a 10-0 run at the beginning of the quarter to regain the lead, 18-13.

A layup at the buzzer by Lily Schwind gave the Blue Streaks a 24-17 lead going into halftime.

They held the Pioneers to just four points in the second quarter.

“We got off to such a hot start, it might have hurt us a bit,” Elyria coach Mike Walsh said. “My girls came out playing so hard in the first quarter, I think we got a little fatigued in the second. The injury to Alexis (Roseboro) definitely didn’t help.”

Elyria opened the third with a run of their own, cutting Magnificat’s lead down to just two, 26-24.

Following the Pioneers spurt, Blue Streaks freshman Phoebe Sterba took the game over, scoring six points and dishing out two key assists in a three-minute span.

Just as quick as Elyria cut the lead to two, the Blue Streaks pushed the lead back up to ten, 34-24.

“I thought we actually executed some of our plays the best we have all season in the third quarter, we just couldn’t get anything to fall, “Walsh said. “I’d take those looks anytime. More times then not, they’re going to go down.”

Despite once again being down by double digits, the Pioneers came up with another big run in the fourth quarter to get back into the game.

A layup from Middlebrooks, followed by two free throws from Jones, completed a 9-0 run from the Pioneers.

Following Jones’ free throws, Elyria trailed by just three, 38-35, with less than five minutes remaining in the game.

Showing the resiliency that got them to this point, Magnificat never got rattled and scored the next 11 points to put the game away.

Sarah Scelza, who had a game-high 20 points, was key during the run that ended it.

She scored 10 points during the last four minutes, the biggest being a three-pointer that put Magnificat up 43-35 with under two minutes to play.

“Sarah has been huge for us lately,” Hubach said. “She has became much more aggressive lately and it has paid off for us. She is a great scoring threat for this team.”

An excited Scelza talked about her expanding role after the game.

“After losing basically our entire team from last year, we all knew that some people had to step up,” Scelza said. “I’ve always wanted to be the one to take the big shots, and I’m very thankful my team trusts me to do so.”

Magnificat now turns to focusing on getting its revenge as Wadsworth ended the Blue Streaks season a year ago in the regional semifinals.

Elyria ends a successful season at 16-9. They lose three key seniors, one of which is the heart and soul of the team, Mary Jones.

“We’re going to miss all of our seniors, they’re really great girls,” Walsh said. “Mary is just really, really special. She’s a super kid and one of the best I’ve ever coached. I mean it when I say that it was an honor to be able to say I coached her these past few years.”



Magnificat 51, Elyria 39

Division I Elyria District Final

MAGNIFICAT — Claire Martin 0-2 2, Phoebe Sterba 6-0 14, Madeline Nickels 0-1 1, Sarah Scelza 6-6 20, Anne Ubbing 0-2 2, Lily Shwind 4-0 8, Elise Keshock 2-0 4. TOTALS 22-11-51.

ELYRIA — Sybil Roseboro 4-0 8, Shayla Middlebrooks 1-0 2, Mary Jones 3-4 12, Alexis Roseboro 1-0 2, Alexis Middlebrooks 6-0 13, Sierra White 1-0 2. TOTALS 15-5-39.

3-POINT GOALS — E: Jones (2), Middlebrooks, Roseboro; M: Sterba (2), Scelza (3)

Score By Quarters

Magnificat( 18-6) 11 13 14 13 — 51

Elyria (16-8) 13 4 11 11 — 39

Team Statistics

Field Goals — Magnificat 22 of 42 (52 percent), Elyria 15 of 46 (32 percent)

Free Throws — M 11 of 20 (55 percent), E 5 of 11 (45 percent)

Rebounds — M 34, E 31

Turnovers — M 19, E 16



@MJournalSports

Last Updated: 3/2/2013 11:35:10 PM EST

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