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Lorain Titans fall short against Brecksville Bees, miss game-tying 3-pointer
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Lorain’s Devon Andrews, left, throws up a shot after being fouled by Brecksville’s Matt Csuhran in the third quarter of a Division I Grafton District Semifinal. The shot counted and Andrews went to the line to complete the 3-point play.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Lorain’s Louis Cheers, left, drives the lane and steps around Brecksville’s Matt Csuhran in the fourth quarter of a Division I Grafton District Semifinal.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Lorain’s Devon Andrews, center, gets fouled by Brecksville’s Mark Chrzanowski, right, in the third quarter of a Division I Grafton District Semifinal. On the left is Brecksville’s Tommy Tupa.
MORNING JOURNAL/JIM BOBEL Lorain's Sherman Saunders, right, throws up a three point shot to try to send the game to overtime.
Lorain fought the top-seeded Bees down to the end as four Titans scored in double figures led by 16 points from Devon Andrews, whose return from an injury sparked the Titans on a strong postseason run.
“I think (our players’) confidence has grown with the re-entry of Devon Andrews into our roster,” Lorain coach Andy Bastock said. “They’ve slowly understood what I expect out of them on both ends of the floor, and have gotten better at it all season long. And we peaked at the right time. We’re playing our best basketball right now. It’s a shame it has to be over.”
Andre Phillips scored 15 for the Titans (11-13) and Louis Cheers had 12 points in their last game for Lorain.
Brecksville (20-3) shot 9 of 27 from 3-point range, four of which came from senior Mark Chrzanowski who had a game-high 24. Chrzanowski had the last five points for the Bees, including a huge 3 with :59 to play which proved to be the difference.
“When we’re hitting, that’s when we’re good. When we’re not hitting, it’s going to be a long night,” Brecksville coach Steve Mehalik said. “We live and die with the three-ball a lot of times.
“They’re a veteran group for the most part. And they’ve been through a lot of these battles. They don’t get rattled. It helps when you make some shots.”
Lorain grabbed a four-point lead at 46-42 late in the third before Brecksville’s Tom Tupa hit a 3, and Bastock was immediately whistled for a technical foul after arguing a call. The Bees took full advantage as Chrzanowski hit the technical foul shots, and Tim Tupa, who had 12 points, hit a 3 with five seconds left to give his team a 50-46 lead.
“That official has no business officiating a tournament game in high school basketball,” Bastock said about the technical foul. “He instructs me to go back to my box. I go back to my box and I get a technical for it. And I go back to my box without saying a word. And that’s what I got a technical for.
“My kids fought their hearts out. They deserved to win that game. That game was theirs’ to win. They got the lead, and then that happened. And that was a huge turning point. Then they stretch it to a five-point lead and we’re scrapping to get back in it from there. My kids deserved to win that game and they did everything they needed to do to win that game.”
Lorain had come from behind in each of its two previous tournament games and tried to make it three straight as it tied the game again at 56 with about three minutes to play on a 3 from Phillips. Brecksville grabbed the lead with a Tim Tupa layup followed by the last five points from Chrzanowski.
“We don’t do anything easy,” Mehalik said. “As the season goes on, as this tournament goes on, there will be no easy games. We’re battle-tested.
“Timmy Tupa just stepped up. He was getting fouled and pushed all around the floor, and he just kept his composure. And he carried us in the fourth quarter. Mark made a huge 3 in the corner. That was huge. Once we got up by three, we felt at least a little bit safer because they’re not a great 3-point shooting team. So that kind of helped.”
Despite the loss, Bastock likes where his team can go next season as the Titans return most of this team, including Andrews and Rashod Berry, who had 10 points.
“They’ve had me excited from day one when I saw them walk into Lorain High School,” Bastock said. “It’s just a continual process of me just being happy to see them in a Lorain High uniform knowing what they can do for this school and this community as basketball players.”
Brecksville 63, Lorain 60
D-I Grafton District Semifinal
BRECKSVILLE — Paul Karthan 1-0 2, Tom Tupa 1-0 3, Mark Chrzanowski 8-4 24, Matt Csuhran 5-1 12, Tim Tupa 5-0 12, Tyler Tupa 1-0 2, Mike Tyler 2-1 5, Jon Balhorn 1-0 3. TOTALS 24-6 63.
LORAIN — Louis Cheers 5-2 12, Eddie Williamson 1-0 2, Andre Phillips 5-3 15, Devon Andrews 5-6 16, Rashod Berry 5-0 10, Sherman Saunders 2-0 5. TOTALS 23-11 60.
3-POINT GOALS — B: Tom Tupa, Chrzanowski (4), Csuhran, Tim Tupa (2), Balhorn; L: Phillips (2), Saunders.
Score By Quarters
Brecksville (20-3) 19 12 19 13 — 63
Lorain (11-13) 13 16 17 14 — 60
Field Goals — Brecksville 24 of 51 (47 percent), Lorain 23 of 50 (46 percent).
Free Throws — B 6 of 10 (60 percent), L 11 of 19 (58 percent).
Rebounds — B 27 (Tyler 8), L 31 (Cheers, Berry 7).
Last Updated: 3/6/2013 11:28:10 PM EST