ELYRIA — Coach Joe Mackey couldn’t have imagined his Brunswick boys basketball team shooting much better over the first 10 minutes of Friday’s game at the old Elyria West gymnasium.
The Blue Devils shellacked Elyria 68-50 by hitting 12 of their first 16 field goal attempts, including all six 3-point attempts, to put the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division game away early.
Brunswick (7-4, 2-2) built a 30-14 cushion with 6:25 left in the first half and then put it in cruise control as Elryia (8-4, 1-4) had no chance to catch up.
“That was probably our best start of the season for us,” Mackey said. “We did that one other time against Triway. We pounded our big guy and we were able to space the floor and make some shots early. I thought the second half we let off the gas a little bit.”
Defensively, Brunswick threw a 2-3 zone at the Pioneers, with 6-foot-10 Pat Forsythe protecting the basket. The West Virginia University-bound center led Brunswick with 19 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots, which is a standard night for the big fella.
“That’s pretty much my job,” Forsythe said. “Stop anyone from scoring in the paint. It worked out.”
It doesn’t hurt when everyone is scoring on the offensive end.
“It really helps when the whole team can contribute,” Forsythe said. “Five guys in double digits. When we all contribute like that, it’s hard to lose.”
Brunswick starts a freshman and two sophomores to go along with seniors Forsythe and Matt Dunning. The youngsters all contributed.
Freshman Ryan Badkowski hit a pair of 3-pointers and wound up with 10 points. Sophomores Alex Hartill and Kyle Wheeler combined for 21 points and a pair of 3-pointers, with Hartill scoring 12. Dunning scored 14, including a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter when Brunswick hit 9-of-13 shots from the floor and all three of its long-range shots.
“We’re an extremely un-selfish group,” Mackey said. “We’re an inside-outside team. We feel we have one of the best centers in the state in Pat. We tried to surround him with shooters. Thus far, we’ve been what our record indicates but one thing we’ve noticed: Week-in and week-out, we’ve gotten better.”
Brunswick finished the night hitting at a 66 percent clip from the floor and out-rebounded Elyria by a dozen to more than make up for its 28 turnovers.
“Brunswick was the bet-ter team,” Elyria coach Brett Larrick said. “They made shots. They caught the ball. We didn’t make shots. We missed layups. Good teams make you pay.”
Chase Farris, Elyria’s Ohio State-bound football recruit, scored 17 points to lead the Pioneers and senior Devin Swidecki added 11, but Brunswick handcuffed hot-shooting sophomore Kody Bender. Bender was scoreless in the first quarter and finished with just one 3-pointer and eight points.
“We haven’t played zone that much in my 15 years here,” said Mackey. “We have a 14-year-old freshman out there and two sophomores. We’re trying to protect them a little bit. It’s been an effective defense for us.
“We have Brush and Strongsville back-to-back next weekend. I thought if there was ever a must-win for game 11 for our team, this was it.”
Contact Tim Gebhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brunswick 68, Elyria 50
BRUNSWICK 22 20 11 15 — 68
ELYRIA 12 12 12 14 — 50
Brunswick — Ryan Badowski 3-2-10, Alex Hartill 4-3-12, Kyle Wheeler 4-0-9, Matt Dunning 6-0-14, Pat Forsythe 7-5-19, Anthony Oracio 0-0-0, Zach Gresch 1-0-3, Ray J. Brown 0-0-0, Robert Hale 0-1-1, Zach Parker 0-0-0. Totals 25-11-68.
Elyria — Kody Bender 3-1-8, Jumarr Lewis 0-0-0, Devin Swidecki 5-0-11, Anthoni Horton 0-0-0, Brenden Dickerson 0-0-0, Chase Farris 7-3-17, Khire Lateef 0-3-3, Demetrius Walton 2-4-8, Zach Zinimon 1-1-3, Maurice Woods 0-0-0, Rodney Beckett 0-0-0. Totals 18-12-50.
3-point goals — Badowski 2, Dunning 2, Hartill, Wheeler, Gresch, Bender, Swidecki. Rebounds — Brunswick 40 (Forsythe 13), Elyria 28 (Farris 6). Records — Brunswick (7-4, 2-2), Elyria (8-4, 1-4). Junior varsity — Brunswick 59-52.