North Royalton Defeats Rangers to End Boys Hoops Season
The roller-coaster season for LHS boys basketball came to an end on Wednesday night, as the Rangers fell to North Royalton 62-51. Junior Jacob Sala led the Lakewod scoring with 16 points; fellow junior Liam Doup had ten; in his final game, senior Chris Golden had twelve points. North Royalton advances to the second round of the OHSAA tournament, where they will face Normandy on Saturday night.
The game started well for the Rangers, who jumped out to a 5-0 lead behind a basket from Golden and a three pointer from junior Raekwon Whitfield. The Bears then scored the next ten points, snatching momentum. Whitfield and Doup hit two more three pointers in the opening period, but Lakewood trailed 18-11 at the break.
Lakewood chipped into the lead during the second quarter, as Sala entered the scoring column with five points before the half. Doup had another three pointer, and Lakewood trailed 30-25 at halftime. Golden connected on a pair of shots in the third period, and the Rangers tried to close the gap. His three pointer from the corner with 4:36 left in the third period made the score 34-32. Lakewood made a defensive stop on the next possession, but was unable to tie the game.
North Royalton went on a 12-0 run to make the lead 46-32 less than a minute into the final quarter. Lakewood applied heavy defensive pressure during the second half, and got numerous turnovers. However, their shooting was cold in the second half, enabling the Bears to build up an insurmountable lead. The game ended with the score 62-51, and the season was over. In addition to Golden, this was the final game for Ranger seniors Adam Torres, Omar Ibrahim, Joey Lemmeier, and Jon Patrick.
Mike Deneen has extensive experience covering sports and community stories for the Lakewood Observer. Mike has been a Senior Industry Analyst for the Freedonia Group in Cleveland, Ohio, since 1998. He has appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell, NPR’s MarketPlace and has been quoted multiple times in The Wall Street Journal. He has made multiple guest appearances on ESPN Cleveland radio. Mike also writes for Inside Northwestern, a website that covers Northwestern Wildcat Athletics. You can reach him on Twitter at @MikeDeneen1