Titans End Lakewood's Historic Tournament Run
The LHS girls basketball team fell 59-34 to Berea-Midpark on Tuesday night in an OHSAA Regional semifinal game. Lakewood played without junior center Olivia Nagy, who was hospitalized last weekend with a kidney infection. The game was played evenly throughout the first half, but the Titans pulled away in the third quarter to advance to the Final 8 in Ohio. The loss ends a wonderful Lakewood season in which the Rangers reached the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1995. The game was attended by a huge Lakewood crowd, which included many former LHS girls hoops players and lots of current students and staff.
Despite losing Nagy, the Rangers played well in the first quarter. Sophomore Christian Massey stepped into a starting role, and held her own against the Titan bigs. Senior Ryann Greenfield scored four of her 8 points in the first period, helping the Rangers gain confidence. Berea-Midpark led 10-9 after the first quarter, and the large contingent of Lakewood fans was enthusiastic. The purple fans erupted early in the second quarter, when Greenfield and senior Trinity Nall scored back-to-back baskets to put Lakewood ahead 13-10. The Titans used a 4-0 run to retake the lead 16-13 with 5:51 left before halftime. Junior Saher Hamden, the hero of Lakewood’s earlier tournament win over Normandy, scored the next three points to restore a 17-16 Ranger lead. Berea-Midpark scored the next five points, but Courtney Ribar closed the half with a runner to make the game 22-19 at the break.
The second half did not go nearly as well. The Titans quickly went on a 12-2 run in the opening two minutes of the third period. Berea-Midpark used four three-point baskets to build a 42-30 lead by the end of the third quarter. The lead expanded in the fourth quarter, as the Titans used their skill and depth to wear down the shorthanded Rangers. Both teams emptied their benches late, and the game ended 59-34.
Greenfield led the Rangers with eight points; junior Isabel Cintron had 7. This was the final Ranger game for seniors Greenfield, Nall, and Emma Ribar. This year’s district title capped their strong basketball careers at LHS. They were each a key part in numerous big wins during their careers, including this year’s playoff upset of Magnificat. Greenfield battled numerous injuries over the years to become one of LHS’s all-time best players. Nall and Ribar also showed tremendous toughness and skill while wearing the purple. The Rangers season ends with a 18-8 record.
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