By VINCE PELUSO — firstname.lastname@example.org
ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP —
The Edgewood Warriors were the hottest team in Ashtabula County entering last weekend, rattling off six-consecutive victories.
But a loss at Gilmour Academy on Saturday night left the Warriors looking to start another winning streak.
Edgewood dispatched Lakeview 65-47 at home on Tuesday night to improve to 8-3, already matching its win total from last season.
The Warriors used a 7-0 run to start the game then an 11-0 run capped by a Dylan McCaleb (14 points) 3-pointer to start the second to race out to a 20-4 lead they would never relinquish.
“I do (like how we responded from a loss) and I’m all for starting another win streak,” Edgewood coach John Bowler said with a laugh. “Seriously, I think the biggest thing is to bounce back from a loss and not let that snowball effect happen.”
Bowler said the early run was a key to the Warriors success.
“I wanted to get out, after last game we had a bad start, we were down by 10 points in the first quarter, this game we wanted to get out quick,” he said. “I wanted to establish a lead and keep a lead, which is unusual for us. Usually, we go up and down, but we kept the pace the whole game.”
Edgewood led 30-16 at the half before a rough third period in which the teams turned the ball over a combined 20 times while scoring just nine points a piece.
“That quarter was (ugly),” Bowler said. “The way they (Lakeview) play defense, they play that aggressive man to man, it makes you get caught up in that run and gun, make mistakes type offense and that’s what we did.”
But the Warriors recovered, rattling off another quick run to start the period.
Matt Fitchet (13 points) started the period with a three-point play then Louie Wisnyai (10 points) made back to back layups to stretch the Edgewood lead to 46-25.
“We made a nice little run there,” Bowler said. “Our defense stretched it out. We went to a little trapping defense and we switched it up. When we’re playing aggressive defense and playing hard, we usually get easy looks like we did.”
For Lakeview coach Craig Mild, the game was simple — the Bulldogs didn’t shoot the ball well.
All told, Lakeview was just 16 of 44 (36.3 percent) from the field, but Mild’s squad allowed the Warriors to go on runs of 7-0 and 11-0 (twice).
“That’s our motto,” Mild said of the slow start. “We do it every game because we don’t make shots. It’s as simple as that. We don’t make shots. Sooner or later it’s got to go in. Of our nine games, six of them we started off with runs like that.”
The runs were supported by stellar rebounding from Edgewood as the Warriors held a 38-23 edge on the glass led by Andrew Konczal’s 14 boards.
Mild said the team basketball he saw from Edgewood — it had four players reach double digits — created problems for his team.
“They’re a pretty good team, all the kids on their team are pretty good,” he said. “They don’t have a superstar, just a bunch of good players who play together.
“That’s what I try to preach to our kids, it’s a team game. My hat’s off to them, they play good, team basketball.”
For Bowler, the win comes at a good time as the Warriors prepare for a home showdown with rival Conneaut on Friday (WFUN).
“It’s good to get a win here, we play Conneaut here this week,” he said. “It’s going to be a good game because no matter what the records are, they’re going to show up and play hard and I expect a real close game.”