BRUNSWICK — There probably aren’t any bags under the eyes of Brunswick coach Joe Mackey this morning after his boys basketball team beat Elyria 78-53 Tuesday in Greater Cleveland Conference action.
The win came two days after a rather forgettable four-point loss to Cleveland Central Catholic.
The challenge went out after that defeat and the Blue Devils (8-2, 4-1) came out with an impressive win over last season’s Division I regional finalist Pioneers (6-4, 2-3).
“I’m very proud,” Mackey said. “It’s been a long two days. I don’t know if I’ve slept but maybe five or six hours since that game. I know our record is pretty good with the schedule we play, but besides the Strongsville game, I don’t think we’ve played up to our potential.
“It’s a good thing to have the record we do. Tonight was how I thought we’d play most of the year, to be honest with you. We got the ball moving. It had a lot of pop to it. We didn’t turn it over much. We rebounded well. It was a solid game from start to finish.”
The numbers told the story, as Zak Zografos (17 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists), Danny Dakdouk (16, 2, 1), Kyle Goessler (14, 4, 4), Xavier Diaz (10, 4, 6) and Nick Felician (10, 7, 6) filled the stat sheet on a night when Brunswick only trailed for 1:49 and committed just six turnovers.
“We took what he said to heart,” Dakdouk said. “He’s been getting on us all week about not playing to our potential, so we wanted to come out with a lot of energy. We wanted to put the nail in the coffin and end things really quick.”
The turning point came at the beginning of the second quarter, when Brunswick took a three-point lead and stretched it into a 13-point advantage in three minutes.
The Blue Devils shot 9-for-16 in the frame and forced nine first-half turnovers.
“I never really had a problem with our effort, it was just our execution,” Mackey said. “A lot of guys want Zografos or one of our bigs to grab (the rebound). We’re really not big, so for us it’s got to be all five. On the (erase) board, we said rebound more and turn it over less. Any coach will tell you that’s a recipe for success. I think we did that.”
Brunswick has had an issue on the glass the last few games, but found just about every rebound in key situations. The Blue Devils took an early 10-rebound advantage in the first half and pushed it to a 38-18 edge at the end.
Nine of Brunswick’s 11 players got at least one rebound and six had four rebounds or more. By contrast, only Justin Koepp (12 points, 7 rebounds) had more than four for Elyria.
“That was big for us,” Zografos said. “After the (Cleveland Central Catholic) loss where we struggled to rebound, we talked about it a lot, and eliminating the turnovers. That helped a lot. It was the will to rebound. If everyone does their part, it’s easy to go out and get transition layups.”
The Elyria junior varsity held on for a 34-33 win. Trevor Mackey led the Blue Devils with 11 points.
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.
Brunswick 78, Elyria 53
ELYRIA 13 9 16 15 — 53
BRUNSWICK 16 21 22 19 — 78
Elyria — William Waddell 3-0-6, Deviian Williams 3-5-12, Justin Koepp 6-0-12, Romen Carter 3-0-7, Caleb Rogers 2-1-5, MarSaun Robinson 1-2-4, Josiah Grantham 0-0-0, Dontae Beckett 0-1-1, Josh Ball 1-0-3, Scott Ethington 1-0-3. TOTALS: 20-9-53.
Brunswick — Xavier Diaz 5-0-10, Alex Wyatt 2-0-5, Zak Zografos 7-0-17, Kyle Goessler 6-0-14, Nick Felician 5-0-10, Danny Dakdouk 6-1-16, Jason Becka 1-0-2, Trevor Mackey 0-0-0, Walter Rivera 2-0-4, Josh Stacho 0-0-0, Joe Hunter 0-0-0. TOTALS: 34-1-78.
3-point goals — Ethington, Williams, Ball, Carter. Dakdouk 3, Zografos 3, Goessler 2, Wyatt. Rebounds — Elyria 18 (Koepp 7), Brunswick 38 (Zografos 9). Assists — Elyria 12 (Waddell 3), Brunswick 24 (Diaz 6, Felician 6). Records — Elyria (6-4, 2-3) Brunswick (8-2, 5-1). Juniorvarsity — Elyria 34, Brunswick 33.