EUCLID — On the road and without its best playmaker, the Brunswick boys basketball team had to dig deep to grab a road victory Friday against Euclid.
Senior Danny Dakdouk stepped into the starting lineup for the first time and made two big fourth-quarter plays, while junior Kyle Goessler scored 11 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth as the Blue Devils gutted out a 52-47 Greater Cleveland Conference victory.
“At the beginning the defense kept us in the game, getting big stops,” Goessler said. “We were down four at the half and we were able to make winning plays down the stretch.”
Two of those winning plays came from Dakdouk, who was starting in place of Nick Felician, a 10-point scorer who was playing in a high school All-American soccer match.
Dakdouk had 10 points and seven rebounds, but it was a key stretch midway through the fourth quarter where he made the difference.
With his team down three points, he picked off a Euclid pass and went coast-to-coast for a layup. On Brunswick’s next possession, he drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Blue Devils (11-2, 5-1) a 43-41 lead.
Brunswick never trailed again.
“It was different,” Dakdouk said of starting, “I’ve been my whole life in this program coming off the bench. The coaches were on me the whole night and I took it to heart and fought through it.”
“I thought in the first half Danny struggled a bit, but he made a couple big plays in that fourth quarter,” Brunswick coach Joe Mackey said.
Goessler made big plays all night. His 3-pointer with 1:10 left in the first quarter was Brunswick’s first points of the game — it was 4-3 at that stage — and he came out driving to the basket in the second quarter, with four layups to account for eight of his team’s 13 points.
“I was beginning to settle a little on offense, and when I came off the screen I was able to get around their big guy and attack the rim, so I just kept at that,” he said.
That aggressiveness led the junior to a three-point play with 2:50 left in the third, but after making another layup Goessler was hammered to the floor and stayed down for a couple minutes. He eventually came out and sophomore Trevor Mackey went in to hit the free throw and complete the three-point play.
Goessler, still walking gingerly after the game, came back two possessions later and keyed the fourth-quarter charge along with Dakdouk.
“We did enough defensively to hang around,” Joe Mackey said.
Euclid (5-7, 3-4) came into the game averaging 69 points, but Brunswick held the Panthers to just 18-of-54 from the field (33 percent) and 6-of-24 from 3-point land.
“It’s a big win, without (Felician), and I think you obviously saw how much he means to our team,” Joe Mackey said. “To come on the road against a team that’s been playing really good basketball, it’s a good win.”
Reginald Priah led the Panthers with 16 points, but the highlight for Euclid all night was junior Latrayl Alexander-Davis, who came off the bench to score 13 points with three rebounds, three assists, two dunks and a LeBron James-worthy block of a fast-break layup by Alex Wyatt.
- A game after Brunswick center Zak Zografos hit a career-high six 3-pointers, the senior was held scoreless, missing all six of his shots from the field, including five 3-point attempts. But he did lead the team with 10 rebounds and four assists while blocking a shot.
- Brunswick’s Bryan Piatak had a 3-point attempt at the buzzer go wide right as a furious Blue Devils rally came up just short in a 44-41 loss to Euclid in the junior varsity game. The Devils were held without a field goal the first 6:50 of the game, then saw the Panthers start the second half on a 10-0 run, taking a 33-18 lead after three quarters. Brunswick stormed back with an 11-1 run to start the fourth quarter, and closed within two points on a Max Ferrell (13 points) layup with 15 seconds left. Euclid split a pair of free throws, and Piatak’s step back 3-pointer under pressure just missed. J.C. Asturi added 12 points for the Devils.
Brunswick 52, Euclid 47
BRUNSWICK 5 13 14 20 — 52
EUCLID 10 12 13 12 — 47
Brunswick — Danny Dakdouk 4-0-10, Alex Wyatt 2-1-7, Zak Zografos 0-0-0, Danny Dakdouk 4-0-10, Kyle Goessler 9-9-28, Xavier Diaz 2-0-5, 0-0-0, Trevor Mackey 0-1-1, Jason Becka 0-1-1. TOTALS: 17-12-52.
Euclid — William Saunders 2-1-5, Emari Baddour 0-0-0, Octavious Hardy 2-0-4, Garvin Clarke 4-1-9, Reginald Priah 5-4-16, Mario Lacy 0-0-0, Latrayl Alexander-Davis 5-0-13, Travis Sanders 0-0-0. TOTALS: 18-5-47.
3-point goals — Wyatt 2, Dakdouk 2, Goessler, Diaz; Alexander-Davis 3, Priah 2, Saunders. Rebounds — Brunswick 34 (Zografos 10), Euclid 28 (Clarke 10). Assists — Brunswick 7 (Zografos 4), Euclid 10 (Clarke, Alexander-Davis 3). Records — Brunswick (11-2, 5-1), Euclid (5-6, 3-4). Junior varsity — Euclid 44, Brunswick 41.