Mid­dies

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - SPORTS -

A pair of free throws and an and-one un­der the hoop from Isiah John­son trimmed the lead to 48-47. With just 35 sec­onds left, Mid­view again flus­tered the Rangers (0-2, 0-1 SWC) into an­other turnover, and a costly one at that.

Mid­view sopho­more Nyco Vidal quickly cap­i­tal­ized, in­stantly find­ing Man­ning open un­der the bas­ket to give Mid­view its first lead since 4-0 in the first quar­ter.

Vidal talked about the game-chang­ing play.

“Oh man, the crowd was go­ing crazy, and I was just in the right place at the right time,” Vidal said.

He fin­ished with seven points and two as­sists.

Man­ning was thrilled Vidal had a keen eye to his sur­round­ings.

“I was go­ing for it at first, but once I saw him pick it up I was just think­ing, ‘Oh god, I hope he sees me,’” Man­ning said.

Man­ning fin­ished with a game-high 17 points.

As the Rangers in­bounded the ball with just sec­onds left, the clock ticked away with­out a sin­gle shot and the un­likely come­back was com­plete.

“To be hon­est, I have no clue how we won that game. Zero,” Bra­banec said. “We didn’t play well in the first half, and I think we had 10 points at half­time. We kind of sparked them a lit­tle bit, and picked up full court. We started get­ting some turnovers and then made a lit­tle run, and they an­swered right back and went up dou­ble dig­its. Luck­ily we had a few sec­onds there in that fourth quar­ter to come back.”

While Brabenec was scratch­ing his head at how his team pulled off the come­back, Rangers coach Bryan Mor­gan was vis­i­bly frus­trated af­ter watch­ing his team give away a game with mis­takes.

“It’s un­be­liev­able. I don’t even know what to say,” Mor­gan said. “We didn’t even get a shot off. We have nine se­niors on this bas­ket­ball team, and we don’t close a game out. Mis­take af­ter mis­take af­ter mis­take.”

Mid­view found them­selves in a 10-point hole at half­time, but it was its of­fen­sive num­bers that were more shock­ing than any­thing else. The Mid­dies scored just 10 points while go­ing 3-of-22 from the field. They also had eight turnovers.

It was an ugly show­ing, but one that hadn’t buried them just yet.

The Rangers held the Mid­dies score­less for nine min­utes in be­tween the first and se­cond quar­ter as they jumped out to a 16-4 lead.

The large lead was due in part to a strong first half from De­sean Pa­trick. The se­nior lit up the Mid­dies for a pair of 3s and fin­ished with 14 points. Fel­low se­nior, Ca­dle led the Rangers with 16.

Trail­ing, 18-10, at half­time, Mid­view came storm­ing out with a 7-0 run to slice the lead within one. The Rangers an­swered right back with an 11-0 run, tak­ing their lead back up to 31-23 mid­way through the third.

A few short min­utes later the Mid­dies went into the full-court press, some­thing rather new.

“That full press is not re­ally our motto here, not re­ally our mantra,” Brabenec said. You know, try­ing to get teams to play fast, we just like to slow it down a lit­tle bit and play some real good half-court de­fense. But we need some­thing to get our of­fense go­ing. We thought maybe our full court would help our of­fense, and try and get some easy ones.”

It did just that as ju­nior guard Mar­cell Young notched eight of his 14 points in the fourth quar­ter, help­ing to fuel the come­back.

Still win­less on the young sea­son, Mor­gan im­plored his team to fix their mis­takes, and hopes his staff and play­ers will find the so­lu­tion.

“Un­for­tu­nately, I have seen this be­fore. We will show it to them in film, and then we will just see the mis­take again,” Mor­gan said. We have to do a bet­ter job of coach­ing, and they have to do a bet­ter job of learn­ing.”

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