Bedford came into Heights High with the intention of taking early control of the Lake Erie League race. Cleveland Heights, however, put down the Bearcats by opening the fourth quarter with a 19-3 run over the first 4:10 and securing a 78-50 victory.
Combined with a 66-46 win over Maple Heights on Saturday, Cleveland Heights remains perfect in the LEL (3-0) and improved to 4-1 overall.
“I think our strength is not in an individual player,” Tigers coach Andy Suttell said. “Our strength is the number of guys we can bring at you and the number of different looks we can bring at you.
"I really felt it came together tonight against a very quality opponent and I though we wore them down.”
The Tigers did a great job keeping Bedford’s top players — Aaron Beidleman and Chris Carter — in check. Beidleman finished with 13 points and Carter was limited to six due to foul trouble. He had two fouls through the second and picked up his fourth midway through the third.
Marcus Bagley drew the defensive assignment on Carter.
“(Bagley) is as good of a defensive player when you give him a challenge,” Suttell said. “We challenged him. I told him Carter was playing as good as any kid around. He’s been putting up major points and for Marcus to do what he did defensively was an unsung part of the game.”
Antonio Harper’s double-double paced the Tigers with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
“It’s one of those nights where you rely on your teammates and I just hit shots today,” Harper said. “My teammates got me the ball, had trust in me and I delivered.”
The Tigers head to Lorain tonight to try and remain perfect in the LEL. The Titans are blessed with size and athleticism, led by 6-foot-5 senior Louis Cheers and 6-4 sophomore Devon Andrews.
“Lorain is a very talented team,” Suttell said. “Top to bottom the LEL is a very challenging conference this year. We’re going against a big athletic team at their place, it’s kind of a trap game.”
After today, the Tigers are off until Jan. 2 when they travel to Shaw.
Red Raiders Breeze Past Strongsville
Shaker Heights didn’t allow Strongsville to score more than 11 points in a quarter in a 73-39 victory this week. The Red Raiders improved to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division.
“The guys came out and played well together defensively,” Shaker Heights coach Danny Young said. “We shot the ball well and got a lot of points in the paint and we wanted a lot more paint touches either through the post or penetration.”
The Red Raiders had 12 of their 13 players scored, including four in double figures. Esa Ahmad and Kash Blackwell led the way with 16, Rosel Hurley added 14 and freshmen point guard Keith Griffin scored 10, opening the game with three 3-pointers.
“We had balanced scoring,” Young said. “It was one of those games we shared the wealth and minutes. It’s nice to have those kind of games sometimes.
Shaker Heights has a back-to-back this weekend, hosting Benedictine on Saturday and then traveling to Walsh College to play Eastlake North on Sunday. The Red Raiders then leave for Elmira, N.Y., for a three-day Coaches vs. Cancer tournament featuring many top teams from New York and Delaware.
“It’s a great cause and a nice time for us to be together for some team bonding,” Young said. “We’ll have a challenging schedule and a good experience.”
Shaker Heights opens 2013 at Mentor on Jan. 4.
Bison top Massillon Washington
The Bison stole the show at the Massillon Jackson Play 4 Cancer Shootout, going into Tiger territory and knocking off Massillon Washington 66-47 to improve to 4-0.
“It was a significant win for this team,” Beachwood coach Jason Pecjak said. “With the stage that it was on, the event and everything, I compared it to a tournament-type atmosphere. Our kids answered the bell and were ready for the challenge.”
Trey Saunders led the team with 16 points, while John Davis III added 14. Jordan Richardson notched a double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and added four blocked shots.
The Bison broke the game open in the second quarter, scoring the first nine points of the second quarter and ultimately outscored Washington 23-7, taking a 42-19 lead into halftime.
“We had some guys come in and knock some three pointers down,” Pecjak said. “Once we got the momentum going we started forcing turnovers.”
Tonight the Bison host Gilmour, which boasts a strong scoring attack in David Linane and Colin Zucker. Linane is averaging about 19.4 points a game while Zucker is averaging about 16.4.
“I think they’re one of the best teams on our schedule,” Pecjak said.
Beachwood hosts Rhodes on Dec. 27, then starts off 2013 on Jan. 5 against Richmond Heights.