BEREA — Save the excuses about playing 10 quarters in the prior two games and having to bounce back after fighting for a win 36 hours earlier. Brunswick boys basketball coach Joe Mackey doesn’t want to hear them.
Furthermore, the veteran wasn’t going to blame anyone but the Blue Devils after they lost 56-52 to Cleveland Central Catholic at the Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic on Sunday.
“We don’t make excuses,” he said. “We had the lead and the ball (near the end) and tried to get a layup off our sideline play there and tried to get some distance and turned it over and gave up a three-point play. We needed to keep them on the outside, and they were too much on the inside.
“We gave ourselves a chance, but we’ve been coaching long enough now where we’re a program where the objective is not to give ourselves a chance. The objective is to win and we failed.”
The Blue Devils (7-2) led 50-49 when Danny Dakdouk (8 points) nailed a 3-pointer with 3:14 remaining.
The Ironmen (7-2) answered with a 7-0 run that started with an aforementioned three-point play by Jeremy Coleman (17 points, 8 rebounds).
“We still have to fight,” said Brunswick guard Nick Felician, who had 12 points, four rebounds and three assists. “Cleveland Central Catholic is a very athletic team. They’re very strong and tall. It was going to be a battle the whole game. It was a tough loss. They just made shots, got and-ones. They were able to finish with very little or no contact.”
In what has become a growing trend as of late, the Blue Devils sort of slept through the first half and fought back to take the lead. That also happened nine days ago in a win over Maple Heights and repeated Friday in a Greater Cleveland Conference victory over Mentor.
Unlike those overtime wins in which the opponents ran out of gas, Central Catholic had the poise to put away the Blue Devils after taking a 16-8 lead through one quarter.
“It’s just the little things,” Mackey said. “We have to rebound the ball in traffic. We missed a lot of open looks. If you’re going to beat Central Catholic, you have to knock down the open looks and you have to rebound the ball a little better.
“That’s one of the most athletic teams we’re going to play. They rank right up there with Shaker Heights. We gave them some easy baskets in the first half and kept allowing them in the lane in the second half. When we did get the stop, we didn’t grab the rebound. To be honest, it’s amazing the game was as close as it was shooting the way we did and not being able to grab the rebound the way we’re capable.”
To make matters worse, Brunswick only held a lead for 6:24 and fought deficits as much as eight points.
While only Anthony Billups (10 points) joined Coleman in double digits for Central Catholic, everybody who played scored and had at least a rebound, assist or steal.
“This was a tough one because we battled all the way back,” Blue Devils forward Alex Wyatt said. “But it doesn’t come down to that. The whole game we made mistakes. You can’t focus on the end. It was a tough loss. They were bigger than us. We had loose balls we should have come up with.”
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Central Catholic 56, Brunswick 52
BRUNSWICK 8 15 21 8 — 52
CENTRAL CATHOLIC 16 9 16 15 — 56
Brunswick — Xavier Diaz 1-1-3, Alex Wyatt 5-0-12, Zak Zografos 3-1-8, Kyle Goessler 3-2-9, Nick Felician 4-4-12, Danny Dakdouk 3-0-8, Jason Becka 0-0-0, Trevor Mackey 0-0-0. TOTALS 19-8-52.
Central Catholic — Jeremy Coleman 5-5-17, Delshawn Jackson 4-1-9, Dwight Love 2-2-6, Dyshawn Jackson 0-6-6, Anthony Billups 4-2-10, Ronald Jenkins 0-2-2, Taryl Davis 2-0-4 Trevon Wells 1-0-2. TOTALS: 18-18-56.
3-point goals — Wyatt 2, Dakdouk 2, Goessler, Zografos, Coleman 2. Rebounds — Brunswick 24 (Zografos 9), Central Catholic 23 (Coleman 8). Assists — Central Catholic 10 (Dy. Jackson 5), Brunswick 13 (Goessler 5). Records — Brunswick (7-2), Central Catholic (7-2).