By Ryan Kaczmarski
It was a scene in which Berea-Midpark High School was not prepared for on Friday night.
It seemed like hundreds of people were left waiting in line to get into what was the game of the season, for the Southwestern Conference boys basketball title. The game did not disappoint the standing room only crowd as the Berea-Midpark Titans defeated visiting Olmsted Falls, 67-64.
Olmsted Falls held a precarious 58-57 lead with 2:40 left on the clock, but Berea stole a cross-court pass and went down the court to regain the lead, and never looked back.
“I thought (Berea) made some crucial plays at crucial times,” Olmsted Falls head coach Chris DeLisio said. “They had guys step up – I think Devon Posey had some huge layups for them. They hit some big shots and got some big rebounds at key times.
“When it comes down to game like that, every possession matters, and they just happened to make plays at those times.”
The sold out gymnasium oozed with electricity from both sides of the stands, even for the freshman and junior varsity games played earlier in the night.
“It was a great atmosphere,” DeLisio said. “This is why I coach high school basketball.
“I played high school basketball for (Olmsted Falls), and this was a really great experience, but obviously you want to win at the end of it.”
Adam Asadorian led the Bulldogs in scoring with 21 points, followed by Alex Mitchell (13), Ryan Sosic (12) and Sam Lombardo (10).
The Bulldogs program has been on the upswing over the last few years, and coming up short on Friday had the team disappointed.
“You only get one senior year, and I feel bad for those guys,” DeLisio explained. “They’re an amazing group of guys and they deserve to be successful.
Berea’s Alex Brown led all scoring with 22 points in the game, followed by three other Titans who scored in double digits.
“There’s no stopping Alex Brown,” Delisio lamented. “He’s an outstanding player, and you just hope you can keep the ball out of his hands.”
Now the Bulldogs turn their attention to the postseason, where they are the No. 5 seed in Division I, and will play at home on Saturday against the winner of the game between Elyria and Avon Lake, for the sectional championship.
“I think our guys feel confident in themselves, regardless of tonight’s outcome,” DeLisio said. “We have confidence in ourselves moving forward.”
DeLisio did not want to look too far ahead in his bracket when asked about a possible rematch with Berea in the district semifinals.
“Elyria and Avon Lake are in our first thoughts,” he continued. “Obviously, Avon Lake beat us before and is a really good team. We’re going to worry about them before we worry about these guys again.”