Westlake junior Gavin Skelly led all scoring with 22 points in Friday's victory at Olmsted Falls. (West Life photo by Pro Photography)
By Stefanie Kilnapp
What started out as a close game between rivals Westlake and Olmsted Falls Friday night, ended up as a game of catch-up that the Bulldogs could not recover from, as the visiting Demons defeated the Bulldogs 85-58.
Westlake head coach Shawn Hood certainly did not imagine this win to be handed to his team.
“I absolutely expected a grind; a tough game and I’m surprised that we were able to pull away,” he said. “I think they had the psychological edge, because we beat them at our place and we have beaten them the last couple of times, so I think they were probably hungrier (than us).”
The first half was filled with back-to-back baskets and fast-breaks by both teams, but it was the Demons who had the advantage right from the start, having only three players under six feet, and two that stand at a solid 6 feet 8 inches and 6 feet 9 inches.
“I’m six-nine, so it’s hard to match up with me,” Junior Gavin Skelly said. “It’s hard to match up with us, and we’re all around 6 feet tall.”
“In games like this, when the game is fast and the opponent wants to throw it up the floor and shoot quick 3’s, there really is no disadvantage to have size,” Hood admitted.
The game was tied 27-27 until three minutes before the conclusion of the second quarter, but Westlake made it a four-point game at the half, with the Demons leading 29-33.
At the start of the third period, it appeared it could have been anyone’s game.
“(At halftime), I just remind them of our game plan; That we want to get back and guard their 3-point shot,” Hood stated.
The third quarter brought on the feel for the remainder of the contest. By the fourth, Westlake had an 18-point lead but their strides didn’t stop there.
According to Bulldogs captain Adam Asadorian, his team was not prepared for exactly how Westlake was going to run its offense, and how physically tough the Demons were.
“The first half we came out making some shots and playing some good defense, but in the second half, they put together some runs that we just couldn’t keep up with,” he said.
“They get after you right at the get go,” Olmsted Falls head coach Chris DeLisio concurred. “They don’t back down, and they have some very good athletes and basketball players.”
The Demons increased their lead in the fourth quarter 61-41 with over six minutes left, and then with one minute left it became a thirty point lead. After a Bulldog three-pointer, the final score stood at 85-58.
Skelly led all scoring with 22 points, followed by Demons teammates Danny Strodtbeck and Shawn Turk, who each dropped in 16. The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Steve Johnson and Asadorian, who scored 10 points each.
There was no bitterness between the two teams after the matchup was all said and done.
“Both teams played hard,” Skelly said. “We just came out on top.”
“My hat’s off to Westlake,” DeLisio said. “I thought they played an outstanding game, and are well coached.”
“They’re a terrific team, and that coach is awesome,” Hood replied. “They have a great program.”