Cardinal set the pace in Tuesday’s Chagrin Valley Conference crossover game at state-ranked Beachwood. In the end, though, it was the home team that pulled out the 67-58 victory.
|Beachwood's Al Hodge in action|
“They were ready to play,” said Beachwood head coach Jason Pecjak of the visiting Huskies. “Like I tell our guys, we’ve got a target on our backs every game. We’re going to have to take very team’s best shot. If you’re not ready to play, it could be a long night.”
The Huskies, who dropped to 9-6 on the season, got 17 points out of Jason Farmwald and another 16 from Jake DiBlasio. They led 23-20 after the first quarter.
Beachwood, ranked ninth in the latest Division III AP state poll, rallied in the second quarter and led 38-29 at halftime. The Bison, who improved to 13-2 overall and 9-1 in the CVC, fought off a Cardinal fourth quarter run to win their fifth straight game.
“Cardinal came out really intense,” Pecjak said. “They’ve got two really good players in Farmwald and the big kid, DiBlasio. I’m not trying to take anything away from Cardinal, they’re a good team by all means. They played harder than us in stretches. They gave us their best shot, but we took it.”
Beachwood’s leading scorer John Davis III dropped in a game-high 21 points and helped the Bison gain its composure during their second quarter comeback.
“John was good,” Pecjak said. “He was poised when they went on their run.”
Julio Stevens added 11 for the Bison.
The win was the Bison’s fifth in six days. That brutal stretch of competition likely contributed to the Bison’s slow start.
“We need to get back on the practice floor,” Pecjak said. “That’s the one negative when you’re playing that many games in such a short time, you really get away from your fundamentals. I will say this, I think it’s a sign of a good team that we were able to win that game. This one had a loss written all over it but we found a way and took care of business at the end.”
Aside from the slow start, Pecjak was pleased with his team’s play and credited his reserves for their efforts.
“I’m real happy with our bench,” he said. “I thought Al Hodge and Jared Williams gave us some great minutes tonight. Hopefully, that’s a spark for them. They could see some extended time down the stretch. Defensively, they were at the right place at the right time. They really gave us a little spark and we went on a little run in the third, probably because of those guys. In hindsight, I probably should have left them in there a little longer in the fourth. They deserved to be out there. They deserve to get more minutes.”
Hodge scored two points and Williams added three for the Bison.
Beachwood plays at Cuyahoga Heights on Friday.