The Tigers rallied in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough against East Tech.
By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
CLEVELAND -- The Howland High boys basketball team arrived only 20 minutes before its Division I sectional game at Cleveland Heights because of traffic on the Cleveland highways.
That was just the start of the Tigers' problems.
Howland started slow against a Cleveland East Tech team with a clear height and athletic advantage and struggled to play catch-up for most of the game.
Despite a fourth quarter rally, Howland (8-13) fell to the Golden Scarabs 64-59. East Tech (5-15) advances to play top-seeded Shaker Heights in a sectional final matchup.
"We never got started," said Howland coach Ron McCleary. "We never got in the flow of the game ... never had any rhythm. And when we got [East Tech] to miss shots, we didn't rebound the ball."
East Tech outrebounded Howland 40-33.
Fell behind early: Howland trailed by 14 points early in the second period as East Tech used its speed to penetrate to the basket and make shots. The Scarabs often were able to rebound missed shots on the offensive end and score on second and third efforts.
"Frankly, I thought we were too fast for them to guard us," said East Tech coach Ray Durban. "We had a little more height than them and a little more personnel and I thought we wore them down."
Howland certainly had chances early in the game but missed a lot of easy baskets.
"We didn't finish shots," McCleary said. "We had a lot of good looks and we were able to do what we wanted offensively, but we didn't knock down shots."
The Tigers got back in the game behind the strong inside play of Courtney Mazey and Scott Day, who managed to score 20 and 18 points, respectively.
Howland made runs at the Scarabs in the second and third quarters, but each time East Tech hit big baskets to quell the threat.
"Sometimes this game is so simple," McCleary said. "If we make some of those baskets and play some defense, we could have won this game."
Late rally: Trailing by 12 at the start of the fourth quarter, Howland made another late charge at East Tech and cut the lead 61-57 on a Brandon Kubicina basket with 58 seconds remaining. Kubicina scored 10 points for the Tigers.
The Scarabs made just enough of their 16 free throws in the fourth quarter to hold off the Tigers.
"I thought Howland played a good game," Durban said. "It had to be hard for them to travel 90 miles and come into our district where we are all comfortable."
Eli Williams led the Scarabs with 20 points, while Roland Taylor added 15.