Fast start propels Rayen past Wilson
An early 12-0 run helps the Tigers earn a City Series victory.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Rayen's Andrew Lindsey Fieldhouse was the scene of much excitement Friday night, as the 1985 Class AA state basketball championship team was recognized between games of a City Series doubleheader.
The effect had a distinct carryover for the Tigers, who came out fast and defeated Woodrow Wilson, 62-41.
Wilson's William Johnson, with his only field goal of the evening, put the Redmen on top 2-0, then the Tigers went on a 12-0 run to basically put the game out of reach with 3 minutes, 16 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
After Bryant Bailey's basket stopped Rayen's run, the Tigers went on a 9-0 blitz to lead 21-4 after the first period.
Senior starts fast
Dominic Crosby, a 6-foot-3 senior guard who had 14 points, scored eight in the first quarter, with three of them coming on putbacks, as Rayen was getting three and four shots at the basket.
"We came out to work the boards and created scoring opportunities," said Crosby.
Senior point guard Deon Elliot was 3-of-5 on 3-pointers and finished with 13 points, eight assists and four steals.
"We were keyed up tonight and when open shots were there I took them and when guys were open I hit them," said Elliot.
Rayen coach Phillip House was an assistant coach on Rayen's '85 team.
"We were hitting on all cylinders tonight," he said. "We shot, rebounded and played well on both sides of the court. The aura of having the state championship team here, with a full house, created an atmosphere for us to play our best game of the season."
The Tigers took advantage of 15 Wilson turnovers to lead 33-16 at the intermission.
Help from the bench
Odell Eargle, a 6-6 junior transfer from Fitch, came off the Rayen bench in that quarter and immediately began to contribute, finishing with a team-high 15 points and 11 rebounds.
"It felt good to be able to take the ball to the basket and fortunately I was able to get some second effort shots," said Eargle.
Junior Justin Queener had nine rebounds for Rayen (5-7, 2-2 City).
The Redmen (2-12, 1-5) were 14-of-45 from the floor, had only 15 rebounds and had 24 turnovers. Their top scorer was senior guard Derrick Maddox with 13 points, which included a trio of 3-pointers.
"Rayen did a lot of things right," said Wilson coach Mark Cherol. "Their trapping defense created many turnovers as they beat us in every aspect of the game.
"They came out with an opening flurry and we just fell too far behind."
Thirteen players from the 1985 team were on hand for the ceremony, including leading scorers Mike Lyle and Floyd Showers, and coach Frank Cegledy.
Scheduled for 3 p.m. today in the Rayen cafeteria is a dinner to continue the celebration.