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The Wildcats Tame the Mustangs

By Justin Dedrick '24, 03/03/23, 12:00PM EST


Dominating performances from Damon Friery and Tristan Marshall lead the Wildcats to the District Final.

ELYRIA, Oh - The Wildcats took on the Strongsville Mustangs in the OHSAA District Semifinal. The Mustangs came into the game with a 15-10 record led by their all-time leading scorer, Justin Wypasek. Now playing at Elyria Catholic High School, the Cats wanted to continue their run. 

In the first few minutes of play, the Wildcats soared out on an 11-0 run. Damon Friery knocked down two threes and Maruca added a triple. The Wildcat defense was flustering the Mustangs as they couldn't find a rhythm on offense. Friery sunk his third three of the quarter at the buzzer to put the Cats up 21-6 at the end of the first. 

The Cats struggled at the free throw line to begin the second quarter as they went 1-for-4 from the stripe. The Strongsville defense had stepped up to match the Cats, making scoring more difficult for the Blue and Gold. Springer and Szczepaniak helped get the Cats through as they both hit threes. It was 35-18 Cats leading at the half. 

Ace Buckner finished a tough acrobatic layup to get the third quarter started for the Cats. The Mustangs started making crucial mistakes while looking lost against the Wildcat defense. Reece Robinson flew into the air for a one-handed poster slam that made the colosseum roar. Then very soon after, Mike Lamirand rose and swatted away a lob pass in incredible fashion. The Cats continued to lead 55-26 at the end of the third. 

SIBN Players of the Game vs. Strongsville: Damon Friery and Tristan Marshall

Tristan Marshall made the most of his opportunity in the fourth, starting with an and-one play. He had his way in the paint, securing himself 12 points and being named one of the SIBN players of the game. 

Damon Friery finished his impressive night, scoring 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting and knocking down three triples in the win. The sophomore also secured four boards in the District Semifinal.

The rest of the fourth quarter was a breeze as the Cats continued to dominate the Mustangs. The Wildcats won 72-51 and advanced to the District Final. They will take on Brecksville-Broadview Heights at Elyria Catholic High School on Saturday, March 4, in what is sure to be a thrilling matchup. That game will tip off at 4:00 p.m. and the SIBN will have live video coverage.