The Wildcats were looking to stay hot in this Friday’s tough matchup against the Garfield Heights Bulldogs.
Cleveland.com gave the Wildcats a huge boost after a victory over Cleveland Heights. The Wildcats went from being ranked No. 25 to No. 9. The Wildcats were also looking to maintain their high ranking with a big game against a top squad.
The game started out pretty even. Both teams were neck and neck in the first half. The score at halftime was 27-26 in favor of the Bulldogs.
In the third stanza, the Wildcats stepped up. The visitors took the lead, and then built on it. After some lock down defense and stellar passing on offense, the score was 51-42 Wildcats going into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats did a great job of shutting down Garfield’s star guard, Meechie Johnson. Known for his incredible shooting ability and ball handling skills, Meechie was forced to pass to his teammates instead of shooting the ball.
The Wildcats hung on to win the contest, 68-58. Two men who stood out this game were freshman, Jonathon Effertz, who had 18 points, and Lukas Bielek, who finished with 19 points.
“I feel good after this win,” Bielek said. “We weren’t playing as hard as we should have in the first half, but we picked it up in the second.”
Bielek then previewed the Wildcats’ next tough foe, the Solon Comets, on Saturday evening in Sullivan Gym.
“We take it one game at a time. Solon’s a team that’s just as good, if not, better than Garfield,” Bielek said. “So we got to prepare for a big challenge. They have good guards and they’re also having two games this weekend, we have to work hard against them.”
As Head Coach Brian Becker ’77 said afterward, the win is an important one for the young Basketball Cats.
“It was a good win, we struggled at points tonight. I don’t think we played with a good pace in the first half, but we came out in the third quarter and changed that,” Becker said. “When you play with a good pace, you’re going to win ball games. I thought Jonathon Effertz played a great game, and we played with great effort.”
In regards to Garfield Heights, Becker believes the Bulldogs are a talented squad.
“Garfield is a great team, that guard (Meechie Johnson) is a very good player. They’re a threat underneath, and I think we covered that real well,” Becker said. “We were a little sloppy at times, but that’s going to happen against a team like Garfield. I’m proud of the way we played tonight and I’m looking forward to a big matchup against Solon tomorrow night.”
The JV and Varsity games against Solon can be heard on the SIBN. JV will start at 5:30 pm after the freshmen gold and blue games. Varsity is slated for a tentative 7 pm tipoff in Sullivan Gym.