Strong third quarter lifts Lions past Warriors in D-II district semifinal

Mar. 8—WARREN — The Edgewood boys basketball team's dream of a district rematch with Ursuline evaporated shortly after the second half of Thursday's Division II district semifinal began.

The Warriors (18-6) trailed Notre Dame Cathedral Latin by four points at intermission, then saw the Lions race with 15-3 run to all but seal their 70-46 victory at Warren Harding High School.

"We didn't play very [well] tonight," Edgewood head coach John Bowler said after his final game with the Warriors. "We looked tired, we really didn't have a lot of bounce tonight. Third quarter is usually our best quarter — it wasn't tonight.

"And they really did, they played really well tonight," said Bowler, who may be taking a coaching position with SPIRE Academy. "They hustled, they rebounded really well, killed us on the boards."

Bowler's goal was for the Warriors to keep the game close, then surge in the fourth quarter.

"It wasn't meant to be," he said.

Edgewood will lose five seniors to graduation, including Logan Kray who scored 17 points and Jacob Ernst with 15.

"They did a great job of pushing the pace," Ernst said of the third quarter that NDCL won 20-13. "They definitely made us pay for it getting back on defense.

Ernst is planning on playing for Malone College next season, and leaning toward majoring in business management.

"They did a really good job of speeding us up on offense, forcing us to take bad shots," he said.

Kray finished his basketball career as a three-year starter.

"We were [using] pretty much a six-to-seven man rotation and they were bringing five people at a time," he said of the Lions' depth. "After a while, it just took a toll on our bodies.

"They just outran us with their depth."

Conner Hernan led the Lions (14-12) with 17 points. Also scoring in double figures were Angelo Tamburrino with 14 and Brendan Hernan with 10.

"It would have been nice to get to a district final game to play in that atmosphere," Kray said.

But on Saturday, NDCL will play Ursuline for a regional trip.

Last season, Ursuline eliminated Edgewood in the district semifinal.

Ernst called the 18-win season "amazing. We had a really great season despite this loss.

"Coach was telling us in the locker room that we've had plenty of highlights and to not let this game define us. It was a really great year for us."

Kray's varsity career will continue with the Edgewood baseball team (pitcher, shortstop and first baseman). He's hoping to win his third consecutive Ashtabula County Player of the Year honor.

"I'm not really sure how many people have done that, so it's a goal," Kray said.

Kray is planning on attending Ohio University next fall to study sports management.

He considered playing baseball in college before deciding on OU.

"Might be a little bit tougher to walk away from baseball, but it's definitely tough to walk away from both [sports]," Kray said.

Bowler is going to miss Kray and Ernst.

"Two really good basketball players and athletes," Bowler said. "They are very coachable and both play hard — couldn't ask for more than that."