By: Connor Canfield
Fairview Park, Ohio- It was a hard-fought game for both sides but in the end, James Ranc got his first varsity win as he filled in for Head Coach Ryan Barry who was out due to COVID contact tracing. Fairview defeated the visiting Normandy Invaders 58-54 in their first game after three weeks off due to the athletic pause. Normandy however was coming into the game with plenty of experience after winning a Holiday tournament and also defeating EC and Buckeye in the time the Warriors were off. But big news was revealed pregame. Normandy star guard Stefan Stanic was revealed to have suffered an ankle injury against Buckeye and was not warming up with the team when they came out of the locker room.
The first quarter was a back and forth affair. Both teams seemed effortless on offense and were firing on all cylinders. The quarter would end with a bang as Ethan McQuate drove baseline and fired a beautiful pass to Alex Younkin, who knocked down the buzzer-beating three-pointer. That would give the Warriors a 22-20 lead after one. Michael Lanboch would knock down three three-pointers in the quarter to lead the Invaders with nine points after one. The Warriors were paced by Tyler Holliday and Ethan McQuate with 5 each.
The Invaders would control the second quarter, however. What was an offensive shootout in the first turned into a defensive standoff. The Warriors could only muster eight points the whole quarter. This led to them falling behind 33-30 at the half. Holliday would have four for the Warriors while Lanboch had five for Normandy.
Normandy would come running out the gate in the third quarter. They would extend the lead to as big as nine points at one point. The Warriors were resilient, however. They fought back got stops on defense and some buckets on offense. They cut the Normandy lead down to six at the end of the quarter to go into the fourth trailing 48-42. Lanboch would have another nine points for Normandy while Danny Hanton would have six for the Warriors.
The fourth quarter was where the Warriors would shine, however. The defense came alive stifling the Invaders allowing only six points. The Warriors started knocking down shots and pulled ahead and never looked back. They would escape with the 58-54 victory scoring a minor upset over Normandy who came into this week’s Cleveland.com top 25 at #25. They would be paced by Michael Lanboch with twenty-three points. Ethan McQuate led the Warriors with sixteen points while Danny Hanton had twelve. They move to 5-3 (3-2 GLC) on the year winning their second straight and host Parma on Friday. The Invaders fall to 7-3 (3-2 GLC) and host Holy Name on Friday.