(PAINESVILLE, Ohio) – Winter Storm Harper may have hampered basketball from being played Saturday, but it was the Lake Erie Storm that raged on today with a 68-63 victory over Walsh. It was the fourth consecutive victory for the Storm (11-7, 6-4) over the Cavaliers (11-7, 6-4) dating back to last season's three-game sweep.
True to the contests played last year, this game was anything but easy. Both teams stayed within a single possession of each other for the bulk of the first half before the Cavaliers jutted out to a seven-point lead on Mark Mokros' 3-pointer just over a minute before the half. However Game Kynard was able to get some momentum back for the Green and White as he hit a floater in the paint as time expired in the first half to put the Storm within five.
He was just getting started. After another Walsh triple put the visitors up 37-30 in the first minute of the second half, Kynard answered with another swish from downtown to start a massive 18-4 run to put the Storm in control. He answered the ensuing Cavalier jumper with another 3-point bucket, while a triple by Jordan Humphrey and an Erron James layup tied the game at 41-41 after a pair of JT Shumate free throws.
Kynard's third and final 3-pointer came right after that and gave the Storm the lead for good. The Lake Erie lead grew to as many as 15 as the run extended to 32-13 after another Humphrey 3-pointer made it 62-47 with 7:00 to go.
Walsh wasn't about to go down easy, however. The Cavaliers made a late run and cut it back to single digits, but a strong defense led by Lamont Rhodes kept them at bay. The Bedford native had perhaps his best game of career with a season-best 18 points career bests with 15 rebounds and six blocks. Nine of those rebounds came on the offensive end directly led to 10 of the Storm's 15 second chance points, six of which were his.
Offensively he was 9-of-13 from the floor and joined Kynard for game-high honors in the points department. Kynard was 7-of-18 and 4-of-9 from range with four rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
Humphrey joined him in double-figures with 13 points and made three bonus bombs of his own.
The Cavaliers also had a trio in double-figures with Shumate leading the way with 18 on 7-of-13 from the field.
Overall Lake Erie controlled the glass 45-33. Both teams shot right around 41 percent.
The Storm now has a lengthy break and won't be in action again until Thursday, Jan. 31, at Kentucky Wesleyan. The game will be broadcast on the Great Midwest Digital Network with a watch party taking place at Burgers2Beer in Concord. Ten percent of sales from 5:30 p.m. and close will go towards the Storm athletic department.