By Matt Maher 

AKRON, OH – It’s safe to say that Western reserve has seen enough of Richmond Heights over the past few days. After the girls lost to the Spartans in disappointing fashion on Saturday, the boys were looking to avenge their classmates in their district Semi-finals matchup against the Spartans. While the game was played pretty sloppily by both teams off the opening tip, The Spartans would rally together and turn on the electricity to surge past the Blue Devils 62-26.


Both teams had their struggles in the first but Western Reserves was that they had too many empty possessions and couldn’t put up a single basket where Richmond earned 24 points. Demaris Winters Jr. found an impressive 11 points for the Spartans to lead his team in this dominant first frame. 


The Blue Devils had some fight in them at the start of the second with Peyton Hartzell tossing a dime from beyond the arc to find the first score of the quarter and of the night for Western Reserve. The scoring continued for the Blue Devils and they managed to find 11 points while the Spartans stayed the course and scored 25 more points to lead 49-11 at halftime. 


Hartzell led Reserve with 5 points in the second quarter including that opening 3 and a layup later on while Andrew Hendricks found 4 points with two in the paint and the other two from the free throw line. Winters added another 8 points to his and his team’s total.


Richmond Heights scoring was slowed down by the running clock that was implemented at the start of the second half. Richmond was able to secure 10 more points and held Western reserve to 6 points in the frame. Josh Klasic would lead the Blue Devils in scoring with 4 points all from the line going a perfect 4-for-4, Hendricks added another 2-point bucket to round out their scoring.


The 4th quarter belonged to the Blue Devils where they outscored Richmond 9-3. While the small victory of winning a quarter against this giant finally came about, the battle itself was already lost for Western Reserve. Jackson Young would lead his team this quarter with 4 points, 2 from the paint and 2 from the line, while Gavin Thake put up a long shot from beyond the arc. 


The Blue Devils showed resilience in the second half but with the running clock in the half their big time scoring never came and the first half woes ended up to be too much to handle in the end. Peyton Hartzell ended with the most points for the Blue Devils with 7 points while Andrew Hendricks and Josh Klasic both earned 6 points each. Demaris Winters Jr would finish atop of all scorers with 21 points.


Western Reserve played some great games this postseason and were able to win their sectional against McDonald which was very impressive knowing how good those Blue Devils were this season. Unfortunately for Reserve, the Spartans were too powerful and knew how to move around the court without traveling or getting called for too many fouls. Western Reserve finished their season 9-13 in the regular season, 7-7 in conference play and 2-1 in tournament games and shocked many by advancing to the district round as a 22 seed!