“We felt that we needed to go to [Elliot],” Perry head coach Dave Gillett said. “We aren’t really a team that just goes to one person, but he was more or less going to be our focus.”
The Yellowjackets used the size advantage that Elliot gave them to continue to push the ball into the paint early in the game. Elliot, who finished with 19 points, had nine points in the first quarter alone as Perry closed out the quarter on a 11-3 run to lead the Bombers 17-10 after one quarter of play.
After it was clear that Bloomfield had no answer for Elliot down low, the Bombers switched to a zone defense to neutralize him. This left shooting lanes open on the outside, and Perry junior Mitch Cicero took advantage. The 5’11” guard, who was also celebrating his birthday, finished the game with 21 points and hit three 3-pointers in the first half.
“You can’t ignore what Cicero did when Bloomfield went to zone. He hit some pretty long-range shots. That broke [their zone], or else it would have lasted a whole lot longer,” said Gillett.
Because of the efforts of Elliot and Cicero, the Yellowjackets took a 31-17 lead into halftime. The second half was all about maintaining that lead and securing a spot in the next round of playoffs.
“They really came at us hard, which was the scouting report,” said Gillett. “There would be no quit in Bloomfield”
Indeed, the Bombers cut what was once a 20 point lead late in the third quarter down to ten with 3:11 still to go in the game after Bloomfield senior guard Dyllan Taillon converted an and-1, making it 50-40.
But Cicero went 8-11 from the free throw line in the final quarter alone to keep the Bombers at bay and secure a matchup with Clyde-Savannah (21-0) on Wednesday. That game will be played at Marcus Whitman high school at 7pm.
Photo: Cory Dillon dribbles against a Bloomfield defender.
Photos credit: Michael R. Carney. For more of his work, go to www.mrcarneyphotography.smugmug.com