you blame them for smiling? Olmsted Falls players have one goal
this year, to make it to the state final four, and they are
on their way, as they downed Holy Name 56- 50 to win the title.
(West Life photo by Larry Bennet)
heading to the Sweet 16
By Matt Pawlikowski
Published March 14, 2007
net’s been cut, now comes the good stuff. A trip to the Sweet 16,
as Olmsted Falls downed Holy Name 56-50 in a hard-fought, tough
But just how good is Olmsted Falls this year? And
do they have the caliber to advance to the Final Four?
Well, they say that to be the best you have to not
only beat the best, but also overcome adversity, which is what the
Bulldogs (21-2) did in front of a capacity filled gym in Westlake.
Pellertie cuts down part of the net after the championship,
which was Falls first since 1994. (West Life photos by Larry
Holy Name may have been seeded second in the Westlake
District bracket, but the Green Wave (18-5) also played one of the
toughest schedules of any team entering the sectional/district play,
and also knocked off Rocky River, the defending district champions
on Wednesday night.
“That’s a great team,” Tyler Sparks said of Holy Name.
“I don’t think you get a feel for how good they are until you’re
out there playing against them. But we are set, we want to play
in the Final Four.”
Sparks led all scorers with 25 points in the game.
The Bulldogs will get their first shot at the Final
Four when they square off on 7 p.m., Wednesday against 16-6 Kenmore,
who knocked off SVSM in double overtime 54-One key to the Bulldogs’
win was again their defensive pressure. On the night, the Dawgs
forced 25 turnovers. But still, it was pretty much nip- and tuck
throughout, but again the difference, just like in the football
playoffs against Maple Heights, was Tyler Sparks.
Sparks took control of the game in the final quarter,
scoring 11 points, and his three point shot with 2:32 left in the
game seemed to take some surf out of the Wave. Then, with just seconds
remaining in the game, he hit both his free throws, enabling the
Bulldogs to head to the Sweet 16.
Throughout the contest, there were a number of lead
changes, eight to be exact, and the Green Wave even had the Bulldog
crowd wondering, when with just minutes left in the game, they cut
the score to 52-50. This came just minutes after they took a 46-45
lead with 3:43 left in the game.
That’s when Sparks hit his three point shot, along
with a two pointer to give the Bulldogs a sudden four point lead.
You knew it was going to be a barnburner from the
get-go, as Falls found itself down after a quarter, 14-11. But after
taking a lead at half, again in the third quarter Holy Name refused
to go away.
“No one gave us a chance,” said Holy Name coach Mark
Krakowiak. “Olmsted Falls is one of the best teams we’ve seen all
year, and I’m proud of our effort.”
Also having a good game for the Bulldogs was Pat Pellerite,
who had 16 points, and Jim Brabanec, who added six. Dave Pellerite
led the Dawgs with six rebounds.