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East Tech upsets Shaker Heights to move to basketball regional final

East Ech beats Shaker Heights
Thomas Ondrey/The Plain Dealer

How about a shout out to the Senate League?

East Tech is making the city of Cleveland proud

The Scarabs continued their magical run in the state basketball tournament by upsetting heavily favored Shaker Heights 70-54 last night at the Wolstein Center on the campus of Cleveland State. This coming on the heels of defeating defending state champion Mentor in the district final last week, and East Tech has the whole Cleveland area paying attention.

This isn't a private school where players are cherry picked from the CYO programs, or a public school with a huge enrollment where the team is good due to the quantity of players available. This is a school from the inner city of Cleveland. A school that faces obstacles that no suburban team faces.

And they are prospering on the basketball court

Going into last night's game, the Scarabs knew they would have to contain All-State selection Esa Ahmad. Ahmad was averaging over 28 points a game, and the Shaker Heights forward is ranked among the the top juniors in the country. He is also 6'7", taller than anyone East Tech puts on the floor.

East Tech "holds" Ahmad to 21 points....Contain Ahmad?....CHECK

East Tech wants to play up tempo and create turnovers for easy baskets. Their four guard lineup is meant to pressure, if they are playing man-to-man full court pressure, or their 1-3-1 zone to force their opponents to hit shots from the outside.

East Tech forces 25 turnovers and only one other Shaker Heights player hits double figures....Create turnovers for easy baskets?....CHECK

The Scarabs play a four guard lineup meant to spread the floor. Anthony Carmon, Johnell Free, Markell Johnson and KT Taylor lead the charge, with Taylor being the best of the bunch. What this lineup does is create match up problems, and East Tech does a great job of finding the match up they want, and exploiting it.

Taylor has an off game, but Carmon goes for 25 points on 10-18 shooting....Exploiting the match up they like?....CHECK

East Tech executed their game plan last night, but it ALMOST turned out all for naught. Shaker Heights made one last run to cut the lead to four late in the fourth quarter. The Scarabs kept their composure, made their free throws down the stretch, and put the game away at the foul line. Coach Brett Moore may have summed it up best regarding the end of the game:

I try to be a calming voice. We have been in these situations before. If I panic, they'll panic....East Tech head coach Brett Moore

What's next for East Tech?

The Scarabs will take on Uniontown Lake on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Wolstein Center in the regional final, with the winner earning a trip to Columbus and the state's final four.

It won't be easy

Lake is ranked seventh in the latest state of Ohio poll in Division I. They are led by All-Northeast Player of the Year Mitchell Spotleson, and guard Alex Belinsky. They come into the game with a 23-2 record. Contrary to East Tech, Lake wants to slow the game down, and keep the score in the 50's if at all possible. East Tech would prefer a game in the 70's or 80's, so controlling tempo will be the key to the game.

If they win, East Tech will make their first appearance in the state final four since the state championship team in 1972. Underrated all season, the Scarabs sit one game away from proving all the naysayers wrong.

We’re really supposed to be here, the better team is going to go to Columbus....East Tech guard Anthony Carmon

Good luck to the East Tech Scarabs

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