By Tim Bielik, Northeast Ohio Media Group | December 10, 2013 8:46 p.m.
PARMA, Ohio — In an early-season showdown between North Coast League unbeatens, Holy Name turned to senior forward Brad Karn right from the start. And he did not disappoint.
Karn scored a game-high 29 points Tuesday despite playing with four fouls in leading the Green Wave to a 56-41 win against Walsh Jesuit.
Karn’s versatility in the paint proved too much for the Warriors, beating their defense with jumpers, layups and a couple of dunks to give Holy Name its third straight win to open the season.
“I can shoot it pretty well,” Karn said. “I used to be a three-point shooter, but recently I’ve been closer to the hoop. And my shot has been better.”
Karn scored 13 of his 29 points in the first quarter. The Green Wave (3-0) led from the start and never trailed due in large part to a stifling half-court defense. The Warriors (2-1), ranked No. 21 in the cleveland.com Top 25 poll, were limited to just 16 first-half points and committed 23 turnovers.
“What we try to do is mix up our defenses,” Holy Name coach Jeff Huber said. “They have some very skilled players. (Sophomore Mitch) Peterson is going to be a heck of a player. So I thought maybe if we could keep changing up some different zone looks, some press, some man, that we would be able to take them out of some rhythm. And I think for the most part we were able to do that.”
The Green Wave has started strong in each of its three wins. Although the 56 points was a season low for Holy Name, Huber said the starts have been critical.
“I hope that we can maintain that, especially against a good team like this because they’re so talented that if they get rolling, things can snowball against you,” Huber said. “So we gave ourselves a little cushion from the start, and we were able to sustain it the rest of the way.”
Holy Name led 27-16 at halftime, and Walsh Jesuit only got within nine points of the Green Wave the rest of the way.
“We were outplayed, outcoached,” Walsh Jesuit coach John Norris said. “Just overall, a very good team in Holy Name played much better than we did. They were able to do what they wanted to do and execute what they wanted to execute. And we were not.”
Lawrynce Johnson added 10 points, including a pair of three-pointers, to join Karn as the only Holy Name players in double figures. But the night belonged to Karn, who battled foul trouble for most of the night and still played well enough to lead his team.
“He’s so active and he’s so athletic,” Huber said. “He’s a really hard guy to guard because he can step out and shoot the ball. He can put the ball on the floor. He gets offensive rebounds. He gets fast break points. So he’s a really tough matchup for other people, and a kid who’s gotten so much better from year to year.”
Peterson led Walsh Jesuit with 11 points.