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Posted On: 07/11/18 7:00 AM
One of the better outside shooters in Northeast Ohio it only seems like Erik Painter (2019) has been playing at Bay High forever.
But that’s what happens when you are entering your senior year and you’ve been starting since you were a freshman on a team that made it all the way to the state Final Four.
The 6’1” Painter showed off his long-range shooting stroke on July 9 during Bay’s 59-48 loss to Cleveland Central Catholic in the Terry Rozier Summer League playoffs as he scored 25 points, many coming on deep jumpers. More impressively, he displayed an ability to hit from deep off the catch as well as off the dribble during that game.
He did struggle to finish inside against some of CCC’s bigs, but coach Jared Shetzer pointed out that may have been due more to rust than an inability to finish.
“It’s not an issue. The gym was hot and we hadn’t played since the end of June,” Shetzer said.
With the rock in his hands, Painter can get to his spots, but he did look a tad uncomfortable at times when facing extreme pressure during the loss to CCC.
Painter will be the focal point of the offense for Bay this his senior year after he played his first three years with 6’6” R.J. Sunahara who graduated this past spring and is now playing at Fairmont State.
Painter has gotten noticeably stronger since the end of his junior year.
“He’s put in so much time in the weight room, and gotten so much bigger, stronger and faster, ” Shetzer said.
And he’s much more than just a shooter, Shetzer pointed out.
“He’s everything. He’s strong defensively when he’s engaged and he can keep his man in front. He shoots it incredibly well. He handles it incredibly well and his leadership this summer has been incredible,” said Shetzer.
Painter, who has made 155 3-pointers in his career, said he’s become more confident in his game this summer, which has translated to improvements on the floor.
“I’m going to the basket more. I feel like I’m more efficient shooting threes and I feel like I’ve gotten better on defense,” said Painter.
Painter rebounded well on the defensive glass in the loss to CCC, which is something he knows he’ll have to do more of this winter with Sunahara gone.
The bulk of schools that are recruiting Painter are on the Division II and Division II level and include Lake Erie College, Emmanual (PA.) College, University of Chicago and John Carroll, he said.
Painter carries a 3.8 grade point average and has already scored more than 1,000 points in his career. He’s also a winner. He’s played on teams that advanced to the state final four and lost in the district final and this past season lost in the regional final.