July 2, 2016

Mostly clear

Energized Grizzlies beat perfect Panthers

BARBERTON — Wadsworth’s boys basketball team opened the second day of the third annual K. Jack Greynolds Memorial Classic in style Saturday with a dramatic 74-70 win over undefeated Norton.

The game, however, didn’t really swing in the Grizzlies’ favor until the second half.

In the first half, the Grizzlies (4-5) merely played decent basketball as they trailed the entire time  and left  the court at the break behind 36-26.

The game turned around for the Grizzlies with 3:47 left in the third quarter when  momentum shifted to their side.

Wadsworth brought the game to within one (40-39) as Anthony Schrock (13 points, 10 rebounds) broke through the pack under the Wadsworth basket to score.

Wadsworth then took the lead for the first time in the contest at 41-40 when Taylor Smith hit a layup.

As the game’s intensity picked up Wadsworth and Norton (8-1) volleyed for the lead.

Neither team took control, however, until midway through the fourth quarter when Alan Sheppard put a layup in to give the Grizzlies a comfortable 66-54 lead.

Norton couldn’t recover from the 12-point deficit.

“I didn’t think we were competing (in the first half),” Wadsworth coach Scott Callaghan said. “I didn’t think we were playing hard. I didn’t think we were executing offensively. We weren’t playing with any passion.

“I give a lot of credit to our kids because I thought in the second half we attacked offensively and we played much harder defensively. … Because we made a few shots, we gained a lot of momentum and we rode that.”

Chad Baughman’s energized 21-point performance epitomized Wadsworth’s effort. He netted three of his four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

 “We were down at the half but we were talking in (the locker room) and we felt pretty confident coming into the second half that we could win,” Baughman said. “Last year I didn’t do so good on threes, so I’ve just been working hard this year trying to make more.”

Sheppard led the Grizzlies with 24 points.

“I was really pleased with how Alan Sheppard attacked the basket,” Callaghan said. “He’s a very good one-on-one player. And I just thought that he really asserted himself. I was also really pleased with Mitch White’s energy defensively in the second half.”

Rick Noland About Rick Noland

Rick Noland is the Cavs beat writer for The Gazette and the author of "Over Time," a compilation of stories he's written in more than 30 years as a journalist. He can be reached at 330-721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.