October 25, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
46°F

Blue Devils bounce back with win against North Royalton

BRUNSWICK — When it comes to playing poorly in consecutive games this season, Brunswick boys basketball team has been Teflon.

Bad things simply don’t stick to these Blue Devils.

Brunswick’s Zach Parker is fouled by North Royalton’s Nick Krempasky on a layup attempt in the second quarter (GAZETTE PHOTO BY AARON JOSEFCZYK)

Brunswick had a week to sit on a 30-point loss to Mentor that featured 28 turnovers.

With North Royalton making the trek across town and Blue Devils center Taylor Armagost playing essentially on one wheel, no one would have blamed the team if it was still feeling the aftereffects of a bad loss.

But that’s not how Brunswick rolls. The Bears learned the hard way Friday in a 65-50 Northeast Ohio Conference cross-divisional loss to the Blue Devils.

Quite frankly, Brunswick (12-2) made North Royalton (7-5) look like the Washington Generals.

“It’s been a rough week,” Blue Devils coach Joe Mackey said. “Actually, it’s been a miserable week. Everyone wanted to talk about Mentor and how good they are, and asked, ‘How did you give up 100 points?’ I’m just real proud of our guys.”

After shooting 52 percent from the floor in the first half, Brunswick held a precarious 37-33 advantage.

That’s when its collective motors kicked in, as the squad shot 75 percent (12-of-16) in the second half to put the game out of reach.

The Blue Devils finished 25-of-41 from the field — or 60.9 percent in Layman’s terms.

“Royalton played a phenomenal first half,” Mackey said. “We could have hung our heads, but our assistant coaches did a good job of drawing up some adjustments.

“You can make any adjustment you want as a coach, but the kids are the ones that have to go out and execute. They deserve all the credit.”

With Armagost (14 points, 5 rebounds) doing most of the work for Brunswick in the first half, Zach Parker (18 points, 7 assists) and Ryan Badowski (16, 3) took over in the third quarter.

Parker had seven points in the crucial frame, while Badowski had eight.

The Blue Devils closed the quarter on a 15-2 run, taking a 41-41 game with 5:18 remaining and turning it into a blowout.

“They were real active in the third quarter,” Mackey said. “We were able to turn them over, block a few shots and get out in transition to cash in on the offensive end. I think it was probably the best run we went on all season long offensively, but it was directly related to how we played defensively.”

Brunswick certainly knows how to play defense, as it held the Bears without a bucket for a 6:02 stretch.

“We really needed a bounce back game like this,” Badowski said. “We needed to get our confidence back. We needed to not make turnovers and hit some open shots. We’re dangerous shooters. We can knock teams out in a second.”

The Blue Devils hope their hot streak continues when they travel to Twinsburg (8-5) tonight against a team that has lost three of its last four.

“There were some mistakes out there, but there weren’t many in the second half,” Mackey said. “We can use this as motivation.

“I think it’s a great team win for us. We’ve had a great year, there’s no question about it. But we have to close it out now. We’re excited to be playing right now.”

Note

Brunswick doubled up North Royalton with a 43-31 win in the junior varsity game. Corey Welsh led the Blue Devils with 15.

Contact Brad Bournival at sports@medina-gazette.com.