The verdict is in: Medina County coaches are fans of the new 22-game schedule.
Based on a recommendation from the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association, the Ohio High School Athletic Association approved the expansion from 20 games.
The schedule was last expanded from 18 to 20 for the 1979-80 season. The former number was believed to be established in 1956-57, marking the first time schedules had a uniform standard.
The county’s best example of the pre-restriction era came in 1947-48, when Liverpool played a ridiculous 25 regular-season games.
“I’m definitely in favor of it,” Brunswick coach Joe Mackey said. “When you’re only playing once a week at the end of the season, it’s a little tough on everybody. In basketball, there are times you’re playing a football schedule. I think it’s going to be beneficial.”
The main positive behind the move is revenue, which is an ever-growing concern with more and more schools under serious financial stress. Medina athletic director Jeff Harrison estimated the average revenue from a home boys game is $1,000 — girls games bring in, on average, 25 percent less — and that money is spread equally among all athletic programs.
Coaches like it because it gives their players more opportunities to play, though it does add to the mental and physical grind of a three-month-plus season.
The counterargument, however, is that many players compete in AAU during the summer and oftentimes play multiple games on the same day.
“The season gets a little stale when you’re practicing, practicing, practicing and then you do the same thing over again the next week,” said Mackey, who expressed a desire to get Wadsworth on his schedule in the future. “It’s not football. They need more time to rest and recover. It’s great for the state. I’d be in favor of playing a couple more myself.”
Black River (0-2)
The Pirates’ 31 points against Rittman were the fewest in a season opener since losing 48-29 to Norwayne on Dec. 3, 1993.
l Since being promoted permanently to the varsity roster last Jan. 27, post Tyler Potter is averaging 6.8 points in 12 games.
l Gabe Eaton, Anton Hsia, Allan Benson and Aaron Schmitz scored their first varsity points Tuesday at Chippewa, while Jerod England netted his vs. Rittman.
All-Gazette shooting guard Kyle Wheeler (concussion) is cleared to play Saturday at Niagara Falls (N.Y).
l With his final 3-pointer in a win over Chillicothe at Grove City, junior point guard Ryan Badowski passed Travis Larrick (101; 2003-06) for third on the school’s career list. Mike Mixon (133; 1997-00) and Joe Puch (114; 2005-08) are the only rungs left on the ladder for Badowski, who also needs two more career points for 600.
l The Blue Devils have lost 10 of their last 11 games in which they allow 60 points since beating Brush 86-83 in a three-overtime classic on Jan. 29, 2010. Brunswick lost to Columbus Westland 61-57 in the season opener.
The Bucks’ 83 points against Elyria Catholic were their most since defeating Highland 84-68 on Jan. 30, 1996. Ironically, the leading scorer in that game, Jeff Shaw, had the same total (26) Garrett Beck posted Tuesday.
l Under coach Matt Saunders, Buckeye is 4-0 when one of its players scores 25 or more points. Cory Reisner had 29 in a 63-49 win over Brooklyn on Jan 27, 2009, while Bill Doerge had 30 (80-70 vs. Clearview on Jan. 31) and 26 (71-55 at Black River on Feb. 21) last season.
Friday’s 70-67 win over Wooster broke a four-game losing streak in season openers.
l Senior forward Robby Buckwald scored his 500th career point against the Generals, and sophomore guard Cliff Collyer netted his 100th. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Buckwald, a Toledo football recruit, has 39 points and 19 rebounds in two games this season.
l Buckwald, Collyer, Adam Podolak and Connor Ploucha have scored 104 of Cloverleaf’s 124 points (83.9 percent).
Senior center Austin Adams needs 173 career points to crack the school’s top 10. Ric Cecil holds the final spot with 706 points from 1979-82.
l Beginning Tuesday vs. Revere, Highland closes the calendar year with six opponents who had a combined 51-77 record last season. Nordonia accounted for 18 of those wins.
Assuming the Bees play the minimum 23 games, senior guard Billy Geschke needs to average 19.5 points to join Dontaie Anthony (1,230; 2002-05), Tony Stockman (1,211; 1997-00) and Ryan Sooy (1,020; 1990-93) as Medina players in the 1,000-point club. Geschke has scored 552 points in 48 career games.
l Outside of opponents yet to be determined at the Hudson Holiday Tournament, only two teams on Medina’s schedule had losing records last season — Strongsville (5-17) and Solon (8-14).
Friday’s 76-72 loss to Firestone marked the first time the Grizzlies scored 70 points in a regulation game and lost since falling to Barberton 77-74 on Jan. 21, 2004. Wadsworth fell to Medina 86-84 in overtime on Dec. 18, 2007.
l Four of the Grizzlies’ next five opponents finished last season with winning records.
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or email@example.com.