Believe in the three.
It appeared the 3-point shooting for Medina’s girls basketball team was going to be slightly hampered on paper when Casey Midlik went down with a torn ACL. In reality, nothing has been further from the truth.
Despite being without Medina County’s top returning 3-point shooter — Midlik made 33 last season and won’t return for another three weeks — the Bees are leading the county with 5.0 trifectas per game.
That wasn’t necessarily coach Chris Hassinger’s plan, but as long as Medina’s drilling them, he’s not complaining.
“We’re really pleased by it right now,” he said. “Casey was probably our best 3-pointer shooter from last year, and to shoot as well as we have this season (is great).”
Shooting guard Faith Constance leads the way individually with eight. What has made the run of marksmanship impressive is Holly Rhodes, Madi Tata, Sarah Kinch and Alexis Smith have each made two or more.
In fact, all 10 players in the usual rotation have scored from downtown.
“We’ve actually given everybody the green light to shoot if they’re open,” Hassinger said. “You’ve got to be confident to shoot the ball, first of all, and our girls have put the time in.”
This will only make the Bees more balanced offensively, which is a scary thought for the opposition considering Medina’s outstanding defense is surrendering a paltry 35.3 points per game.
More important, the long-distance balance may prove critical down the stretch. The Bees’ final 13 in-state games are against opponents who had winning records last season.
“The nice thing is we have two great players in Angela (Tesny) and Sarah, but everyone has stepped up at some point this season already,” Hassinger said. “When we play Wadsworth (Dec. 22), Stow (Jan. 12) and Hudson (Jan. 19), they’re going to be gunning for our best players. We feel we’re balanced this year. The 10 girls we have, any one of them can score double digits.”
Black River (1-3, 0-2)
Junior guard Angie Kazek is off to a nice start, and is tied for 10th in the Patriot Athletic Conference with a 12.5 scoring average. Kazek’s 21 field goals account for 37.5 percent of her team’s total.
l Beginning Monday against Mapleton, the Pirates play six of the next seven games on the road.
l The season-opening win against Lucas gave coach Ken Deidrick his 23rd win to pass Jeany Heck (22-42; 1994-97) for fifth in school history.
Brunswick (2-2, 0-0)
The starting lineup of Brianna Moss, Monica Wasson, Gabrielle Bulic, Courtney Laudato and Paige Salisbury has scored 178 of the Blue Devils’ 194 points — a whopping 91.8 percent.
l Brunswick’s offense will receive a stern test Saturday in its Northeast Ohio Conference River Division opener, as Strongsville is allowing just 30.8 points per game.
Buckeye (1-2, 1-1)
Senior Jessica Banas has somehow increased her mad rebounding pace. After averaging 14.7 last season, the center has gobbled up 48 in three games this season — a very impressive 16.0 average.
l Five of the Bucks’ next six games are at home.
l Buckeye has been well-balanced offensively in the early going, as Hannah Hartley (7.7 ppg), Sara Dash (7.7), Julia Sekerak (6.3), Katie Kelly (6.0) and Banas (5.0) are averaging five or more points per game. Kelly in particular has turned heads, as she is the second-highest scoring bench player in the county.
Cloverleaf (0-3, 0-1)
John Carmigiano is a man of his word. The ninth-year coach said before the season the starting lineup would be different nearly every game, and so far he has used three different ones among eight players. Only the Civittolo sisters, Emily and Lexi, have started every game.
l Colts opponents have an impressive 57 assists on 76 baskets.
l Center Briona Burgos had six points, five rebounds and three blocks Wednesday at Wadsworth.
Highland (3-1, 0-1)
The Hornets have been getting off to good defensive starts, as opponents are averaging just 17.0 points in the first half.
l Highland has already played in three one-possession games this season, which is triple the amount of all of 2011-12.
Medina (4-0, 0-0)
Sunday’s blowout win over Normandy at Quicken Loans Arena was coach Hassinger’s 50th. He needs eight more to pass John Street (58-12; 1974-78) and Mark Loomis (58-92; 2002-06) for third in school history.
l The Bees and Wadsworth are the only county schools with seven players averaging 4.0 points per game. Kinch (13.5 ppg), Constance (11.5), T.B. Cullen (10.5), Tesny (6.5), Becca Supan (5.7), Tata (4.5) and Rhodes (4.5) are surpassing the mark for Medina.
Wadsworth (3-1, 1-0)
Senior point guard Rachel Goddard scored her 500th career point Saturday against Twinsburg.
l Among county players who have come off the bench consistently, freshman forward Jodi Johnson leads the pack with a 7.3 scoring average.
l Beginning Wednesday against Nordonia, the Grizzlies play six of the next eight games at home.
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.