BRUNSWICK — Coach Joe Mackey has been waiting for his Brunswick boys basketball team to have a breakout shooting performance.
He got it Tuesday as the Blue Devils scorched the nets and mixed in lock-down defense to walk away with an easy 79-38 Northeast Ohio Conference crossover victory against Parma.
“That’s something we haven’t done all year,” said Mackey, whose team improved to 4-1. “It was great to see. We moved the ball and knocked down shots.”
While Mackey is hoping Brunswick saved a little of its offensive performance for Thursday night’s showdown with Shaker Heights, he was able to enjoy a stellar Tuesday from his perimeter players.
The Blue Devils made quick work of the Redmen (0-4) from the opening tip with crisp ball movement, great spacing and making their opponent pay for any space on an outside shooter.
“When we’re sharing the ball and knocking down shots, we can beat anyone on our schedule,” senior Kyle Wheeler said. “We haven’t had a night like that in a while where a lot of things were working.”
The 6-foot-5 Wheeler led the charge. The shooting guard was lights out to open the game, hitting four of his five shots — three from beyond the arc — en route to a 21-point night that included shooting the three, scoring on an put-back, dishing out a game-high five assists and picking up three steals.
Wheeler was so hot that when he came out the locker room to shoot around during halftime, he missed just once.
“He’s does so many things for us that he’s hard to take out,” Mackey said. “He’s always doing something to stay on the floor.
“It was good to see (him have a big night) and get it going, but I expect that from him.”
Zach Parker (14 points) was equally as lethal from the outside, as he nailed a game-high four trifectas, while All-Gazette point guard Ryan Badowski (12) kept the offense running smoothly.
In all, the Blue Devils were 27-of-47 from the field (11-of-22 3-pointers), including 13-of-19 in the first half en route to building a 39-19 halftime lead.
Senior center Taylor Armagost also made his return to the floor after serving a two-game suspension and had 10 points and eight rebounds.
“It was nice to get him back because he’s a heckuva post,” Mackey said of the 6-7 Armagost. “The win over Niagara Falls (on Saturday) was probably more special because we were able to do it without him. We’re a much better basketball team because of that and he just adds to it.”
Now, the Blue Devils turn their attention to Shaker Heights for a rare Thursday night clash.
“They’re arguably one of the best teams in the area, but we’ll be ready for them,” Mackey said. “The one thing about our kids is that they don’t back down.
“And if we make shots like we did tonight, we’ll be a tough team to beat.”
Sophomore Jason Okulovich scored a game-high 19, which included four makes from beyond the arc, as Brunswick’s junior varsity cruised to a 43-21 win.
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.