STRONGSVILLE — Angela Tesny answered the call and Holly Rhodes dialed long distance.
It was that simple Wednesday for Medina’s girls basketball team, as it dominated from start to finish for an efficient 68-36 Northeast Ohio Conference River Division victory over Strongsville.
The two-time defending division champion Bees (6-0, 2-0) have allowed less than 40 points four times already this season.
“I thought we played really well and I thought we came out strong,” said Rhodes, who scored 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting. “We played really well together and hit some good shots when we needed to.”
From the opening tip, Medina’s suffocating man press obliterated the offensively challenged Mustangs (3-3, 0-2). The Bees roared to a 13-1 lead while forcing Strongsville into nine turnovers and four bricks before Carli Stefanik banked in its first field goal with 1:32 left in the first quarter.
While it was apparent Medina’s defense was setting the tone, the Bees still needed an offensive flurry to put the game out of reach.
Rhodes took care of that. The backup guard’s sharpshooting was paramount in a 19-4 second-quarter run that put Medina up 25 points well before halftime.
She began her own mini-blitz with an assist, added eight straight points and found Faith Constance (game-high 14 points) for a 3-pointer.
When the dust settled, Rhodes had a hand in 13 consecutive points.
“That was huge,” Tesny said. “We’re really glad Holly stepped up and played that well for us.”
The rest of the evening belonged to Tesny, who was consistently the best all-around player on the floor.
The three-year starting point guard finished with 12 points, six assists and five steals while spearheading the press. She consistently penetrated in the half court and found an open shooter, had swipes in three different quarters and made 5-of-8 free throws.
Though Medina’s offense was remarkably balanced — Alexis Smith added 12 second-half points, Sarah Kinch had eight points and five rebounds and T.B.
Cullen had seven of her game-high eight rebounds on the offensive end — it often started and stopped with Tesny.
“She always has a good game, in my opinion,” Rhodes said. “She works so hard on defense to get those steals and her shot’s just awesome. She’s always driving and getting to the basket and rounds out our team in every aspect.”
It was the perfect time for Medina to tune up for a brutal stretch run. Outside of a trip to Florida, the Bees won’t play an opponent currently with a losing record for the rest of the regular season.
If Wednesday was any indicator, coach Chris Hassinger’s team will be just fine.
“Strongsville’s a really good team, so we were really happy we could come out and play as well as we did,” Tesny said. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to play against a good team so we can get ready for some of our other games coming up.”
Liz Jones scored nine points as Medina’s junior varsity won 64-30.
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.