July 2, 2016

Mostly clear

Grizzlies follow plan perfectly

Chad Grant

The Gazette

TALLMADGE — Behind its beef in the middle and the driving ability of its guards, the Wadsworth boys basketball team dominated Tallmadge 61-39 in Suburban League action Friday.

The Grizzlies (3-4, 3-2) started methodically, working the ball inside early and often and setting the tone for a game they dominated physically.

“We’re trying to stressing inside-out play,” coach Mike Schmeltzer Jr. said. “We’ve got guys who can shoot it, and we’ve got good post players that can score when they get it in there. Post touches and ball reversals are what we’ve been stressing.”

Kyle Prunty (14 points, 6 rebounds) and Nathan Pound (8 points) did the muscling down low, then Austin White (11 points, 4 rebounds) Barry Fernholz (9 points) brought the ball inside off the wings as the undersized Blue Devils (1-5, 1-4) failed to match up.

“We just got dominated in every phase of the game,” Tallmadge coach Aaron Hinkle said. “It’s pretty simple and everybody saw that — we did, too. Physically, mentally, everything. We got dominated.”

Of the 23 baskets the Grizzlies made, all but three were inside the 3-point arc.

One of those three triples from Tony Hogan pushed the margin to 42-17 with 3:10 to play in the third quarter and capped a 15-4 run.

Wadsworth’s total domination of the paint and stellar play from its 2-3 zone stifled Tallmadge and led to a 51-26 advantage before the starters took a seat on the bench.

“Normally for my whole career, we’ve been a man-to-man team,” Schmeltzer said. “But this team seems to be more comfortable playing some zone. They’re playing every defense that we’re running as hard as they would man. I think that’s why it’s been so successful.”

The rough-and-tumble play by Wadsworth forced 22 Tallmadge turnovers and was matched nicely by an offense that only committed 10.

“I think we feed off of each other,” Prunty said. “When we see how the other one’s playing, we just keep it up.”

Andrew Francesconi (19 points, 9 rebounds) was the only Tallmadge player in double-digits. The sophomore scored nearly half his team’s points and pulled down nearly half of its rebounds.


The Wadsworth junior varsity blew out the Blue Devils 62-44 behind 21 points from Nick Hewitt.

Contact Chad Grant at sports@medina-gazette.com.

Wadsworth 61, Tallmadge 39

WADSWORTH                          12 15 19 15 — 61

TALLMADGE                                    6 7 9 17 — 39

Wadsworth — Austin White 4-2-11, Kyle Prunty 5-4-14, Nathan Pound 2-4-8, Barry Fernholz 4-1-9, Patrick Long 0-0-0, Jimmy Elchlinger 2-0-4, Martice Jackson 1-0-2, Tony Hogan 2-1-6, Anthony Palacek 2-0-4, Ryan Sheppard 1-0-3, Tucker Robinson 0-0-0. TOTALS: 23-12-61.

Tallmadge — John Rensel 4-1-9, Damon Gidley 0-0-0, Andrew Francesconi 6-7-19, Joseph Vassalotti 1-0-2, Colten Stricker 0-0-0, Cole Baker 0-0-0, Niko Skeriotis 2-0-4, Kyle Johnson 1-1-3, Jacob Dawson 0-0-0, Justin Cambria 1-0-2. TOTALS: 15-9-39.

3-point goals — White, Hogan, Sheppard. Rebounds — Wadsworth 24 (Prunty 6), Tallmadge 24 (Francesconi 9). Assists — Wadsworth 10 (Long, Jackson, Robinson 3), Tallmadge 5 (Cambria 4). Records — Wadsworth (3-4, 3-2), Tallmadge (1-5, 1-4). Junior varsity — Wadsworth 62, Tallmadge 44.