AVON LAKE — The Medina boys basketball team came into Friday’s non-league clash against Avon Lake with just one win.
After losses to Brush, Garfield Heights, Elyria and Mentor coming in, the Bees believed they are far from a one-win team.
Coach Anthony Stacey’s squad proved that by pulling away from the Shoremen in the fourth quarter en route to a 64-56 victory.
“We’re a tough team,” the second-year coach said. “I knew that we were better than our record. We let some games slip away that we probably should’ve won.
“But the kids have really been putting in the effort and they’re hungry to win. It says a lot when you come in here on the road, get down and come back.”
That hunger was evident in the fourth, as the Bees (2-4) were able to gain enough breathing room with big plays from guard Billy Geschke and forward Branden Wilkins.
With Avon Lake (2-3) up 43-42, Medina slowly inched away with hot shooting going to the basket and from the perimeter, along with some lockdown defense.
“They hit some shots. That’s what happened,” Shoreman coach Eric Smith said. “That’s why they’re a good basketball team. They’re 1-4 coming in, but that’s one of the best 1-4 teams around. When you have players who can make shots from the perimeter, it gets a lot of things going inside.”
Sparked by a 3-pointer from Logan Winkler, Geschke netted 10 of his game-high 23 points in the final quarter, hitting everything from pull-up jumpers to knocking down free throws to ice the game.
Combine that with a yeoman-like effort from Wilkins, who finished with 10 points and seven rebounds after coming off the bench for the first time this season, and the Bees led 58-48 with 1:45 left.
“When we reverse the ball, we do good things and we got the ball from side to side, which leaves guys open,” Stacey said.
Medina’s John Teske, a 6-foot-9 freshman center, finished with eight points, nine rebounds and five blocks.
The Shoremen led by five in the third quarter thanks to junior slasher Seth Muck (18 points) and the overall play of Brandon Hamilton (9 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists), but key buckets by Medina reserves Mike Kaminski and Tyler King put the Bees in front 42-41 heading into the fourth.
From there, Medina made the key run and closed the game like a good team always does.
“I think we made some key stops, and I also thought we moved the ball a lot better,” Stacey said. “We got the ball from side to side and got some inside-out. I think we were a little too anxious in the beginning and tried to settle on scoring off of one pass, but overall it’s tough time win on the road, and I’m just proud of the kids of the way we got up and then we got down and fought back.”
|Jake Hamel had 13 points, while Evan Schreck chipped in 11 to pace Medina’s junior varsity team to a 53-40 victory. The Bees are now 4-1.|
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Medina 64, Avon Lake 56
MEDINA 18 9 15 22 — 64
AVON LAKE 16 13 12 15 — 56
Medina — Billy Geschke 7-6-23, Nick Fryer 0-0-0, John Teske 3-2-8, Brian Letts 1-1-3, Logan Winkler 2-0-6, Branden Wilkins 5-0-10, Dillon Wiesler 1-2-4, Mike Kaminski 2-0-5, Tyler King 2-0-5. TOTALS: 23-11-64.
Avon Lake — Christian Jones 3-0-6, Jimmy Hessel 5-3-14, Mitch Gabanic 2-0-4, Seth Muck 9-0-18, Brad Hamilton 4-0-9, Jace Russell 2-0-5, Jake Aiello 0-0-0, Ben Oxley 0-0-0, Jason Hessel 0-0-0. TOTALS: 25-3-56.
3-point goals — Geschke 3, Winkler 2, Kaminski, King, Ji. Hessell, Hamilton, Russell. Rebounds — Medina 29 (Teske 9), Avon Lake 26 (Hamilton 11). Assists — Medina 10 (Letts 3), Avon Lake 12 (Hamilton 4). Records — Medina (2-4), Avon Lake (2-3). Junior varsity — Medina 53, Avon Lake 40.