For Black River and Wadsworth’s boys basketball teams and Black River and Cloverleaf’s girls, a long layoff has been hard to bear or blessing in disguise.
The Pirates girls haven’t hit the court since losing to Smithville on Dec. 22 and won’t play again until Wednesday at Buckeye for a whopping 18-day layoff.
The Grizzlies boys will end a 15-day skid tonight against Highland, while the Colts girls (14) and Black River boys (13 days) are right behind.
Scouting future opponents is insightful to coaches, but boring for players. So, too, is what feels like endless practices. Games are where the excitement is at.
Then again, Cloverleaf coach John Carmigiano embraced the lull.
“The schedule worked out pretty well for us because we were able to take three or four days off to be with our families on each holiday (Christmas and New Year’s Eve) and we had the ability to practice four days after that,” he said. “When it’s such a long season, a couple small breaks like that are important to get everyone re-energized.”
The Colts used the downtime for fine-tuning its transition offense and for bonding, as they had dinner at an Italian restaurant in Wadsworth that followed ice skating at Lock 3 in Akron.
Boys (0-7, 0-4): The Pirates will have to contend with the best three-pronged attack in the Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division tonight at Wellington, as Dylan Weidrick (16.6 ppg), Dylan Kidd (15.4) and Dave Clark (12.0) are averaging a combined 44.0 points per game. By comparison, Black River averages 36.3 as a team.
Boys (5-5, 0-2): Tonight’s game at Medina will stream live on foxsportsohio.com.
l The 101 points scored Dec. 28 in a victory over Ashtabula Lakeside were the Blue Devils’ most since beating Berea 108-66 on Feb. 16, 1996.
l Junior guard Ryan Badowski scored his 700th career point Saturday against St. Edward.
Girls (5-5, 2-2): Senior small forward Bri Moss is averaging 12.7 points over the past three games.
Boys (4-3, 2-2): Senior forward Matt Cox is averaging a team-high 16.3 points over the past three games.
l The Bucks will play at home against Norwayne on Feb. 22. The game was originally scheduled for Dec. 1 but was postponed due to the Bobcats football team’s run to the Division IV state semifinals.
Girls (2-8, 2-4): The Bucks play seven of their next nine games on the road.
l Senior guard Julia Sekerak has nailed five 3-pointers over the past two games.
Boys (2-8, 0-5): Wednesday’s win at Keystone snapped a 19-game road losing streak. Seven different Colts had an assist.
l Senior forward Robby Buckwald is averaging 18.0 points per game since missing the 76-44 loss to Highland with a sprained ankle. He also scored his 600th career point against Amherst at Midview’s Bob DiFranco Memorial Tournament.
Girls (4-5, 2-3): Interesting trend: The Colts are 4-0 when they win the first quarter.
l Senior guard Jessie Lindemeyer has nine assists over the last three games.
Boys (6-3, 3-2): The Hornets host Wadsworth in Suburban League play tonight. Highland is 10-52 all-time against its northern neighbor, with half of those victories coming in the last eight years.
l The Hornets will host Akron North on Tuesday. The Vikings (2-8) are one of three teams in Ohio with a woman coach in Stacie Horton-Carter, who is eight months pregnant. The others are Black River (Cynthia Berry) and North Eaton Christian Community (Brenda Fox).
Girls (7-4, 3-3): Fun fact: the Hornets girls and boys teams have not had a winning record in the same season since 1992-93. That streak has a good chance of falling, as the girls are five victories from clinching a winning season, while the boys are six.
Boys (4-4, 0-2): Tonight’s game at Medina will stream live on foxsportsohio.com.
l Senior small forward Billy Geschke scored his 700th career point against Hudson at the Hudson Holiday Tournament. The Goshen (Ind.) recruit, who has
76 points over his last three games, needs to average 20.5 for the rest of the regular season to reach 1,000.
l Medina’s four losses — Brush (7-2), Garfield Heights (7-1), Elyria (7-1), Mentor (7-1) — have come against teams with a combined 28-5 record.
Girls (9-2, 4-0): Medina is actively trying to replace the game in Florida it was forced to vacate because of travel issues, but nothing has been finalized.
l Senior forward Sarah Kinch has been remarkably consistent lately, scoring between 12 and 17 points in each of the last five games.
l First place in the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division will be on the line Saturday when the Bees travel to Mayfield. The Wildcats (7-4, 4-0) are led by small forward Shannon Zajec (15.1 ppg) and point guard Halle Rubino (12.4).
Boys (3-4, 2-2): The Grizzlies’ four losses — Firestone (6-2), North Canton Hoover (8-1), Green (8-0) and Nordonia (7-1) — have come against teams with a combined 29-4 record.
l Wadsworth hosts Highland tonight. The Grizzlies own a 52-10 all-time advantage over their northern neighbor.
Girls (10-1, 6-0): Since netting a season-low four points against Tallmadge, senior guard McKenzie O’Brien is averaging 15.0 points in three games.
l Thursday’s win against Highland secured double-digit wins for the 30th time in the last 31 seasons.
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or email@example.com.