June 27, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Boys basketball: Bees finish poor despite Billy Geschke’s 36 points

MEDINA — The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round, and then sometimes they fall off.

The Medina boys basketball team appeared to be in control with a double-digit lead and a scorching-hot Billy Geschke leading the way against Nordonia in a non-league matchup Saturday.

Billy Geschke

Then the wheels fell off as the Knights pulled out an action-packed 75-70 overtime win.

With Geschke (36 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) feeling it early, Medina (5-5) held a 51-41 lead with 1:15 left in the third quarter.

“It’s just one of those nights where you get in a groove,” said Geschke, who is averaging a whopping 27.2 points over his past five games. “Especially in the second quarter, when I made my third three and every shot felt like it was going in every time.”

The player that started things off on the Nordonia (10-1) comeback was senior Chris Scott (29 points, 11 rebounds).

The big center scored 16 points in the game’s final 13 minutes, including seven of his team’s nine overtime points.

Arguably the Suburban League’s best player, Scott is averaging 25.2 points over his past five games.

“We kept fighting,” he said. “We kept playing our type of basketball. Coach (Matt Cash) was telling us the whole time to keep playing our basketball and we could come back. We did that. We executed and we won.”

Scott’s old-fashioned three-point play with 4:24 left in the fourth quarter tied the game at 57 and marked the first time that Nordonia was even or ahead since an early 12-11 lead.

“We showed a lot of resiliency tonight,” Cash said. “We’ve really only been tested once before tonight’s and that was Hudson in the first game of the year and against Lake. We don’t play real well on back-to-back nights because we’re an up-tempo, pressing style of team. To fall behind by 10 multiple times and to fight and fight shows the character and heart of this team.”

On the Bees’ next possession, Geschke splashed down his fifth 3-pointer of the night. Dillon Wiesler split a pair of free throws, and Geschke hit a floater in the lane to cap a quick 6-0 run and Medina looked poised up 63-57 with 2:00 to play.

A pair of threes by Nordonia’s Eli Linder (14 points, 4 3-pointers) sandwiched around a free throw by Geschke then a basket by Wiesler made the score 66-63 Medina and set the stage for the biggest shot of the night.

Needing a three to tie, Cash drew up a play for senior Nick Piotrowski (19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists). Coming off a double screen, Piotrowski caught the inbounds pass with 18 seconds left and buried the shot.

“It was a big time in the game and it didn’t really matter who took the shot as long as we tied the game,” Piotrowski said. “They had a double screen for me in the middle and the kid over played it. We were lucky the ball got past him and into me and I came around and it was a wide-open shot.”

Both teams turned the ball over on their next two possessions and the game went on to over time, when Scott flexed his muscles, as he scored seven points and hauled down five rebounds in the extra session.

“I’m a team captain and I had to take over,” Scott said. “I knew I had to and if I didn’t we were going to lose.”

The Bees looked to Geschke to match Scott and he did at first, scoring all four of his teams over time points, but couldn’t get any of his deep shots to fall going 0-for-4 behind the arc.

“I’m really disappointed about this loss, for sure,” Geschke said. “It’s a team game — not an individual game — more than anything else, but it’s really disappointing.”

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