BRUNSWICK — Point guard Ryan Badowski’s right hip is ailing, but shooting guard Kyle Wheeler’s right elbow is feeling just fine.
Wheeler erupted for a career-high 25 points, nine rebounds and four assists Friday night, powering Brunswick’s boys basketball team to a 74-48 rout of archrival Strongsville in Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division play.
The Blue Devils (6-7, 1-3) also got 14 points apiece from center Taylor Armagost and swingman Zach Parker, which took some of the sting away from the news that leading scorer Badowski will miss the next 3-4 weeks with a hip flexor.
“It’s been that kind of year for us with injuries, illnesses, concussions and suspensions, so we know nobody is going to feel sorry for our team,” Brunswick coach Joe Mackey said. “At the same time, I feel bad for Ryan because he’s going to miss a good portion of his junior season — and we need him.
“That’s why this was such an important win for us, our school, and our community tonight in ‘the’ rivalry.”
The main reason the Blue Devils crushed the Mustangs (1-11, 0-4) was Wheeler, who outscored Strongsville 18-17 by himself over the first 15½ minutes.
The 6-foot-5 senior made 11-of-22 field goal attempts and, as Mackey noted, “was the best player on the court from start to finish.”
“We’ve been reeling of late and definitely needed a win, so this feels very good,” said Wheeler, who underwent reconstructive elbow surgery in the offseason. “We also wanted to give our fans a show at home by beating our rival, so it was a big night for everyone on the team.
“If there was something we didn’t do well, I’m not sure what it was. We pretty much dominated all aspects of this game.”
Brunswick led from wire to wire in shooting 51.7 percent from the field, won the rebounding battle 32-19 and only committed five turnovers in the first 3½ quarters.
Blue Devils power forward Patrick Jarvis had nine points, six boards and a game-high five rebounds, while Armagost grabbed six rebounds and made 6-of-8 field goals.
Shooting guard Brandon Zaccardelli added four points off the bench, while senior point guard Robert Hale had two assists in his most significant action of the season.
“I’m proud of Robert because he gave us a big lift running the offense,” Mackey said. “He wasn’t in our rotation to start the year and could have bagged it, but he never stopped working. Tonight, he got an opportunity and he took advantage of it.”
Starting guards Kyle Meehan and Drew Robertson paced Strongsville with 12 points apiece, but the Mustangs’ top three post players only combined for three baskets and five rebounds.
|The Blue Devils’ biggest leads were 26 points at 61-35 early in the fourth and 74-48 at the end of the game.
l Brunswick’s junior varsity was a 65-49 winner. Jason Okulovich scored a game-high 18 points for the Blue Devils, while Steve Ficyk chipped in 12.
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Brunswick 74, Strongsville 48
STRONGSVILLE 13 6 16 13 — 48
BRUNSWICK 19 18 22 15 — 74
Strongsville — Tom Krokey 4-0-10, Alex Barnes 1-0-3, Brandon Bailey 0-1-1, Kyle Meehan 4-4-12, Drew Robertson 5-2-12, Vince Dindia 2-0-4, Paul Warren 2-0-4, Alex Ruch 1-0-2, John Klein 0-0-0, Michael Rizzo 0-0-0, Sean Aske 0-0-0. TOTALS: 19-7-48.
Brunswick — Alex Hartill 2-0-4, Patrick Jarvis 3-1-9, Taylor Armagost 6-1-14, Zach Parker 6-0-14, Kyle Wheeler 11-2-25, Brandon Zaccardelli 2-0-4, Billy Applebee 0-0-0, Robert Hale 0-0-0, David Reiter Jr. 0-0-0, Brennan Magalski 0-2-2, Eric Bulic 1-0-2, Nate Armagost 0-0-0. TOTALS: 31-6-74.
3-point goals — Krokey 2, Barnes, Jarvis 2, Parker 2, Wheeler, T. Armagost, Wheeler. Rebounds — Strongsville 19 (Krokey, Meehan 4), Brunswick 32 (Wheeler 9). Assists — Strongsville 10 (Robertson 4), Brunswick 21 (Jarvis 5). Records — Strongsville (1-11, 0-4), Brunswick (6-7, 1-3). Junior varsity — Brunswick 65, Strongsville 49.