MENTOR — Brunswick’s boys basketball team outshot and outrebounded powerful Mentor on Friday night.
The Blue Devils’ shaky ballhandling, however, prevented them from pulling off a road upset.
Brunswick point guard Kyle Wheeler scored 22 points and shooting guard Zach Parker added 18, but the Cardinals escaped with a 69-63 Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division victory.
Mentor’s full-court defense forced the Blue Devils into committing a season-high 28 turnovers, including 26 in the first three quarters, which was the difference in the game.
“Our kids played as hard as they have all year, and I’m very proud of that, but it’s tough to be happy because it’s still a loss,” Brunswick coach Joe Mackey said. “We didn’t take care of the basketball and we did a lot of uncharacteristic things that hurt us, like stepping out of bounds and not catching passes.
“Honestly, to make that many turnovers and still be in the game and only lose by six points, it’s unbelievable.”
The Cardinals (11-2, 4-1) also forced the Blue Devils (6-8, 1-4) into a 28-turnover game in their last visit to Lake County, but this matchup was infinitely more competitive.
Brunswick shot a blistering 66.7 percent from the floor over the first 26 minutes, finishing the evening 23-of-38 (.605). Wheeler went 8-for-12 and had a game-high six assists, while Parker was 7-for-13 and buried four 3-pointers.
“Kyle was great again, as he has been all year, and Zach is coming around and shooting the ball much better,” Mackey said. “We haven’t shot the ball well this season, but I really think we’re developing an identity with those guards and our two posts.”
Center Taylor Armagost (9 points) and power forward Patrick Jarvis (8 points, team-high 9 rebounds) also were strong for the second straight game, helping the Blue Devils win the glass battle 23-19.
Mentor’s famed perimeter shooting was effective, as the Cardinals made 12-of-35 3-point attempts (.343), but Brunswick was better, sinking 7-of-15 (.467).
Michael Gallagher led the Cardinals with 22 points, while Caleb Potter scored 19 and made five triples. Mentor shot 43.3 percent, but managed 22 more field goal attempts because of the Blue Devils’ miscues.
“We’re making progress, even though our record doesn’t show it,” Mackey said. “I still think we’re going to be a very good team by the end of the season, then be a factor in the tournament.”
|Brunswick played without leading scorer Ryan Badowski (hip), while the Cardinals were missing starting center Brandon Fritts (shoulder).
l The Blue Devils made all 10 of their free throw attempts.
l Brunswick’s junior varsity got 14 points from Steve Ficyk and 11 from Eric Bulic in a 41-37 victory.
Contact Brian Dulik at email@example.com.
Mentor 69, Brunswick 63
BRUNSWICK 19 10 18 16 — 63
MENTOR 19 23 18 9 — 69
Brunswick — Alex Hartill 2-2-6, Patrick Jarvis 2-4-8, Taylor Armagost 4-0-9, Zach Parker 7-0-18, Kyle Wheeler 8-4-22, Billy Applebee 0-0-0, Brandon Zaccardelli 0-0-0, Robert Hale 0-0-0, Brennan Magalski 0-0-0. TOTALS: 23-10-63.
Mentor — Kade McClure 2-4-8, Michael Gallagher 9-0-22, Kent Berger 1-0-2, Caleb Potter 7-0-19, Jeff Foreman 2-0-5, Conner Krizancic 2-0-5, Brody Nelson 3-0-7, Kyle Hagey 0-1-1. TOTALS: 26-5-69.
3-point goals — Parker 4, Wheeler 2, Armagost, Potter 5, Gallagher 4, Foreman, Nelson, Krizancic. Rebounds — Brunswick 23 (Jarvis 9), Mentor 19 (Nelson 9). Assists — Brunswick 11 (Wheeler 6), Mentor 13 (Foreman 4). Records — Brunswick (6-8, 1-4), Mentor (11-2, 4-1). Junior varsity — Brunswick 41, Mentor 37.