STRONGSVILLE — If Medina’s boys basketball team keeps this up, coach Anthony Stacey may not have a voice by the final month of the season.
It took a talking to from the second-year coach Friday to lift the Bees to an efficient second-half effort that gave way to a 62-50 victory over Strongsville in Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division action.
Trailing by three at intermission to a Mustangs team (1-12, 0-5) that has struggled, Stacey used the break to remind his team about what their goals were coming in.
“For whatever reason, it seems like our team doesn’t play hard until I get really upset,” he said with a chuckle. “At halftime, I got really upset and went a little crazy and the guys went out and played.”
Medina (7-6, 2-3) did it on the defensive end, forcing 11 turnovers in the third quarter. That led to more transition shots in the paint and didn’t allow Strongsville time to set up its half-court zone.
Leading the charge was senior Billy Geschke, who shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor in the second half en route to a game-high 21 points.
Toss in a handful of second-half shots and rebounds from power forward Branden Wilkins (12 points, 8 rebounds) and the Bees were in business.
“It was definitely at the defensive end,” Geschke said of the second-half adjustment. “We gave up way too many easy baskets. For them to score 32 points (in the first half) is too many for a high school game.
“In the second half, we came out more aggressive at the defensive end, trying to deny the ball, making sure they took tough shots.”
Point guard Logan Winkler added nine points to an all-around effort that included three assists and a game-high four steals, three of the latter coming in the second half.
The Mustangs kept it close early by packing in a 2-3 zone and by canning four 3-pointers in the opening quarter. They carried that momentum into the second period, when they led by as much as eight.
Keeping Medina close in the first two quarters was the play of reserve forward Mike Kaminski, who finished with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
Focusing on the defensive end of the floor and some high-percentage looks in the second half helped Medina take control.
“It wasn’t some great coaching move, it was a pride thing and just competing,” Stacey said. “The name of this game is if you can force other teams into tough, contested shots, you have a good chance to win. In the third and fourth quarters, I don’t know if they had an open look.
“Like I said, I was really upset at halftime and I got on the guys hard, but they responded well.”
|Behind a 22-point night from sophomore Evan Schreck, Medina’s junior varsity cruised to a 51-31 victory.|
Contact Dan Brown at email@example.com.
Medina 62, Strongsville 50
MEDINA 15 14 18 15 — 62
STRONGSVILLE 15 17 7 11 — 50
Medina — Billy Geschke 8-4-21, Branden Wilkins 3-6-12, Jon Teske 0-0-0, Brian Letts 1-0-2, Logan Winkler 2-3-9, Dillon Wiesler 1-1-3, Mike Kaminski 5-0-12, Zach Bennett 1-0-3, Nick Fryer 0-0-0. TOTALS: 21-12-62.
Strongsville — Tom Krokey 3-0-8, Kyle Meehan 4-1-11, Michael Rizzo 0-0-0, Brandon Bailey 2-2-6, Alex Ruch 0-0-0, Drew Robertson 3-2-9, Alex Barnes 6-0-14, John Klein 0-0-0, Vince Dindia 1-0-2, Paul Warren 0-0-0, Phil Spronz 0-0-0. TOTALS: 19-5-50.
3-point goals — Winkler 2, Kaminski 2, Geschke, Bennett, Krokey 2, Meehan 2, Barnes 2, Robertson. Rebounds — Medina 23 (Wilkins 8), Strongsville 29 (Bailey 10). Assists — Medina 10 (Winkler 3), Strongsville 14 (Meehan 6). Records — Medina (7-6, 2-3), Strongsville (1-12, 0-5). Junior varsity — Medina 51, Strongsville 31.