One of the legendary players in Bowling Green State history is heading back home.
Second-year Medina coach Anthony Stacey will be recognized Saturday afternoon as the newest member of the Falcons Cast of Honor when Bowling Green takes on Akron in Mid-American Conference action.
The Bees are tagging along, too, to cheer on their popular leader before battling Bowling Green High that night.
“It’s almost surreal,” Stacey said when he was selected for the honor in October. “The biggest reason why I chose to come to Bowling Green was because of Coach (Jim) Larranaga. My teammates and coaches were a huge part of my success, and I want to thank my family for all of their support through the years. I love Bowling Green, and it’s truly an honor that someone thought of me for this.”
Stacey scored a school-record 1,938 points from 1995-2000. The intense forward was the MAC Player of the Year as a senior after averaging 16.8 points and 6.0 rebounds despite dislocating a finger in his shooting hand and later spraining his ankle.
The Midview High graduate later played nine professional seasons in Spain before entering the coaching ranks as an assistant at now-defunct Lorain Admiral King. He took the Medina job in 2011 after previous coach Jody Peters resigned.
As part of the recognition, Stacey’s No. 34 jersey will be hung from the Stroh Center’s rafters alongside former teammate Antonio Daniels (33), Howard Komives (30), James Darrow (55), Wyndol Gray (7) and Nate Thurmond (42).
“Anytime you can get in the same conversation as those guys, it is truly an honor,” Stacey said.
On the court, the Bees will have a dogfight against Bowling Green High (8-8), which is led by Wisconsin recruit Vitto Brown. The well-built 6-foot-8 center, whose unique twitter handle, SenseiSwat33, has garnered him plenty of extra attention, is considered one of the best defensive players in Ohio.
Medina (9-6), which has won eight of its last 10, counters with All-Ohioan Billy Geschke (22.3 ppg), but may be without 6-foot-9 Jon Teske, who was on crutches Thursday with an unspecified injury.
No matter what the scenario, the Bees won’t be intimidated after taking on area powers Mentor, Shaker Heights and Garfield Heights in the rugged Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division.
Black River (0-15, 0-11)
With three players suspended for violating team rules, freshmen David Bell and Derek Hawley made their varsity debuts Tuesday against Oberlin. Bell scored four points, while Hawley added two. Classmate Allan Benson added four points, meaning ninth-graders scored 10 of the 34 points.
l The suspended players are eligible to play tonight against reeling Brookside (4-12, 3-8), which has lost eight of its last nine.
Brunswick (8-8, 1-4)
The next seven days will prove a lot about where the Blue Devils are in their late-season progression. Twinsburg (tonight), Shaker Heights (Tuesday) and Garfield Heights (Feb. 8) have a combined 34-11 record.
l Ryan Badowski (17.4 ppg) and Kyle Wheeler (15.9) are on pace to become the first Brunswick teammates to each average 15 or more points since Brian Schmidt (19.0) and Mike Evans (16.9) in 2003-04. Schmidt is now the Blue Devils’ junior varsity coach.
Buckeye (10-5, 7-4)
The Bucks need to finish the regular season 4-3 to secure their most wins since 1987-88 (17).
l Buckeye is an eye-popping 15-8 in one-possession and/or overtime games under fifth-year coach Matt Saunders. It is 5-0 under the scenario this season.
l While every Patriot Athletic Conference game is critical from here on out, tonight’s showdown with Wellington is intriguing. The Dukes (6-10, 6-5) have lost six of their last eight but still feature the conference’s most prolific scoring trio in Dylan Weidrick (15.6), Dylan Kidd (14.3) and Dave Clark (13.5). The threesome has scored a whopping 79.9 percent of the team’s points.
Cloverleaf (3-12, 1-8)
The Colts are 2-2 when Robby Buckwald and Cliff Collyer each score in double digits. One of the losses was a 67-66 overtime heartbreaker to Midview at the Bob DiFranco Memorial Tournament.
l Cloverleaf has trailed after the first quarter in each of its last five losses.
Highland (9-7, 5-4)
The last time the Hornets allowed 37 or less points and lost was when it fell to Midpark 28-17 at the Brecksville D-I Sectional on March 6, 2010. Highland was downed by Hudson 37-33 on Tuesday.
l Unselfish play certainly hasn’t been a problem lately, as Highland has assists on 46 of its last 55 field goals.
Wadsworth (7-8, 6-3)
The Grizzlies’ outside Suburban League title hopes are on the line tonight at Nordonia (14-2, 9-0), which has won 23 straight league games. The Knights, who won the first meeting 59-46, are led by center Chris Scott (SL-best 19.0 ppg) and 3-point gunner Nick Piotrowski (14.8).
l Wadsworth is 6-4 when someone other than Austin White or Kyle Prunty scores eight or more points. Nathan Pound in particular has been impressive in victories with a 12.1 scoring average.
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.