June 29, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Girls basketball: 3 area teams are likely to be seeded high

The postseason seeding meetings are on tap Sunday, and all signs point to Wadsworth and Brunswick earning the top two positions at the Medina Division I District, where they met last season in the title game.

The Suburban League champion Grizzlies (16-2) are sixth in the Associated Press state poll, while the Blue Devils (14-5) have won 10 straight and are knocking on the door of the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division title.

Halle Lengal

Wadsworth’s only losses have come to the Nos. 1 and 3 teams in the AP D-I poll, Twinsburg and Kettering Fairmont. It owns high-quality triumphs over Manchester (16-3), Hudson (16-2) and Lima Bath (12-5), and should be the unanimous top seed provided the Blue Devils don’t vote for themselves.

Meanwhile, Brunswick’s red-hot play is starting to catch notice around Northeast Ohio following the upset of the Medina County season when it defeated then-state-ranked Cleveland St. Joseph 39-30 on Jan. 16. Coach Halle Lengal’s Blue Devils also own triumphs over very-solid Midpark, North Royalton and Medina.

Highland (11-7, 6-5) is a favorite to secure the No. 5 seed behind Akron Kenmore (13-4) and Akron Firestone (13-6). A case can be made the Hornets’ schedule is slightly better than the Akron City Series kingpins, although they have only defeated one team (Revere) currently with a winning record.

In light of having a 4-6 record since beginning the year 8-0, Medina could be the third seed at the Valley Forge District behind St. Joseph (16-2) and Lakewood (16-2), but will have plenty of competition from Midpark (13-3) and North Royalton (11-6). The Bees defeated the Meteors 53-48 in the season opener and split with the Bears in NOC River Division play.

Buckeye (8-10) will likely be in the middle of the pack at the Elyria D-II District, while Black River (4-14) is slated to be one of the lower seeds at the Barberton D-III District.

Black River (4-14, 3-10)

The Pirates are surrendering an impressively low 32.0 points in victories.

l Black River has been very competitive against defensive-oriented teams. They face another one Saturday against Keystone (5-11, 5-7), which is averaging just 27.4 points per game and has just 43 total over its last three games.

Brunswick (14-5, 5-2)

With a game-high 23 points against Medina, senior center Gabrielle Bulic passed Mikaela Lengal (916; 2006-10) and Amy Rooks (926; 1988-92) for sixth on the school’s career scoring list. Bulic needs 65 points to join the 1,000-point club and is slated to break the career games mark of 90 held by Kristy Dudash (1996-2000) in the team’s first tournament game.

l The Blue Devils are allowing just 35.2 points during their 10-game win streak.

l Olivia Gailey scored her first career points against Strongsville.

Buckeye (8-10, 8-5)

With forwards April Davison and Katie Kelly out with illness Wednesday at Firelands, Brianna Wilken moved up from the junior varsity team and contributed five rebounds.

l The Bucks’ final regular-season opponents — Brookside (Saturday), Keystone (Wednesday, Black River (Feb. 9) and Rittman (Feb. 14) — have a combined 20-49 record.

Cloverleaf (7-11, 3-8)

Junior forward Emily Civittolo is 35-of-42 at the free throw line. Her .833 percentage is on pace to be the second-highest in school history behind Brooke Forsythe, who made 60-of-70 (.857) in 2008-09.

l Senior center Kendall Yuhas has 22 rebounds over the past two games.

l The Colts are 4-1 when senior point guard Jessie Lindemeyer has three or more assists.

Highland (11-7, 6-5)

Senior point guard Jessica Peterlin is averaging 7.2 points over the last five games.

l The Hornets are 8-1 when they score 50 or more points.

l The junior varsity has won four of its last six games.

l Former Highland coaches Kevin Glenn (Brush) and Cassie Seth (Parma) are finding success in the NOC Lake Division. The Arcs lead the six-team circuit with a
6-0 record, while the Redmen are two games back. The schools will lock horns Wednesday at Brush.

Medina (12-6, 5-2)

The Bees’ 43-40 win at Massillon Perry on Jan. 21 clinched their fourth consecutive winning season for the first time in 15 years.

l Medina is 5-1 when juniors Holly Rhodes and Madi Tata combine to score 10 or more points.

Wadsworth (16-2, 11-0)
Last week’s win at Nordonia gave the Grizzlies their 18th consecutive 15-win season and 27th overall since the OHSAA began sponsoring girls basketball in 1974-75.

l Laurel Palitto scored her first varsity points against the Knights.

Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.

Albert Grindle About Albert Grindle

Albert Grindle is a sportswriter for the Gazette. He can be reached at 330-721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.