October 21, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
49°F

Boys basketball: District meetings will be intriguing

Trying to figure out how the seeding for the Copley Division I District is going to shake out Sunday afternoon is a headache.

Eleven of the 12 teams are .500 or better entering tonight’s action, including seven with 11 or more wins.

Cloverleaf point guard Cliff Collyer pushes the ball against Highland’s Alex Wood. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

Complicating matters, defending champion Medina (9-8) and Brunswick (9-9) have deceiving resumes considering they play in the rugged Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division.

The 12 teams have played each other 29 times this season. Fourteen have been decided by single digits, including seven by three or less points and five in overtime.

Nordonia (16-2) and Twinsburg (12-5) appear to have the best cases for the top seeds. The Knights, who can clinch a share of their second straight Suburban League title tonight against Highland, are 8-1 against the district, but the only loss was to the Tigers (73-71).

Meanwhile, Twinsburg owns other quality wins over Brunswick (70-69, 3OT), 12-4 Walsh Jesuit (51-45) and 13-4 Hudson (51-48, OT). It is 6-0 against the district, but is coming off a loss to 7-11 Solon.

After Nordonia and Twinsburg, it’s anyone’s guess. Hudson needed overtime to beat Medina, which barely beat Brunswick, which beat NOC power Shaker Heights and 12-7 Firestone. Walsh Jesuit is the unknown since it plays in the North Coast League, but hung very tough with Twinsburg and Nordonia.

It’s head-scratching on paper. The top tier could be Nordonia, Twinsburg and Hudson, the middle could be Walsh Jesuit, Medina, Brunswick and Firestone and the bottom could be Cuyahoga Falls (11-6, a quality win vs. 15-2 North Royalton), Wadsworth (9-9), Highland (11-7), Stow (9-9) and Cloverleaf (4-13).

Buckeye (11-6) is at the Westlake D-II District, while Black River (0-17) competes in the Wooster D-III bracket.

Brunswick

Boys (9-9, 2-4): The Blue Devils have canned 26-of-64 3-pointers (.406) over the past three games. Zach Parker leads the way individually at 12-of-24.

l Taylor Armagost’s buzzer-beating game-winner against Shaker Heights may have been destiny. The senior missed a shot from the same spot with 1:16 left and Brunswick clinging to a 42-41 lead.

Girls (16-5, 7-2): Wednesday’s win against Mayfield marked the first time this season the Blue Devils won while allowing 50 points.

l Led by Courtney Laudato’s 3-of-6 performance, Brunswick was 6-of-13 from 3-point range vs. the Wildcats.

Buckeye

Boys (11-6, 8-5): Junior center Chris Vogt is averaging 7.6 points over the past seven games.

Girls (9-11, 9-6): The Bucks are 6-2 when their leading scorer has 14 or more points.

Cloverleaf

Boys (4-13, 2-9): A triumph Saturday against 1-win Mansfield Madison would give the Colts as many victories as the last two seasons combined.

l Junior guard Adam Podolak is averaging 10.8 points in victories. The figure is 3.6 points higher than his overall season mark.

Girls (7-13, 3-10): The Colts are the lone county school with five players who have made 25 or more free throws. Emily Civittolo (44), Lexi Civittolo (41), Jessie Lindemeyer (37), Brittany Piper (29) and Briona Burgos (26) have reached the milestone.

Highland

Boys (11-7, 7-4): The Hornets are 5-0 when senior power forward Brennan Scott scores 15 or more points.

l Forty-two of Jordan Frederick and Austin Casenhiser’s 62 combined field goals have been from 3-point range.

Girls (12-8, 7-6): Sophomore center Mallory Adams has 34 points over the past four games.

l Including their first-round tournament game, the Hornets’ next three opponents (Akron North, Copley and Akron Ellet) have a combined 26-36 record.

Medina

Boys (9-8, 2-4): Tonight at home, the Bees play Mentor, which won a 98-91 thriller in Medina County last season. With the graduation of Mr. Basketball Justin Fritts, the Cardinals are more balanced — Caleb Potter (15.0 ppg, 52 3-pointers), Conner Krizancic (13.4, 45) and Jeff Foreman (12.4, 36) lead the way — and are averaging 92.4 points over their past four games.

l Freshman center Jon Teske will miss a third straight game tonight with an ankle injury.

l Billy Geschke, who has 939 career points, hit his 100th career 3-pointer against Solon.

Girls (14-6, 7-2): In Wednesday’s 50-42 win over Elyria, the Bees held the Pioneers to 4-of-28 shooting (.143) in the middle quarters. Medina led 44-29 heading into the fourth.

Wadsworth

Boys (9-9, 8-3): Barry Fernholz has 20 points over the past three games.

Girls (18-2, 13-0): McKenzie O’Brien is averaging 15.5 points over the past four games.

l The Grizzlies have won their last four SL games by an average of 37.3 points.

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