MEDINA — It’s back to the drawing board for Medina’s boys basketball team.
A lopsided loss to Mentor isn’t always something to be ashamed of. The Cardinals are sixth in the Associated Press Division I state poll, can score at will and never let off the gas.
However, when a 20-point deficit doubles in the blink of eye, there’s no excuse, and Bees coach Anthony Stacey went out of his way to blame himself after a 95-57 loss in Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division play.
“We were absolutely horrible,” Stacey said. “We didn’t have guys ready to play, and (Mentor coach) Bob (Krizancic) does a heck of a job. I’ve always thought Bob’s is the best coach in the state of Ohio.
“We just didn’t have guys ready or prepared. It’s on me.”
Mentor (16-3, 6-1), which moved into sole possession of first place in the division after Brunswick crushed Garfield Heights 71-45, ended the first half on a 15-2 run and added an 11-0 spurt in the first 1:30 of the third quarter.
The back-breaking 26-2 stretch made it 49-23 in just over 5 minutes.
The lesson: Lose discipline for even a small timeframe and the game’s over.
“That run was huge for us,” Mentor point guard Jeff Foreman said. “That’s exactly what we’re looking for.”
Foreman led the Cardinals with 20 points and five assists while holding Medina’s Billy Geschke, who entered play averaging a NOC-best 22.8 points, to five points in the first half.
“He’s a great guard,” Foreman said. “He’s very physical and one of the quickest we play against. He does a great job shooting the ball and handling the ball, and we just wanted to contain him.”
The psuedo frontline of Caleb Potter (18 points), Kade McClure (11, 5 assists) and Brandon Fritts (13) also reached double digits on a night when Mentor made only 10 3-pointers — it normally flirts with 20 — and looked to get inside with 6-foot-9 Bees center Jon Teske (ankle) in street clothes.
The Cardinals also owned a 37-28 rebounding advantage and scored off nearly all of Medina’s nine turnovers in the middle quarters.
“We kept it close in the first half and then they got seven layups in the second quarter,” Stacey said. “You can’t give good teams that because they make threes on top of layups.”
The Bees (9-9, 2-5), who have lost three straight, received 16 points and 10 rebounds from junior center Branden Wilkins, who made 10-of-12 free throws in the third quarter. Geschke finished with 15 points after missing eight of his first 10 shots.
Medina never got in a shooting rhythm. The Bees failed to connect on better than 33 percent of its attempts in any quarter and were 0-of-13 from 3-point range over the final three.
Stacey was more irked by the lack of never-say-die attitude in the second half.
Considering Medina prides itself on physical and mental toughness, it will be a bitter pill to swallow heading into Sunday’s Copley Division I District seed meeting.
“We’ve just got to get better,” Stacey said. “We’re not where we need to be, we’re not playing well, we’re not responding well and we’ve got to get things squared away in the next two weeks or it will be an early vacation for us, for sure.”
|The game featured 52 fouls, including three double-fouls, and a pair of technicals on Medina. The teams combined for 56 free throws, with 40 coming in the second half.
l Evan Schreck’s 15 points were enough as the Bees’ junior varsity lost 55-41.
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mentor 95, Medina 57
MENTOR 15 23 32 25 — 95
MEDINA 12 11 20 14 — 57
Mentor — Caleb Potter 6-4-18, Kade McClure 4-1-11, Brandon Fritts 5-3-13, Conner Krizancic 2-0-5, Jeff Foreman 7-2-20, Brody Nelson 3-2-8, Michael Gallagher 1-5-7, Kent Berger 2-0-5, Kyle Hagey 2-0-4, Mike Brentar 0-0-0, Fred Buse 0-0-0, Michael Ours 0-0-0, Vonn Maddox 1-2-4, Nick Fillar 0-0-0. TOTALS: 33-19-95.
Medina — Dillon Wiesler 0-3-3, Mike Kaminski 1-0-3, Branden Wilkins 3-10-16, Billy Geschke 4-6-15, Logan Winkler 1-5-7, Nick Fryer 1-0-2, Zach Bennett 0-0-0, Brian Letts 2-0-4, Tyler King 2-0-4, Evan Schreck 0-0-0, Jake Hamel 1-1-3. TOTALS: 15-25-57.
3-point goals — Foreman 4, Potter 2, McClure 2, Krizancic, Berger, Kaminski, Geschke. Rebounds — Mentor 37 (Nelson 9), Medina 28 (Wilkins 10). Assists — Mentor 16 (Foreman, McClure 5), Medina 3 (Winkler, Geschke, Wilkins). Records — Mentor (16-3, 6-1), Medina (9-9, 2-5). Junior varsity — Mentor 55, Medina 41.