June 27, 2016

Partly cloudy

Bees take step backward

Brian Dulik

The Gazette

SHAKER HTS. — Three days after going on the road and beating archrival Brunswick, Medina’s boys basketball team took a step backward.

Sophomore center Esa Ahmad scored 18 points and senior point guard Mel Leach added 16 Friday as Shaker Heights cruised to a 74-51 victory over the Bees in Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division play.

The Red Raiders (14-6, 7-2) scored a whopping 57 points in the final 2½ quarters, turning what was a two-point Medina lead into an easy win on their senior night.

“I’m about as disappointed as I’ve been all year with our lack of effort and our lack of toughness tonight,” said Bees coach Anthony Stacey, whose squad slipped to 10-10, 3-6. “You can’t compete with a team like Shaker Heights going half-speed like we did.

“The only thing I liked about this game was when the clock hit zero and it was over. I mean it. That was the best part about this whole day.”

Senior small forward Billy Geschke led Medina with 18 points, giving him 998 in his career. The Goshen (Ind.) recruit could have become the fourth player in school history to join the 1,000-point club, but was lifted with the Bees trailing by 22 with 5:30 left.

Geschke, who added three rebounds and a team-high three assists, will reach the milestone Tuesday when Medina hosts Akron East in a non-league contest.

“That’s the way it should be,” said Geschke, who shot 5-for-12 from the field, 1-for-4 beyond the arc and 7-for-8 from the foul line. “You want to share moments like this with your family and all of your friends watching at home. And you want to do it in a win, if possible, not when you don’t play well in a loss.”

Senior shooting guard Dillon Wiesler scored nine points and senior power forward Nick Fryer added eight and five rebounds off the bench for the Bees, who committed 25 turnovers and did not attempt a free throw until the third quarter.

The 6-foot-7 Ahmad (18 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 7 blocks) was largely responsible for the latter, as he dominated the paint at both ends. During one sequence he rejected three consecutive Medina shots at the rim, drawing a louder reaction from the crowd each time.

“Everybody saw why Esa is the top sophomore in Ohio,” Stacey said. “He’s absolutely unbelievable for his age, and he’s a nice kid who is also very coachable. He’s a special player and Shaker Heights is very fortunate to have him.”

In the open court, Leach, freshman point guard Keith Griffin (7 points, game-high 6 assists), and senior power forward Jimmie Pope (12 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists) strutted their stuff, running myriad fast breaks off Bees miscues.

Medina, on the other hand, made some very poor decisions with the basketball. It also attempted 22 fewer shots and was just 12-for-22 at the charity stripe, failing to capitalize on the officials calling seven fouls on the Raiders in the first 3:17 of the second half.

Bees junior center Branden Wilkins had seven points and 12 rebounds, but was 1-for-7 on free throws and had four shots blocked by Ahmad. Sophomore small forward Tyler King scored six points on two fourth-quarter 3-pointers.

“If we come out with this type of effort the rest of the season, we’re not going to win another game,” Stacey said. “And if that happens in the tournament, our opener (against Highland) isn’t even going to be close.

“No one cares what we did the other night at Brunswick anymore. We’ve got to live in the moment, and it’s my job to get these guys to do that.”


Shaker Heights senior power forward Kash Blackwell and Medina freshman center Jon Teske sat out with ankle injuries. The 6-5 Blackwell has been sidelined for two weeks with a high ankle sprain, raising concerns about his availability for the upcoming tournament. He is averaging 14.9 points and is one of the top players in the NOC.

l Sophomore forward Evan Schreck made six 3-pointers and scored 21 points, but Medina’s junior varsity lost 46-42. Sophomore guard Spencer Koch added 10 points for the Bees.

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.

Shaker Heights 74, Medina 51

MEDINA                                    12  9  17  13  —  51

SHAKER HEIGHTS               17  13  26  18  —  74

Medina — Billy Geschke 5-7-18, Mike Kaminski 0-0-0, Branden Wilkins 3-1-7, Dillon Wiesler 3-1-9, Logan Winkler 0-0-0, Zach Bennett 0-2-2, Nick Fryer 4-0-8, Tyler King 2-0-6, Brian Letts 0-1-1, Evan Schreck 0-0-0, Jake Hamel 0-0-0. TOTALS: 17-12-51.

Shaker Heights — Jimmie Pope 5-0-12, Austin Reid 2-0-4, Esa Ahmad 7-3-18, Anthony Kinney 2-0-4, Mel Leach 6-3-16, Rosel Hurley 1-1-3, Keith Griffin 3-0-7, Kaleb Roy 2-0-4, Nathan Livingston 1-0-2, Courtney Mays 2-0-4, Matthew Podl 0-0-0, Mekel Gibbs 0-0-0. TOTALS: 31-7-74.

3-point goals — Wiesler 2, King 2, Geschke, Pope 2, Ahmad, Leach, Griffin. Rebounds — Medina 30 (Wilkins 12), Shaker Heights 37 (Ahmad 13). Assists — Medina 10 (Geschke 3), Shaker Heights 17 (Griffin 6). Records — Medina (10-10, 3-6), Shaker Heights (14-6, 7-2). Junior varsity — Shaker Heights 46, Medina 42.