GRANGER TWP. — One of the most universally liked experiences in area high school basketball will take place when the Medina County Senior All-Star Games — better known as “Hoopla” — tip off tonight at Highland High School.
The 24th annual doubleheader presented by the Brunswick Rotary begins with the girls game at 6. The boys will follow at 7:30, with the fan-favorite 3-point contests taking place before each.
Both games will return to their roots, as the traditional Suburban League vs. Patriot Athletic Conference/Northeast Ohio Conference format will be implemented.
Naturally, this creates interesting storylines. Cloverleaf, Highland and Wadsworth have developed into bitter rivals over the past 15 years, as have Medina-Brunswick and Buckeye-Black River.
Michael Murphy will lead the boys SL team, while Buckeye’s Matt Saunders is in charge of NOC/PAC.
Headlining the game will be Billy Geschke of Medina and Kyle Wheeler of Brunswick. Joining them on the NOC/PAC team will be Black River guard Jerod England and center Caleb Stiver; Brunswick posts Taylor Armagost and Patrick Jarvis; Buckeye forwards Matt Cox and Mike Bacho and center Curtis Kinney and Medina guards Logan Winkler and Dillon Wiesler.
The SL team features 800-point scorer and D-I football recruit Robby Buckwald of Cloverleaf and fellow four-year letterwinner Austin Adams of Highland. They will be complemented by Cloverleaf guard Brandon Johnson and center Jayson Sykora; Highland forward Brennan Scott and guard Austin Casenhiser and Wadsworth center Nathan Pound and guards Tony Hogan and Dylan Galford.
The 3-point contest features Geschke, Wheeler, Wadsworth sophomore Austin White and Brunswick junior Ryan Badowski. The quartet combined for 194 3-pointers this season.
The girls game will be without All-Ohioans Rachel Goddard, Sarah Kinch, Gabrielle Bulic and McKenzie O’Brien, who committed to play in other showcases, but there’s still plenty of talent.
Hard-nosed Brunswick guard Courtney Laudato will team with Black River guard Savanna Slone and forward Brianna Barkhimer; Buckeye center Jessica Banas and guards Julia Sekerak and Hannah Hartley and Medina guards Angela Tesny and Faith Constance.
Taking the court for the SL team will be Cloverleaf forward Brittany Piper, center Kendall Yuhas and guard Rebecca Polchek; Highland wings Haley Roddy and AnnMarie Kirchner and guard Jessica Peterlin and Wadsworth centers Taylore Robinson and Sabrina Parsons and forward Haley Hassinger.
The Grizzlies’ Andrew Booth will coach the SL team, while Brunswick’s Halle Lengal will man the other bench for the second straight season.
The girls 3-point contest will feature county season champion McKenize O’Brien, as well as Laudato, Sekerak and Constance.
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.