July 25, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Boys basketball: Billy Geschke takes MVP honors

GRANGER TWP. — If one thing’s for sure, Billy Geschke probably hasn’t scored this many points off the bench.

The two-time All-Ohio Medina guard ensured a big start held up for the Northeast Ohio Conference/Patriot Athletic Conference team Tuesday as it crushed the SL team 82-56 at “Hoopla,” the Medina County Senior All-Star Game.

“It’s just a game to have fun and play with your buddies on opposing teams,” Geschke said with a smile. “During the season, we’re rivals, but these games are fun to play in.”

The 6-foot-1 Geschke took home MVP honors after finishing with a game-high 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting. He checked in following a 14-0 run by the starters, and scored four or more points in each quarter to turn the night into a total rout.

If not for Brunswick’s Kyle Wheeler narrowly defeating Geschke in the 3-point contest, it would have been a perfect night, but Geschke was full of laughs regardless. The first ones came after he hit all five first-half shots while being heckled by Highland’s student section — the Hornets upset the Bees at the Copley Division I Sectional — and the second was when he was playfully double-teamed by Austin Adams and Austin Casenhiser.

“Oh, yeah,” Geschke said when asked if he heard the ribbing. “I thought it was funny. I don’t really get into the trash talking. It really wasn’t trash talking. They were just messing with me.”

The NOC/PAC team, which wore away jerseys, had plenty of other standouts. Brunswick big man Patrick Jarvis scored eight of his 18 points in the second quarter that NOC/PAC won 22-9. Wheeler netted seven of the game’s first 12 points, Buckeye’s Mike Bacho added 10 points and Medina’s Logan Winkler had four points, four rebounds and five assists in the decisive first half.

The NOC/PAC was a blistering 11-of-17 from the floor in the first quarter while taking a 26-12 lead. It extended the advantage to 48-21 and canned 11 3-pointers overall in a whopping 40 attempts.

“We just started off hot,” Geschke said. “We just made our shots right away.”

The SL was paced by Wadsworth center Nathan Pound, who clearly played with the most heart and compiled team highs of 16 points and 11 rebounds. Highland power forward Brennan Scott added 13 points, while Hornets center Austin Adams had a game-high seven assists.

The SL was scoreless for the first 4:05 until Cloverleaf’s Robby Buckwald threw down his first dunk. The SL struggled offensively on 9-of-33 shooting in the first half, yet won the second 35-34 after the game deteriorated into essentially a dunk contest full of misses in the fourth quarter.

The 3-point contest was entertaining, to say the least, as Geschke, Wheeler, Brunswick’s Ryan Badowski and Wadsworth’s Austin White lived up to the billing after combining to hit 194 trifectas during the season.

In the end, Wheeler hit his last attempt at the buzzer to defeat former AAU teammate Geschke 15-14. Wheeler’s performance was highlighted by making seven straight in the middle racks, and three money balls worth two points apiece significantly helped his cause.

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.