MEDINA — For the second straight game, the Medina girls’ basketball team was forced to rally from a second-half deficit.
This time the Bees came up just short against Twinsburg, losing 52-50 in Northeast Ohio Conference cross-division action.
Medina (2-3, 2-1) fell behind by its largest deficit of the game, 47-32 with 3:52 to play, when Twinsburg (2-4, 1-1) guard Baleigh Reid got a tough layup in the paint to fall.
“We put our backs against the wall and it’s not the first time this season that it’s happened,” Medina coach Karen Kase said. “For some reason it takes a little bit of that and a little bit of spark to light a fire under them.
“I don’t know why. We need to correct that. If we don’t have those kinds of stretches or lapses, we win this game. We didn’t even shoot well at all, but we were right there.”
That basket set the Bees off on an 11-0 run and seemed to awaken the Medina offense, which had 27 points through three quarters before erupting for 23 in the final period.
Casey Midlik (16 points) got the rally started with a pair of free throws and also buried a big 3-pointer during the rally.
Reid (24 points, 5 rebounds) finally brought the streak to a halt when she split a pair of free throws with 1:17 to play.
“She’s really stepped up,” Twinsburg coach Julie Solis said. “She’s come up big in a lot of our games with her leadership, her strength, her ability to get up in the air and get boards and get to the basket. She’s really taken on a leadership role for us.”
The game became a battle from the free throw line from that point. Twinsburg hit just 5-of-12 down the stretch, while Medina hit all four freebies and got a deep three from Madi Tata (15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists) that cut the deficit to 52-50.
The Bees quickly fouled Aloneet Durden on the inbounds with 3.7 ticks on the clock. Durden missed both attempts, but Medina couldn’t get the ball up court to attempt a potential game-tying or game-winning shot.
The rebuilding Tigers, who won Division I state championships in 2011 and ’12 and lost in the title game last season, pulled away during strong second and third quarters, when they picked up their defensive pressure and rode Reid offensively.
“We played with much more poise than we have in our five previous games this year,” Solis said. “We got a lead and we kept building on it and managed the game pretty well in the middle quarters.”
Medina struggled shooting the ball in the second and third quarters and had trouble handling Reid, who made several spectacular drives to the basket.
“We played pretty hard tonight,” Reid said. “We are just making strides to try and get better. I’m just glad we got the win. This win gives us motivation and confidence that we can play against good teams. We made some mistakes and gave up some 3-point shots, but we made just enough of our free throws to get the win.”
The Bees committed 20 turnovers, with 13 coming in the middle quarters.
Medina won the junior varsity game 40-36 behind 10 points from Anna Marie Smith. Jasmine Bishop led Twinsburg with eight.
Contact Chad Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org.