TWINSBURG — Medina boys basketball coach Anthony Stacey warned his Bees on Monday what might happen later if they slipped up in a Northeast Ohio Conference crossover game with Twinsburg.
It wasn’t a win-or-pay-the consequences situation, but Stacey knew what could happen with Medina having a 17-day break after its game with the Tigers.
So when Tuesday came around, the Bees played with purpose and it resulted in an all-around solid 62-39 win.
“It’s just about playing hard,” Medina shooting guard Craig Randall said. “Coach told us we would have a long break of running, and we didn’t want that.
“We came ready to play. We just beat them up. They were tired. We pushed on offense and put the clamps down on defense. That’s what we do.”
What the returning all-state guard and center Jon Teske did was enough even if they didn’t have help from anyone else.
With a Wisconsin assistant coach in the house, Randall led Medina (6-1) with 22 points — 18 of them came behind the 3-point line — and added seven rebounds and two assists. Teske dominated the paint with 18 points, a game-high nine rebounds and three assists.
“We wanted to come out and play our game,” Teske said. “You can’t guard only me because I’ll pass it outside and Randall will score. If you guard him, he’ll dump it inside and I’ll score. It’s like a two-headed monster you can’t stop.”
The Tigers (2-4) also had no answer for Medina’s 2-3 zone and man defenses.
Down 37-25 at intermission, Twinsburg went scoreless the first 4:01 of the third quarter and only managed 14 points in the second half.
Some of that had to do with the fact Teske stood in the middle, but Branden Wilkins (8 points, 8 rebounds) and Zach Bennett (6, 8) made sure every shot was contested.
“We tried to limit their layups,” Stacey said. “We wanted to make sure they were shooting jumpers because they’re really dangerous when they penetrate the lane. That’s been our main focus this season.”
Stacey’s other points of emphasis have been limiting shots and making sure opposing offenses face one-and-done situations.
After a scorching first quarter in which the Tigers shot 55 percent from the floor, the Bees limited them to 27 percent (10-for-37) the rest of the way.
While committing just three first-half turnovers might have been the telling stat of the game for Medina, its biggest advantage came by outrebounding Twinsburg 48-20.
Everyone had at least one rebound and five players had seven or more.
“Obviously when we have a size advantage, we want to use it to our advantage,” Stacey said. “We’re outrebounding our opponent by an average of 15, so tonight was huge. That has been the focus, and it’s been a big part of what we do.”
Medina’s junior varsity made it a clean sweep with a 41-31 win. A.C. Schreiber led the way with 13 points and five rebounds.
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.