MEDINA — The Medina girls basketball grew up a bit Wednesday, and the Bees have seniors Casey Midlik, Holly Rhodes and Madi Tata to thank.
The lone returning letterwinners scored all but seven of the team’s second-half points as Medina rallied and eventually outlasted underrated Cleveland East Tech 61-44 in non-league play.
“It was a great feeling to get the win,” Midlik said. “It was definitely a team effort.”
Fresh off an embarrassing 60-38 loss to North Royalton on Saturday, the Bees (5-6) were still stuck in neutral as the Scarabs (7-4) led 23-22 at halftime due to unselfish offense and aggressive defense.
The second half was a different story — mostly because Medina woke up.
Point guard Rhodes played her most complete game of the year with 10 points and a career-high eight assists. Off-guard Midlik netted a season-high 19 points and added four assists, while Tata scored 16 of her 18 points in the second half to go with a game-high nine rebounds.
The trio scored all but two points during a 16-6 Medina run to begin the third quarter, and immediately followed with 13 consecutive Bees points to keep East Tech at bay.
Despite 28 turnovers, it was just what the doctor ordered after watching North Royalton turn a four-point game in the third quarter into a laugher.
“Their response from Saturday was what it should be,” said coach Karen Kase, whose team shot 14-for-21 from the floor in the second half. “We went over stuff and they did what they needed to do. The starters closed out the game, and they needed to do that.”
Paramount in the Bees’ second-half dominance was switching to a 1-3-1 zone coming out of the locker room. Though the Scarabs found backside cutters for layups at times, they were largely ineffective and shot just 9-for-31, including 2-for-11 from 3-point range, over the final 16 minutes.
Energy plays from Rhodes, Midlik, Tata and backup juniors Dyamon Stockman and Liz Jones (4 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks) didn’t hurt, which proved key emotionally after a sleep-walking first half.
In a nutshell, snapping a three-game losing streak was more important than style points.
“We were talking on defense,” Midlik said. “We just came out with energy to get the ‘W.’”
Former Medina coach Chris Hassinger was in the house.
• Clover Kaple had 13 points as the Medina junior varsity won 32-16.
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.