June 26, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Boys basketball: First quarter sets tone in shootout blowout

NORTH CANTON — The Wadsworth boys basketball team’s Dunk4Diabetes Shootout with Cornerstone Christian was a clunker.

The Grizzlies had their three-game win streak snapped Sunday by the Patriots in a 58-37 defeat at Walsh University they’d rather forget.

In fact, Wadsworth (8-5) never got on track against Cornerstone Christian (9-4), which won every aspect of the game.

“We haven’t faced a talent like this all season,” Grizzlies center Kyle Prunty said. “After a big win on Friday (against Cloverleaf), we needed a game like this to show we needed to build. It’s difficult to come back from that first quarter. If we would have come out fired up and played smart it might have been different.”

The first quarter was something Wadsworth hasn’t seen in a long time. The Grizzlies shot 3-for-13 (23 percent), committed eight turnovers and gave up a 10-2 run to close things out.

Add a 3-for-4 shooting performance from the Patriots’ R.J. Spaller and Wadsworth found itself in a 10-point deficit.

“We’ve played some good teams, but that’s the most athletic team we’ve played or will play and probably the best player we’ve played,” Grizzlies coach Mike Schmeltzer Jr. said. “It’s one of those things where you’re coming off three in a row and feeling good.

“We’ve seen the film. You get as much out of it, but seeing that it doesn’t translate to how fast and physical they are. Against a team like that you can’t turn the ball over and you can’t miss bunnies.”

The second half was much like the first, as Wadsworth scored only 14 points — the Grizzlies were held to less than eight points in three of the four quarters — in a game where they played to Cornerstone Christian’s tempo.

Bryan Gee torched them for 18 points grabbed seven rebounds and dished out eight assists. Spaller added 12 points and Isiah McQueen finished with 10.

Prunty was the only Grizzly in double figures with 12 and shared the rebounding lead with Austin White at six.

Other than that, there wasn’t much good coming from a Wadsworth team that shot 17-for-50 (34 percent) and committed 19 turnovers.

“I talked to them in the locker room about being better with dealing with adversity,” Schmeltzer said. “That’s going to come into play Tuesday night. We’ll probably be in some adverse situations. How we handle it will determine the outcome of the Green game.”

“We forget about this one and go into (today) with one goal, and that’s playing against Green. We have a league title to compete for.”


Gee is headed to Longwood (Va.) where he will be teammates with Brunswick star Ryan Badowski and Garfield Heights’ Al Burge. Gee’s father Jayson is the head coach at Longwood after serving a seven-year stint as an assistant for Cleveland State University.

Contact Brad Bournival at sports@medina-gazette.com.