July 1, 2016

Intermittent clouds

High school basketball: Boys contest pits speed against size

SULLIVAN TWP. — The 25th edition of the “Hoopla” Medina County Senior All-Star games promises to have plenty of unique storylines.

First, the traditional end of the high school basketball season sponsored by the Brunswick Rotary and The Gazette will take place tonight at the cozy confides of Black River, which is located approximately 100 yards from the Ashland-Medina county border.

Brunswick’s Zach Parker will be playing for coach Joe Mackey’s dark team tonight. (RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE)

Brunswick’s Zach Parker will be playing for coach Joe Mackey’s dark team tonight. (RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE)

Second, bitter boys rivals Medina and Brunswick will not play on the same team for the first time in recent memory.

Third, the boys game is a classic matchup of size against speed.

The festivities begin at 6 o’clock with the girls 3-point contest and ensuing game.

The girls game will be without Wadsworth’s Peyton Booth, who chose to compete in other all-star games, but is more evenly matched than the boys. The Light team is composed of Black River, Highland and Wadsworth, while the Dark team has Brunswick, Buckeye, Cloverleaf and Medina.

Piloted by popular Black River coach Ken Deidrick, the Light team’s roster has the Pirates’ Angie Kazek and Morgan Leach, Wadsworth’s Olivia Thompson, Taylor Wyatt and Madison Gilger and Highland’s Anna Rose Wiencek, Haley Unaitis and Hailey Beard.

The Dark team, coached by Medina’s Karen Kase, will battle with Medina’s Madi Tata, Casey Midlik and Holly Rhodes, Brunswick’s Monica Wasson and Cassie Steets, Cloverleaf’s Emily Civittolo, Jessie Lindemeyer and Meredith Illig and Buckeye’s Sara Dash.

The nightcap boys game is composed of Light (Black River, Buckeye, Medina) and Dark (Brunswick, Cloverleaf, Highland, Wadsworth) teams as well.

Highlighting the Light team, coached by Buckeye’s Matt Saunders, will be honorable mention All-Ohioans Branden Wilkins of Medina and Garrett Beck and Jeff Miller of Buckeye. They will be joined by Black River’s Tyler Potter, David Jeske and Brad Spencer, the Bees’ Jake Hamel and Mike Kaminski and the Bucks’ Chris Vogt.

The Dark team, coached by Brunswick’s Joe Mackey, counters with guards upon guards — most notably Blue Devils 3-point specialist and 800-point scorer Zach Parker.

Joining them will be Brunswick’s Anthony Slane, Cloverleaf’s Ryan O’Callaghan, Adam Podolak and Matt Geig, Highland’s Alec Withers, Alex Wood and Mason Weiss and Wadsworth’s Barry Fernholz and Jimmy Elchlinger.

The Light team has six players between 6-foot-3 and 6-5, while the Dark team counters with smaller players that combined to make 152 3-pointers this season.

Like Booth, Wadsworth’s Kyle Prunty and Brunswick’s Ryan Badowski elected to compete in other all-star games. The Ohio High School Athletic Association only allows two all-star games per player.

The 3-point contests will take place before each game. The boys feature Badowski, Parker, Kaminski and Beck, while the girls sport Thompson, Midlik, Dash and Brunswick’s Farrah Benner.

Badowski will become the first four-time participant in event history. He was second as a freshman and third in each of the past two seasons.

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.