MEDINA — Twenty-five years from now at their high school reunion, Amanda Holzman, Abby Teske, Delaney Cullen and Anna Marie Smith could recall their senior night for the Medina girls basketball team.
The conversion would be similar to this:
Player 1: “Oh, man. I remember that Brunswick game! We almost gave it away.”
Player 2: “Yeah, but at least we won.”
The Bees nearly blew a double-digit lead in the final 2 minutes Wednesday, but made the game-saving stop in the final 10 seconds to escape 44-42 in Greater Cleveland Conference action.
Still searching for its first winning streak of the season, Medina (5-7, 3-4) certainly will take a victory no matter how frustrating.
“It feels great. Beating Brunswick feels great no matter what, especially on senior night and especially as one of our home games,” Holzman said. “It feels awesome. (The ending was) very hectic. We fell apart a little bit, but we came back together and came through.”
The rivalry game appeared to be all but over when Holzman (11 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) threw a 40-foot dart to Smith (8 points) for a press-breaking layup that made the score 42-31. The brick-laying Blue Devils (2-11, 1-6) were showing no signs of hanging around.
But all of a sudden, Olivia Andrew (13 points, 4-of-17 shooting) made back-to-back threes to bring the deficit to 42-37 with 1:23 to play. Medina’s Emma Bobey (10 points, 14 rebounds) countered with a putback less than 30 seconds later, but Andrew got fouled on a 3-pointer and made all three free throws.
Then things got ridiculous, as the teams missed the front ends of one-and-ones three times in 3.6 seconds. A mere 2.8 seconds after that, Brunswick’s Paige Billetz made both of her one-and-one attempts. The score was now 44-42.
The Bees again missed the front end of a one-and-one, and the Blue Devils got the rebound, moved across half court and called timeout with 10 seconds left. The ensuing play broke down, as Eileen Salisbury (14 points on 6-of-18 shooting, 6 rebounds, 3 steals) was pinned underneath the basket, the ball squirted free to the corner and Andrew’s desperation fadeaway hit the support post.
Medina inbounded with 2.2 ticks left and the game was suddenly over. The crowd collectively exhaled.
“It’s a case of teams that are very similar, Brunswick and Medina,” Bees coach Karen Kase said. “We play hard and we don’t get the results that we want all the time, but that was very happy news for the seniors and it’s nice to have that happen on senior night. I’m not satisfied — there’s things that crumbled at the end — but I’m happy for them.”
“I give my kids credit,” Brunswick coach Halle Schmidt added. “They put us back into the game.”
Medina led comfortably throughout the first 2ﾽ quarters until Brunswick, down 31-29, had a shot to tie that went begging. Bobey and Holzman dominated the rest of the period as Medina led 37-29 after three.
Smith began the fourth with a three-point play, but neither team scored over the next 2ﾽ minutes. The Bees, who won the rebounding battle 35-20, kept committing turnovers — though Abby McMullen (5 assists) was fantastic in replacing injured starting point guard Katie Neate — while the Blue Devils couldn’t hit a shot.
Medina simply held on, and the Bees were perfectly OK with that.
“We stuck together as a team,” Bobey said. “We listened to the coaches in the timeouts and listened to each other. We didn’t yell at each other or turn on each other. I think that helped us win.”
Erin Wojciak had 13 points as Medina’s junior varsity won 41-15. Maddy Ramicone had five for the Blue Devils, who led 11-10 at halftime.
Medina 44, Brunswick 42
BRUNSWICK 6 14 9 13 — 42
MEDINA 10 14 13 7 — 44
Brunswick — Kelsi Steinkamp 1-0-2, Olivia Andrew 4-3-13, Paige Billetz 0-2-2, Angela Fink 3-0-6, Eileen Salisbury 6-0-14, Natalie Galaida 1-0-3, Macie Tobel 1-0-2, Maddy Grabowski 0-0-0, Maddy Ramicone 0-0-0. TOTALS: 16-5-42.
Medina — Delaney Cullen 2-0-6, Abby Teske 2-0-5, Amanda Holzman 5-1-11, Anna Marie Smith 3-1-8, Abby McMullen 0-0-0, Emma Bobey 4-2-10, Madison Luthy 2-0-4, Lindsey Linard 0-0-0, Alexa Nau 0-0-0. TOTALS: 18-4-44.
3-point goals — Salisbury 2, Andrew 2, Galaida, Cullen 2, Teske, Smith. Rebounds — Brunswick 20 (Salisbury 6), Medina 35 (Bobey 14). Assists — Brunswick 7 (Fink 3), Medina 11 (McMullen 5). Records — Brunswick (2-11, 1-6), Medina (5-7, 3-4). Junior varsity — Medina 41, Brunswick 15.