CLEVELAND — Emma Bobey and Amanda Holzman were the queens of the court Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena. Fate allowed them to share a moment with the king of the city.
Bobey and Holzman combined for 18 points and 20 rebounds as Medina’s girls basketball team was held off 46-41 by Massillon Jackson in a non-conference matchup.
Shortly after the final buzzer, they were being interviewed outside the Cavaliers locker room when LeBron James entered the building.
“I wondered what all those people were screaming about (down the hall),” James deadpanned upon seeing the duo.
It was an encounter that junior center Bobey and senior power forward Holzman will never forget.
“I almost started crying because I was so excited,” a giggling Bobey said. “Is that the wrong reaction to have? I was just so happy to see him, I couldn’t control myself.”
Holzman also couldn’t stop smiling after meeting the four-time NBA MVP, though her reaction was much more subdued.
“I didn’t process it as it was happening,” she said, still wide eyed. “This whole day blew away my expectations, but that just made it unreal. Playing on this court and seeing LeBron afterward was just, wow.”
Bobey collected 12 points, 10 rebounds and two assists, while Holzman had six points, 10 boards and a pair of helpers. They made 10-of-10 free throws and were the most effective players on either team throughout a compelling second half.
Polar Bears junior forward Taylor Mikesell, a Maryland recruit and first-team All-Ohio honoree, posted game highs of 16 points and four assists. She shot just 5-for-16 from the floor as the Bees’ 2-3 defense pestered her into making four turnovers.
Medina guards Katie Neate and Anna Marie Smith harassed Mikesell up top, while Bobey, Holzman, Lindsey Linard and Abby Teske refused to give her any space down low.
“They have a superstar in Taylor, but we had a lot of people make plays and have moments against her,” Bees coach Karen Kase said. “Obviously, I would have liked a different result, but our girls played so hard and left it all out there, I couldn’t be prouder of them.
“I really, really wanted them to have this amazing opportunity, and I thought they made the most of it.”
Jackson (11-4), which led from wire to wire, seized a 20-10 advantage in the second quarter behind nine points from Mikesell. Medina (6-9) responded by holding the Polar Bears scoreless for the next 7:07, pulling within 20-19 on a Holzman power layup in the third.
The Bees thrice made it a one-point game in the fourth on a Bobey drive, two Holzman free throws and a Bobey offensive rebound. The latter hoop sliced Jackson’s lead to 42-41 with 55 seconds left, but Mikesell quelled the comeback by making four straight free throws.
“We were all nervous playing on the Cavaliers’ court, but after a couple of minutes, it felt like a normal home game,” Bobey said. “We knew Mikesell was a really good player, and everyone gave a great effort against her.”
Polar Bears guard Liz Davide scored nine points and forward Lauren Scheetz had all eight of her points in the third. Jackson committed nine turnovers to 22 by the Bees.
Freshman center Linard had five points and four rebounds off the bench for Medina. Senior small forward Delaney Cullen and Smith scored five points apiece, while sophomore guard Madison Luthy had four points and sophomore Neate had three assists.
“Our underclassmen have been playing really, really well of late,” Holzman said. “This game was another step forward for all of them, and really, for our entire team.”
Medina was the third Medina County girls basketball team to play at The Q this winter. Brunswick and Black River also lost their games in the 20,562-seat arena.
l Fomer Bees center Pari Yost served as an assistant coach for the day, blogging and tweeting about the team’s experience.
Contact Brian Dulik at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BrianDulik.
Jackson 46, Medina 41
JACKSON 9 11 12 14 — 46
MEDINA 8 7 12 14 — 41
Jackson — Julia Hartnett 0-0-0, Margaux Spencer 0-0-0, Taylor Mikesell 5-4-16, Chloe Falconer 2-1-5, Liz Davide 3-2-9, Naudier Becton 2-2-6, Maddie Ryan 0-0-0, Gabby Piercy 1-0-2, Lauren Scheetz 2-2-8. TOTALS: 15-11-46.
Medina — Delaney Cullen 2-0-5, Amanda Holzman 1-4-6, Emma Bobey 3-6-12, Anna Marie Smith 2-0-5, Katie Neate 0-0-0, Lindsey Linard 2-1-5, Abby McMullen 0-1-1, Madison Luthy 2-0-4, Payton Beech 0-0-0, Abby Teske 1-0-3, Alexa Nau 0-0-0, Avaya Bell 0-0-0. TOTALS: 13-12-41.
3-point goals — Mikesell 2, Scheetz 2, Davide, Smith, Cullen, Teske. Rebounds — Jackson 28 (Falconer 9), Medina 36 (Holzman, Bobey 10). Assists — Jackson 10 (Mikesell 4), Medina 10 (Neate 3). Records — Jackson (11-4), Medina (6-9).