MEDINA — Lindsey Linard and Alexa Nau didn’t begin the season in the starting lineup, but the 6-foot-3 center and 5-5 point guard looked extremely comfortable getting their names announced Monday by the legendary Jim Wienczkowski.
With Linard dominating the interior and the drastically improved Nau directing traffic, the Medina girls basketball team overcame a sluggish first half to blow by rebuilding Revere 48-29 in non-league play.
The Bees (4-2), who led just 20-15 at halftime, improved to 26-4 when allowing fewer than 40 points under fifth-year coach Karen Kase.
“We weren’t happy with how we played in the first half, and we really wanted to turn it up,” Linard said. “Our starters and the bench, everyone came in in the third quarter and did a really good job of playing hard.”
Linard missed the first two games of the season with an injury and came off the bench against Shaker Heights, Mentor and Euclid. Kase decided to give the sophomore the nod in favor of second-leading scorer and freshman Sarah McKee against the Minutemen (1-5).
Manning the middle of a sticky man defense that extended to full court at times, Linard helped limit Revere veterans Taylor Rinn, Grace Hete and Jessica Vari to 19 points on 7-for-27 shooting and made her biggest impact with four points, three assists, three rebounds, a block and a steal in the decisive third quarter.
Medina ended the period leading 35-18 and the outcome was no longer in doubt.
“Better ball movement,” Linard said. “We had some good ideas about passing, but we weren’t able to get good passes off. I think that we were really able to connect, make good passes and get good ball movement.”
Nau, meanwhile, continued her case as one of the most improved players in Medina County. The junior entered the season with two points in 21 career games but had six, four and eight while starting the prior three games.
The right-hander was the Bees’ top offensive player in the first half, scoring five points and keeping the offense organized while also making things happen by driving into the key. She finished with a career-high nine points, tying former starting point guard Abby McMullen for team honors.
“Summer was definitely a big thing, and my teammates really helped me,” Nau said. “They gave me advice on how to improve, and my coaches did as well.”
Medina had relied heavily on All-Gazette post Emma Bobey (6 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks), McKee and small forward Madison Luthy for scoring and was pleased with the balance against Revere. Seven players scored at least four points, while McMullen, Alysen Dwyer and Linard had three assists apiece.
Most of the Bees’ offense came off forced turnovers or in transition after defensive boards, as half-court sets are still plagued by not seeing the floor or forcing poor entry passes to Bobey and Linard. A nine-day layoff may have contributed, but the Bees felt Monday was a step in the right direction.
The defense, however, was on point heading into a Greater Cleveland Conference game Saturday against rival Brunswick.
So were Linard and Nau.
“We had a long break. We had nine days off since our last game,” Nau said. “We really had to come together as a team, and in the second half we really came together and played as a unit.”
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medina 48, Revere 29
REVERE 5 10 3 11 — 29
MEDINA 11 9 15 13 — 48
Revere — Taylor Rinn 1-4-6, Grace Hete 2-0-5, Jessica Vari 4-0-8, Adison Novosel 2-1-6, Salwa Najjar 0-2-2, Taylor Kenna 0-0-0, Anna D’Amico 0-0-0, Nicole Langenfeld 1-0-2, Elyssa Koutrodimons 0-0-0, Leah Parish 0-0-0, Olivia Kovitch 0-0-0. TOTALS: 10-7-29.
Medina — Madison Luthy 2-0-4, Emma Bobey 1-4-6, Lindsey Linard 2-0-4, Abby McMullen 3-0-9, Alexa Nau 4-1-9, Sarah McKee 1-0-2, Alysen Dwyer 2-0-5, Olivia Gordon 3-0-6, Klara Bergholtz 1-0-3, Erin Wojciak 0-0-0, Hailey Seguin 0-0-0, Mia Buzzelli 0-0-0, Elizabeth Stuart 0-0-0. TOTALS: 19-5-48.
3-point goals — Hete, Novosel, McMullen 3, Dwyer, Bergholtz. Rebounds — Revere 17 (Rinn 7), Medina 27 (Linard 8). Assists — Revere 4 (Kenna 2), Medina 14 (Dwyer, McMullen, Linard 3). Records — Revere (1-5), Medina (4-2). Junior varsity — Medina 39, Highland 30.