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High School Basketball

Linard bright spot in Medina loss to Strongsville

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MEDINA — One Lindsey already has a Division I college basketball scholarship, while another could be headed in that direction.

Six-foot-2 Kent State recruit Lindsey Thall had 14 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday as Strongsville posted a 61-41 Greater Cleveland Conference victory over Medina, which got nine points and seven boards from 6-3 sophomore Lindsey Linard.

Thall, a senior, started the game 2-for-14 from the field while being defended by the long-armed Linard, who was out with an ankle injury when the Mustangs (9-1, 7-1) beat the Bees (7-5, 2-5) 57-36 early in the season.

“She started 2-for-14 from the field because Lindsey Linard was magnificent,” Medina coach Karen Kase said. “She was ready and she was fired up. That’s the best she’s played this year.”

Thall got going as the game progressed, scoring 12 points over the final 13 minutes, while Linard didn’t score over the final 22:52.

The left-hander attempted just two shots in that span, as her teammates couldn’t get her the ball thanks to Strongsville’s relentless pressure, which forced 13 turnovers in the second period and 33 for the game.

“We have to adjust and figure things out,” Linard said. “Whatever that takes, we just need to find it.”

When Linard scored her final points with 6:52 left in the second period, Medina led 19-13. The Bees were down just 23-21 at halftime, at which time they had as many turnovers as points.

That was due in great part to Linard’s defensive effort against Thall, who started the game 0-for-6 before getting her only first-half bucket with 28 seconds left in the second period.

“It’s awesome playing against her,” Linard said. “I have a lot of respect for her. It’s great playing against other great players, because it makes you a better player.”

Thall got help from power forward Marnae Holland (13 points, 4 rebounds) and reserve Shelby Sallee, a 5-7 freshman who hustled her way to 10 points and seven boards.

No one reached double figures for Medina, which played without power forward Emma Bobey, who injured her left knee Saturday against Solon and will undergo an MRI Tuesday.

Madison Luthy, who wasn’t 100 percent due to a sprained ankle, had eight points off the bench for the Bees, while freshman Sarah McKee, who hit her team’s only 3-pointer, had seven points and five boards.

Point guard Alexa Nau had five points and four rebounds and shooting guard Olivia Gordon had three boards and a game-high six assists, but Medina’s starting backcourt shot just 1-for-10 from the field.

Again, the Mustangs had a lot to do with the latter, as their full-court pressure limited the Bees to 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting over the middle quarters.

“That’s the name of their game,” Kase said. “Then their subs come in and they’re just as good, if not better, because they’re fresh.”

Despite all their turnover woes — Strongsville had a 50-28 edge in shot attempts through three periods and a 64-45 advantage for the game — the Bees had a chance to make it a five-point game with a little more than three minutes to go but missed a 3-pointer.

Though never in real danger of losing in the second half, the Mustangs then scored the final 12 points to create a misleading final score.

“We’ve improved miles as a team,” Linard said. “We are completely different than we were the first time we played them. The results might not show it, but we definitely have figured some things out.”

After losing to GCC leader Solon on Saturday, the Bees led by as many as seven late in the first period against the second-place Mustangs and were down just six with a minute to go in the third.

“We were not ready as a team the first time we played them,” Kase said. “We led in the first quarter of that game, too, but Strongsville totally turned it up after that and took over. We have grown so much since Nov. 29. To play Solon and Strongsville back to back is difficult, to say the least, but we’ve gotten better.”

Notes

  • Medina’s junior varsity improved to 12-0, 7-0 with a 55-23 rout. Elizabeth Stuart and Shannon Wojciak led the Bees with 13 points apiece.
  • Medina, which had just seven players in uniform, lost the freshman game 45-35. Wojciak, who also saw mop-up action in the varsity game, had 10 points while playing just the second quarter before leaving the bench. The Bees then had two players foul out and finished the game with four players.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.

Strongsville 61, Medina 41

STRONGSVILLE 11 12 15 23 — 61

MEDINA 17 4 7 13 — 41

Strongsville — Madison Pavone 2-0-4, Marnae Holland 3-7-13, Lindsey Thall 5-3-14, Abbi Moore 1-0-3, Drew Robinson 1-4-6, Shelby Sallee 5-0-10, Maddy Humbach 1-0-2, Sarah Robertson 0-2-2, Reagan Bass 2-3-7, Alexa Kadras 0-0-0, Kaitlyn King 0-0-0, Jessica Snyder 0-0-0, TOTALS: 20-19-61.

Medina — Abby McMullen 2-0-4, Sarah McKee 3-0-7, Lindsey Linard 4-1-9, Olivia Gordon 0-0-0, Alexa Nau 1-3-5, Madison Luthy 3-2-8, Klara Bergholtz 0-0-0, Alysen Dwyer 3-0-6, Elizabeth Stuart 1-0-2, Mia Buzzelli 0-0-0, Erin Wojciak 0-0-0, Hailey Seguin 0-0-0, Angela Piloseno 0-0-0, Rowan McDonald 0-0-0. TOTALS: 17-6-41.

3-point goals — Moore, Thall, McKee. Rebounds — Strongsville 33 (Thall 10), Medina 30 (Linard 7). Assists — Strongsville 5 (Robinson, Moore, Pavone, Thall, Sallee), Medina 12 (Gordon 6). Records — Strongsville (9-1, 7-1), Medina (7-5, 2-5). Junior varsity — Medina 55, Strongsville 23.

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