MEDINA — The Szumski brothers’ abilities to handle high-pressure situations are similar to their soft, to-the-point voices. Nothing can break their composure.
The Medina boys basketball team needed every bit of their collective poise Tuesday, rallying in the fourth quarter, benefitting from a questionable no-call at the end of regulation and riding Colin and Kyle Szumski in overtime to emerge a 63-59 non-league winner against neighboring Wadsworth.
The Szumskis combined for 13 points and made 8-of-8 free throws in OT to salvage an otherwise lifeless game that had a 16-member Medina student section — still about four times that of the Grizzlies — and a 50/50 pot of $26.
“Rivalry game,” Colin Szumski said. “That’s how it’s supposed to be — really close. It was a good win for us. That’s a tough team.”
Colin Szumski gave the Bees (4-7) the lead for good with a personal 5-2 run to begin overtime and followed by making 4-of-4 free throws to finish with 15 points, five rebounds, two assists and four steals. Kyle Szumski also cashed in 4-of-4 freebies in OT, made the game-saving stop at the regulation buzzer and ended with 15 points, four assists and five steals.
Center Tyler Kaminski (13 points, 11 after halftime), forward Dylan Fultz (8 points, 6 assists) and backup Drew Hassinger (8 points) also contributed for Medina, which rallied from a 39-31 fourth-quarter hole to snap a three-game losing streak and win a non-neutral-site game for the first time this season.
“We just stuck to the game plan,” Kyle Szumski said. “We just had to talk (defensively).”
Wadsworth (4-6), which returns 98.6 percent of its scoring from last season’s 17-7 team, got a standout night from center Reid Black, who strung together multiple post moves to record 15 points and five rebounds.
The Grizzlies’ second-best player was rangy forward Jack Simmons (10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks), as the junior consistently attacked the rim, had five points and four boards in the fourth quarter and swatted a Medina layup attempt hard off glass to delight the sparse crowd.
Point guard Christian Szalay contributed nine points and team highs of eight rebounds and four assists and fellow veterans Jake Justice and Tony Hewitt combined for seven OT points after having eight in regulation, but a turnover down 53-50 ultimately sealed Wadsworth’s fate in the 26-point extra session.
“That one especially stings because we were up most of the game — or even up the majority of the fourth quarter — and let it slip away like that,” Black said. “It’s disappointing. Most of us have played varsity for two or three years, and we just couldn’t finish that one.”
Down 39-31 after a Mitchell Blackburn 3-pointer, Medina embarked on a 13-4 run behind seven points from Kaminski. With the game tied at 48, Wadsworth called timeout with a minute left.
The Grizzlies’ tried a handoff play to Justice and then Szalay that was snuffed out before resetting for a pick-and-roll with Black and Szalay at the 10-second mark. Szalay got a driving lane, lost the handle and flipped the ball to Carson Risher, who went to the rim diagonally.
Risher appeared headed for an open buzzer-beating layup, but Kyle Szumski, who was guarding a hands-on-hips Simmons in the backside corner, rotated to contest. Heavy contact ensued and Risher’s three-footer was off the mark to send the game to overtime.
“I saw him come down and tried not to foul him, but I got lucky,” Kyle Szumski said.
In OT, Colin Szumski slipped free for a driving layup and countered a Black score with a wide-open 3-pointer that put Medina ahead for good at 53-50. Kaminski added a bucket before a banked Hewitt 3-pointer, but Kyle Szumski’s one-and-one free throws with 29.2 and 10.7 seconds left pushed the Bees ahead 59-55 and 61-57.
Colin Szumski then iced the game on two free throws with 6.3 seconds remaining.
“We just had to fight through adversity, stick together and not play hero ball,” Colin Szumski said.
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medina 63, Wadsworth 59 (OT)
WADSWORTH 8 16 12 12 11 — 59
MEDINA 9 11 11 17 15 — 63
Wadsworth — Tony Hewitt 3-0-7, Jack Simmons 3-4-10, Reid Black 7-0-15, Jake Justice 4-0-8, Christian Szalay 3-2-9, Ryan Storad 0-0-0, Beau Casey 1-0-2, Carson Risher 2-0-5, Mitchell Blackburn 1-0-3. TOTALS: 24-6-59.
Medina — Dylan Fultz 4-0-8, Dillon Friedrick 1-0-2, Tyler Kaminski 6-1-13, Kyle Szumski 5-4-15, Colin Szumski 4-6-15, Drew Hassinger 3-0-8, Dylan O’Dear 0-0-0, Daniel Terrion 0-0-0, Corey Tripp 1-0-2. TOTALS: 24-11-63.
3-point goals — Hewitt, Black, Szalay, Risher, Blackburn, Hassinger 2, C. Szumski, K. Szumski. Rebounds — Wadsworth 32 (Szalay 8), Medina 16 (C. Szumski 5). Assists — Wadsworth 11 (Szalay 4), Medina 13 (Fultz 6). Records — Wadsworth (4-6), Medina (4-7). Junior varsity — Medina 53, Wadsworth 42.