SHAKER HEIGHTS — In order to beat a boys basketball team like Shaker Heights, which plays an up-and-down style, you can’t take a break for a second.
Medina hung with the Red Raiders for a half, but a stretch near the end of the second quarter and at the start of the third turned what had been a fairly close game into a 77-51 Greater Cleveland Conference win for Shaker Heights on Friday.
“Right before half, we were really trying to control the tempo,” Bees coach Chris Hassinger said. “We’ve been able to take some real quick shots in other games and it kind of just got away from us. They had that little lead, that little momentum going into half.”
The Red Raiders (7-3, 5-1) scored the final six points of the second quarter to take a 27-20 lead and then scored 19 of the next 24 to take a 21-point advantage with 3:14 left in the third quarter.
“They just got going and it made them play fast,” said Medina guard Kyle Szumski, who had 15 points, five rebounds and three assists. “It’s really hard to play against that. They’re just quicker. It’s hard to stop all of them. It wore us down. We tried to play together and keep our heads up.”
The game plan for the Bees (4-8, 0-6) was to keep Christian Guess (27.9 ppg) and Dale Bonner (20.7) at bay and make someone else beat them.
It worked for the most part, as Bonner, a Fairmont State recruit, finished with eight points. Guess, who has looks from West Virginia, James Madison, Kent State and Ohio University, had 12.
The problem was athleticism took over for Shaker Heights, which picked up monster games from Justin Phillips (22) and Dakota Cochran (13).
“Coming in, the whole game plan was to take away Guess and take away Bonner,” Hassinger said. “Then (Phillips) comes out with 22.”
With 10 players over 6-foot-2, Shaker Heights used its length to offset Medina’s defense. While Shaker Heights shot an impressive 27-for-54 from the floor, a lot of those hoops came on easy putbacks thanks to a 40-22 edge on the boards.
“Our kids ran the game plan exactly the way we wanted it,” Hassinger said. “The thing we thought was critical was giving up so many rebounds. We didn’t do that as much in the first half. You give up second-chance points and it doesn’t help.
“It’s so huge because No. 1, Danny Young is such a good coach. He’s going to run offense against you. He’s not going to just jack up silly shots. He’s going to run good sets against you.
“When you give those guys with that much talent a second opportunity to run a well-coached program, you’re going to be in trouble down the stretch. If we didn’t have tough kids, we’d lose by 60 to those guys. That’s the reason we’ll still be able to compete.”
The Medina junior varsity won 53-44. Corey Tripp and Doug Sartain each had 17 points for the Bees, with Sartain hitting five 3-pointers and Tripp hitting two.
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.
Shaker Heights 77, Medina 51
MEDINA 12 8 14 17 — 51
SHAKER HEIGHTS 10 17 24 26 — 77
Medina — Dylan Fultz 2-0-4, Dillon Friedrick 0-0-0, Tyler Kaminski 3-3-9, Kyle Szumski 6-2-15, Colin Szumski 2-0-5, Dylan O’Dear 1-1-3, Drew Hassinger 2-0-6, Tay Gauthier 0-0-0, Corey Tripp 0-1-1, Daniel Terrion 1-0-2, Brandon Geschke 2-0-4, Doug Sartain 0-0-0, Sam Peacock 1-0-2, Spencer Aylward 0-0-0. TOTALS: 20-7-51.
ShakerHeights — Dale Bonner 3-2-8, Christian Guess 4-4-12, Kevin Bishop 2-0-4, Najee Hardaway 1-0-3, Justin Phillips 7-5-22, Dakota Cochran 5-0-13, DeMaris Conner 1-5-7, Rasheen Ali 0-0-0, Dante Benjamin 0-0-0, Billy Dunn 1-0-2, Alex Benjamin 2-0-4, Che Johnson 0-0-0, Cedrick Woodford 1-0-2. TOTALS: 27-16-77.
3-point goals — Hassinger 2, K. Szumski, C. Szumski, Cochran 3, Phillips 3, Hardaway 3. Rebounds — Medina 22 (Kaminski, K. Szumski 5), Shaker Heights 40 (Bonner, Bishop 6). Assists — Medina 15 (K. Szumski 3), Shaker Height 16 (Bishop 6). Records — Medina (4-8, 0-6), Shaker Heights (7-3, 5-1). Juniorvarsity — Medina 53, Shaker Heights 44.