STRONGSVILLE — As the shots started to fall for Alex Wyatt, the Brunswick boys basketball faithful held their collective breath every time the senior touched the ball.
They didn’t want their 6-foot-3 forward to ruin perfection in a 70-55 Greater Cleveland Conference win at Strongsville.
To the fans’ delight, Wyatt answered the call every time he shot, finishing 9-for-9 from the floor and 7-for-7 from behind the 3-point line for a game-high 25 points.
“I was feeling it,” Wyatt said. “It’s awesome. Getting those shots from Nick (Felician), Kyle (Goessler), Zak (Zografos) and Xavier (Diaz) with them passing it around, I felt like I had the confidence to keep making them. I kept shooting and didn’t worry about anything else. I wasn’t thinking. The confidence was there, so I just kept shooting.”
Wyatt accounted for nine of Brunswick’s 22 first-quarter points and 19 of the team’s 46 first-half points.
Every player for the Blue Devils (14-2, 7-1) saw it, so anyone with the rock was looking for No. 12 in the corner to let loose with another dagger.
“That was crazy,” Goessler said. “I knew Alex was a good shooter. He really stepped up today and got us off to a really good start there. He got us a really good win on the road on a tough Tuesday night.
“You see him in the corner and you know you always have to go one more to the guy with the hot hand. Our team is really good at finding the guy who is feeling it or playing well that night. Everybody did a good job of getting it to Al and he knocked down the shots tonight.”
When Wyatt wasn’t blistering the net, he was finding the open man as his four assists were one behind Felician for the team lead.
His performance all but neutralized the night of Strongsville’s Omari Peek (24 points, 11 rebounds).
“He’s put in the work,” Brunswick coach Joe Mackey said. “He was frustrated last year with not being able to get consistent minutes at the varsity level, but instead of pouting about it, he worked really hard and gained a ton of confidence.
“He’s had a really great year for us. These last two or three weeks, you’ve seen his confidence rising. He’s hit some really big shots for us in some really close games. Tonight, he was the reason we pushed the lead out and were able to play some guys there in the second half.”
As strange as it sounds, Wyatt wasn’t the only one taking it to the Mustangs (2-12, 1-7).
Strongsville stayed in its matchup 2-3 and 3-2 zone for much of the night and Brunswick obliged by burying the Mustangs from the outside.
The Blue Devils hit 14 3-pointers and were also paced by Goessler, who had five threes and 17 points.
Diaz (11 points) and Zografos (9) hit the other two 3-pointers to make the fourth quarter almost irrelevant.
“Everyone says when you think about Brunswick, it’s defense and threes,” Mackey said. “This group is a little different. We can still defend at a high level, but we don’t necessarily need to shoot.
“We can beat you in a number of different ways. Our pressure was really good early. We turned them over and got some easy ones and then were able to attack their zone. We don’t get as much recognition as years past, but we’re very capable of hitting them like we did tonight.”
The Brunswick junior varsity spread the wealth in a 68-49 win over Strongsville. Max Ferrell led the way with 22, but had company as Trevor Mackey scored 15 and Joe Hunter had 10.
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brunswick 70, Strongsville 55
BRUNSWICK 22 24 19 5 — 70
STRONGSVILLE 12 9 15 19 — 55
Brunswick — Xavier Diaz 5-0-11, Alex Wyatt 9-0-25, Zak Zografos 4-0-9, Kyle Goessler 6-0-17, Nick Felician 2-1-5, Dany Dakdouk 0-3-3, Jason Becka 0-0-0, Trevor Mackey 0-0-0, Joe Hunter 0-0-0, Walter Rivera 0-0-0. TOTALS: 26-4-70.
Strongsville — Omari Peek 10-2-24, Kevin Lawler 0-0-0, Shaun Csire 4-2-10, Tim Ruch 2-0-6, Bernie McGivern 1-0-3, Joe Lake 3-1-7, Jalen Garner 2-1-5, Ali Awada 0-0-0, Marc Menoes 0-0-0. TOTALS: 22-6-55.
3-point goals — Wyatt 7, Goessler 5, Diaz, Zografos, Peek 2, Ruch 2, McGivern. Rebounds — Brunswick 23 (Goessler 5, Felician 5), Strongsville 27 (Peek 11). Assists — Brunswick 22 (Felician 5), Strongsville 12 (McGivern (4). Records — Brunswick (14-2, 7-1), Strongsville (2-12, 1-7). Junior varsity — Brunswick 68, Strongsville 49.