MENTOR — The Mentor boys basketball team has never been shy about chucking it from downtown in its own gym.
In fact, the 3-point bomb has been a staple for 25-year coach Bob Krizancic. On Friday, long distance dialed up another win as Mentor cruised to a 73-50 Greater Cleveland Conference win over Medina.
The Cardinals (13-7, 7-6) made just five more baskets than the Bees (6-15, 2-11). The problem was half of Mentor’s 24 buckets came from behind the 3-point line as Luke Floriea (4 3-pointers, 16 points), Shane Zalba (3 3-pointers, 20 points) and Chad Blessing (3 3-pointers, 15 points) led the charge to sweep the season series.
“They’re extremely good,” said Medina guard Corey Tripp, who led the Bees with nine points. “We were trading buckets, but threes are better than twos, so as we come down the stretch, we’re getting tired and they’re just hitting threes in strings.”
That was apparent in a second quarter that really pushed things in Mentor’s favor.
Down two after one, the Cardinals hit eight baskets in a 23-point quarter. Seven of those buckets were 3-pointers.
“We looked really fatigued in the second quarter,” Medina coach Chris Hassinger said. “We were trying to push the tempo and I think that kind of hurt us a little bit and maybe we needed to pull it out and slow it up.”
The Cardinals piggybacked their big second quarter with a 21-point third to push it out to a 56-37 advantage.
“I thought it had more to do with us not having a lot of energy,” Hassinger said. “We knew coming out of the locker room after the coaches’ talk that we were really flat.
“I don’t know if it was because we didn’t have school today or the (hour) drive up here. It’s always a tough place for us to play. You cannot play flat against Mentor at Mentor because they’re just too good.”
The other thing the Cardinals had going for them was a determined Zalba, who seems to turn things up a notch when he sees Medina.
A month ago, the senior had a 10-point fourth quarter and had game highs in points (25) and assists (4). Fast forward to Friday and the 6-foot-1 guard once again had game highs in points and assists (4).
This time, his 13-point third quarter was just the sauce the Cardinals were looking for to drown the Bees.
“All credit to my teammates,” Zalba said. “They just get me open shots and I’m able to attack the rim and get buckets. When I’m on, I’m on. I feel like I can hit every shot I take.”
Colin Szumski had nine points for Medina, while Daniel Terrion came off the bench for eight points and five rebounds.
The Mentor junior varsity stopped Medina 85-62. Spencer Aylward and Jadin Clark paced the Bees with 13 points apiece.
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.
Mentor 73, Medina 50
MEDINA 14 13 10 13 — 50
MENTOR 12 23 21 17 — 73
Medina— Kyle Szumski 0-2-2, Dylan Fultz 1-0-2, Tyler Kaminski 2-0-5, Colin Szumski 3-1-9, Corey Tripp 4-0-9, Dillon Friedrick 1-1-4, Drew Hassinger 2-0-6, Tay Gauthier 1-0-2, Dylan O’Dear 0-0-0, Daniel Terrion 4-0-8, Brandon Geschke 1-1-3, Luke Hensley 0-0-0. TOTALS: 19-5-50.
Mentor— Caden Kryz 2-0-5, Nick Ventura 0-2-2, Tadas Tatarunas 3-0-6, Shane Zalba 6-5-20, Luke Floriea 6-0-16, Mason Trubisky 0-0-0, Chad Blessing 6-0-15, Ben Gingrich 0-6-6, Luke Chicone 0-0-0, Matt Koski 1-0-3. TOTALS: 24-13-73.
3-point goals— C. Szumski 2, Hassinger 2, Tripp, Kaminski, Friedrick, Floriea 4, Zalba 3, Blessing 3, Koski, Kryz. Rebounds— Medina 22 (Kaminski 6), Mentor 28 (Tatarunas 9). Assists— Medina 15 (C. Szumski 4), Mentor 18 (Zalba, Floriea 4). Records— Medina (6-15, 2-11), Mentor (13-7, 7-6). Juniorvarsity— Mentor 85, Medina 62.