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High School Basketball

Medina matches school record in tournament-opening drubbing of Rhodes

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    Medina's Lindsey Linard grabs a rebound between Rhodes' Jazzmyn Stewart (35) and Erica Mills (55) during the first quarter of the Sectional semi-final.

    RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE

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    Medina's Alysen Dwyer scores past Rhodes' Aaliyah Howze during the second quarter of the Sectional semi-final.

    RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE

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    Medina's Sarah McKee battles Rhodes' Naila Boykin for a loose ball during the first quarter of the Sectional semi-final.

    RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — Only a dozen-plus missed layups and a running clock in the second half prevented the home side of the scoreboard from reaching triple digits, and only a fourth-quarter free throw by Jazzmyn Stewart prevented the Medina girls basketball team from tying two longstanding school records.

The afternoon was awkward, but all 23 players took the situation in stride as the fourth-seeded Bees defeated No. 13 Rhodes 85-11 in a Valley Forge Division I Sectional semifinal to advance and host fifth-seeded Lakewood (12-11) on Thursday.

Medina (14-9) tied the school record for fewest points allowed (vs. North Olmsted, 1981-82) and was one point shy of matching the largest margin of victory (75 vs. Cloverleaf, 1976-77). Coincidentally, three of the top five largest blowouts in school lore have come against the Rams (1-16), whose lone win came against 14th-seeded Max Hayes on Dec. 12.

“It was weird that we were up by so many,” said smiling junior small forward Madison Luthy, who had six points, two steals and two assists in the first quarter. “That usually doesn’t happen to us a lot, so we were just a little uncomfortable at times.”

The game was full of statistical oddities and featured a running clock in the second half. The OHSAA added the rule for the postseason if the margin reaches 35 points, and the Bees led 59-8 at halftime.

All 14 players scored for Medina, and center Lindsey Linard (14 points, 8 rebounds) and backups Elizabeth Stuart (9), Erin Wojciak (6), Hailey Seguin (4) and Angela Piloseno (4) recorded career highs. So, too, did freshman Shannon Wojciak with six in her varsity debut, technically giving her the third-highest average on the team behind injured Emma Bobey (12.5) and freshman Sarah McKee (8.9).

The Bees focused on making sure everyone scored, and guard Abby McMullen completed the job with a layup while being fouled with 7:30 remaining.

“During the game, we were just trying to run down the court and make our layups,” Luthy said. “We were all trying to get everyone to score, which they all did, which was really good. Everyone got a lot of playing time in the tournament, but we have to get more prepared for (Lakewood).”

Rhodes dressed eight sophomores and a senior and committed 12 turnovers before taking its first shot, a glass-balled runner 3:53 in. The Rams got on the board via a 3-pointer from Naila Boykin that made the score 19-3 with 3:30 left in the first quarter and ended up making 3-of-21 field goals, 4-of-12 free throws and 1-of-8 3-pointers while committing 37 miscues.

Medina led 32-6 after eight minutes, when coach Karen Kase used 12 players. The Bees then pulled their man press but still scored the first 23 points of the second quarter, highlighted by reaching 50 overall on a Stuart layup at the 3:36 mark.

The second half saw mass substitutions and the Bees sprinkling in 1-2-2, 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones. Rhodes did not attempt a field goal in the fourth quarter, while Medina finished with 39 field goals, 69 shots, 31 rebounds, 19 assists, 29 steals, five turnovers and 10 fouls.

“Mentally we were like, ‘OK, we still have to go out there and play our game and play our speed,”’ said freshman guard Alysen Dwyer, who had four points and a game-high four assists. “We had to work on things like plays we had never run before and trying new things.

“The execution was pretty well done, especially on the plays that we haven’t really worked on.”

Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.

Medina 85, Rhodes 11

RHODES 6 2 2 1 — 11

MEDINA 32 27 10 16 — 85

Rhodes — Naila Boykin 1-4 0-0 3, Jazzmyn Stewart 2-5 1-2 5, Erica Mills 0-3, 2-2 2, J.C. Soto 0-3 0-0 0, Aaliyah Howze 0-4 0-2 0, Leslie Tolbert 0-0 0-0 0, Judy Gross 0-2 0-0 0, Aariana Colon 0-0-0, Saniya Ambler 0-0 1-2 1. TOTALS: 3-21 4-12 11.

Medina — Madison Luthy 4-7 0-0 8, Sarah McKee 3-5 2-2 8, Lindsey Linard 6-8 2-2 14, Abby McMullen 2-7 0-1 4, Alexa Nau 1-1 0-0 2, Olivia Gordon 2-3 1-1 5, Klara Bergholtz 4-4 0-0 9, Erin Wojciak 3-3 0-0 6, Hailey Seguin 2-5 0-0 4, Alysen Dwyer 2-2 0-2 4, Elizabeth Stuart 4-8 0-0 9, Mia Buzzelli 1-7 0-0 2, Angela Piloseno 2-5 0-0 4, Shannon Wojciak 3-4 0-0 6. TOTALS: 39-69 5-8 85.

3-point goals — Rhodes 1-8 (Boykin 1-2, Soto 0-1, Gross 0-2, Howze 0-3), Medina 2-8 (Bergholtz 1-1, Stuart 1-1, McKee 0-1, S. Wojciak 0-1, Buzzelli 0-2, McMullen 0-2). Rebounds — Rhodes 17 (Stewart 5), Medina 31 (Linard 8). Assists — Rhodes 1 (Soto), Medina 19 (Dwyer 4). Turnovers — Rhodes 37 (Boykin 11), Medina 5 (Gordon, S. Wojciak, Stuart, McMullen, Dwyer). Fouls — Rhodes 5, Medina 10. Fouled out — None. Records — Rhodes (1-16), Medina (14-9).

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