MEDINA — The Medina boys basketball team’s game against Shaker Heights ended the same way 15 others have this season, but the Bees remain upbeat heading into tournament play.
Medina was tied with the talented Red Raiders two minutes into the third period Friday, but things got away from the Bees quickly in a 75-54 Greater Cleveland Conference loss.
Chris Hassinger’s team, which recorded the program’s lowest regular-season win total since a 3-18 campaign in 2007-08, fell to 6-16, 2-12, but his players still believe they can make some noise when they open Strongsville Division I Sectional play by hosting Normandy on Wednesday.
“We’re fine,” said senior guard Colin Szumski, who had 13 points and five rebounds against Shaker Heights (14-8, 10-4). “We’re putting all this behind us and focusing on Normandy. We just need to win one game at a time.”
Controlling tempo and hitting seven 3-pointers among their first eight field goals, the Bees trailed just 27-25 after the first possession of the third period. Back-to-back hoops by senior Dylan Fultz (5 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists) and Szumski tied the game at 29, but it was all downhill from there.
Led by 6-foot-4 do-everything senior Christian Guess (21 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 blocks), the Red Raiders went on a 10-0 run in just 1:26 to seize control.
Guard Dale Bonner, who had 16 of his 22 points in the second half, started heating up after that and Shaker Heights led by 14 at the end of the third and by 17 early in the fourth.
After spending most of the first half trying to run a half-court offense — Guess and Bonner combined to go 0-for-1 from the field in the opening quarter — the Red Raiders got into the open court after intermission and scored 48 second-half points on 17-for-28 shooting (.607).
“Obviously, our defense changed,” Fultz said. “And on offense, we weren’t attacking. That kind of gave them easy buckets.”
Medina also was hurt by Dakota Cochran, who hit four 3-pointers en route to 14 points, and Najee Hardaway, who had eight of his 10 points in the first half to keep struggling Shaker Heights ahead 27-22.
Sophomore Kyle Szumski had 16 points, six boards and three assists for the Bees, senior Tyler Kaminski had five points and five boards and senior Dillon Friedrick contributed six points and four boards, but Medina went just 2-for-10 from beyond the arc over the final 15½ minutes.
Once the Red Raiders got their lead into double digits, they started playing free and easy and Guess and Bonner, who combined for 29 points on 11-for-17 shooting in the second half, completely took over.
“He’s one of the best players in the state,” Fultz said of the long-limbed Guess, who appears much taller than his listed 6-4. “And (Bonner) is an unbelievable point guard. I think he’s just as good as guess.”
Seventh-seeded Medina, having competed in one of the toughest leagues in the state, will now turn its attention to 10th-seeded Normandy in its sectional opener. If the upbeat Bees win that game, they will get a third shot at third-seeded Brunswick.
“Win one game first,” Fultz said. “That’s it. It’s still been fun. It’s one of my favorite seasons of the last four years. Everyone’s always having fun and no one’s ever mad.”
- Medina lost the junior varsity game 62-59 despite 29 points from Doug Sartain and 11 from Spencer Aylward.
- Shaker Heights won the freshman game 45-42. Nate Spatny had 14 points for the Bees and Ty Stolarski added 13.
Shaker Heights 75, Medina 54
SHAKER HEIGHTS 11 16 23 25 — 75
MEDINA 9 13 14 18 — 54
Shaker Heights — Dakota Cochran 5-0-14, Christian Guess 8-5-21, Najee Hardaway 4-2-10, Dale Bonner 9-4-22, Justin Phillips 1-0-2, Kevin Bishop 1-0-2, DeMaris Conner 0-0-0, Billy Dunn 0-2-2, Rasheen Ali 0-0-0, Che’ Johnson 0-0-0, Dante Benjamin 1-0-2, Eric Mudd 0-0-0, Cedric Woodford 0-0-0. TOTALS: 29-13-75.
Medina — Dylan Fultz 2-0-5, Dillon Friedrick 2-1-6, Tyler Kaminski 2-0-5, Kyle Szumski 6-1-16, Colin Szumski 4-3-13, Tay Gauthier 1-0-2, Corey Tripp 2-0-5, Dani el Terrion 0-0-0, Brandon Geschke 0-0-0, Brandon Curie 0-0-0, Doug Sartain 0-0-0, Dylan O’Dear 0-1-1, Spencer Aylward 0-1-1, Sam Peacock 0-0-0. TOTALS: 19-7-54.
3-point goals — Cochran 4, K. Szumski 3, C. Szumski 2, Fultz, Friedrick, Tripp, Kaminski. Rebounds — Shaker Heights 31 (Guess 10), Medina 23 (K. Szumski 6). Assists — Shaker Heights 12 (Guess, Phillips, Bishop 3), Medina 14 (Fultz 6). Records — Shaker Heights (14-8, 10-4), Medina (6-16, 2-12). Junior varsity — Shaker Heights 45, Medina 42.