PARMA HTS. — Looking to advance to the Valley Forge Division I District championship game by knocking off the top seed for the second straight year Monday, the Medina girls basketball team was clicking in the first half.
After halftime, however, senior point guard Jada Marone took over and carried Berea-Midpark to a 58-46 victory.
The fourth-seeded Bees (15-10) controlled tempo in the first half, and back-to-back 3-pointers by juniors Abby McMullen and Madison Luthy with less than one minute remaining lifted Medina to a 22-20 lead.
“The first half we did some of the things we talked about and stuck to the game plan,” Bees coach Karen Kase said. “I thought we missed some moments where we could have capitalized even better, but I was happy with what we did.”
After the Bees held Marone (32 points, 5 assists), who did not start for disciplinary reasons, to seven points in the first half, Berea-Midpark (21-3) made a concerted effort to get the third-team All-Ohioan more involved. Marone went on a personal 7-0 run to pull the Titans ahead 27-22 before Medina called timeout.
“I knew they were going to turn it up in terms of their pressure and trapping, and Marone obviously took over. She’s phenomenal,” Kase said. “She’s one of the best in Ohio. She’s a handful. We tried a few different things, but she’s smart and she reads it, and she’s got a lot of weapons to drive or pull up and find the open girl.”
The Bees fought to answer Marone’s challenge, keeping Berea-Midpark within one or two possessions until Marone capped her fantastic quarter with her third 3-pointer for a 44-37 lead.
Marone scored 18 points and added two assists in the third, contributing on 22-of-24 points as the Titans went ahead 44-37.
“Jada Marone is a great player, and she really turned it up in the second half,” Bees center Lindsey Linard said. “I think it’s really hard to stop or guard a person like her, and we just have to give credit to her because she really turned it up for her team and she deserves that.”
The Bees kept pace in the fourth quarter but were unable to cut the lead, as Marone scored seven of her team’s 14 points.
Linard led Medina with 13 points and eight rebounds. Luthy and McMullen each scored eight points, while freshman forward Sarah McKee and junior Klara Bergholtz added six apiece.
The Bees, who graduate guard Olivia Gordon and injured forward Emma Bobey, are slated to return all seven players who scored against the Titans.
“I’ve loved this season from Day 1 in the summer,” Kase said. “We’re disappointed that we lost, but we’re even more disappointed that we won’t be together on a daily basis because it’s a phenomenal group of kids with great attitudes, great work ethics.
“We talked a little bit about moving forward and some expectations because we are young and because we have a very, very bright future. We are going to have some major goals for next year, the next two years.”
Contact John Urchek at email@example.com.
Berea-Midpark 58, Medina 46
Valley Forge Division I District Semifinal
MEDINA 8 14 15 9 — 46
BEREA-MIDPARK 8 12 24 14 — 58
Medina — Madison Luthy 2-2-8, Sarah McKee 2-2-6, Lindsey Linard 5-3-13, Abby McMullen 3-0-8, Alexa Nau 1-0-2, Olivia Gordon 0-0-0, Klara Bergholtz 3-0-6, Alysen Dwyer 1-0-3, Elizabeth Stuart 0-0-0, Mia Buzzelli 0-0-0, Erin Wojciak 0-0-0. TOTALS: 17-7-46.
Berea-Midpark — Amaya Johnson 1-0-3, Sydney Lantow 1-0-2, Kayla Gudel 2-2-6, Halle Davis 4-0-9, Lexie Scarton 3-0-6, Jada Marone 12-4-32, Jasmine Kinsey 0-0-0, Lindsey Seballos 0-0-0, Athena Sevastos 0-0-0, Yesenia Kinsey 0-0-0, Bridie Bricker 0-0-0, Brianna Woodworth 0-0-0. TOTALS: 23-6-58.
3-Point goals — McMullen 2, Luthy 2, Dwyer, Marone 4, Davis, Johnson. Rebounds — Medina 37 (Bergholtz 9), Berea-Midpark 25 (Gudel 9). Assists — Medina 12 (Nau 3), Berea-Midpark 12 (Marone 5). Records — Medina (15-10), Berea-Midpark (21-3).