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High School Basketball

Padua teaches Cloverleaf lesson in sectional loss

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    Cloverleaf's Cruz Severson shoots over Padua's Kevin Peterson in the first half.

    AARON JOSEFCZYK / GAZETTE

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    Cloverleaf's Brycen Holliday works to get a shot off while defended by Padua's Mikey Morsillo in the first half.

    AARON JOSEFCZYK / GAZETTE

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PADUA — At some point within the next two years, the Cloverleaf boys basketball team wants to reach Padua Franciscan’s levels of athleticism, aggressiveness and unselfishness.

The Bruins aren’t exactly a powerhouse — they have one league title (1990) and were fifth in the six-team North Coast League Blue Division this season — but they’d certainly win more than their fair share in the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division.

The men-among-boys effect took hold Tuesday in a North Ridgeville Division II Sectional semifinal, as senior-laden, seventh-seeded Padua manhandled the sophomore-laden, 10th-seeded Colts 80-45 in what is believed to be the first Medina County boys game to have a running clock in the second half.

Cloverleaf (7-16) led 10-8 with 2:44 left in the first quarter. The night was all downhill after that as the Bruins (10-13) advanced to play Friday at second-seeded Bay (16-6).

“It’s a learning lesson,” coach Jack Banks said. “We played some kids who were bigger, stronger, faster — plain and simple.

“If we want to get to that level, we’ve got to work a lot harder.”

Due to a lack of depth, the Colts became a set-heavy team that liked to keep scores in the 50s and use a 2-3 zone to stay fresh. Padua knew that and implemented a 2-2-1 press that transitioned into a half-court trap, never allowing Cloverleaf to get comfortable.

Things went well for the first six minutes, as the Colts passed diagonally and got layups or open 3-point attempts. They just couldn’t execute consistently enough or quickly enough, and the Bruins took advantage off turnovers.

The 10-8 start was followed by an 18-0 Padua run, as 6-foot-7 1,000-point scorer Kevin Peterson (21 points, 4 assists) facilitated before scoring at will against the Cloverleaf zone. Then seemingly every role player got into the fun, highlighted by eight assists from backup point guard Mikey Morsillo and 6-of-6 3-pointers from John Monnin and Cameron Drum.

Amazingly, the Bruins made 12 of their first 17 3-point attempts to go up 67-30 late in the third quarter. That started the running clock, a new, postseason-only rule implemented when the margin reaches 35 points.

“They’re a big team, and they can stretch the floor,” Colts guard Brycen Holliday said. “All their guys can knock down shots. Give them credit.”

The Colts continued to show unselfishness with 15 assists on 18 field goals. Holliday scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half to give him 504 in his young career, fellow sophomore Cruz Severson had eight points and four dimes and senior forward Joe Rohde tallied a team-high six rebounds.

Cloverleaf still felt the season was successful partly because its depth was crippled by season-ending injuries to forwards Travis Hissom and Nate Riley. The Colts won four straight games for the first time in 10 years, and Tuesday was only the eighth game in which they weren’t competitive.

They’re motivated to take the next step — the first winning season since 1987-88.

“We’re starting to trust each other,” Holliday said. “We’re working together, and we love it. Basketball is our No. 1 thing. It’s what we love to do.”

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

Padua Franciscan 80, Cloverleaf 45

CLOVERLEAF 10 8 17 10 — 45

PADUA FRANCISCAN 20 22 27 11 — 80

Cloverleaf — Joe Rohde 2-10 0-0 4, Nick Bailey 3-5 0-0 6, Sylar Jones 2-3 2-2 6, Brycen Holliday 6-14 0-1 16, Cruz Severson 3-5 0-0 8, Matt Tanko 1-3 0-0 3, Jeremy Cottrell 0-3 0-0 0, Tyler Webb 1-2 0-0 2, Kelly McMullen 0-0 0-0 0, Blake Wilson 0-0 0-0 0, Colin Andel 0-0 0-0 0, Logan Tierney 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 18-45 2-2 45.

Padua Franciscan — Kevin Peterson 8-13 2-4 21, Joe Monin 3-5 0-0 7, Cameron Drum 3-4 0-0 9, Daniel Stuczynski 4-7 1-1 11, Aaron Whitehead 1-2 0-0 2, John Monnin 3-3 0-0 9, Nick Frostino 1-3 2-2 4, Mark Luszczynski 2-2 0-0 4, Mikey Morsillo 2-3 0-0 5, Alec Marcinowski 4-5 0-0 8, Jake Barth 0-3 0-0 0, Matt Bildstein 0-1 0-0 0, Daniel Peterson 0-1 0-0 0, Sergei LaGuardia 0-0 0-0 0, Josh Sargeant 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 31-52 5-7 80.

3-point goals — Cloverleaf 7-16 (Holliday 4-7, Severson 2-3, Tanko 1-3, Rohde 0-1, Cottrell 0-2), Padua Franciscan 13-24 (John Monnin 3-3, Drum 3-3, K. Peterson 3-5, Stuczynski 2-5, Morsillo 1-2, Joe Monnin 1-2, Whitehead 0-1, D. Peterson 0-1, Barth 0-2). Rebounds — Cloverleaf 18 (Rohde 6), Padua Franciscan 21 (Luszczynski, Marcinowski 3). Assists — Cloverleaf 15 (Holliday 5), Padua Franciscan 24 (Morsillo 8). Turnovers — Cloverleaf 16 (Severson 6), Padua Franciscan 6 (Morsillo, Frostino 2). Total fouls — Cloverleaf 7, Padua Franciscan 9. Fouled out — None. Records — Cloverleaf (7-16), Padua Franciscan (10-13).

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