LAGRANGE — When you know you’re a special girls basketball team, you drive the point home fast and with authority.
What Medina did Monday was on an entirely different level.
The Bees came into Keystone and put together an out-of-this-world performance in a 58-16 non-conference win.
“It helps to get off to a good start because it gives us that energy to pressure them and force turnovers,” Medina forward Sarah McKee said. “We’re very good. We have 15 players that can all go in and make great plays. It really gives our team a boost coming in. Our team has worked really hard in the preseason and in the summer. We know how good we are, so we can use that to our advantage.”
Sensing the chance to put things away early, Medina (3-0) played incredible defense and added an exclamation point not soon after the national anthem was played.
Going on runs of 16-0 and 18-0 in the first half, the Bees jumped on the Wildcats (1-3) and led 33-5 with 3:53 left before intermission.
There wasn’t much more going on in the second half, as the Wildcats finished with six points after recess and didn’t score a point in the fourth quarter until making a pair of free throws with 1.3 seconds left.
“Defense is very key and always is,” guard Elizabeth Stuart said. “We know we have to be good in man and stay with our girl and not let anyone get past us. We have to play down in the key and stick with them to create turnovers and get those steals and convert those to early layups.”
That was evident throughout as Medina scored 23 baskets off 23 assists. The Bees did so with an incredible performance that included 14-for-24 shooting in the first half while holding Keystone to a 4-for-20 showing.
It continued into the second half as Medina blistered the bucket by shooting 23-for-44 (.522) for the night while spreading the ball around.
McKee, Stuart and Madison Luthy each had nine points, with Rowan McDonald adding six in a game that saw 14 players score for Medina.
“We felt like we were going to have the upper hand today, but we still wanted to do some things that we need to do as a Medina team at the beginning of the season,” Bees coach Karen Kase said. “That’s why we came out our normal way, the way we did against Strongsville, with aggressive in-your-face defense, and it translated to offense. That gave us the cushions right away and it was huge.”
The Bees didn’t commit a turnover until 51.5 seconds remained in the first half and had just seven overall.
“We don’t want unforced errors, and we had way too many against Strongsville,” Kase said. “That was a key. Sharing the ball was a key and pressuring the other team into unforced errors was key. I thought both sides did what they were supposed to.”
The Medina junior varsity took home a 42-16 win. Chloe Helsel and Regan Todia each scored 10 points for the Bees.
Medina 58, Keystone 15
MEDINA 22 13 14 9 — 58
AMHERST 3 7 4 2 — 16
Medina — Madison Luthy 4-0-9, Sarah McKee 3-3-9, Lindsey Linard 2-0-4, Abby McMullen 2-0-5, Aly Dwyer 1-0-2, Alexa Nau 0-0-0, Rowan McDonald, 3-0-6, Katie Neate 1-0-2, Elizabeth Stuart 3-1-9 Erin Wojciak 1-1-3, Haley Letner 0-0-0, Mia Buzzelli 1-0-3, Angela Piloseno 0-1-1, Hailey Seguin 1-0-2, Olivia Bowser 1-0-2, Shannon Wojciak 0-1-1. TOTALS: 23-7-58.
Keystone — Ashley Elliott 1-2-5, Shelby Fortune 2-0-5, Taylor Stefan 1-0-2, Faith Baracskai 2-2-6, Madi Herrington 1-0-2, Alexis Bowen 0-0-0, Peyton Halleen 0-0-0, Jayden Whitacre 0-0-0, Lily Cassell 0-0-0. TOTALS: 7-4-20.
3-point goals — Stuart 2, Buzzelli, McMullen, Luthy, Fortune, Elliott. Rebounds — Medina 37 (E. Wojciak 6), Keystone 26 (Elliott 6, Herrington 6). Assists — Medina 23 (Luthy 3, McMullen 3, Dwyer 3, Nau 3), Keystone 4 (Fortune 2). Records — Medina (3-0), Keystone (1-3). Junior varsity — Medina 42, Keystone 16.