Brunswick's Tre Massey shoots over Mentor's Luke Floriea during the first quarter. (RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE)
BRUNSWICK — Coming off one of the most lopsided losses in program history, the task got no easier for Brunswick’s boys basketball team Friday night when it hosted unbeaten Mentor.
When the visitors committed just one turnover all night and hit eight of their first 11 3-point attempts, it was too much to overcome. Mentor walked out with an 88-67 victory to claim first place in the Greater Cleveland Conference.
“That’s a real good team, for sure, but a lot of it starts with our defense,” Brunswick senior Kyle Goessler said. “We’ve got to be more accountable, and that starts with me. We’ve got to work a little harder and we’ve got to talk a little more.”
Brunswick (6-3, 3-1) dropped a 90-45 decision last Saturday to Thomas Worthington and has its first three-game losing streak since Feb. 3-11, 2014.
The Cardinals (8-0, 4-0) never trailed, hitting 7-of-10 3-pointers in the first quarter en route to a 27-16 lead. Junior guard Luke Floriea (22 points, 8 assists) and sophomore leading scorer Luke Chicone (19 points) buried 3-pointers when they were open, stepped back and buried them and buried them when Brunswick got a hand in their face.
“I’m pretty biased, but I think we’ve got the best guards in the state,” Mentor coach Bob Krizancic said. “They take care of the ball, they shoot lights out and our bigs handle the ball well. We shot the ball well tonight. Don’t get me wrong, but the basketball IQ you saw out there, the way they handle the ball, that’s what we’ve seen over the previous seven games.”
The game could’ve gotten out of hand in the first half, but Goessler and sophomore Tre Massey fired again and again to keep the Blue Devils in reach. Each had 16 points in the half, getting Brunswick as close as a seven-point deficit in the final minute before going into halftime down 47-38.
Goessler finished with 27 points and four assists, while Massey scored 24 and pulled down five rebounds.
“I thought offensively we were fine,” Brunswick coach Joe Mackey said. “We scored enough points. Normally, in most years, that’s enough for us to win. But right now we’ve got too many deficiencies defensively to beat real good teams like we’ve played the last three games.”
Still, Krizancic said a win in Brunswick’s gym is always big for the Cardinals.
“You have to guard them from 22, 23 feet, and Goessler seems like he’s been here 10 years,” he said. “They don’t miss free throws, they play hard, so this is a real quality road win for us.”
Brunswick got help off the bench from J.C. Asturi, who had eight points, five rebounds and four assists, but Trevor Mackey was the only other player to score from the field, hitting a pair of 3-pointers for six points. David Hamrick hit two free throws in the final minute to round out the team’s scoring.
Mentor did not have a turnover for the first 19:08 before being called for traveling. Brunswick was nearly as careful with the ball, going 11:04 before its first turnover and finishing with just six.
But the Cardinals shot 57 percent (33-for-58), including 15-for-27 from behind the arc, and put five players in double figures. Mason Trubisky (14 points, 10 rebounds), Alex Edwards (10 points) and Chad Rogers (10 points), joined Floriea and Chicone.
“We gave up 90 points last game and 88 here, and that’s just not acceptable around here,” Goessler said. “Our program is rooted in defense, and we’ve really struggled to get stops.”
Joe Mackey said poor communication has been at the root of the defensive struggles, something that will be difficult to correct by tonight when the Blue Devils travel to Elyria Catholic to face Olmsted Falls.
“We played really good against Shaker Heights and Medina, but we’re digging too big of a hole early to win, playing defense the way we’re playing,” he said. “It’s the simplest thing, communicate. We don’t talk.”
In the junior varsity game, freshman Brayden Hamilton hit a pair of big baskets in the third quarter of a 49-43 Brunswick win. Ryan Arcuri and Quintyn McKinley each had 12 points to lead the Blue Devils.
Contact Chris Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mentor 88, Brunswick 67
MENTOR 27 20 14 27 — 88
BRUNSWICK 16 22 13 16 — 67
Mentor — Alex Edwards 4-0-10, Mason Trubisky 6-0-14, Chad Rogers 5-2-12, Luke Floriea 9-0-22, Luke Chicone 6-3-19, Caleb Piks 2-2-8, Nyzier Fourqurean 0-0-0, Timmy Shea 0-0-0, Noah Corwin 0-0-0, Jaron Grantz 1-0-3, Matt Sabin 0-0-0, Camden Miller 0-0-0. TOTALS: 33-7-88.
Brunswick — Tre Massey 9-0-24, Max Ferrell 0-0-0, Joe Hunter 0-0-0, Trevor Mackey 2-0-6, Kyle Goessler 8-7-27, Josh Stacho 0-0-0, J.C. Asturi 1-5-8, Jeff Buttitta 0-0-0, David Hamrick 0-2-2, Ben Gorecki 0-0-0, Doug Moeller 0-0-0, Brock Doyle 0-0-0, Aaron Conn 0-0-0. TOTALS: 20-14-67.
3-point goals — Floriea 4, Chicone 4, Edwards 2, Trubisky 2, Piks 2, Grantz, Massey 6, Goessler 4, Mackey 2, Asturi. Rebounds — Brunswick 21 (Massey, Asturi 5), Mentor 32 (Trubisky 10). Assists — Brunswick 10 (Goessler, Asturi 4), Mentor 18 (Floriea 8). Records — Mentor (8-0, 4-0), Brunswick (6-3, 3-1). Junior varsity — Brunswick 49, Mentor 43.