Medina's Brandon Curie has his shot blocked by Mentor's Alex Edwards in the first half of Friday's game at Mentor High School. (NICK CAMMETT/GAZETTE)
MENTOR — Against Brunswick last week, the Mentor boys basketball team proved it could beat an opponent from the outside. Against Medina on Friday night, the Cardinals showed they can beat you from the inside, too.
Mentor made a low-for-it seven 3-pointers against the Bees, but its starters shot 68 percent from the field to remain unbeaten with an 89-64 Greater Cleveland Conference win.
“They’re so much more physical than we are,” Medina coach Chris Hassinger said. “Every time we got our hands on a 50/50 ball, it seemed like their guy took it from us.”
The Cardinals (10-0, 6-0) hit 15-of-27 3-pointers in their win at Brunswick, but Friday they rode penetration from their guards and junior center Chad Rogers’ presence inside. Rogers hit his first four shots in the first quarter while scoring 10 of his game-high 26 points. He also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
Rogers was the beneficiary of plenty of drives from sophomore guard Luke Chicone (21 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists), who drained four 3-pointers against Brunswick but took Medina’s guards off the dribble to either get to the basket himself or dish to open players.
“We did a lot on defense keeping the pressure on them and trying to keep them in front of us,” Medina senior Drew Hassinger said. “But you have to give them credit. They hit a lot of shots.”
Overall, Mentor hit 60.9 percent from the field — its starters were 34-for-50 — and outscored the Bees 31-17 in a decisive second quarter. Junior guard Luke Floriea added 14 points and senior Mason Trubisky scored 10 for the Cardinals.
Early on, though, Medina (6-5, 3-3) played well, trailing just 18-14 at the end of one quarter.
“We had a push and got some transition baskets,” Drew Hassinger said of the early start, noting that the defense didn’t get down on itself when Mentor made its push in the second quarter. “It’s really difficult not to (get frustrated) but the communication helps us get through that, talking on defense, helping each other out.”
But Chris Hassinger said the defensive matchup against Chicone and Floriea was a difficult task.
“We’re changing a little of our style, trying to keep guys on front of us, and we’re having some troubles with that, but I have faith we’ll get there,” he said. “That’s something we’re preparing for the tournament, the way we have to play, and it doesn’t match up well in a game like this. So we’ve got to live with it, and we let a lot of kids play through it tonight.”
Offensively, sophomore Corey Tripp did the heavy lifting for Medina. He scored eight of his 12 points in the first half and added eight rebounds and six assists. Kyle Szumski was 6-for-8 from the field for 13 points and Spencer Aylward added 10 points off the bench, including a pair of 3-pointers.
“We learned a lot,” said Drew Hassinger, who matched teammate Doug Sartain with eight points. “We need to focus on rotation, keeping guys in front of us and making sure we talk.”
Chris Howard scored 15 points and Landon Kistler added 15 as the Medina junior varsity pulled away to win 57-47.
Contact Chris Freeman at email@example.com.
Mentor 89, Medina 64
MEDINA 14 17 13 20 — 64
MENTOR 18 31 19 21 — 89
Medina — Drew Hassinger 3-0-8, Kyle Szumski 6-1-13, Luke Hensley 1-1-3, Brandon Geschke 1-0-2, Corey Tripp 5-2-12, Tayvion Gauthier 0-0-0, Spencer Aylward 4-0-10, Sam Peacock 1-0-2, Doug Sartain 2-2-8, Brandon Curie 0-0-0, Daniel Terrion 0-1-1, Jack Hagan 0-2-2, Kade Rosenwald 1-1-3, Jadin Clark 0-0-0. TOTALS: 24-10-64.
Mentor — Alex Edwards 2-1-6, Mason Trubisky 4-2-10, Chad Rogers 12-0-26, Luke Floriea 6-0-14, Luke Chicone 10-0-21, Caleb Piks 3-0-6, Ian Kipp 0-1-1, Nyzier Fourqurean 1-0-2, Timmy Shea 0-0-0, Noah Corwin 0-0-0, Cael Gray 0-0-0, Matt Sabin 1-0-3. TOTALS: 39-4-89.
3-point goals — Hassinger 2, Aylward 2, Sartain 2, Rogers 2, Floriea 2, Chicone, Edwards, Sabin. Rebounds — Medina 29 (Tripp 8), Mentor 32 (Rogers 8). Assists — Medina 14 (Tripp 6), Mentor 18 (Chicone 11). Records — Medina (6-5, 3-3), Mentor (10-0, 6-0). Junior varsity — Medina 57, Mentor 47.