ELYRIA — Medina boys basketball coach Chris Hassinger has been preaching defense all season.
He liked what he saw Tuesday, when the Bees rolled over Elyria 69-48 in Greater Cleveland Conference play.
“We don’t think it was ugly at all,” Hassinger said. “We thought that was the best game we’ve played all year both offensively and defensively. We played really well in the first half. Second half (Elyria) started getting more physical with us and we haven’t had that opportunity where we’ve been up a bunch in a game. We had to deal with that and play through that.”
Sophomore Corey Tripp had 17 points and junior Kyle Szumski had 13 for Medina. Tay Gauthier added 10 off the bench and fellow reserve Spencer Aylward had nine. Szumski and Luke Hensley each gathered seven rebounds. Tripp had six and Daniel Terrion had five as Medina won the board battle 36-27.
“Great first half,” Tripp said of the Bees’ 32-12 advantage. “Coach has been preaching all practice playing defense, talking, getting maximum effort. In practice, we’d be on the midline, help defense, step up and take charges.”
The Bees (8-7, 4-5) did everything right in the first half and for most of the third quarter. With 1:53 to play in the third, Medina led 49-16 and was dominating the Pioneers (7-10, 1-8).
“Give Chris and his kids credit,” Elyria coach Brett Larrick said. “They thought they were struggling. They wanted to buckle down. They’re really, really, really hard-playing kids out there and played some really good switching defense that we didn’t adjust to until it was too late.”
To Elyria’s credit, it battled back to make it 56-38 midway through the fourth quarter. Hassinger was happy with how his team handled the lead and the Pioneers’ rally.
“Our guys got frustrated, I got frustrated,” said Hassinger. “I was really proud of them to kind of keep that lead and sustain that lead even going through some adversity.”
Medina shot the ball well, hitting exactly 50 percent from the field. The Bees forced 10 first-half turnovers and held Elyria without a field goal for the entire second quarter. The Pioneers made only 5-of-23 shots in the first half and shot 33 percent for the game.
Medina 69, Elyria 48
MEDINA (69): Kyle Szumski 6-0-13, Corey Tripp 6-5-17, Brandon Geschke 0-0-0, Luke Hensley 1-2-4, Drew Hassinger 2-0-5, Spencer Aylward 4-0-9, Sam Peacock 1-0-2, Tayvion Gauther 4-0-10, Doug Sartain 2-0-5, Daniel Terrian 1-0-2, Jack Hagan 1-0-2, Jadin Clark 0-0-0, Brandon Curie 0-0-0, Chris Howard 0-0-0. Totals 28-7-69.
ELYRIA (48): MarSaun Robinson 3-6-13, Caleb Rogers 3-5-12, Jahkai Owens 1-0-2, Josiah Grantham 0-0-0, Will Waddell 4-1-9, Aiden Carter 3-0-6, Izaiah Thomas 0-1-1, Nate Collins 1-1-3, Jesse Stevens 0-0-0, Jahmil Reed 1-0-2. Totals 16-14-48.
Medina 16 16 17 20 — 69
Elyria 11 1 12 24 — 48
Three-point goals: Medina 6-21 (Gauthier 2, Szumski, Hassinger, Aylward, Sartain), Elyria 2-10 (Robinson, Rogers). Field goals: Medina 28-56 (50 percent), Elyria 16-49 (33 percent). Free throws: Medina 7-11 (64 percent), Elyria 14-20 (70 percent). Rebounds: Medina 36 (Szumski, Hensley 7), Elyria 27 (Owens, Grantham 5). Turnovers: Medina 10, Elyria 14. Fouls: Medina 17, Elyria 14.
Junior varsity: Medina, 58-49