CLEVELAND — Lindsey Linard will play in myriad large arenas when she joins the Duquesne women’s basketball team for the 2020-2021 season.
The junior center still savored the opportunity to step onto the court at the home of the 2016 NBA champion Cavaliers.
Linard rung up 11 points, a game-high seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and four blocked shots Tuesday, leading undefeated Medina to a 63-14 victory over Elyria in Greater Cleveland Conference action.
Sophomore forward Sarah McKee led all players with 13 points, senior guard Madison Luthy scored 10 points and senior guard Alexa Nau had five assists for the Bees (18-0, 12-0), who are one win away from clinching at least a share of the league championship.
“This was almost like a business trip for us because we didn’t want to take the game lightly, but it is so fun to play here,” Linard said. “I love being out there on the bigger court and the bigger stage. No matter how many times you have the chance to do it, it’s just incredible.”
Medina held an 18-0 advantage through 7:39 before Angelina Aulisio ended the drought with a 3-pointer, then led 38-6 at the half. Junior forward Haley Letner drained a trey at the third-quarter buzzer to up the margin to 51-14, while the Bees went deep on their bench en route to pitching a shutout in the fourth.
Medina coach Karen Kase dressed 20 players and used all of them in equaling the fourth-fewest points allowed in school history. The Bees tied their school record by holding the Pioneers (4-14, 1-11) to 11 points in their gym on Dec. 12.
“This was a good day for the entire program,” Kase said. “We have four juniors on our JV team who have been completely committed to our mission because I kept nine seniors this year. They’ve worked really, really hard, so I wanted to salute their effort and give them this opportunity.”
The Bees’ starting frontcourt of Linard, McKee and Abby McMullen dominated their counterparts, outscoring them 30-6 while going 9-of-12 from the foul line. Senior guard Katie Neate chipped in six points, four rebounds and two assists off the bench.
Sophomore guard Aly Dwyer also made an impression in a reserve role, sinking a 3-pointer in her lone minute of action. The sharpshooter will undergo season-ending right knee surgery today, but Kase wanted her to share in the special occasion.
Medina’s fans recognized the situation, applauding for Dwyer when she entered the game and erupting when her shot swished through the net.
“Aly making that three was a special thing for our entire team,” Kase said. “For her to be able to check in — and check in carefully — and score here, we were all so happy.”
As was Dwyer, who was mobbed by her teammates when a timeout was quickly called to get her safely off the floor.
“It’s crazy because I’ll be out the next six months, but I can look back at this and smile,” she said. “To be playing one last time — for now — with my best friends at ‘The Q’ was pretty fun. Getting to be here really could be a once in a lifetime experience for most of us.”
Other notable performances for Medina included four points and four boards by Erin Wojciak, four rebounds from Hailey Seguin and two steals apiece by Olivia Bowser, Mia Buzzelli and Letner. All are seniors.
Sophomore guard Danah Ewing scored a team-best five points for Elyria, while sophomore guard Taylor Mehl had three points and two assists. Forward Aulisio — the lone senior on the roster — had three points and five rebounds.
“We’re very young and we’re getting a ton of experience right now, but you’re not going to know how to compete at the next level unless you play teams like Medina,” Pioneers coach Anthony Brown said.
“But a day like this is all about making memories for the kids. The opportunity to play on an NBA court is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I quickly accepted when Medina offered us the chance to be here. I appreciate that they asked us.”
Medina 63, Elyria 14
at Quicken Loans Arena
ELYRIA 3 3 8 0 — 14
MEDINA 18 20 13 12 — 63
Elyria — Cora Sanders 0-0-0, Angelina Aulisio 1-0-3, Alaysia Ward 0-0-0, Taylor Mehl 1-0-3, Danah Ewing 2-0-5, MarChe Robinson 0-0-0, Jaidah Gonzalez 0-1-1, Jae’Lyse Carmichal 0-0-0, Elizabeth Aulisio 1-0-2, Alyssa Wilson 0-0-0, Jackie Kaminski 0-0-0. TOTALS: 5-1-14.
Medina — Abby McMullen 1-4-6, Sarah McKee 5-2-13, Lindsey Linard 4-3-11, Madison Luthy 4-0-10, Alexa Nau 0-1-1, Katie Neate 3-0-6, Rowan McDonald 0-0-0, Elizabeth Stuart 1-0-3, Erin Wojciak 2-0-4, Mia Buzzelli 0-0-0, Olivia Bowser 0-0-0, Haley Letner 1-0-3, Angela Piloseno 0-0-0, Hailey Seguin 0-1-1, Aly Dwyer 1-0-3, Alyssa Johnson 1-0-2, Shannon Wojciak 0-0-0, Gill Wagner 0-0-0, Ana LaGuardia 0-0-0, Molly Zabielski 0-0-0. TOTALS: 23-11-63.
3-point goals — A.Aulisio, Mehl, Ewing, Luthy 2, McKee, Stuart, Letner, Dwyer. Rebounds — Elyria 27 (A.Aulisio 5), Medina 38 (Linard 7). Assists — Elyria 4 (Mehl 2), Medina 13 (Nau 5). Records — Elyria (4-14, 1-11), Medina (18-0, 12-0).