MEDINA — An incredible third quarter gave Elyria a chance Friday against Medina.
The only problem was the haymaker the Bees delivered in the first half was enough to propel them to a 72-62 Greater Cleveland Conference win.
“We had a bad first half,” Pioneers guard Caleb Rogers said. “We had 12 to 14 turnovers, so what the team has to take into this is instead of coming back in the second half, we should get a good lead in the first half. That way we can rest a little bit in the second half and see how they play and then adjust.
“Before the game, the coaches told us to drive and kick and that will get us open shots, but the first half we didn’t do that. We were off balance. We weren’t passing the ball. We weren’t helping on defense, so that got them the lead.”
With Kyle Szumski scoring 17 of his game-high 26 points for the Bees (4-0, 2-0 GCC) in the first half and the Pioneers (3-2, 0-2) laying an egg the first 16 minutes, it led to a sizable lead for Medina.
Thanks in part to Medina shooting 15-for-29 before the break and Elyria turning the ball over 13 times, the Bees headed into the locker room up 40-25.
“We talked at halftime and told them that first half wasn’t us,” Elyria coach Brett Larrick said. “Thirteen turnovers is what we’ve been doing for an entire game. That put us in a hole. We weren’t very strong in the first half.
“Don’t get me wrong, give (Medina coach Chris Hassinger) and those guys credit. They played extremely hard. Their defense was really good. They were doing a lot of really good things.”
The good news for Larrick is his team responded with a third quarter in which it didn’t turn over the ball.
What’s more, Rogers (16 points), Nate Collins (12) and MarSaun Robinson (12) spearheaded an attack that reeled off 14 unanswered points to tie it at 46 with 32 second left in the third quarter.
The only problem for the Pioneers was the fight back took a lot of thema and Medina was able to answer.
A lot of it had to do with Szumski again for Medina, but Corey Tripp (13 points, seven rebounds, six assists) helped as well to lead the Bees on a 16-6 run after Elyria had tied it.
“They’re playing four guards at the same time,” Larrick said. “Szumski and Tripp are really, really good. They’re really strong with the ball. They get to the spots they want. Give them credit. They made some really tough shots that we were OK with them shooting today.”
While the result wasn’t what the Pioneers had in mind, there were some positives to be gained from the third quarter.
“We don’t have much time,” Larrick said. “We play Monday night (against Bay). The third quarter was more like us. Even the second half was more like us.
“That fourth quarter is what it is because we had to come back, but we know that first half wasn’t us. We have to take care of the ball and defend. Those were two keys we talked about coming in and we didn’t do it the first half.”
Contact Brad Bournival at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medina 72, Elyria 62
ELYRIA (62): Aiden Carter 2-1-6, Josiah Grantham 2-0-4, William Wadell 5-0-10, MarSaun Robinson 6-0-12, Caleb Rogers 6-1-16, Jahkai Owens 1-0-2, Izaiah Thomas 0-0-0, Nate Collins 4-0-12, Tryen Lee 0-0-0. Totals 26-2-62.
MEDINA (72): Drew Hassinger 3-0-8, Doug Sartain 0-0-0, Sam Peacock 1-0-2, Kyle Szumski 10-4-26, Corey Tripp 5-1-13, Tayvion Guthier 2-2-7, Spencer Aylward 2-0-6, Jack Hagan 1-0-3, Brandon Geshke 1-0-2, Luke Hensley 1-1-3, Daniel Terriion 1-0-2. Totals 27-8-72.
Elyria 12 13 21 16 — 62
Medina 20 20 8 24 — 72
Three-point goals: (E) Collins 4, Rogers 3, Carter; (M) Szumski 2, Aylward 2, Tripp 2, Hassinger 2, Gauthier, Hagan. Rebounds: Elyria 30 (Grantham 7), Medina 30 (Szumski 11). Assists: Elyria 15 (Robinson 5), Medina 17 (Tripp 6). Total fouls: Elyria 11, Medina 11.
Junior varsity: Medina, 65-40