Monday, January 30, 2023

Mentor offense sluggish in 61-42 loss at Garfield Heights

The best thing about Mentor’s road game at NOC Valley Division rival Garfield Heights is that there isn’t much time for the Cardinals to think about it.

A home game against Euclid less than 24 hours later eliminates some of the frustration time, but other than that, Mentor coach Bob Krizancic didn’t find many positives in the 61-42 loss on Jan. 30.

And following the lopsided setback, the veteran of more than 500 wins also didn’t pull any punches – particularly when speaking about a 4-point second quarter for the Cardinals in which the Bulldogs assumed control of the game.

“It was embarrassing. We couldn’t score and we couldn’t get great shots,” Krizancic said. “We played tentative, we played scared, we weren’t aggressive with the ball and we scored 42 points.

“The good thing is it is Jan. 30 and we have three or four weeks to get this thing fixed.”

Mentor will try to get healthy before the start of the postseason as well. The Cardinals were without starters Andrew Valeri and Paul Sateika against Garfield Heights, but Krizancic refused to use youth or inexperience as an excuse.

“It has nothing to do with (inexperience), it is all a mentality. We need guys to take the floor who want to score and be aggressive,” Krizancic said. 

Mentor (9-5, 3-2 NOC) was able to get off to a quick 7-2 start, but Garfield Heights went on a 29-9 run to close the half and take a 15-point lead at the break. The Bulldogs outscored the Cardinals, 16-4, in the second quarter. 

Mentor was able to cut an 18-point deficit down to 10 in the third quarter and had a chance to cut into it further with a layup attempt, but the shot was missed and Garfield Heights responded with a layup and a 3-pointer to swing the momentum back toward the Bulldogs (14-2, 4-1 NOC) with a 42-27 advantage.

Mentor junior Micah Potter finished with a double-double scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Potter hit three of the five 3s on the night for the Cardinals, who were an icy 5-of-25 from beyond the arc.

Senior guard Joey Zaugg chipped in 12 points for Mentor. Potter and Zaugg combined for 36 points while the remainder of the Cardinals totaled six points. 

Willie Jackson had 15 points and 15 rebounds for Garfield Heights. 

Mentor will attempt to rebound on Jan. 31 at home vs. Euclid.  

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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