Mentor took care of business in an 84-46 win over Chardon in a Division I sectional semifinal on March 4.
However, Cardinals coach Bob Krizancic said there is more business to attend to as Mentor moves forward in the postseason.
The Cardinals knocked down 11 3-pointers and 13 players scored, led by junior Micah Potter with 15 points. Joey Zaugg and Max Barich each scored nine points for Mentor, which will host Cleveland John Adams in a sectional title game on Sunday, March 8.
“We didn’t do a good job tonight,” Krizancic said. “I don’t want to sound egotistical, but our goal will always be to win the state. Winning the state two years ago became a reality, so there became one goal. And we can’t have many weaknesses. So when you talk about tonight, some weaknesses were exposed, we’ve got to address them as a coaching staff and next game, and hopefully after that — our main goal is six good days of practice if we get a win Sunday. And that’s what we need, we need six really solid days, fundamentals and skill work and mentality.”
Mentor (14-9) got off to a slow start against the patient and scrappy Hilltoppers, but took control early with a 38-12 halftime lead. The Cardinals won the sectional semi and advanced to the next round in the Solon bracket of the Euclid-Solon blended district.
“This is why we go on the board first,” Krizancic said. “I’ve always believed in, you take a chance on injury, I guess some coaches don’t. I’ve always loved getting exposure on the floor. I think we didn’t play a great game tonight, but getting on the floor, knowing it’s a sudden death situation; it’s always great for the young kids.”
Mentor ended the first quarter on a 12-0 run before outscoring the Hilltoppers (5-18), 22-7, in the second quarter for a 38-12 halftime lead and cruised to the win.
“The mentality we had two years ago is, you never want to step on the floor and for one second think you can lose,” Krizancic said. “Every time you’re on the floor, you’ve got to want to attack, defense or offense. It’s so easy to say, so hard to do, but I think, again, we’ve had those players in the past who emulated that.”
As for the matchup with John Adams on March 8, Krizancic is more worried about his team than the opponent.
“I will tell you what I always tell our team which is it is almost all about us and not about who we are playing,” Krizancic said. “(John Adams) is very athletic and very talented. But I like where we are and what we can be as a team moving forward. I feel good about this group.”