Monday, February 6, 2023

Mentor routs US to set up title tile against Lake Catholic

The boys basketball version of the Battle for Mentor is set for the second year in a row.

It will be determined in the championship game of the Mentor Holiday Tournament as the host Cardinals will face neighborhood rival Lake Catholic on Dec. 23.

Mentor won its fourth consecutive game with a 100-73 win over University on Dec. 22. Allen Sims led all scorers with 26 points, pacing 13 Cardinals who scored on the night.

In the opening game, Lake Catholic defeated Kirtland, 70-55.

The two teams – separated by a few miles – will face off for the second straight year in the title game. Mentor defeated Lake Catholic in the 2014 championship game.

"Lake Catholic plays hard and they get up and down the floor and they will never back down, so our young guys will have to step up to the challenge," Mentor coach Bob Krizancic said. "Hopefully it will be a fun night and we have to keep learning."

Mentor (4-1) lost a double-overtime season opener to Brunswick, but has won four straight punctuated by a season-high offensive performance against the Preppers.

Sims had 26, Andrew Robinson had 15 and Jack Korsok added 13 for the Cardinals.

"Some of our younger guys are in that learning process and we are getting away with wins and we are still learning. Every game is big for us," Krizancic said.

"Allen can have 25 points and 15 rebounds in a game, but he has to play hard every possession and he has to keep learning."

Mentor led, 50-41, at the half before pulling away in the third quarter.

Sims, a transfer from Euclid, played his best game of the season, attacking the rim on both ends.

"Coach tells me to play hard and make those power moves. I had a bad game last week so I have to keep working," Sims said. 

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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