Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Mentor uses big first half to down Lake Catholic and take Holiday crown

Mentor coach Bob Krizancic would like to see his team play 32 minutes of good basketball.

As it was on Dec. 23 in the finals of the Mentor Holiday Tournament, half was good enough.

A big first half sparked Mentor to a 70-56 win over neighborhood rival Lake Catholic for the Cardinals' second straight tournament title.

Andrew Robinson scored 19 points and Allen Sims added 16 for Mentor, which won its fifth straight game after a season-opening loss to Brunswick in double overtime.

The Cardinals outscored the Cougars, 21-9, in the decisive second quarter to take command by 18 points at halftime.

"We played a great first half and a not-so great second half, but to learn from our mistakes and still win is huge for the young guys," Krizancic said.

"To be 5-1 at this point in the season heading down to the Arby's Classic is nice with some injuries and young guys playing a lot. We had some alumni in who said they thought it was sloppy and I agree. We were sloppy in the second half, but Lake Catholic plays hard and we knew weren't going away."

Tadas Tatarunas and Jack Korsok chipped in 8 points each. Andrew Valeri, returning from a foot injury, added 7 points for Mentor.

Shawn Dunnings had 16 points and Connor Fitzgerald added 14 for Lake Catholic, who outscored Mentor by four points in the second half.

"We need to learn to play hard for 32 minutes. If we do that, I think this is a really interesting team. We have a chance to be very good," Krizancic said.

"We are going to get Kyle (McIntosh) back in a few weeks and I really like the potential of this group."

McIntosh is recovering from a sprained MCL.

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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