Mentor is regarded as a team that does most of its damage offensively from the outside, raining 3s down on the opposition.
The 77-67 win at Strongsville on Jan. 16 was an inside job for the Cardinals.
Micah Potter, a talented 6-foot-9 post player, scored a career-high 37 points to lead Mentor to a 10-point victory over the host Mustangs after the Cardinals fell behind by 11 in the first half.
“We don’t expect Micah to score 37 every night, but we have talked about him getting 25 and 15 (rebounds) and dominating the paint,” Mentor coach Bob Krizancic said. “We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well from 3 or at the foul line, so he was huge. We started slow which we have to clean up and play hard for 32 minutes.
“In this league, every game is a grind and every team has a loss now so winning on the road when you don’t shoot well is big.”
Mentor (8-4, 2-1 NOC Valley) overcame a sluggish first half to lead, 39-37, at the break.
The Cardinals increased the advantage to nine at the end of three quarters and cruised home for the 10-point win.
Potter – a junior – had 16 of Mentor’s 30 field goals – all inside 3-point range. Joey Zaugg added 14 points and Kyle McIntosh chipped in 12 for the Cardinals.
Junior Andrew Valeri, the usual starting point guard for Mentor, came off the bench (battling a thumb injury) and played well finishing with 8 points.
“We had some guys give great effort and play well after we fell down by double digits early, but we can’t keep doing that,” Krizancic said. “I like this team, but we are still looking for that game where we play a full 32 minutes of basketball.”
The Cardinals are back in action Jan. 23 vs. Medina.