Monday, February 6, 2023

Third quarter run sparks Mentor to win over Medina

The Greater Cleveland Conference showdown between Mentor and Medina didn’t exactly materialize on Jan. 13 the way most people thought it would.

And that’s just fine with the Cardinals.

Mentor carried an eight-point lead into halftime on the back of four second-quarter 3-pointers by senior standout Jack Korsok and the Cardinals opened the third quarter on a 19-2 run to spark an 89-67 victory over the visiting Bees and move to 8-1 overall and 6-1 in the GCC.

Testive SAT prep course and ACT prep courseMedina is now 10-2 overall and is behind Mentor in the GCC standings with two league losses.

“If we are going to win the league, we can’t lose at home. We have been very good in this gym over the years and we have to continue to do that and we did tonight,” Mentor coach Bob Krizancic said.

“That is a very good team, they came in with a great record, but we need to believe in ourselves and once we do that we have a chance to be a very good basketball team. I loved the effort and the hustle plays and the leadership out there tonight.”

Korsok scored 20 points to lead all scorers and expected this to be a “great” game as the only losses for each team entering the game came to Elyria. But the Cardinals still expected to win in their high-scoring fashion, and provided a glimpse into the type of team Krizancic hopes they can become by season’s end.

“We expect so much out of ourselves,” Korsok said. “We expect to win like this, we expect to protect our home and do what we do. And the guys off the bench have been unbelievable. We know they could start for us any time and they do their jobs every night.”

Manning Trubisky added 17 points and Matt Koski chipped in 12 off the bench for Mentor. Samuel McKee led Medina with 17 points and Luke Schaefer scored 16.

The Bees took their first lead of the game in the second quarter, 21-20, on Jimmy Daw’s 3 before Trubisky countered with a 3-pointer to pull Mentor back ahead. When the Cardinals led by two, 28-26, Korsok hit three of his four second-quarter 3s to help stake his team to a 43-35 lead at halftime.

Korsok assisted on a layup to Tadas Tatrunas in transition then found Trubisky in the corner for a 3 which put Mentor up 13 one minute into the third quarter.

The Cardinals continued to roll and led by as many as 25 points in the critical frame.

“It was just easy when we clicked and we got together,” Trubisky said. “We pull away and once you distance yourself from a team, it’s easy to win and it’s easy to keep the intensity and the mojo throughout the whole game.”

It wasn’t a matchup many expected to be decided through three quarters, but the Cardinals took care of the drama with an impressive third quarter that left Mentor with a 20-point lead to start the fourth.

“I liked our mentality and that we attacked,” Krizancic said. “It’s so hard to play hard every possession but I think we’re getting to a higher percentage where we’re playing harder than earlier in the year.

“We needed this win after losing to Elyria last Friday, and with three games next week, with a game here vs. Brunswick and at Massillon Jackson, this was big for us”

Mentor 89, Medina 67

Medina (10-2, 5-2 GCC): Geschke 5, Fultz 6, SartaIn 8, Daw 5, C. Szumski 5, Schaefer 16, Hensley 3, K. Szumski 2, McKee 17

Mentor (8-1, 6-1 GCC): Sims 4, Korsok 20, Cheek 2, M. Trubisky 17, Lynch 2, Koski 12, Blessing 3, Libman-Phelps 4, Zalba 8, Tatarunas 6, Floriea 2, Kryz 9

Medina 13 22 15 19 — 67
Mentor 18 25 25 21 — 89

Free throws: Medina 19 of 28, Mentor 11 of 16; 3-pointers: Medina 4 (Geschke, Sartain, Daw, McKee), Mentor 12 (Korsok 4, Trubisky 4, Kryz 3, Blessing); JV: Mentor def. Medina

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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