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Southern Hills Edition

Class of 2014 Archive


Items: 37
St. Ignatius buzzer beater ends Titans' tourney run

After trailing by double digit points most of the first half, the Berea-Midpark Titans had battled all the way back against St. Ignatius. A Devon Posey 3-pointer with 5.1 seconds left in regulation tied the Division I district championship game at 64-64 as a packed Kubuski Gym crowd anticipated overtime. Trouble was, the Titans left too much time on the scoreboard clock. After a timeout, St. Ignatius inbounded the ball and quickly moved it up the right sideline to a wide-open Devon Stover in the corner. His jumper splashed through the net as time expired, giving the Wildcats a stunning 67-64 win and a berth in the OHSAA Akron regional tournament. Berea-Midpark, which closed out its first season at 21-4, was led by senior guard Alex Brown. Brown scored 29 points, 12 of them in the fourth quarter. Posey, who led the Titans with nine rebounds, had 13 points while Michael Schuller added...    (1973 reads)

Titans top Bulldogs, advance to district title game

The rematch is set. But this time, there\'s way more than bragging rights on the line. During the regular season, Berea-Midpark hosted St. Ignatius and earned a 70-61 win over the Wildcats at Purdy Gymnasium. This Saturday afternoon, the two teams will battle each other again, this time at Midview for a Division I district championship and a berth in the OHSAA\'s Sweet 16. The Titans advanced Wednesday night. Using a 23-4 fourth quarter, they earned a convincing 72-48 win over Southwestern Conference rival Olmsted Falls before a packed house at Midview\'s Kubuski Gym. Guard Alex Brown, the SWC\'s Most Valuable Player, led the way with 23 points, 14 of them coming in the second half. On Thursday, St. Ignatius claimed its spot...    (3081 reads)

Titans' tournament run ends with loss to Grizzlies

With the score tied at 12-12, Wadsworth hit Berea-Midpark with a double whammy to close out the first half. The Grizzlies drew an offensive foul call on the Titans\' Stasha Carey, giving her three fouls with 4:40 left in the half. They added salt to the wound with a 10-2 run to close out the quarter for a 22-14 halftime advantage. Then in the third quarter, Wadsworth delivered what proved to be the knockout punch. The Grizzlies stormed out of the locker room and opened the second half with an 11-0 run. That made all the difference as they came away with a 51-44 win over Berea-Midpark in a Division I regional semifinal game Tuesday night at...    (2559 reads)

Run-and-gun Rangers shock North Royalton, 65-41

Lakewood may have been the underdog based on the seedings, but teams shouldn\'t underestimate the 21-win Rangers boys basketball team going forward. On Saturday, the eighth-seeded Rangers, with their fast-faced style of play, shocked second-seeded North Royalton. They left the Bears in the rear-view mirror during their 65-41 hoops win in the Division I sectional finals. Lakewood, now 21-3, will face fourth-seeded St. Ignatius Thursday night at Midview High School. Lakewood junior guard Wes Gerhardt drained eight of the team\'s nine three-pointers and finished with a game-high 28 points. North Royalton held a three-point lead after the first quarter, but the Rangers outscored the Bears, 21-5, in a pivotal second quarter. \"We shot the ball pretty darn well...\"    (4922 reads)

Huge third quarter run powers Titans past Eagles

After a rough start to their season, the Avon Eagles had played some solid basketball down the stretch. They carried that momentum into the post season with a home win over Parma in the first round of the sectional tournament. Saturday night in Berea, that momentum continued to build. Early in the third quarter, senior guard Brian Kelly drove to the hoop and had his Eagles on the brink against state-ranked Berea-Midpark. That\'s when the Titans shifted their game into another gear. The Southwestern Conference champions scored the next 18 points and never looked back. Berea-Midpark left Purdy Gymnasium with a 68-48 win to claim a sectional championship and a berth in next week\'s district semifinals. Berea-Midpark will now face a familiar foe...    (5259 reads)

Titans pull away late, top Generals for district title

When it comes to competing in a district final contest, experience matters. The seniority and leadership of Berea-Midpark played a big factor Friday night during the Lady Titans\' 58-46 girls basketball win over Wooster in the Division I district finals at Valley Forge High School. The second-seed Lady Titans, in their inaugural season as part of the Berea-Midpark merger, advanced to Tuesday\'s regional semifinals against top-seed Wadsworth. \"The conference title was number one and winning our district was goal number two,\" said Berea-Midpark head coach Kevin Braaten. After what was a bit of an up and down first three quarters for the Lady Titans, a switch was flipped in the final eight minutes of play. The fourth quarter is money time and several experienced members of the team knew how to handle it...    (2390 reads)

Streaks defeat Bears for third-straight district title

Throughout most of the regular season, the Magnificat Blue Streaks have used their defense to generate a potent offense. Such was not the case, however, in an early one-point loss to North Royalton. Friday night at the Elyria Catholic Coliseum, the Blue Streaks seemed hell bent on not letting that happen again. The Magnificat defense bottled up the Bears\' outside shooting attack for most of the game, and the offense responded in kind with a solid transition game. The result was a 57-46 win for the Blue Streaks and a third straight Division I district championship. \"We had to come back from that loss, admitted Magnificat senior guard Sarah Scelza, who led all scorers with 17 points. \"We had a bad...    (4781 reads)

Lakewood tops Bees in OT, caps off gym's history

Throughout the decades, Lakewood High School\'s gymnasium has hosted more than its fair share of memorable basketball games. A few weeks ago, the Rangers added a chapter to the facility\'s history as they defeated Elyria Catholic to win their first conference championship in 40 years. Less than two weeks ago, Lakewood and Brecksville added to the building\'s lore as the Rangers prevailed in a down-to-the-wire thriller. Wednesday night, the Bees and Rangers met again, this time in a Division I sectional tournament game. In the gym\'s final game, the two teams rocked the Madhouse on Madison one last time with one for the ages. Back-to-back buckets by junior guard Wes Gerhardt late in overtime broke open a hotly-contested game...    (5457 reads)

Magnificat moves past Mustangs, faces Bears next

Any basketball coach will tell you that tournament basketball is much different than regular season games. The added pressure, the unfamiliar surroundings and overall feel of the game can cause the best of teams to struggle at times. Even if you are a defending district champion. Magnificat found itself in a dogfight with Strongsville in the first half of Tuesday night\'s Division I district semifinal at the Elyria Catholic Coliseum. But in the second half, the Blue Streaks regrouped with a 19-4 third quarter, running away with a 59-35 win and a berth in Friday night\'s district championship game. Magnificat, now 19-4, will face North Royalton in Friday night\'s championship game at EC. The Bears edged the Blue Streaks earlier in the regular season, 49-48, at the Fight or Flight Tournament in Twinsburg. They advanced with a convincing 60-47 win over St.Joseph Academy in...    (5337 reads)

CHAMPIONS! Titans slip past Bulldogs to win SWC

The Berea-Midpark boys basketball team wasn\'t about to let this rare opportunity slip away. Having already lost to Olmsted Falls exactly a month ago, the Titans knew they were in for another fight. They withstood a late second quarter rally by the Bulldogs, battled back from a halftime deficit and made the plays down the stretch. All of that added up to a Southwestern Conference-clinching 67-64 home win over Olmsted Falls Friday night in front of a sellout crowd. A win by Olmsted Falls would have forced an SWC split title. Just like their girls team, the Berea-Midpark boys were crowned conference champs in the inaugural year of the merger. \"Our mindset was we\'re not cutting down the nets, we\'re not celebrating if we don\'t win this game,\" said Berea-Midpark head coach Duke Barther...    (3296 reads)

Demons beat Titans, SWC title remains undecided

With two Southwestern Conference games remaining, the Berea-Midpark Titans had an opportunity to wrap up the outright conference championship with a win at Westlake. But on this Monday night, the Demons had other ideas. After a tough 61-58 loss at Brecksville knocked them out of the conference race, the Demons returned home and put together one of their best performances of the season. They defeated Berea-Midpark, 68-55, to delay any title decisions and avenge a 71-54 thumping at the hands of the Titans earlier this month. The Titans, now 9-2 in the SWC, will host Olmsted Falls Friday night with the conference crown on the line. The Bulldogs will enter that game with three SWC losses and needing a win to force a conference title tie. That scenario developed as Westlake took an early 6-0 lead and never trailed from that point on. The Demons got a...    (5086 reads)

Third-quarter eruption powers Bees past Demons

Inconsistency has plagued the Brecksville boys basketball team all season. The cold-shooting Bees started off slow Friday night against Westlake and appeared to be on their way to a third straight loss. Then came the third quarter. Trailing 9-0 to start the game and down by 12 at halftime, Brecksville stormed out of the locker room and found the offense it was looking for. The Bees outscored the visiting Demons, 27-17, in the third quarter and held on for a 61-58 Southwestern Conference win on Senior Night, spoiling Gavin Skelly\'s record-breaking night for Westlake. The Bees cashed in on five three-pointers in the third period. Junior guard Luke Cipolla, who led the Bees with six three-pointers and 18 points, drained his second three of the quarter at the 2:18 mark to give Brecksville...    (4723 reads)

CHAMPIONS! Titans stifle Demons, take SWC title

When Berea and Midpark merged prior to the 2013-14 school year, there were those who wondered what would become of Midpark\'s vaunted girls basketball program. Could the winning continue? Would the new team, made up former Meteors who were used to success and girls from the struggling Berea program, mesh and work together? Could the Titans challenge for a Southwestern Conference championship? The answer to all those questions proved to be a resounding yes. The Berea-Midpark Titans capped off their first season Thursday night with a convincing 59-31 win over Westlake to clinch the outright SWC championship. The Titans finished 12-0 in the conference and 20-2 overall on the way to winning the school\'s first-ever girls team title. \"I think this is really special,\" said Berea-Midpark senior guard Jess Barnes, a former...    (4633 reads)

A classic! Bears topple Titans in overtime thriller

The sold out crowd that packed the North Royalton gym Saturday night for the Bears\' game against Berea-Midpark certainly got its money\'s worth - and more. The Bears and Titans, with a combined two losses heading into the matchup, battled for four quarters and four minutes of overtime while North Royalton prevailed, 69-64, in non-conference boys basketball action. \"Two good teams playing,\" said North Royalton head coach Tim Matus. \"It\'s what it\'s for. We\'re getting close to the tournament and it felt like a tournament game. Both teams made a lot of plays throughout and we were fortunate enough to have a couple plays in overtime.\" Both squads made their fair share of clutch plays throughout the course of the game. Berea-Midpark\'s Alex Brown, who led his team with 24 points, hit a pair of free throws...    (2792 reads)

Titans swat away Bees to stay on top in SWC race

In the first meeting between Berea-Midpark and Brecksville, the host Bees jumped out on the Titans early and led by as many as 18 in the opening half. The Titans, on their home floor this time, turned the tables on the Bees. They grabbed a seven-point lead by halftime and cruised to a 70-48 win over Brecksville Friday night in Southwestern Conference boys basketball action. Berea-Midpark, fifth in the most recent AP Division I state poll, improved to 15-1. The Bees dropped to 10-7 overall and 5-5 in the SWC. \"I thought we played pretty well in the first half,\" said Berea-Midpark head coach Duke Barther. \"We didn\'t do anything differently. They have great shooters everywhere. We just tried to stay up on them.\" Normally a good outside shooting team, Brecksville was too inconsistent against the Titans...    (2714 reads)

Titans all alone in first after demolition of Demons

Up 19-8, Westlake was having its way early in its big Southwestern Conference showdown with Berea-Midpark. But with 2:05 left in the first quarter, Titans head coach Duke Barther called a timeout. What happened next may have been the momentum shift to end all momentum shifts. The Titans picked up the defensive pressure, with Nolan Gerrity shutting down Westlake\'s inside game. The result was a 29-5 run to close out the half and an eventual 71-54 demolition of the Demons on a snowy Tuesday night in Berea. In the process, Berea-Midpark moved into sole possession of first place in the SWC...    (4235 reads)

Presto! Bears claw their way to a win over Magics

It wasn\'t perfect, but North Royalton head boys basketball coach Tim Matus wasn\'t going to dwell on the negatives. The positives? His team hung on to beat Barberton, 63-58, Saturday night to win its 10th in a row and improve to 12-1 on the season. Things weren\'t always smooth for the Bears, particularly at the start of the first and fourth quarters. But they did enough in between and down the stretch to get the job done. \"They\'re well-coached, they played really hard,\" Matus said...    (2057 reads)

Blue Streaks strike late to hand Titans first defeat

For over 31 minutes, basketball powerhouses Berea-Midpark and Magnificat had played each other on even terms. With the tie game coming down to the final seconds, the Blue Streaks\' Bridget Pryatel found herself with the ball. And as the Titans\' defense closed, Pryatel looked to her left and found point guard Colleen McGervey alone on the baseline. The two seniors connected. McGervey\'s tough, driving shot slipped through the net with two seconds left to give Magnificat a 58-56 win in a Saturday afternoon thriller at the House on Hilliard. It was a huge Senior Day victory for the Blue Streaks, while the Titans suffered their first loss of the season after 15 straight wins. \"There was a lot of pressure...\"    (5182 reads)

Bees rally late to snare overtime win from Eagles

On Thursday night, not much went right for North Olmsted\'s Andy Lucien and his Eagle teammates in a 65-42 loss at Olmsted Falls. The 6-5 sophomore had one of his most frustrating games as a varsity player, while the Eagles managed just 15 points in the first half against the red-hot Bulldogs. Back at home on Friday night, it was a different story as the Black and Orange came within a Tyler Tupa 3-pointer of getting one of the team\'s biggest wins of the season. Tupa, Brecksville\'s sophomore guard, hit a 3-pointer from the left corner in final minute of regulation to force overtime. The Bees\' defense did the rest, clamping down on the Eagles in the extra session and leaving town with a hard-fought 57-54 win in a Southwestern Conference thriller...    (5169 reads)

Hot-shooting Bulldogs send Demons to first defeat

During the first half of the 2013-14 basketball season, a lot of attention was being paid to the undefeated boys teams at Berea-Midpark and Westlake. The Titans and the Demons were the talk of the Southwestern Conference and looked to be the two favorites to win a conference championship. After last week, you can add a third team to the mix. Olmsted Falls sent shock waves through the SWC early last week with a 68-60 win over Berea-Midpark, sending the Titans to their first defeat. Then on a snowy Friday night in Westlake, the Bulldogs shot the lights out in the third quarter and held on for a 66-59 win over the Demons before a packed house in the Westlake Athletics Center. The Bulldogs, now 12-3 overall, find themselves in a virtual three-way tie with the Titans and Demons as the second half of the league season begins...    (5098 reads)

Titans prove they're for real with win over Wildcats

The Berea-Midpark Titans are for real. If there was any doubt as to whether the Berea-Midpark boys basketball team could stand toe-to-toe with the elite teams in the area, it certainly dissipated Friday night. Not only did the Titans hang with St. Ignatius, they beat the Wildcats, 70-61, in front of a sellout crowd on their home floor. Berea-Midpark may have won 11 of its first 12 games heading into its meeting with St. Ignatius, but there was still a chip on the Titans\' shoulders. \"It\'s a big win because a lot of people don\'t like to give us credit because we had a weak schedule at the beginning,\" said Berea-Midpark center Nolan Gerrity. \"But now that we can say we beat a team like St. Ignatius, it gives us a lot of credit going forward...\"    (2663 reads)

Mustangs start strong, but Eagles fight back to win

Down by 16 points at halftime, Avon had come all the way back to within a point of visiting Strongsville. As the final minute ticked off the scoreboard clock, both the Eagles and the Mustangs still had a chance to pull out the win. But when opportunity knocked, it was Avon\'s Brian Kelly who answered. With 17 seconds left, the Eagles inbounded the ball to Kelly. The senior guard quickly dribbled up the length of the court, pulled up and nailed a jumper with just under four seconds left to give the Eagles a stunning 49-47 win Tuesday night in non-conference basketball action. For Avon, which upped its record to 3-10, it was an improbable win considering Strongsville\'s strong start. The Mustangs had shot the ball well in the first half, hitting six 3-pointers in the process to build a 36-20 halftime lead...    (5408 reads)

Bears do it with defense, run past rival Mustangs

For the better part of two quarters, the Strongsville Mustangs were able to use their size advantage to stay in the game with the smaller, but quicker North Royalton squad. But as the second half wore on, it was evident the Bears\' wall-to-wall pressure defense was beginning to take its toll. North Royalton opened up a 13-point lead early in the third quarter, then turned up the defensive pressure a notch or two the rest of the way. That combination allowed the Bears to leave Strongsville with a 52-41 win in a Northeast Ohio Conference Saturday afternoon matinee. The Bears, now 13-1 overall and 5-0 in the conference, forced 12 second-half turnovers and churned out...    (3038 reads)

Hot-shooting Demons buzz by Bees in second half

With the first half winding down, the Brecksville Bees found themselves in familiar territory. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Tim Tupa and a conventional 3-point play from Luke Cipolla had given them a 30-21 lead over Westlake with 30.1 seconds left in the second quarter. It was just a week earlier, they had built a substantial first-half lead against Berea-Midpark, only to see the Titans rally in the second half to get the win. As the third quarter began, is was one of those deja vu moments for the visiting Bees. The Demons got a Makis Beach 3-pointer to close out the half, then came out of the locker room shooting. They scored the game\'s next 13 points and outscored Brecksville 18-2 in the quarter to run away with a 64-48 win in a key Southwestern Conference game Friday night. With the win, Westlake remained undefeated at 11-0...    (5186 reads)

Demons do it with defense, rally late past Bulldogs

Things couldn\'t have looked any more bleak for the Westlake girls basketball team Saturday night. The Demons had made just one field goal in the first half. They were getting pounded on the boards to the tune of 25-12. Then late in the third quarter, Olmsted Falls sophomore Kara Marshall nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to give the visiting Bulldogs a 26-19 lead. The fourth quarter, however, proved to be a totally different ballgame. The Westlake defense pitched a shutout in the final eight minutes of play, and Corinne Furci and Taylor Hood capped off an 11-0 run to give the Demons the improbable 30-26 win in a Southwestern Conference contest. Westlake, now 12-1 overall and 6-1 in the SWC, made only five baskets...    (4578 reads)

Bees start strong, but Titans rally to stay unbeaten

For about the first 12 minutes of play Friday night, the Berea-Midpark boys basketball team was hardly recognizable. Then the Titans showed why they were undefeated and one of the state\'s top-ranked hoops teams. Berea-Midpark trailed host Brecksville by 17 midway through the second quarter. Somehow, the Titans found their rhythm and dominated the rest of the way, beating the Bees, 56-45, in a Southwestern Conference showdown. \"I didn\'t say a lot at halftime,\" said Berea-Midpark head coach Duke Barther. \"I challenged them a little bit but they did it themselves,\" he said. \"They stepped up defensively. We came in here and they were kind of coaching...    (3253 reads)

Balanced Bears battle past Bees, retain Honey Jar

Steve Mehalik\'s worst fear came to fruition Saturday night. The goal for the Brecksville boys basketball coach against North Royalton - contain star sophomore Omari Spellman. The visiting Bees held the 6-8 forward in check but couldn\'t do enough to stop the other four Bears on the court. Couple that with an uncharacteristically cold shooting night, Brecksville was just a bit off its game during the 62-50 loss in the Battle for the Honey Jar. \"We told our guys at the beginning, Omari\'s not gonna beat us,\" said Mehalik. \"If those other guys step up we\'re gonna tip our hat to them - and they did.\" Spellman may have led the Bears in points with 15 and taken control in the fourth quarter, but it were the other role players who impacted the game through the first three periods...    (3622 reads)

Video: Titans roll by Mustangs, remain undefeated

The Berea-Midpark boys basketball team just keeps on rolling. The Titans remained unbeaten at 8-0 Saturday night with a convincing 84-57 win at Strongsville. Berea-Midpark jumped out front early, using a 15-0 run in the first quarter to take an early 18-4 lead. The Titans took the first quarter 22-10, then put 20 more points on the scoreboard in the second quarter to build a 42-23 halftime lead. They erased all doubt in the third quarter, outscoring the Mustangs 22-11. Senior guard Alex Brown led all scorers with 22 points, with 11 of those coming in the Titans\' big first-quarter run. Nolan Gerrity...    (3777 reads)

With a big second-half run, Bears roar past Bruins

Down 21 points early in the third quarter, Padua had a big hole to climb out of. The Bruins went to work and chipped away at the large North Royalton lead. They got back to within 10, 47-37, on a Tim King 3-pointer with just over three minutes left in the quarter. At that point, the visiting Bruins had some momentum. But after Bears head coach Tim Matus called a timeout, that all changed in a hurry. North Royalton went on a 27-2 run and never looked back, coming away with a...    (2846 reads)

Bears get by Blue Streaks in Fight or Flight thriller

North Royalton head girls basketball coach Steffani Cicerchi has witnessed a great deal of maturity from her girls over the course of the last year. The improvement during crunch time was no more evident than during the Lady Bears\' 49-48 win over Magnificat Saturday afternoon in the annual Fight or Flight Invitational at Twinsburg High School. Clinging to a one-point lead with less than a minute remaining, Magnificat\'s Phoebe Sterba drained a 3-pointer to put the Blue Streaks on top. It was a temporary punch in the gut to the Lady Bears, but they quickly brushed it off. Following a big defensive stand, North Royalton raced to the other end in transition. The ball ended up in the hands of senior guard Abby Miduri, who made a...    (4462 reads)

Big second quarter powers Titans past Brecksville

Sometimes, all it takes is one little stretch of dominance to take down a team on the basketball court. For the Berea-Midpark girls basketball team on Dec. 18 at Brecksville-Broadview Heights, it was all eight minutes of the second quarter. The Titans held the Bees to just 2 points, one field goal, for the entire frame and outscored the hosts, 22-2, overall. This run propelled Berea-Midpark to a convincing 52-23 victory at the famed Bee Hive, which was rather quiet on this particular Wednesday evening. \"Defensively, we picked up the pressure a little bit,\" Berea-Midpark coach Kevin Braaten said. \"We kind of mixed up our presses. Offensively, we hit some shots when we needed to. Obviously, the second quarter was critical...    (3316 reads)

Blue Devils prevail, get past past Mustangs in 2OT

The Strongsville Mustangs thought they had tied the game and sent it to another overtime period. Most of the people in the SHS gym felt the same way. Except for one referee. With Strongsville trailing by three against Brunswick in the second overtime, point guard Sean Aske\'s last-second shot from the top of the 3-point arc found the bottom of the net. Mustang players rejoiced and the home fans erupted. However, one of the officials quickly over-ruled what initially was a 3-point call. The crowd went from sheer hysteria to shock and silence...    (2648 reads)

Late run pushes Bears past Cards in NOC thriller

North Royalton knew going into Wednesday\'s Northeast Ohio Conference crossover game against Mentor that it would be tough to overcome the Cardinals\' height advantage. Mentor featured three girls listed at 6-0 or above, while the Bears had 6-1 forward Rachel Flis, and no one else taller than 5-8. So instead of trying to beat the Cardinals in its half court set, the Bears decided to take its already fast-paced offense to another level. In a high-flying, transitional game, host North Royalton edged Mentor, 60-53, after some strong shifts of momentum in the second half. Mentor used a 25-7 run that lasted from late in the first half until midway through the fourth quarter to take a 47-39 lead. But Bears head coach Steffani Cicerchi used a timeout with 4:30 to play that proved to be pivotal toward her team\'s success. Royalton proceeded to outscore Mentor, 21-6, over the final...    (2933 reads)

Bees pull away late, top Shoremen in SWC opener

Brecksville and Avon Lake may compete in the Southwestern Conference, but Friday night\'s boys basketball matchup between the two schools had a Big Ten feel to it. Bees head coach Steve Mehalik made such comparison following his team\'s 47-34 win over the visiting Shoremen in the 2013-14 season SWC opener for both teams. \"We pride ourselves that we just find a way,\" said Mehalik. \"Tonight was a grind out game. They are so good defensively. \"There were a lot of turnovers and there was some ugly basketball. But I think those are two pretty good defensive teams going at it,\" he said. It wasn\'t the prettiest of games....    (4103 reads)

Hood's free throw helps Demons sneak past Falls

Crunch time is nothing new to Westlake. Trailing by three late in the fourth quarter and tied with under a minute left, the Demons had things right where they wanted. Sophomore guard Taylor Hood sized up her defender at the top of the key, drove the lane and was fouled with four seconds left. Hood connected on one of two at the free throw line to give visiting Westlake a 37-36 girls basketball win over Olmsted Falls Wednesday night in the Southwestern Conference opener for both teams. After Westlake forced an Olmsted Falls turnover, Hood brought the ball up the court with about 20 seconds left and everyone on the edge of their seats. \"That\'s the play we like to do...\"    (4064 reads)

Bulldogs' pressure leads to a win over Mustangs

It wasn\'t quite the debut Darren Collins was hoping for. Ups and downs can be expected. But the new Strongsville head boys basketball coach had to witness more downs than ups during the Mustangs\' 88-62 home loss to Olmsted Falls Friday night in the hoops opener for both teams. \"They play physical and get after it,\" said Collins, who came over from the former Berea High School. \"You can\'t go through lulls against a good team and turn the ball over. You work on it, but you can\'t simulate it.\" Early turnovers and sloppy play against the Olmsted Falls full-court press proved costly for the host Mustangs, who started just one senior and have just three total on their roster. Strongsville trailed by 12 at halftime and was outscored, 32-16, in the third quarter as the Bulldogs started to run away with it in the second half. All but one Olmsted Falls player reached the scoring column...    (2737 reads)

Big fourth-quarter run powers Titans past Rangers

Through the better part of three quarters, two of the top girls basketball teams in Northeast Ohio battled on even terms. Berea-Midpark and Lakewood were going at it tooth and nail, with neither team able to build a sizable lead. But as the third quarter began to wind down, the visiting Titans began to wind up. Having used relentless full-court pressure from the opening tip, Berea-Midpark began to make its move. Trailing 34-32, the visitors went off on a 19-2 run over the next five-plus minutes to come away with a 57-44 win over the Rangers in non-conference action Wednesday night. The Titans, now 2-0, forced 30 turnovers to help jump-start an offense that had struggled...    (4736 reads)

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