Brunswick, OH- Suffocating defense. That was the theme from both teams throughout this intense matchup between neighboring cities. The game plan for Brunswick heading in was to shoot well and attack early to avoid getting behind early. I'd say the girls executed the game plan jumping out to a 6-2 lead.
Brunswick coach Anthony Ocacio told me prior to the game that it would take a team effort to slow down talented Medina guard Olivia Klanac. https://youtu.be/GHneA7HORbg.
That is exactly what happened. The Blue Devils rotated on Klanac, doubled her most of the night, and had her frustrated from the opening tip. Klanac, one of the best guards in Northeast Ohio, finished 2/12 for only 4 points. She was 0/5 from 3 point range. That is part of playing "Brunswick Basketball" as they like to call it. Ocacio said he told the girls leading up to this game "you have to match Medina's physicality. They are a well coached team, a great program over there, and the girls were fired up. They knew the importance of the game and they stuck to the game plan".
Brunswick took a 23-15 lead into halftime capped off by a three at the buzzer by star junior guard Journey Hildebrand, but Medina was not done yet. The Bees came out of the half fired up. They used full court press defense and timely shots to go on a 6-3 run early in the third. Roberts and guard Katie Bobey were huge for Medina. Emotions came to a head when Olivia Klanac committed a hard foul on Journey Hildebrand who remained down momentarily. Two competitive stars going head to head fighting for every ball.
That foul fired Brunswick back up and guard Lexi Bertemis took over. She hit a big 3, went to the line 7 times, and played physical defense to help Brunswick halt Medina's surge and finish this game off.
Guard Faith Vlcek, who recently committed to Bowling Green to play softball, faced the challenge of guarding Olivia Klanac head on. Ocacio said "she is arguably one of the best on the ball defenders in the whole conference. We told her you have to shut down Klanac and she did it perfectly. Olivia is a great basketball player".
Lea Holmes also came up huge for Brunswick with 5 massive blocks. In regards to the 5 blocks, Holmes told me "it just comes naturally to me and our defense was really really good tonight". This was a true team effort by Brunswick against a phenomenal, well coached Medina team. The Blue Devils will be a team to watch moving forward.
Next up for the victorious Blue Devils is a home matchup vs Lakewood. Medina has a tough matchup @ Reynoldsburg on Saturday in the midst of a brutal stretch of games.
Lexie Bertemes (Brunswick): 16pts, 7/7 FT
Journey Hildebrand (Brunswick): 9 pts, 2 rebounds
Faith Vlcek (Brunswick): 12pts, 8/10 FT
Lea Holmes (Brunswick): 5 rebounds, 5 blocks
Olivia Klanac (Medina): 4pts, 2 rebounds, 2 steals
Katie Bobey (Medina): 8pts, 1 steal
I had a chance to talk with Brunswick coach Anthony Ocacio & Lea Holmes after the game.
This game recap is brought to you by Brunswick Auto Mart