Friday night the Brunswick Blue Devils (3-2) hosted their Greater Cleveland Conference rivals Medina Battling Bees (3-1) in a highly anticipated matchup between the two schools who are just 10 miles from each other. Coming into the game, Medina was on a two game losing streak to the Blue Devils. Before the game, Blue Devil coach Joe Mackey was honored after winning his 400th game as head coach of Brunswick just a week ago in New York making him the all-time winningest coach in Medina County.
In the first quarter, the Bees showed exactly why they were ranked #5 in this weeks Cleveland.com high school basketball polls. They moved the ball efficiently and effectively receiving three-point shots from junior guard Brock Beech and senior forward Hunter Smith. 6'3" senior guard Luke Klanac used his speed and sheer aggressiveness to pick up 5 quick points nearly outscoring the Blue Devils himself to give the Bees a 15-7 lead after one. This would be the only quarter that the Bees ended with a lead.
The second quarter showed a different Brunswick team. They started the quarter with a 8-2 run behind freshman guard Trey Drexler heating up with five quick points as well as senior guard Mikey Mog's triple that electrified the Blue Devil student section. With about three minutes left in the quarter, junior guard Quinn Barnett knocked down a corner triple to give Brunswick the go-ahead lead. Both teams would go into the half tied at 20.
The third quarter was tight and back and forth for both teams. Medina senior big man Jaylen Payne used his 6'5" frame to attack the paint picking up four quick points. Junior guard Benny Meyer added five points to keep Medina within reach of winning the game. Senior guard Maxx Dickinson and Barnett knocked down back-to-back threes to put Brunswick up 37-34 to end the quarter.
"Every team has an X-factor and he's ours." said Coach Mackey of Barnett post game. "When he plays well, we're tough to beat. He got us going with a few good looks and like a lot of our guys, he got a twitch, a little shake to his game and was able to get around and make some plays."
The fourth was all Brunswick taking advantage of Medina's missed shots and the duo of Barnett and Drexler combining for 11 of the teams 18 points. Both would finish the game with 14 point each helping Brunswick secure the 55-44 upset victory over Medina.
When asked post game about how the team shook off the first quarter struggles and turned things around, Coach Mackey responded
"after the slow start, that's the best we rebounded the ball. We rebounded and defended at a high level. Not a great matchup for us, they [Medina] have a lot more size than we do, but I thought we battled all night."
#5 Medina drops to 3-2 on the season, while Brunswick improves to 4-2.
I spoke with Brunswick coach joe Mackey after the game.
This game recap is brought to you by Brunswick Auto Mart