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High School Basketball

Hoban clamps down on defense

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COPLEY TWP. — To say the Hoban boys basketball team was in the zone Wednesday in a Copley Division I District semifinal would be unfair.

“Zones” was the appropriate word, as the Knights used a variety of defenses to keep slow-it-down Brunswick out of sync all evening en route to an impressive 57-44 victory.

Top-seeded Hoban (22-2) advanced to play No. 2 Medina (16-7) or No. 4 Stow (19-4) on Saturday, while the third-seeded defending district champion Blue Devils ended an overachieving season 16-8.

“They’re really good. They’re (22-2) for a reason. I mean, they’re the real deal,” Brunswick coach Joe Mackey said. “We thought because of the way they zone press, they’d leave some open shooters and it might be easier for us.

“(Making comebacks) is something we’ve struggled with all year. We’re really good with the lead.”

Name a type of zone and the Knights probably trapped out of it. Mostly extending three-quarter court, Hoban used 2-1-2, 1-2-2, 1-2-1-1 and 3-2, as well as traditional 2-3 and man for good measure.

Brunswick couldn’t run its set-heavy offense effectively and never grabbed any sustained momentum other than a mini-run to start the fourth quarter. Over the first three periods, the Blue Devils took only 23 shots, four of which were airballs, and made only 4-of-17 3-pointers while falling behind 36-23.

Brunswick cut the deficit to 40-31 on a David Fedj 3-pointer with 5:42 to play and ignited a lifeless crowd, but veteran Knights coach T.K. Griffith calmly called timeout and the Blue Devils missed their next four shots.

The game then bogged down, as Hoban shot 22 free throws in a 29-minute quarter.

“They hit their shots. They executed,” Blue Devils small forward Nick Felician said. “We played really good defense, but they still executed. We couldn’t put the ball in the basket.”

The pass-first Felician tried to make things happen with creativity and finished with 11 points, three rebounds and five assists. Shooting guard Kyle Goessler sustained a nasty bloody nose late in the third quarter but add 12 points, while center Zak Zografos contributed seven points and seven rebounds and point guard Keith Simmons had five points and two assists before fouling out on a technical with 4:02 left.

Hoban countered with 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists from well-rounded point guard Garrett Houser, 15 points from built-like-a-man shooting guard Collen Gurley and 10 from muscular power forward Cartier Bickley.

The Knights were at their best transitioning off defensive rebounds, but they were efficient, too, with quarter shooting of 4-for-8, 5-for-8, 5-for-12 and 4-for-8. They took control via a 9-1 run with Simmons resting to start the second quarter and Brunswick never was closer than four points the rest of the way.

“The script didn’t play out the way we wanted it,” Mackey said. “We weren’t the best offensive team to start the season and we weren’t the best offensive team to end the season. We got down eight to 10 most of the night and it was too much to overcome.

“But our kids didn’t quit. I’ve got nothing but love for our guys. I had no negative comments after the game. It’s been a remarkable season.”

Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.

Hoban 57, Brunswick 44

Copley Division I District Semifinal

BRUNSWICK 9 7 7 21 — 44

HOBAN 11 12 13 21 — 57

Brunswick — Nick Felician 4-8 2-5 11, Cameron Sasala 0-1 1-2 1, Zak Zografos 3-6 0-0 7, Kyle Goessler 4-15 2-2 12, Keith Simmons 1-3 2-4 5, Blake Pirie 0-1 0-0 0, David Fedj 2-8 0-0 6, Alex Wyatt 0-1 0-0 0, Xavier Diaz 1-2 0-0 2, Trevor Mackey 0-0 0-0 0, Cameron Pettry 0-0 0-0 0, Ben Walla 0-0 0-0 0, Josh Stacho 0-0-0. TOTALS: 15-45 7-13 44.

Hoban — Jake Snyder 1-4 6-10 9, Cartier Bickley 4-6 1-4 10, Brian Cuppett 1-1 1-2 3, Collen Gurley 6-15 0-2 15, Garrett Houser 3-7 7-10 14, Matt Salopek 3-3 0-0 6, Isaiah Jackson 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 18-36 15-28 57.

3-point goals — Brunswick 7-29 (Fedj 2-7, Goessler 2-11, Simmons 1-2, Felician 1-3, Zografos 1-4, Wyatt 0-1, Pirie 0-1), Hoban 6-17 (Gurley 3-9, Bickley 1-1, Houser 1-3, Snyder 1-4). Rebounds — Brunswick 23 (Zografos 7), Hoban 23 (Houser 8). Assists — Brunswick 8 (Felician 5), Hoban 11 (Houser 3). Turnovers — Brunswick 10 (Simmons 4), Hoban 8 (Houser, Gurley 3). Fouls — Brunswick 18, Hoban 17. Fouled out — Simmons, Cuppett. Technical foul — Simmons. Records — Brunswick (16-8), Hoban (22-2).

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