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Sports

Polar Bears overpower Bees

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    The Medina Swarm cheer for the boys basketball team as they take the floor against Jackson in the Akron Regional semi-final game.

    RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE

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    \Medina's Jackson Sartain walks off the floor during the fourth quarter of an 80-59 loss to Jackson in the Akron Regional semi-final game.

    RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE

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    Medina's Jimmy Daw battles Jackson's Kyle Young for a rebound during the second quarter of the Akron Regional semi-final game.

    RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE

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    Medina's Luke Schaefer hugs Colin Szumski (20) after being pulled from a 80-59 loss to Jackson in the Akron Regional semi-final.

    RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE

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    Medina's Samuel McKee goes up for a shot against Jackson's Kyle Young during the fourth quarter of the Akron Regional semi-final game.

    RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE

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AKRON — After watching Massillon Jackson flatten his Medina boys basketball team Thursday in a University of Akron Division I Regional semifinal, third-year coach Chris Hassinger wanted to send a short but blunt message to the general public.

“I would call them a freight train,” he said. “I would say don’t stand in front of them.”

That sounded about right, as the incredibly athletic Polar Bears delivered the goods and rolled to the next stop before Columbus in a never-in-doubt 80-59 victory at JAR Arena.

Jackson (25-2), which led 24-13 after the first quarter despite getting exactly zero points from 6-foot-7 Ohio Mr. Basketball candidate Kyle Young, advanced to play Toledo St. John’s Jesuit (25-2) for the regional title Saturday night, while the Bees ended the season 18-8.

The Polar Bears’ starting lineup stood 6-7, 6-5, 6-5, 6-3, 6-2. They led 33-19 at halftime and threw down five dunks in the second half for good measure.

“Those guys were jumping out of the gym,” Medina power forward Jimmy Daw said. “There’s nothing you can do when they’re dunking. We played our hearts out, but give them all the credit.”

Toledo recruit Logan Hill, who warmed up an hour before the game by leaping and head-butting the glass, led the Polar Bears with 21 points, four rebounds and four blocks. The 6-5 senior brought the “Wow” factor with three slams, including a two-handed reverse and a down-the-lane flush that highlighted his impressive vertical.

The Butler-bound Young got on the board with a drop-step layup at the 6:27 mark of the second quarter — Jackson already was up 24-13 — then scored 10 points with two jams in the fourth after Medina desperately tried a half-court trap in a failed effort to make the score look respectable.

The keys to the game, however, were 6-5 small forward Jaret Pallotta (12 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists) and 6-3 shooting guard Kyle Nicolas (15). The unsung heroes pumped in 15 points as the Polar Bears led 19-11, and potential MLB draft choice Dillon Dingler spun in an excuse-me fadeaway 3-pointer at the quarter buzzer.

Jackson shot 32-for-52 (.615) overall and 28-for-39 (.718) when a 4-for-13 second quarter was factored out. It was 17-for-23 (.739) in the second half.

“They got a little bit more hustle plays than us,” Daw said. “They were scoring a little bit more, they were getting up and down the court a little bit faster than us. We weren’t ready for it. We were adjusting to the game at that time.”

Medina made only 9-of-27 shots (1-of-6 3-pointers) in the decisive first half. Star forward Luke Schaefer began with five straight misfires, including two Hill rejections, but still led the Bees with 16 points and capped his career total at 1,114 with a two-handed slam.

The team’s best player was the physical Daw, who started at power forward and matched Jackson’s physicality. The 6-4 Ball State football recruit finished with 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Other than 10 second-half points by point guard Ben Geschke and a quietly productive seven points and six boards from center Sam McKee, the Bees simply couldn’t keep up with the better-in-every-way Polar Bears.

“Jackson’s just a tough team,” Schaefer said. “They’ve got talent, they’ve got size, they’ve got it all.”

Though Schaefer understood the Bees were the underdog going in, the thought of his career ending was hard to comprehend minutes afterward.

“I’m just a little upset — not with the loss, but the fact that I’m not going to be back here next year,” he said. “I won’t be around Coach Hass and playing with the guys I’ve been with since I was young. I’ve been playing with guys like (Geschke) and (McKee) and Jim Daw since third grade, second grade, so it’s going to be a little weird next year. But that’s what happens. That’s life.”

Notes

  • Event officials couldn’t get the national anthem to play in a timely manner, so the large crowd sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” in quasi-unison. The initial attempt was bettered by the Jackson student section, which sang louder than everyone else until unison fully established.
  • Daw and 6-7 Tyler Kaminski both knocked over sophomore Dillon Friedrick while attempting flying hip bumps during the starting lineups.
  • Gazette MVPs Jody Peters (Medina, 1979), Pat Ploucha (Cloverleaf, 1982), Jay Peters (Medina, 1983) and Travis Schwab (Medina, 1999) were all sitting within 15 feet of each other in the upper level. Brunswick sophomore Kyle Goessler wasn’t far away.

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

Jackson 80, Medina 59

University of Akron Division I Regional Semifinal

MEDINA 13 6 18 22 — 59

JACKSON 24 9 22 25 — 80

Medina — Luke Schaefer 7-18 1-2 16, Jimmy Daw 4-8 0-0 10, Tyler Kaminski 1-2 0-0 2, Jackson Sartain 3-8 0-0 7, Ben Geschke 4-10 0-0 11, Colin Szumski 1-4 0-0 2, Sam McKee 2-2 3-3 7, Dylan Fultz 0-1 1-2 1, Kyle Szumski 0-0 0-0 0, Shane Cullen 1-2 0-0 3, Jared Keith 0-2 0-0 0, Alec Buchtinec 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 23-58 5-7 59.

Jackson — Jaret Pallotta 5-11 2-2 12, Kyle Young 9-14 1-1 20, Logan Hill 8-10 5-11 21, Kyle Nicolas 5-8 4-6 15, Ethan Stanislawski 1-1 0-0 2, Dillon Dingler 1-2 0-0 3, Anthony Mazzeo 0-2 0-0 0, Sam Shew 1-2 0-0 2, Carter Mueller 0-1 0-0 0, Ethan Kulich 0-0 0-0 0, Nick Shatrich 1-1 0-0 3, Bryce Hawkins 1-1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 32-52 12-20 80.

3-point goals — Medina 8-21 (Geschke 3-7, Daw 2-2, Cullen 1-2, Schaefer 1-4, Sartain 1-4, Keith 0-1, Buchtinec 0-1), Jackson 4-11 (Shatrich 1-1, Young 1-2, Dingler 1-2, Nicolas 1-3, Mazzeo 0-1, Pallotta 0-2). Rebounds — Medina 25 (McKee 6), Jackson 34 (Young 8). Assists — Medina 11 (Daw 4), Jackson 19 (Pallotta 10). Turnovers — Medina 9, Jackson 6. Fouls — Medina 13, Jackson 5. Fouled out — None. Records — Medina (18-8), Jackson (25-2).



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