MEDINA — Medina had a puncher’s chance to do what no boys basketball team has this season — defeat the Solon Comets, who are ranked second in the Division I state poll.
The Bees almost pulled off the Greater Cleveland Conference upset, but the Comets escaped 76-70.
With approximately two minutes left, sophomore guard Kyle Szumski pulled the Bees (5-14, 1-10) to 73-70 on a drive to the basket, capping an 8-2 run.
“I was just trying to go to the basket and see if I could get some fouls because they were calling them,” Szumski said.
The Comets (18-0, 11-0) milked almost 90 seconds on the next possession before standout guard Sincere Carry drew a foul in the bonus and sank a pair with 54 seconds left to give his team a 75-70 lead.
Medina worked the ball down the court, but after a deflected ball out of bounds, the Bees threw away the inbounds pass with 35 seconds left to effectively end the game.
“I’m really proud of our team, but we expect to win. Our kids are disappointed,” Medina coach Chris Hassinger said. “The problem you have is Sincere Carry is one of the best kids in Ohio and he just takes over those games. He’s so athletic and can do so many things to help his team win the game.”
Carry finished with a game-high 25 points and six assists. Junior guard David Marbury added 21 points for Solon, including five 3-pointers.
Szumski kept the Bees in the game in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 of Medina’s 18 points. He scored all of his team-high 17 points in the second half while finishing with three rebounds and an assist.
“We haven’t had many sophomores at Medina that can do what he can,” Hassinger said. “With him it’s the maturation process of the mental part of the game. He’s starting to think he’s the man and he’s playing like the man.”
After Solon jumped to a 7-2 lead, the Bees went on a 15-3 run behind freshman guard Corey Tripp (15 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists), who scored eight first-quarter points in his first career start.
Solon rallied early in the second quarter, and Marbury tied the game at 24 on a 3-pointer with six minutes left in the half to cap a 10-3 run.
The Bees regained the lead with a 12-3 run behind six points apiece from senior guard Colin Szumski and senior post Tyler Kaminski (8 points, 8 rebounds), but the Comets went to halftime with a 42-38 lead after Carry hit a running 3-pointer to beat the buzzer.
Carry hit a pair of foul shots with 2:22 left in the third quarter that jump-started an 8-2 run to close the period and gave Solon the lead for good.
Dillon Friedrick had 11 points and three 3-pointers off the bench for Medina, while Dylan Fultz had eight points.
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Solon 76, Medina 70
SOLON 14 28 16 18 — 76
MEDINA 21 17 14 18 — 70
Solon — Mike Bekelja 1-0-3, David Marbury 8-0-21, Nick Close 3-0-7, Trent Williams 3-1-7, Sincere Carry 6-10-25, Ryan Bergen 3-0-9, Justin Lumpkin 0-0-0, Brandon Brown 2-0-4. TOTALS: 26-11-76.
Medina — Kyle Szumski 6-5-17, Dylan Fultz 4-0-8, Tyler Kaminski 3-1-8, Colin Szumski 2-1-6, Corey Tripp 6-0-15, Tay Gauthier 1-0-3, Dillon Friedrick 4-0-11, Daniel Terrion 1-0-2, Drew Hassinger 0-0-0. TOTALS: 27-7-70.
3-point goals — Marbury 5, Bergen 3, Carry 3, Bekelja, Close, Tripp 3, Friedrick 3, Gauthier, Szumski, Kaminski. Rebounds — Medina 32 (Kaminski 8), Solon 23 (Close 8). Assists — Medina 15 (Tripp 4), Solon 12 (Carry 6). Records — Solon (18-0, 11-0), Medina (5-14, 1-10). Junior varsity — Medina 79, Solon 75.