District champs face defeat in regionals

District champs face defeat in regionals

Ryan Blake, Staff Writer

Medina’s Cinderella story ended at midnight as Esa Ahmad manhandled the Bees in the Raiders’ 53-44 win.

On Wednesday night, the Medina Bees faced off against the Shaker Heights Raiders in the OHSAA Division I State Championship tournament.

The Bees’ four corner offense, a stifling defense and a loud, highly acclaimed student section – The Swarm – have carried them far this season.

Before the game started, the players from Medina seemed calm. Tyler King said, “this is just another game;” no one athlete showed any signs of nervousness – even though they were playing Shaker Heights, a NEO, intra-conference team who beat the Bees twice in the regular season.

The Bees came out with an early lead as the 7 foot tall, Jon Teske (No. 33) scored on the first break of the game. Early on Teske was difficult to stop offensively, and, with 4 blocked shots, he was a force to be reckoned with on defense as well. He shut down the inside game as he recorded 3 of 4 blocks on Shaker’s star player, Esa Ahmad (No. 1). The Swarm had a field day after the swats by erupting in a “You! Got! Swatted!” chant.IMG_4795

With help from Tyler King and Evan Schreck, Medina went into the second quarter with a 14-10 lead.

Shaker’s relaxed defense almost posted a sign allowing 3’s to be taken at will. Evan Schreck, Ben Geschke and Tyler King totaled 18 points from behind the 3 pt. arc.

Ahmad’s foul shots put the Raiders ahead by a score of 24-23 at the end of the first half. Danny Young, the Shaker Heights basketball head coach, must have delivered quite a halftime speech as Shaker Heights came out in the second half looking like a brand new team.

The Raiders went on a 14-3 run before Teske put the team on his back and recorded 6 uncontested points – adding 2 blocks. Though the Bees made a defensive effort, Ahmad was almost perfect at the free throw line drawing in 11 points from fouls.

At the end of 3, Shaker Heights led 40-37. The game took turn after turn, with each team fighting to gain a much needed momentum to carry them to the end. Finally though, the clock struck 12 on Medina’s Cinderella story.

With about 2 minutes to go in the final quarter,  Shaker led 51-42 and held onto the ball to drain the clock.

Defensive effort and school spirit were not enough to move the Bees into the Elite 8. The clock showed 0.0 with the Bees trailing by 9 – final score: 53-44.