AUBLE IS MVP TIMES TWO

March 22nd, 2016  / Author: dipasqua

SENIOR GUARD GOES OUT IN STYLE

By Dom DiPasqua/Staff Writer

Tuesday night, March 22, 2016

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS – Like a fine wine Dan Auble got better with age. There is a lot to be said for saving your best for last. And Auble, a senior point guard, left no doubts this past season as he was named the Bees Most Valuable Player for the 2015-’16 campaign. Dan, who will play his college ball at Capital University in Bexley, was voted the Suburban League National Division’s MVP as well. The team captain was also voted to the SL’s first-team, and was third-team all-district. For what Auble does off the court, where his generosity knows no bounds, he should receive a humanitarian award.

“Danny had the ability to control games with the ball in his hands. And he never stopped working to get better,” veteran Beeville head coach Steve Mehalik said. “You win with great people.”

Summing Up The Season

The Brecksville-Broadview Heights basketball program celebrated its fifth 20-win season in its 77-year history here this season at the teams sixth annual post-season awards banquet. The Bees went 20-4 overall and 13-1 in their first year in the loop, running away with the conference title.

From day one of camp back around Halloween Mehalik often talked about how special this team was. Their work ethic was second to none. Their class and the way they went about their business was unflappable. They prepared for games like professionals. And, in the end, the results spoke for themselves. “It puts into perspective just how special this group was, being only the fifth 20-win team in program history,”Mehalik said to a gathering of varsity and junior varsity players and their family members here in the cafeteria prior to dinner. “And this group brought the program closer to a magical number. We are only 13 wins away from 1,000 victories in program history.”

The Bees, in 77 years of playing inter-scholastic basketball, are 987-560. That is just a shade under 13 victories per season in nearly eight decades of action on the hardwood. In that span Brecksville has claimed 31 league championships; from the Cuyahoga West Conference to the Cuyahoga Conference, from the Pioneer to the Southwestern and right up to the present day Suburban League.

Excellence and class have been the calling card of this largely unheralded program outside the twin communities. Coach Mehalik has carried on the tradition that the great mentors that came before him laid the groundwork for. This was Mehalik’s fourth league crown in his nine years as the Bees head coach. Mehalik, as always, graciously hosted this evenings event with the perfect touches of humor, humility and pride.

Their Legacy Is Cemented

Two years ago Mehalik and his staff created a “Champions Chart” that tracked the obvious stats per game along with the intangibles that don’t make it into a box score but go a long way in adding tally marks to the victory column. And for the second straight season forward Dan Harwood was at the top of the chart.

Harwood, a senior, was this years winner of the award now named the “Coach STU Award” in honor of late assistant coach Dave Stuczynski who passed away just before the start of training camp. Choking back tears Mehalik presented the prestigious award to Harwood in the LGI room. “This is the highest honor in our basketball program,” Mehalik said.

Harwood was named to the Suburban League’s first team. The team captain also claimed the Coaches Award. And he was special mention all-district. He, along with Auble and classmate Andrew Bruno, were tabbed as Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association All-Stars. The games are tomorrow night at the fabulous Bee Hive.

Bruno, a senior guard, was the Bees Defensive Player of the Year. Mehalik noted Bruno’s laser-like focus and love for delving deep into a scouting report. The intense Bruno flat out left it all on the court, usually playing to exhaustion. He was named to the Suburban League’s second-team. “Andrew Bruno is the best defender we’ve had in my nine years here,” Mehalik said.

Best Off The Bench

Senior Danny Shirilla, who much like in football, played a variety of positions and played them all very well, is a coaches dream. An outstanding student in the classroom Shirilla’s understanding of the game and keen awareness of being in the moment did whatever he was called on to do this past season. And that included taking a team-high 11 charges. “Danny Shirilla embraced his role and was one of the best competitors we’ve ever had,” said Mehalik. “As Doc Rivers said ‘be a star in your role’, well that was Danny Shirilla.”

When Brecksville needed energy. When it needed instant offense off the bench or a key rebound or two down the stretch senior P.J. Austin provided it. Austin, a senior who made a huge impact this year, was chosen as one of the teams co-most improved players along with junior post Jared Bazil.

Austin’s ability to put the ball in the basket, in bunches, at key junctures of crucial games made him invaluable to the squads success. “We’re not standing up here passing out conference championship t-shirts tonight if it wasn’t for P.J.,” Mehalik said.

Senior Jimmy Henyey is the type of young man you just pull for. Aside from being an all-star academically Henyey is a huge fan of the game of basketball. It occupies a special place in his heart. And of the many positive take-ways from this season one that keeps coming to mind is that Henyey went out with a bang. The last three baskets of his never-say-die four-year career were 3-pointers. And they all came in post-season play which makes them that much more memorable. “Coaching guys like Jimmy Henyey is what is right about high school basketball,” said Mehalik.

The Bees six seniors, a classy and close-knit group, received team chairs. Keepsakes for the ages. “This is a symbol of your hard work,” Coach Mehalik told them.

Can’t Wait For Next Year

Jared Bazil, whose dominating presence inside led him to 9-points and 7-rebounds per game averages, finished his second season as a starter and was a second-team all-league honoree. Needless to say Bazil will be one of the conference’s top returning players next season.

Ditto for junior wing Matt Dimitrijevs who was Brecksville’s Best Offensive Player – and for good reason. When Matt D got hot the gym became electric and opponents scurried to call time outs. Dimitrijevs can flat out knock in the three-ball as he did with abandon this season, hitting 60 of them. He shot 39% from behind the arc. And was named honorable mention SL.

 

BEE HIVE BUZZ:

Brecksville-Broadview Heights rattled off 15 straight wins during one stretch this season. That was the third longest win streak in program history. The Bees out-rebounded their opponents by 5.4 boards per outing. They held the opposition to 39% shooting from the field. And that will win you some ballgames.

The junior varsity team, under coach John Silva, went 20-2 overall and 13-1 in the circuit. The JV Bees average margin of victory was 61-38, which happened because they simply imposed their will on opponents. Coach Silva said that his group transcended all expectations. The freshmen team finished strong to post a 12-9 slate under coaches Ken Cunningham and Jonny Everett.

Congratulations to freshmen Kenny Ganley who was selected to play in the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association “Top 100 Underclassmen Showcase”. The event will take place April 23rd at Otterbein University in Westerville. Ganley, who received his first varsity letter this evening, is only the fourth freshmen in the last 15 years to play at the varsity level for the Bees.

 

See You At The Bee Hive!

To contact: Ddipa67834@aol.com.

Follow on Twitter: @beevillesports

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IGGY IS THE CATS MEOW

March 4th, 2016  / Author: dipasqua

BEES GO COLD, HIT END OF THE ROAD

By Dom DiPasqua/Staff Writer

Thursday night, March 3, 2016

STRONGSVILLE – St. Ignatius held the Bees scoreless for a 16:25 stretch and cruised to a 60-23 Division I district semi-final tournament victory here this evening in front a near capacity crowd at The Corral.

The second-seeded Wildcats (18-6) advance to Saturday nights district final where they will take on rival,  top-seeded St. Edward at a site to be determined for the right to advance to the Cleveland State regional. The Eagles defeated #4 North Royalton, 79-61, last night.

Third-seeded Brecksville-Broadview Heights, a team known for its ability to put the ball in the basket, sees its season come to a disappointing end. But along the way Steve Mehalik’s hard working squad racked up 20 wins against only four losses. And stormed their way to a Suburban League National Division title with a 13-1 mark.

The Bees broke out to a 7-0 lead. St. Ignatius responded with a 10-0 run. Brecksville’s Danny Shirilla took his tenth charge of the season. And just before Brecksville inbound the ball assistant coach Greg Sejba mentioned a play to Mehalik that he thought would work. It did. Dan Harwood flung a diagonal pass to a wide open Matt Dimitrijevs in the left corner, and the Bees sniper tied the contest with a triple just before the horn.

Tied at ten after the first eight minutes is just what Brecksville wanted against one of Northeast Ohio’s most storied programs. What would happen shortly thereafter no one wearing red envisioned, let alone hoped for.

The Wildcats went on a 17-4 run to start the second stanza. The Bees Dan Auble notched both field goals. Harwood, a senior forward, canned a floater with 3:11 to play in the half. Little did anyone fathom that those would be Brecksville’s last points until sophomore reserve player Michael Rose scored inside with 2:46 remaining in the game. By that time the score was 55-19 Wildcats.

After trailing 7-0 early St. Ignatius went on a 46-10 run.

“St. Ignatius is really good. They are well-coached. They were just better than us,” Mehalik said shortly after his ninth season at the helm came to an end.

There Can Be Nights Like This

The Wildcats couldn’t get their shots to fall in the first four minutes of the game. From then on out they couldn’t miss. Brian Becker’s club drained nine 3-point field goals. Brecksville, known to score from the parking lot, managed only three. One of those came from senior Jimmy Henyey who forgot to call glass with about a minute and a half left.

The Bees came into the game averaging 60 points per outing. They were shut down this evening. “St. Ignatius had a lot to do with that. They are long and athletic. We had to make shots. The longer the drought went on the more pressure we felt,” said Mehalik. “Our guys did what we asked them to do. I question whether I put them in the best situation.”

Not Much Added Up

To illustrate how this one went for Beeville, Hardwood was high-point man with five. Junior post Jared Bazil hauled down a game-high nine rebounds with eight of them coming in the first half. The Bees trailed 29-17 at intermission. They were held scoreless in the third period. Brecksville’s bench scored all six of its fourth quarter points.

The Bees were simply over-matched. They couldn’t buy a bucket against the ‘Cats defense if they had a wad of twenties hanging out of their pockets.

St. Ignatius was led by team captain Jimmy Berger who netted 14 points on four consistently spaced treys.

A Season To Remember

Mehalik and his staff talked through the tough-to-take loss with their team afterward. The positive take-away was the season that is in the books and will be for history. And not one unforeseen cold-shooting night.

“This group is the most enjoyable group we’ve ever had here. You talk about over-achievers. If you looked it up in the dictionary it would define these guys,” Mehalik said. “What they accomplished this season no one thought they could except them. The tone they set for our basketball program is one that these young guys can follow. This pain will go away. That’s a good basketball team we lost to.”

Mehalik then paused and swallowed hard. “These seniors are a special group. I don’t have kids. But these six seniors are like six sons to me,” he said.

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

BRECKSVILLE          10          07          00          06          = 23

ST. IGNATIUS           10          19          10           21           = 60

 

STAT-O-MATIC:

BRECKSVILLE ….. The Bees went 4 of 10 from the free throw line for 40% and committed 13 turnovers.

ST. IGNATIUS ….. The Wildcats went 6 of 12 from the free throw line for 50% and committed 11 turnovers.

 

OFFICIALS:

Frank Micale, Bryant Berry and Eric Moegerle (a veteran group).

 

BEES STATISTICAL LEADERS:

SCORING ….. Hardwood with 5.

REBOUNDS ….. Bazil with 9.

STEALS ….. Auble with 2.

ASSISTS ….. Harwood with 2.

BLOCKED SHOTS ….. Auble, Harwood and P.J. Austin with 1 each.

CHARGES TAKEN ….. Shirilla and Harwood with 1 each.

 

STARTING LINE-UPS:

BEES: 4-Andrew Bruno, 10-Matt Dimitrijevs, 12-Dan Auble, 13-Dan Harwood, 31-Jared Bazil.

WILDCATS: 3-Deven Stover, 21-Jimmy Berger, 25 Kyle Kalish, 31-Austen Yarian, 34-Matt Davet.

 

BEE BUZZ:

Brecksville-Broadview Heights finished 20-4 and 13-1 in the Suburban League. The Bees went 11-1 within the confines of the fabulous Bee Hive and 9-2 on the road. Tonight was a neutral court affair. However it was the second time this winter that the club lost here at Strongsville. The host Mustangs nicked them 48-47 three months ago. Brecksville averaged 58 points per game this season and allowed 49. Steve Mehalik’s bunch ran away and hid with the SL’s National Division crown, snaring the pennant by three games.

The Swarm showed up in tremendous numbers and wore black. They took over the upper level on the bench side of the gym. Kendall Brown, Kaylee Vadini and Nick Burkhart were the first to arrive.

The St. Ignatius students wore white. The chants that went back and forth between the dueling student sections were entertaining to say the least. It was all in good fun. Brian Becker is back for his second stint as the Wildcats head coach. He is in his first season, having replaced Sean O’Toole who was at the game.

The Iggy student body gave a nice round of applause to Brecksville sophomore cheerleader Abigail Gates when she landed with perfection near mid court after executing several award-winning flips. There was a definite big-game atmosphere. And the energy level in The Corral was good for about the first ten minutes of play.

Dennis Geffert (rhymes with effort) was outstanding behind the microphone as usual. Official scorer Diane Bennett got her traditional orange Tootsie Pop well before tip off. And that made her happy.

Former Brecksville student assistant coach Brandon Halupnik made the scene. It was great to see him. He showed up right before tip off and made a surprise visit to the Bees bench which seemed to pump-up the team.

 

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT:

“With the number of assistant coaches that both teams have pregame intros may take a while.” – Joe Zenir.

 

See You At The Bee Hive!

To contact: Ddipa67834@aol.com.

Follow on Twitter: @beevillesports

– 30 –

 


BEES GO LONG BALL

February 27th, 2016  / Author: dipasqua

SINK A DOZEN THREES TO OUST RAMS

By Dom DiPasqua/Staff Writer

Saturday afternoon, February 27, 2016

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS – Matt Dimitrijevs nailed six three-point field goals in just three quarters of work to help lead third-seeded Brecksville-Broadview Heights to a 70-41 Division I sectional final tournament victory over sixth-seeded Rhodes here this afternoon in front of a comfortably dressed, late arriving crowd at the fabulous Bee Hive.

Brecksville canned a dozen three-pointers as a team. More than half its points came from the perimeter. “When the ball goes in it makes coaching a little easier,” said longtime BBHHS head coach Steve Mehalik. “This is a special group. And there was no way in the world they were going to let their season end today.”

The victory, the Bees 20th of the season, vaults them into Thursday nights district semi-final where they will likely face, barring a major upset, second-seeded St. Ignatius. The Wildcats host#11 Max Hayes this evening.

This was the first time since the magical post-season run which the 2013 team made that the Bees got past the first round of tournament play.

“We’ve been working hard on our shooting all year and all week, even this morning,” said Dimitrijevs. “Preparation is the key. This is the playoffs. You have to be ready.”

Early And Often

Dimitrijevs, a 6-1 junior, was indeed ready. He was hot all afternoon. Matt D drilled three long balls in the first quarter. And senior forward Dan Harwood made two of his own as Brecksville (20-3) broke out to a 19-8 lead less than seven minutes into the game.

Harwood, a no-nonsense leader, took control of the game early. He rose to the occasion when Rhodes came out and face-guarded Brecksville senior point guard Dan Auble.

“If I have to take on that role I will. But I know that we have four other guys beside me that can take on that role,” Harwood said. “It really doesn’t matter who you try to stop because we play as a team.”

Senior guard Andrew Bruno made three acrobatic layups. And P.J. Austin came off the bench to swish a trey before Dimitrijevs fired in his fourth three-ball just before the halftime horn to give the hosts a 36-18 advantage at the break.

The Onslaught Continues

Dimitrijevs hit two more from beyond the arc in the opening minute of the third period. That gave Brecksville a commanding 44-18 margin. And this game was over.

Dimitrijevs finished with a team-high 18 points. Bruno scored 12. And Harwood was good for 10. Eight of Harwood’s points came early on in the opening frame.

In all a dozen red and gold striped, laser guided missiles found their mark. All 15 players who dressed saw post-season action. The Bees remained torrid from the free throw line, draining eight of nine attempts. The hosts got 19 points from its bench, led by senior Jimmy Henyey’s pair of fourth frame three’s. The Bees dominated the backboards, 30-20.

The Silencing Of The Rams

The Rams, whom Brecksville defeated by the score of 69-57 on opening night, November 27th, were led by junior guard Isaiah Washington who tallied a game-high 19. Washington is the teams leading scorer. He came in averaging 23 per outing.

Rhodes, which finished in second place in the regular season in the Senate Athletic League, bows out with an overall record of 11-9. The Rams started two juniors and three sophomores. “Rhodes is a team that is going to be really good the next two years as those young guys develop,” Mehalik said.

Seasoned Seniors

Other than an unsavory batch of third quarter turnovers that Mehalik quickly put an end to with a mince-no-words time out, the Bees – outright Suburban League National Division champions – looked like a well-oiled machine.

“It was our experience. Our seniors stepped up. Matt D did a good job. And Danny Harwood hit shots,” said Mehalik. “Rhodes tried to take Danny Auble away and he had the poise to continue to play basketball. He’s the best point guard in Northeast Ohio.”

A Rare Occurrence

This was the Bees first Saturday afternoon game since the 3:00 pm start at the University of Toledo on March 16, 2013 when they faced Toledo Rogers in a regional final fray. The unusual noon-hour tip off  was not a factor. “The atmosphere didn’t phase us. We were pumped up and ready to play,” Dimitrijevs said.

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

RAMS          08          10          09          14          = 41

BEES           19           17           17           17          = 70

 

STAT-O-MATIC:

RHODES ….. The Rams went 10 of 12 from the free throw line for 83.3% and committed 19 turnovers.

BRECKSVILLE ….. The Bees went 8 0f 9 from the free throw line for 88.8% and committed 12 turnovers.

 

OFFICIALS:

James Duke, Carl Davidson and “Mustang” Mike Boyle (a veteran group).

 

BEES STATISTICAL LEADERS:

SCORING ….. Dimitrijevs with 18.

REBOUNDS ….. Jared Bazil with 7.

STEALS ….. Auble with 2.

ASSISTS ….. Auble with 5.

BLOCKED SHOTS ….. Auble and Kyle Seibert with 2 each.

CHARGES TAKEN ….. None.

 

STARTING LINE-UPS:

RAMS: 4-Nijon Kirkman, 5-Donovan Forte, 10-Isaiah Washington, 12-Richard Monday, 24-Kevin Tucker.

BEES: 4-Andrew Bruno, 10-Matt Dimitrijevs, 12-Dan Auble, 13-Dan Harwood, 31-Jared Bazil.

 

BEE HIVE BUZZ:

By winning magic number game number 20 this afternoon this Bees team became only the fifth in the 70-year history of the program to reach that mark. It was Brecksville’s fourth straight triumph. The Bees finished 11-1 at home this season (Canton McKinley). They are averaging 60 points per game. Their opponents 49. Steve Mehalik’s club has outscored its foes by a total of 256 points over the course of 23 ballgames.

Rhodes, which hit seven three’s of its own this afternoon, reached the sectional final by defeating Lakewood in a first-round game at home by the count of 71-53 Wednesday night. Today was the Rams second loss this season at the Hive. They began and ended their campaign here.

The 12-noon tip off was the earliest in the modern history of the BBHHS basketball program. The reason was to accommodate this evenings Music in Motion production.

With 13 minutes remaining on the warm-up clock there was a grand total of 43 fans in the stands. The gathering quickly grew like wild flowers to the usual number by game time or slightly thereafter.

The Swarm appropriately staged a pajama theme for the early Saturday matinee. PJ’s were the order of the day in the fabled student section. The group hung a well-done sign on the railing that read: “We woke up like this.” Senior volleyball player Alexis Hill summed up the mindset. “This is my first basketball game this season because I am always at work or out of town! But I picked a good game. I just rolled out of bed for the PJ party in the student section,” Hill, the most quoted player in the history of the Lady Bees volleyball program, said.

The Bees cheerleaders and their veteran coach Mrs. Hoy went to Panera for breakfast as a team this morning. The usual suspects, no names please, occupied the Monkey Island section. Danny Shirilla posed with about a dozen relatives after the game. Included in the group was his cousin who is a senior player for the regional-bound Solon Lady Comets hoop team.

A huge shout out goes to sophomore volleyball player Amber King who took this humble scribes Tweet this morning to heart. And graciously delivered a small cup of black coffee to press row prior to tip off. “I saw your Tweet this morning. Did anyone bring you coffee?”, asked sophomore Daniel Stuczynski. You bet Stu. Amber King did and it hit the spot! A million thanks BERRR!

For the first time since the Bees played Rhodes the day after Thanksgiving (an off day from work) this old hack was able to get a parking spot in the Bee Hive’s upper level lot. The secret? Arrive at 10:38 for a 12-noon tip on a day where there is no freshmen or junior varsity game.

Steve Mehalik will attend the Suburban Leagues’ post-season coaches meeting tomorrow afternoon. If this corner had a vote for the National Division’s Most Valuable Player it would be cast for the Bees Dan Auble.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“I hope the ball goes in today.” – Bees assistant coach Greg Sejba at 11:30 am.

 

NEXT UP:

Unless the Max Hayes Lakers pull off the upset of the century tonight at Sullivan Gym, Brecksville-Broadview Heights will take on St. Ignatius Thursday in a district semi-final contest at Strongsville High School at 7:00 pm.

The Bees and Wildcats have a fairly recent post-season history. That was in 2010 when Iggy claimed a sectional final victory at Solon. Brecksville, which is 9-2 on the road this season, lost at the Mustangs Corral back in early December. This setting is a true neutral court however.

The Bees are playing with the big boys now. “Like we always say, ‘It’s not a tournament run until you win your first game.’ Now this is special. We get to play one of the elite teams in the state of Ohio. One of the storied franchises in Northeast Ohio. But this is what our guys have worked for,” Steve Mehalik said. “They are really, really good. The Wildcats are as advertised. We are going to have to play close to a perfect game to beat them. In the past we would say that we would have to play a perfect game. But this Thursday we are really going to have to.”

Thursdays semi-final is a single session affair. The upper bracket semi-final, where top-seeded St. Edward is slotted, will be played Wednesday at 7:00 at Strongsville. The district title tilt is next Saturday at 7.

“It’s going to take a team effort. We have to prepare like we have been. And we can’t go in there thinking that we’re hot stuff,” said Dan Harwood. “We just have to play our game.”

Coach Mehalik is scouting the Ignatius-Max Hayes game this evening. He and his staff will have the Bees prepared. That much you can count on.

All season long it has been the Bees that have had a huge target on their backs with everyone in the Suburban League’s National Division chasing them from the get-go. Brecksville barreled through the finish line, playing very well down the home stretch of the regular season, and claimed the conference crown by three games. The tables have now dramatically turned. The Bees are no longer the hunted. They are the underdogs. This is unfamiliar territory for Beeville. However it is a role that Mehalik and his charges will gladly embrace.

“We will have to take care of the basketball and not turn it over. We will have to shoot the heck out of the ball, which I think we can do. If we play our game, we’ll be good,” Matt Dimitrijevs said.

 

See You At The Bee Hive!

To contact: Ddipa67834@aol.com.

Follow on Twitter: @beevillesports

 – 30 –

 

 

 

 

 


SATURDAY NIGHT “SPECIAL”

February 21st, 2016  / Author: dipasqua

BEES COMEBACK TOPS STOW

By Dom DiPasqua/Staff Writer

Saturday night, February 20, 2016

STOW – Much like last night Brecksville-Broadview Heights got six clutch free throws in the games final 48.7 seconds. And that was enough to overcome a 10-point early third quarter deficit as the Bees finished off the regular season with a stirring 54-50 victory over Stow-Munroe Falls on Senior Night in James G. Tyree Gymnasium.

With the Suburban League National Division win Brecksville polishes off a splendid season where it went 19-3 overall and 13-1 in its first season in the circuit. The Bees are outright title-holders.

Tonight’s contest was a make-up for a game that was originally scheduled for Tuesday, however schools were closed here on account of snow.

Mehalik Sums It Up

The Bulldogs Nathan Bower-Malone, a 5-11 senior guard who came into the tilt averaging close to 19 points per outing, was held to just six points by the Bees Andrew Bruno. Bower-Malone canned a pair of second quarter three’s and other than that he hardly got a look as Bruno flat out locked him down.

“The job tonight by Andrew Bruno was the single best defensive effort that I have seen in my 13 seasons as a coach. Bruno went back-to-back against Zack Meder of Hudson and tonight against Nathan Bower-Malone. I’m just really proud of him,” said BBHHS head coach Steve Mehalik outside his teams jubilant locker room. “How many times did Bruno get screened tonight against a team that sets more screens for one of the best players in Northeast Ohio? And it goes unnoticed. You don’t see that in the box score. Stow runs everything for Bower-Malone. The amount of screens that Bruno had to hit. We should put a FitBit on him to see how many steps he has at the end of the night. Tonight it was probably ten thousand.”

Both teams were coming off conference victories Friday night. The Bulldogs played at North Royalton where they won, 51-44, in overtime. The Bees clinched the outright National Division title with a 65-58 home triumph over Hudson.

Despite getting out to a 7-5 lead Mehalik called a time out just a click over six minutes in after his squad committed its fourth turnover. Both teams looked a little lethargic early on. The second stanza was played at a well-coached high-level. Stow had a 26-24 advantage at the half.

Brecksville went cold in the third period. Three more turnovers and a three-point play by 6-4 Bulldog senior center Logan Huffman gave the hosts a 36-26 lead.

Let’s Play Ball

The Bees trailed by seven heading into the fourth. And then they got their legs back. Jared Bazil swished a pair of free throws to tie it at 41 with 5:06 to play. And it was game on until the final horn.

Bruno drilled a trey from the left corner to give the Bees their first lead since the opening quarter at 46-45. It was a lead they would not relinquish.

Senior point guard Dan Auble stole the ball near mid court and his trademark pull-up jay from the line gave Brecksville a 48-45 lead.

Senior forward Dan Harwood drained a set of freebies, widening the margin to 50-45 with 48.7 left. Huffman answered inside, 50-47.

Bruno connected on a pair from stripe with 11 seconds to go, 52-47. And when the Bulldogs hurried the ball up the floor Bruno was on the receiving end of a wicked screen set by Huffman near the timeline. The Bulldogs hit a three on the play with 4.6 ticks on the clock to trim the gap to 52-50. But Auble was fouled under the basket in a skirmish for what would have been a rebound if the shot missed. Auble went to the other end and calmly fired in both charity tosses for the final margin.

The game started out slow. But turned out to be a dandy.

“What you saw tonight was two teams ready to play a game that everyone was telling us didn’t mean anything. It does mean something. It meant something to the guys in this locker room because they are champions!” Mehalik said pointing toward the door. “We talked about, ‘are we just champions or are we true champions?”

Baseline Bees

Harwood led the Bees with 14 points. Half of them coming in the ‘hop on my back I’ve got you’ fourth frame. Bazil, who was saddled with early foul trouble Friday night, made up for lost time with a wire-to-wire 13-point, game-high nine rebound effort. Junior Matt Dimitrijevs sank three long balls for a total of nine and came up with a trilogy of steals. Bruno ended up with eight markers. Auble, as steady as they come, also hit for eight, landed seven boards and dealt four helpers. Freshman Kenny Ganley scored a second quarter field goal for Brecksville’s only bench points.

“I just wanted to come out and play as hard as I could because last night I wasn’t in the game much because of foul trouble. So I wanted to come out and prove that I’m really involved,” Bazil said.

Slamming The Door

But it was Bruno’s outstanding job on Bower-Malone, and he had plenty of help from senior Danny Shirilla off the bench in that capacity as well, that turned the tide in the Bees favor in the fourth quarter. Brecksville’s relentless defensive effort, and playing with the heart of a champion, were too much for Stow to overcome – even on their home court on a night when the gym should have been dark.

“Bower-Malone just came off a 25-point game. He’s conference player-of-the-year material. But we prepared for him. I think we played really well as a team defensively. And we shut him down,” said Bruno. “We prepared for Stow early in the week. And we prepared for them some more this morning. I felt like our team was ready for this game. It was an important game for us early in the week. And it was an important game for us tonight. Being that this is the senior season for six of us, we only have so many of these left. So we have to play hard.”

The Bulldogs were led by Huffman who tallied 14. Stow was perfect from the line but only got there four times. Brecksville out-rebounded the ‘Dogs, 32-19. Both teams hit seven triples. “That’s a special team. and Stow is a special program,” said Mehalik. “They have one of the best coaches in the area.”

Impressive Work

What Mehalik and his staff have been able to do over the course of the 22-game regular season schedule is develop quality depth. What may have been a concern of his in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving has allowed the veteran bench boss to sleep better at night the past several months. Danny Shirilla is a bonafide winner. P.J. Austin has provided a scoring spark off the bench like no other. Ganley has adapted quickly and well to the physicality of varsity level. And his ability to crash the glass has been nothing short of impressive. And as of late Michael Rose, a sophomore call-up from the junior varsity, has made an immediate impact. The ability and skill level of the Bees starting five coming into this season was never a doubt. Twenty-two games later they are as good as any around.

“Michael Rose came in tonight and gave us great minutes. Kenny Ganley didn’t get to play last night. He comes in tonight and gives us great minutes,” Mehalik said. “This is a special group. I can’t describe it any other way. I don’t want the season to end. This is one of the most enjoyable years I’ve ever had.”

What is it that makes the 2015-’16 Bees so special?

“What makes this team special is that we’re not a selfish team. Everyone is involved. We have for or five players that average between 8 and 12 points per game,” Bazil said. “And that makes it hard for other teams because they can’t just shut down one of us. If they do shut down one of us the next guy steps up and makes something happen. That’s what makes it special.”

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

BEES          09          15          07          23          = 54

STOW        10          16          12           12          = 50

 

STAT-O-MATIC:

BRECKSVILLE ….. The Bees went 8 of 9 from the free throw line for 88.8% and committed 12 turnovers.

STOW-MUNROE FALLS ….. The Bulldogs went 4 of 4 from the free throw line for 100% and committed 11 turnovers.

 

OFFICIALS:

Larry Riordan, Gerald Parks and Jeff High (a veteran group).

 

BEES STATISTICAL LEADERS:

SCORING ….. D. Harwood with 14.

REBOUNDS ….. Bazil with 9.

STEALS ….. Bruno with 3.

ASSISTS ….. Auble and Shirilla with 4 each.

BLOCKED SHOTS ….. Austin with 1.

CHARGES TAKEN ….. None.

 

STARTING LINE-UPS:

BEES: 4-Andrew Bruno, 10-Matt Dimitrijevs, 12-Dan Auble, 13-Dan Harwood, 31-Jared Bazil.

BULLDOGS: 4-Jared Wright, 11-Logan Lindsay, 12-Nathan Bower-Malone, 20-Nick Kollar, 42-Logan Huffman.

 

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME:

Brecksville-Broadview Heights never really seemed to get untracked and suffered its second defeat of the season, 61-55, to Stow-Munroe Falls. The Bees, who trailed by eight going into the fourth quarter, trimmed the Bulldogs lead to 57-53 with 37.8 seconds left to go in the game on a layup by Cameron Seibert. That was as close as they would get since posting a 15-11 advantage after the first period.

Brecksville concludes its season as Suburban League National Division champs with a 13-1 mark. The Bees, under coach John Silva, went 20-2 overall.

“These are phenomenal kids,” Silva said. “They’re athletic. They’re skilled. But I think the greatest attribute these guys have is that they are unselfish. When you have a combination of those three things, I’ll tell you what, it makes coaching more enjoyable. And the success takes care of itself.”

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

BEES          15          14          09          17          = 55

STOW        11          20          15          15          = 61

 

FRESHMEN GAME:

Brecksville-Broadview Heights pulled away in the latter stages of the fourth quarter to bag a 42-37 victory over Stow-Munroe Falls in the 4:00 pm start. The Bees, under coach Ken Cunningham and assistant Jonny Everett, finished the season with a 12-9 overall mark. This after an 0-5 start to the campaign. Brecksville went 6-1 in the second half of SL-National play.

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

BEES          08          11          09         14         = 42

STOW        04          07         14          12         = 37

 

BEE BUZZ:

Brecksville-Broadview Heights finished the regular season with a 9-2 slate away from the confines of the fabulous Bee Hive. It was their third win in a row after dropping two straight.

Tonight was the Bees first-ever trip to Stow-Munroe Falls High School. Tyree Gymnasium is a great venue to watch a game in. There is baseline seating at one end. A real nice crowd was on hand. The patrons were treated to a highly-competitive contest. Stow features an old-style Pep Band with a red drum set on a wooden platform. The ensemble sounded good. It was a throwback to an earlier time.

There is not a post-season Suburban League National Division tournament at either the junior varsity or freshmen levels. Both seasons are complete.

Longtime BBHHS cheerleader coach Michelle Hoy has finally relented and has had her hand-stamped before games. The Bees are 2-0 since she has. Hoy is stuck now. She has no choice. If anyone has seen senior cheerleader Ariella Ponikvar’s white game shoes let her know. Ponikvar, who will attend Cleveland State University next year and major in marketing, was about to take to the near baseline in black sneakers. The tough-love Hoy would have none of that.

Drew Sejba, son of Bees assistant coach Greg, sank a half court shot at halftime and was handed a gift certificate to the nearby Pony Express for his effort. “The guy actually let me shoot it from the white (volleyball) line,” said the smiling Drew. His younger brother Mikey “Coach Smalls” Sejba was not impressed. But dad was. “Let’s call now and we can pick up your pizza on the way home,” Greg Sejba said. Former Lady Bee Kaylee Vadini tried a half court shot. Lets just say there wasn’t a post game pizza in her or her traveling partner Kendall Brown’s plans this evening.

 

QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:

“Saturday night with the Bees … it doesn’t get any better than that.” – Sophomore super fan Avery Diedrick.

“I’ve been to The Masters. I’ve been to Fenway Park and to Yankee Stadium. And now the James G. Tyree Gymnasium. They were all on my punch list. Now my life is complete.” – Jim Henyey.

 

NEXT UP:

It’s tournament time. Third seeded Brecksville-Broadview Heights will take on the winner of Wednesday nights Lakewood at Rhodes game in a sectional final round of the Division I Strongsville sectional/district tournament. Post-season play for the Bees begins with a 12-noon tip off Saturday, February 27th at the Hive. Plenty of good seats are still available.

Brecksville is 2-0 this season in Saturday games.

“We’ve been so focused on Hudson and Stow that I haven’t thought much about Rhodes or Lakewood yet,” Steve Mehalik said. “But we’re going to see them play Wednesday night. And we’ll get some tape on them. And I’ll tell you what. Our boys will be ready. I do know this. We as coaches will put the time in. And our players will put the time in. We will be prepared.”

 

See You At The Bee Hive!

To contact: Ddipa67834@aol.com.

Follow on Twitter: @beevillesports

 – 30 –

 


ALONE AT THE TOP

February 20th, 2016  / Author: dipasqua

BEES ARE OUTRIGHT SL CHAMPS!

By Dom DiPasqua/Staff Writer

Friday night, February 19, 2016

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS – Clutch plays in the final half-minute, and three players combining to score 47 points, lifted Brecksville-Broadview Heights to the outright Suburban League National Division championship in its first year as members of the conference.

Senior Danny Shirilla nailed two big free throws, took a charge, and then fired a long inbound pass to Andrew Bruno who made two more charity tosses. Dan Auble would add two more. All of this happening in the games final 26.6 seconds as the Bees pulled away from a talented Hudson team for a 65-58 victory here this evening in front of a large Senior Night crowd at the fabulous Bee Hive.

Seniors P.J. Austin and Dan Auble each scored 17 points. And junior sharpshooter Matt Dimitrijevs chipped in 13 to pace BBHHS (18-3, 12-1 SL). It was a career-high by Austin who blistered the twines with five 3-point field goals, including four in the first half that gave the Bees a 35-21 advantage at the break.

Putting Your P.J.’s On!

Austin was lights out from the opening tip and he almost single-handed put the Explorers to bed early. He nailed a trey early on and then went off in the second stanza for 11 more points. Austin delivered another long ball in the third, however it was in the first half where he made his mark.

“It was really just based on my first few shots. If I’m feeling it I’ll let it fly. At the start of the game I was hot and I said ‘why not give us a little boost going into halftime'”, said Austin. “This win is special. Especially on Senior Night in front of our fans. And it was great to get this for Coach Stevie too!”

Sailing Back Into The Game

Hudson (17-5, 10-4 SL) trailed 47-38 going into the fourth quarter and was down by 11 with 4:05 remaining. But over the course of the next 3:23 the Explorers cut the Brecksville lead to 59-58 on a three by Mike Piekarski with 42 seconds to play.

Seniors Stride to the Stripe

Hudson had two fouls to give and took them. With 26.6 left Shirilla went to the free throw line where he calmly sank both ends of a key one-and one. Up 61-58 Shirilla took a charge at the defensive end with 16.2 to play. His long inbound pass was met at its zenith by Bruno who was immediately wrapped up. Bruno sank two with 13.1 remaining. And Auble swished a pair with 4.9 on the clock, and that locked up the title.

“We are a team that really hasn’t lost much. And we really hate losing. So there was no way we were going to walk off that court tonight without a win,” Shirilla said. “We pushed to the end to get it.”

Just About Perfect

The Bees won the outright National Division title in dramatic fashion. They did it at home, on Senior Night, on a Friday against a tremendous opponent in front of an excellent crowd.

“You couldn’t have drawn it up any better. You couldn’t ask for a better scenario,” said veteran BBHHS head coach Steve Mehalik in the locker room. “We started this year with a big loss to our coaching staff with the passing of Coach Stu. It feels good to get this for him.”

Dave “Coach Stu” Stuczynski, a beloved figure in the community, passed away on October 23, 2015 at the age of 53 due to complications of ALS.

Clicking Again and at the Right Time

Bruno, a senior guard, finished with eight points. Classmate Dan Harwood and junior post Jared Bazil each added four. Yet tonight, like the previous other 17 victories, was a total team effort.

The phrase, ‘Big time players make big time plays in big time games’ is a time-honored cliche. But in reality there is no other way to describe what Brecksville accomplished this evening.

“When you put the ball in the hands of winners good things happen. Danny Shirilla is a football player by trade. He steps up to the line and hits two. If you are a winner you are a winner. It doesn’t matter what sport you play. Danny Shirilla’s free throws were unbelievable. That kid has ice water in his veins. In reality he made those free throws on a football field in a November playoff game. He was unflappable because he learned from big moments like that,” Mehalik said. “You win with guys like that. You win with guys like P.J. Austin. He was huge tonight. Absolutely huge! P.J. changed how Hudson had to defend us. Because he was shooting the ball so well they had to come out. And Hudson doesn’t like to play man that much. Because P.J. is making those three’s that allows Danny Auble to have a one-on-one. And I’ll take Danny Auble one-on-one against anybody. And you win with guys like Jimmy Henyey. Who, as a senior, comes to practice every day and never complains. He just works hard to make our guys better. Tonight he got the opportunity to play. You win with guys like him.”

Gutsy Effort By The Guests

The Explorers, whose regular season is in the books, were led by 6-9 senior post Isaac MacGillis who registered game-highs in both points (18) and rebounds (8). MacGillis scored seven points in the hell- bent-for-leather fourth frame. Senior guard Zack Meder added a dozen digits.

Hudson out-rebounded Brecksville, 21-15. The Bees shot a sizzling 91.6% from the foul line. They made their last nine in a row. And needed every one of them. A key factor in the game was that the hosts only committed six turnovers. And that stat was one of the many reasons why Mehalik was smiling as he finally put his black suit jacket back on.

It’s All About Teamwork

“I can’t begin to tell you how unselfish this basketball team is and how hard they work,” said Mehalik.  “Because no one is saying about our guys individually ‘this kid is a Division I basketball player’. But together they are pretty special.”

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

HUDSON          12          09          17          20          = 58

BRECKS           15          20          12           18          = 65

 

STAT-O-MATIC:

HUDSON ….. The Explorers went 9 of 13 from the free throw line for 69.2% and committed 9 turnovers.

BRECKSVILLE ….. The Bees went 11 of 12 from the free throw line for 91.6% and committed 6 turnovers.

 

OFFICIALS:

Carl Davidson, Marv Hodges and Leonard Terrell (a veteran group).

 

BEES STATISTICAL LEADERS:

SCORING ….. Austin and Auble with 17 each (a career-high for Austin).

REBOUNDS ….. Michael Rose with 5.

STEALS ….. Dimitrijevs and Harwood with 2 each.

ASSISTS ….. Auble with 5.

BLOCKED SHOTS ….. Dimitrijevs with 1.

CHARGES TAKEN ….. Shirilla with 1.

 

STARTING LINE-UPS:

EXPLORERS: 5-Mike Piekarski, 11-Jackson Parker, 12-Isaac MacGillis, 15-Zack Meder, 42-Dave O’Connor.

BEES: 4-Andrew Bruno, 5-P.J. Austin, 12-Dan Auble, 13-Dan Harwood, 15-Jimmy Henyey.

 

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME:

Brecksville-Broadview Heights road the coattails of a 21-point halftime lead to a 51-35 triumph over Hudson. It was the Bees 20th win of the campaign.

“I thought, first and foremost, the energy that our guys came out with to start the game was really what I have been looking for the past few weeks. We finally imposed our will. And once we imposed our will we got the game under control and played at our pace, which is forcing turnovers and scoring easy buckets off those turnovers,” said Beeville coach John Silva. “In the second half Hudson slowed the game down, which is fine. I thought we had a big enough lead where we could play that style. It got close. But I thought our guys executed down the stretch. And we were able to come out with a victory against a very good basketball team. I’m proud of our guys.”

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

HUDSON          10          03          16          06          = 35

BRECKS           14          20          06          11           = 51

 

BEE HIVE BUZZ:

Six senior players, along with their parents, were recognized prior to warm-ups. Andrew Bruno, P.J. Austin, Dan Auble, Dan Harwood, Jimmy Henyey and Danny Shirilla were rightfully saluted for their contributions to the BBHHS basketball program over the last four years. Congratulations to an outstanding group of young men. Austin and Henyey started in place of Dimitrijevs and Bazil.

It was the first time that Steve Mehalik altered his starting line-up this season. And it was for good reason. “Jimmy gets the start tonight,” Jared Bazil said with a respectful nod before the game.

Mehalik looked sharp in a tailored black suit, white shirt and red necktie. Friendly wagers were being placed along press row as to how long Mehalik would keep his suit jacket on. They ranged anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds into the game. The jacket was shed at tip off. The tie was gone shortly thereafter. Mehalik is just not a suit guy. He is a Dry-Fit guy.

The Swarm was on top of its game. They were decked out in white for the occasion. A giant banner “We Love Our Seniors!” was taped the the railing in front of their sacred section. Gatekeepers Kendall Brown and Kaylee Vadini saw to it that there were no interlopers in the region.

Senior cheerleader Laina Chapman sang the national anthem and did an awesome job. The lieutenant of the Broadview Heights Fire Department was in the house. “Maybe they are worried about the nets being singed,” quipped press table funny man Dan “Hacksaw” Hodous. Ironically the Bees did singe the nets with ten long balls led by Austin’s five.

Brecksville’s freshmen team scored an impressive victory over a previously undefeated (20-0) Hudson squad, winning 29-26. The Bees had lost by 25 at Hudson earlier this season. To celebrate the guys went to Chipotle and followed that up with a little R and R in the Monkey Island section. “Why do they call it Monkey Island?” asked freshman cheerleader Kaitlyn Kovac. It’s a long story Kaitlyn. But a good one.

Hudson had not lost a game since the Bees beat them at Buck Hyser Gymnasium early last month. The Explorers looked classy in their Navy Blue road uniforms with silver trim. Hudson is a top-notch operation. Great people. Its fans traveled well. The Explorers are the #4 seed in the Copley district bracket. They play the winner of the Stow-Wadsworth game next Saturday night.

The Explorers Zack Meder needs only three more 3-point field goals to become the schools all-time season and career leader in that department.

Please note: The Bees home tournament game on Saturday, February 27 has been moved from a 7:00 pm start to a 12-noon tip off. Third-seeded Brecksville-Broadview Heights plays the winner of Wednesdays Lakewood at Rhodes contest.

The Bees are now 10-1 at home this winter. And they have won two straight. The club is averaging 59.7 points per game and allowing 49.1. P.J. Austin, Dan Auble and Matt Dimitrijevs combined to score 72% of the teams points tonight.

 

NEXT UP:

Brecksville-Broadview Heights travels to Stow-Munroe Falls tomorrow evening to take on the Bulldogs. The game is the make-up date from Tuesday when classes were cancelled at Stow due to a heavy morning snowfall. The Bees defeated the Bulldogs, 58-47, on January 8th.

“Tonight was great because we claimed the outright championship. But tomorrow night at Stow is just as big,” Danny Shirilla said. “Stow is a great team. They are a lot like Hudson. So we’ll have to go out there and be at our best because it is going to be a tough one.”

Steve Mehalik knows his team has the SL trophy in the bag. He is also well aware that because of Mother Nature his squad has to go back-to-back against two of the best teams in the National Division to conclude the regular season. The longtime bench boss is taking it all in stride.

“What’s great about this group of kids is that they only know one way to play. They play hard and unselfish,” Mehalik said. “I know coming off that bus when we get to Stow we may be tired. But we have guys that we can go to on our bench. And those guys are talented.”

 

See You At The Bee Hive!

To contact: Ddipa67834@aol.com.

Follow on Twitter: @beevillesports

The Lady Bees (5-19) season is complete. They bowed out to the states top-ranked Division I team, Wadsworth, last night on the road.

 – 30 –

 

 

 


BEES CLINCH SL TITLE TIE

February 13th, 2016  / Author: dipasqua

MOJO RETURNS IN 58-56 WIN

By Dom DiPasqua/Staff Writer

Friday night, February 12, 2016

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS – By withstanding another opponents best shot the Bees hung on for a 58-56 victory over a pesky Wadsworth team here tonight at the fabulous Bee Hive. And in the process claimed at least a tie for the Suburban League National Division championship.

It was Brecksville-Broadview Heights’ fourth conference title in the last six years. It was the fourth of Steve Mehalik’s nine-year career as head coach. And it was the 29th league crown in BBHHS hoop history.

And this one wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination.

Brecksville (17-3, 11-1 SL) led by nine with 7:00 left to play. It had a 53-46 advantage with 1:16 remaining. And then Grizzlies hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final 40 seconds to make things more than interesting.

When the clock finally struck triple zeroes you could feel the giant exhale from the Bees bench.

The fourth quarter was the key for the hosts. Brecksville made its last seven free throw attempts, including five by senior Danny Shirilla. And classmate Dan Harwood added a set. Everyone of them mattered big time.

The Bees also got a final frame reverse layup from senior guard Andrew Bruno. Senior point guard Dan Auble scored five of his 14 points down the stretch. And 6-6 junior post Jared Bazil tallied seven of his game-high 17 points in the fourth.

Dominating Presence

Bazil was phenomenal from beginning to end. He grabbed five of his game-best nine rebounds in the first half. Wadsworth had no answer for the big guy inside.

“We were motivated to come out and win the conference, especially after two straight losses. We wanted to get our mojo back,” said Bazil during the post-game cutting down the nets ceremony.

Brecksville had won 15 consecutive games before dropping its last two. Turnovers, 39 of them in their last two starts, had plagued the squad. And this evening, in front of a great crowd at the Hive, the Bees came out and committed nine more in the first half.

Beeville turned a 20-18 halftime deficit into a 37-32 advantage heading into the fourth. When Bazil’s nifty spin move for a deuce put the Bees up 41-32 a minute in it looked as though they had weathered the hot-shooting Grizzlies attack. “Wadsworth is a good team. They fought to the end. But we fought with them and pulled it out,” Bazil said.

A Dream Come True

For the first time since 2013 (Southwestern Conference) Brecksville has claimed at least a share of a league championship. “This is amazing. Since the third grade when I was a ball boy this has been my dream. I’ve always envisioned this and it feels great,” Auble, who was a freshman in 2013, said. “Winning a conference championship has always been special. And it’s something that I have always wanted to accomplish.”

The triumph means a lot to Mehalik and his hard-working staff of assistants. They know all to well that conference championships don’t grow on trees and that no one is going to hand you one.

“It’s been three long years since the last one,” said Mehalik. “But this group is special. They keep finding a way. Even tonight. We didn’t play a very good game. We started turning the ball over. But we found a way.”

In addition to Bazil’s 17 points and Auble’s 14 the Bees got nine points and four assists from Harwood. And a half-dozen markers each from Bruno and Matt Dimitrijevs. Shirilla’s five free throws in crunch time were invaluable.

A Bear of an Opponent

The Grizzlies (4-16, 3-9 SL) had three players reach double figures. Sensational sophomore guards Tony Hewitt and Christian Szalay combined to score 27, with Hewitt netting 16 of them including Wadsworth’s last three-ball just before the final horn. Hewitt came in averaging close to 13 points per contest. And Szalay was hitting for ten. The Bees were well-aware of those two up-and-comers, but what they may not have expected was the 14 points that sophomore forward Ryan Storad deposited. The trio combined to register 17 of the visitors 24 fourth period points.

“I’ll tell you what. Wadsworth is the most-improved team in the conference. Wow! Those sophomore guards are tough,” Mehalik said.

Brecksville won the battle of the boards, 19-15. Both teams were decent from the stripe. The Grizzlies were torrid from beyond the arc, sinking ten 3-point field goals. The Bees hit four with Dimitrijevs canning two of them in the first half.

“Wadsworth is a good young team. That says a lot about them. I remember my sophomore year. It’s tough playing with the older guys,” Auble said.

When the locker room had cleared out Mehalik sat back on the bench in front of the lockers and smiled. “We survived and won at least a share of the conference championship,” he said. His team had to score 40 points in the second half to do it.

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

WADSWORTH         09          11          12          24          = 56

BRECKSVILLE        09          09          19         21           = 58

 

STAT-O-MATIC:

WADSWORTH ….. The Grizzlies went 6 of 9 from the free throw line for 66.6% and committed 11 turnovers.

BRECKSVILLE ….. The Bees went 14 of 22 from the free throw line for 63.6% and committed 15 turnovers.

 

OFFICIALS:

Jim Dayton, Shawn Manual and Craig Maurer.

 

BEES STATISTICAL LEADERS:

SCORING ….. Bazil with 17 (game-high).

REBOUNDS ….. Bazil with 9 (game-high).

STEALS ….. Bruno with 2.

ASSISTS ….. Auble and Harwood with 4 each.

BLOCKED SHOTS ….. Michael Rose with 1.

CHARGES TAKEN ….. Shirilla and Rose with 1 each.

 

STARTING LINE-UPS:

GRIZZLIES: 0-Connor Montgomery, 1-Christian Szalay, 2-Tony Hewitt, 12-Alec Booth, 20-Ryan Storad.

BEES: 4-Andrew Bruno, 10-Matt Dimitrijevs, 12-Dan Auble, 13-Dan Harwood, 31-Jared Bazil.

 

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME:

Tyler Kasmarcak sank two foul shots with .09 seconds remaining to put the finishing touches on a 49-46 Brecksville-Broadview Heights victory over Wadsworth.

The Bees (19-1, 12-0 SL) who lost for the first time this season Tuesday night at home against Canton McKinley, saw their 40-29 lead after three quarters shrink quickly in the final frame.

Brecksville led throughout but the Grizzlies reduced the margin to 47-46 with 29.9 left. Both teams traded turnovers in the frantic last half-minute.

“Wadsworth played tough. We lost our composure a little bit in the fourth quarter. Like I told the guys after the game. ‘Things aren’t always going to go your way. It’s about how you handle adversity.’ In this game we ultimately scored enough points to get the victory,” said Beeville coach John Silva. “I’m proud of the guys. It was good to have some adversity and to see how the guys dealt with it. Our guys are not only used not used to losing they are not even used to playing in close games. Tonight was a testament to how tough and how skilled these guys are.”

Silva noted that playing in a close game against McKinley Tuesday night was beneficial down the stretch here this evening.

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

WADSWORTH          06          13          10          17          = 46

BRECKSVILLE          14          14          12          09          = 49

 

QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:

“I got Valentine’s flowers for the cheerleaders. I’m glad to support them for how much they support our program.” – Nate “Dog” Mackenzie. 

“I’ve set the bar pretty high for myself this year. Pun intended.” – Senior high-jumper and returning state qualifier Jamie Rachek.

“Last week we TP’d the senior players houses. This week they got us carnations.” – Sophomore cheerleader Abigail Gates. 

 

BEE HIVE BUZZ:

Following two straight losses Brecksville-Broadview Heights is back on the winning side of the ledger. The Bees are now 9-1 at home. They have a two-game lead over both Stow-Munroe Falls and Hudson in the Suburban League National Division with two regular season conference games left to play. Ironically they are against the Bulldogs (away) and the Explorers (home for Senior Night) respectively.  The league schedule-maker couldn’t have planned it any better.

Brecksville has scored 58 points in each of its last two outings. The Bees freshmen squad broke out to a 7-0 lead over Wadsworth and cruised to a double-digit triumph. Senior soccer goalie Jen Farwell, who will play in college at Northern Kentucky, is concerned about these young men’s well-being on account of their post-game visits to Chipotle.

The Hive was hopping tonight. Good atmosphere. The Swarm was large. The 4,000 member BBHHS Pep Band performed. Dan Auble’s younger sister, Grace, was part of a choral quartet that did an outstanding job singing the national anthem. Four lovely voices filled up the entire gym. And the girls did it flawlessly. Bravo!

Wadsworth fans traveled very well. They always do. Among them was Lady Bees assistant coach Dave Sladky and bride. Sladky coached the boys team at Wadsworth for 24 seasons, won well over 400 games, and is a member of the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.

The games first free throw tonight came at the 2:40 mark on the second quarter when Brecksville freshman Kenny Ganley converted one of two. Wadsworth did not toe the line until there was 6:22 remaining in the tilt.

Brecksville’s first league championship came in 1941. The Bees won or shared three straight Southwestern Conference titles; 2011, 2012 and 2013. Tonight was their first as members of the SL’s National Division. And it is their maiden campaign in the loop.

 

NEXT UP: 

Brecksville-Broadview Heights travels to Stow-Munroe Falls Tuesday to take on the Bulldogs in another key SL fray. The Bees topped Stow, 58-47, on January 8th. On Friday the Bees host Hudson for Senior Night to close out the regular season. All Brecksville needs to do is win one of the two remaining games to bag the outright league pennant.

“We’re going to enjoy this one here for 24 hours. Maybe 36 because we won a conference title,” Steve Mehalik said with a smile. “Then we’ve got two super tough teams coming up. Two of the better teams in Northeast Ohio with two of the best coaches in Northeast Ohio. This week will be a great playoff test for us.”

 

See You At The Bee Hive!

To contact: Ddipa67834@aol.com.

Follow on Twitter: @beevillesports

Follow the Lady Bees on the worldwide web at: beesbasketball.com.

Brecksville (#8 seed) hosts #10 Copley tomorrow afternoon at the fabulous Bee Hive at 1:00 in a Division I sectional tournament opener. The Lady Bees (4-18, 2-12 SL) defeated the Indians, 53-52, in early January.

 – 30 –


PUPS EAT UP TURNOVERS

February 10th, 2016  / Author: dipasqua

MCKINLEY FORCES 23 IN BIG WIN

By Dom DiPasqua/Staff Writer

Tuesday night, February 9, 2016

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS – Riding the wave of a relentless full court press and a hot shooting night Canton McKinley dealt the Bees an 80-58 non-conference defeat here this evening in front of a good crowd at the fabulous Bee Hive.

The Bulldogs (16-4, 9-3 Federal League) got double-digit scoring performances from four of their starters, led by 6-5 senior guard LePear Toles who registered a game-high 16 points.

McKinley, one of Ohio’s legendary prep programs, used its size, speed and athleticism to force Brecksville-Broadview Heights into a season-high 23 turnovers.

“We can’t turn the ball over. Twenty-three turnovers. That’s not going to win a third grade basketball game let alone a varsity basketball game,” said veteran BBHHS head coach Steve Mehalik.

The defeat was Brecksville’s second in a row after sailing along on a 15-game win streak. It was also the Bees first loss at home this season. Mehalik’s group had been holding opponents to an average of 46.5 points per game coming in. Rock-solid McKinley inflated that figure by a few digits tonight.

Who Let The Dogs Out?

The Bees were victimized by an in-your-face defense. “They had a lot of turnovers for points,” Mehalik said. “But that is why we scheduled Canton McKinley. To make us better. That’s a regional team right there. We’ll get better.”

Senior stalwarts Dan Harwood and Dan Auble paced Brecksville (16-3, 10-1 Suburban League National Division) with 12 and 11 points respectively. The Bees actually out-rebounded the Pups, 24-20.

McKinley canned four 3-point field goals and forced seven Brecksville turnovers in the first quarter to take a lopsided 24-8 lead at the first break.

Spirited Comeback

Despite the scoreboard the Bees remained poised and patient with themselves in a second stanza rally. Just about everyone got into the act including undaunted freshman Kenny Ganley who came off the bench at the start of the period and tallied four points while grabbing a rebound and blocking a shot.

Harwood drilled a three to cut the margin to 26-21. And on the next possession Brecksville’s Matt Dimitrijevs snared a weak-side carom and went reverse layup to make it 26-23 with 1:40 left in the half.

The new life was short-lived.

The Bulldogs ramped up the pressure another notch, forced four quick turnovers, and went on an 8-0 run to close out the half. The Bees would get no closer. By the time the hosts committed their 20th turnover McKinley had a 67-47 lead and there was still 4:00 remaining in the contest.

Final Takes

Jared Bazil scored eight points. Dimitrijevs had seven. Andrew Bruno hit a third quarter three. Brecksville’s bench was impressive. Ganley finished with nine. P.J. Austin added six on a duo of long balls. And sophomore Michael Rose chipped in a pair of free throws and tied Bazil with a team-best four boards.

“We had some young guys step-up and make some big plays; Kenny Ganley, Michael Rose. Those guys were not intimidated out there. That’s good for them. And those are positives we can take from this,” said Mehalik.

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

McKINLEY                     24          10          19          27          = 80

BRECKSVILLE            08          15           09         26          = 58

 

STAT-O-MATIC:

McKINLEY ….. The Bulldogs went 8 of 15 from the free throw line for 53.3% and committed 9 turnovers.

BRECKSVILLE ….. The Bees went 9 of 10 from the free throw line for 90% and committed 23 turnovers.

 

OFFICIALS:

Tom Lunt, Lance Pressley and Zeno Regas (a veteran group).

 

BEES STATISTICAL LEADERS:

SCORING ….. Harwood with 12.

REBOUNDS ….. Bazil and Rose with 4 each.

STEALS ….. Bruno, Auble, Harwood and Bazil with 1 each.

ASSISTS ….. Auble with 6.

BLOCKED SHOTS ….. Bruno, Hardwood, Bazil and Ganley with 1 each.

CHARGES TAKEN ….. None.

 

STARTING LINE-UPS:

BULLDOGS: 0-Jordan Davis, 1-T.J. Lipkins, 2-Darryl Straughter, 5-LePear Toles, 20-Kynan Hall.

BRECKSVILLE: 4-Andrew Bruno, 10-Matt Dimitrijevs, 12-Dan Auble, 13-Dan Harwood, 31-Jared Bazil.

 

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME:

Canton McKinley scored the games last six points and knocked off previously undefeated Brecksville-Braodview Heights by the score of 55-53. The Bees (18-1, 11-0 SL) had the ball last with a full court to go and 2.6 seconds to make something happen. They weren’t able to get a shot off.

The Bulldogs game-winning points were scored from the foul line on a pair by 6-5 center Jaedyn McCallup with less than three ticks to play.

Brecksville’s Cameron Seibert fired in a three-pointer from the right corner with 1:50 remaining that gave the hosts a 53-49 lead. That was the Bees last bucket.

The game was competitively played from beginning to end. Other than Brecksville taking a five-point lead early on it was nip and tuck to the final horn with either team taking no more than a four-point lead over the other. It was one of the best and most well-played junior varsity games seen in a while.

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

McKINLEY                     08          18          14          15 = 55

BRECKSVILLE             13           13          13          14 = 53

 

BEE HIVE BUZZ:

Good to be home … This was only the Bees second home game since January 9th. Six of the last seven were played away from the Hive. Canton McKinley defeated Brecksville-Broadview Heights last year, 59-52, on February 17 at Canton Memorial Fieldhouse. It is not known if the non-league home-and-home contract will be renewed.

Young guns … The Bees freshmen squad rallied from a 15-0 disadvantage to start the game only to come up a half-dozen points short against the Bulldogs in the late afternoon affair. The frosh then headed to Chipotle before returning to the gym and settling into the Monkey Island section. That’s a good night for a 15-year old by anyone’s standards.

Good atmosphere … The BBHHS 4,000 member Pep Band was in the house. Today was Fat Tuesday and that meant the supply of Tootsie Pops went quickly. Many in The Swarm, and there were plenty in the gym, have decided to give up candy for Lent. That crash you just heard was Tootsie Pop’s stock taking its annual nose-dive.

How about them Bulldogs? … McKinley faithful, some of the most rabid fans in the state, traveled well on a somewhat snowy night. They don’t come much more knowledgeable about the game than Pup followers. Canton Timken High School was closed this past June and its entire student-body was merged into McKinley’s.

Post-season placement … The tournament draws across the state in all four divisions were held Sunday afternoon. In the Division I Strongsville sectional/district bracket the third-seeded Bees have a first-round bye. They will await the winner of the Lakewood-Rhodes game and will play at home on Saturday, February 27 at 7:00 pm. The Rangers and Rams tangle on Biddulph Road on Tuesday the 24th in a sectional opener at 7.

Back to familiar faces … Tonight was Beeville’s last non-league game of the season.

 

QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:

“Since sophomore super fan Avery Diedrick could not make it to the game tonight we as freshmen held the house down.” – Hope Zeitler and Heather Williamson.

“I think that the freshmen Bees did an excellent job, as always. They pushed through until the very end. Go Bees!” – Freshman cheerleader Kaitlyn Kovac.

 

NEXT UP:

Brecksville-Broadview Heights remains at home and gets back into Suburban League action Friday night by entertaining Wadsworth. The Bees defeated the Grizzlies, 47-37, on January 5.

A Brecksville victory clinches at least a tie for the National Division championship. A loss makes things interesting. Both Stow-Munroe Falls and Hudson are two games back. The Bulldogs and the Explorers remain on the Bees schedule.

The red and gold are in a bit of a slump.

“Wadsworth has been playing much better the second half of the season. The Szalay kid, their point guard, is really, really playing well,” said Steve Mehalik. “They are a young team that is playing better. So we are going to have to right the ship. Our boys will bounce back and maybe we can cut a net down on Friday.”

 

See You At The Bee Hive!

To contact: Ddipa67834@aol.com.

Follow on Twitter: @beevillesports

Follow the Lady Bees on the worldwide web at: beesbasketball.com.

Brecksville (4-17, 2-11 SL) closes out its regular season with a conference clash at Hudson Wednesday night.

– 30 –


UPSET AT THE DEN

February 6th, 2016  / Author: dipasqua

BEARS AMBUSH BEES, 48-44

By Dom DiPasqua/Staff Writer

Friday night, February 5, 2016

NORTH ROYALTON – During the junior varsity game longtime Brecksville-Broadview Heights assistant coach Greg Sejba leaned over and, with a serious look on his face, asked, “How long has it been since we’ve won here?”

No one could remember.

A year from now Sejba can ask the same question.

By feeding the Bees a dose of their own medicine; defense, hustle, and the ability to make big shots, host North Royalton shocked Brecksville in a 48-44 Suburban League National Division upset here in front of a standing room only crowd at the boisterous Bears Den.

The Bees have not won at their arch rivals gym in a good ten years. Along with this evenings fair-and-square defeat went Brecksville’s unblemished league mark. And by the wayside went its impressive 15-game winning streak.

For the better part of the season veteran Brecksville head coach Steve Mehalik voiced concern about his teams carelessness with the basketball. He cautioned that that one failing component of its game would eventually come back to haunt them. Tonight was that night.

The Bees were their own worst enemy. They committed 16 turnovers, 11 in the first half. And only got to the free throw line three times, making one. Mehalik’s club had prided itself on getting to the line and converting freebies with the clock stopped. They didn’t do that here on Ridge Road either.

The Bears defense had much to do with the Bees overall performance. It limited Brecksville to a season-low 44 points. Royalton came to play. At the other end the Bears drilled seven 3-pointers.

“They outplayed us. They out-coached us. All across the board. North Royalton won in every aspect of the game. They had a great game plan,” said Mehalik in the quiet Bees locker room. “The 16 turnovers is unacceptable.”

Royalton defended Beeville point guard Dan Auble well. Despite that the senior led all scorers with 15 points. Junior post Jared Bazil tallied ten points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Other than that the Bees struggled offensively, never really quite getting into a rhythm. The visitors, known for their ability to shoot the long ball, hit only five threes and two of them were in the battle-from-behind second half. That too is a credit to the Bears dee.

“They did a good job on Auble. They played good. Give all the credit in the world to North Royalton. Nick (Lapsevich) had a great game plan. And they executed it to perfection,” Mehalik said. “You can’t give a good team like that the ball 16 times.”

The First Three Frames

The Bees (16-2, 10-1 SL) took a 17-12 lead after one on three’s by Matt Dimitrijevs, Andrew Bruno and P.J. Austin who immediately blistered the twines after coming in off the bench.

The Bears Sam Tarnowski put back an offensive rebound for a bucket just before the halftime horn to put Royalton up, 27-24, at the break.

Brecksville decided to pound the ball inside to the hulking 6-6 Bazil in the third quarter and it paid off. The big guys scored three layups. On a later possession Bazil pivoted when he felt a double-team and went inside-out finding Dimitrijevs in the left corner for a triple. Even with that flurry and increased energy level the Bears (11-7, 6-5 SL) still led, 41-35, after three.

Close But No Cigar

Auble, who scored a half-dozen points in the first quarter, registered seven more in the fourth. His foul line jumper and one narrowed the gap to 44-42 with 4:58 remaining and the Bees had momentum.

Dan Harwood scored inside to keep Brecksville in the hunt at 46-44 with 3:11 to play. And then Bruno swatted Tarnowski’s layup attempt into the wall at the far end igniting The Swarm.

Still up by two the Bears committed a turnover with 1:53 remaining but the Bees could not capitalize. Royalton did a masterful job of passing the ball around the perimeter and milking clock until Mitch Filippi was fouled out front. Filippi, a veteran senior who led NORO with 14 points, hit both free throws for the final margin.

Junior point guard Evan Neczypor added 12 points for the Bears. Royalton went 5 of 8 from the line. Brecksville doubled the hosts up on the glass. But when you cough up the rock 16 times against a team that was waiting for you things won’t end well.

The Bears Den continues to be a den of inequity for Brecksville.

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

BEES          17          07          11          09          = 44

BEARS       12         15           14          07         = 48

 

STAT-O-MATIC:

BRECKSVILLE ….. The Bees went 1 of 3 from the free throw line for 33% and committed 16 turnovers.

NORTH ROYALTON ….. The Bees went 5 of 8 from the free throw line for 62.5% and committed 10 turnovers.

 

OFFICIALS:

James Duke, Frank Micale and Robert Cleighton (a veteran group).

 

BEES STATISTICAL LEADERS:

SCORING ….. Auble with 15.

REBOUNDS ….. Bazil with 8.

STEALS ….. Auble with 3.

ASSISTS ….. Harwood with 4.

BLOCKED SHOTS ….. Bruno and Harwood with 1 each.

CHARGES TAKEN ….. None.

 

STARTING LINE-UPS:

BEES: 4-Andrew Bruno, 10-Matt Dimitrijevs, 12-Dan Auble, 13-Dan Harwood, 31-Jared Bazil.

BEARS: 1-Evan Neczypor, 5-Alex Miduri, 21-Mitch Filippi, 25-Sam Tarnowski, 33-Nick Coberly.

 

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME:

Brecksville-Broadview Heights raced out to a 30-point lead at the half and coasted to its 18th straight victory. This one a 66-38 verdict over North Royalton.

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

BEES          18          24          15          09          = 66

BEARS       07         05          13          13           = 38

 

BEE BUZZ:

Brecksville-Broadview Heights’ two losses this season have both come on the road; at Strongsville on December 2nd and here tonight. Congrats to the Bees for posting a 2-month plus win streak. It’s not easy to go through a conference schedule without a loss, especially one as competitive as the Suburban League’s National Division. Somebody was going to get Brecksville sooner or later because they were playing with turnover fire. The Bears defense and their ability to make shots was the difference in this one.

Say goodbye to The Honey Jar. The tri-colored ceramic pot is officially retired. Both coaches, Steve Mehalik and Nick Lapsevich, agreed to let the seven-year traveling trophy rest in peace. It was a great idea and a lot of fun while it lasted. Brecksville won the first Honey Jar meeting in a home turn-back-the- clock night game at BBHMS. And claimed the trophy last year. Otherwise Royalton dominated in the non-league series. Now that both teams are members of the same league, playing each other twice per season, the pot has lost its luster. But the memories of the brainchild, sparked for former NORO head coach Tim Matus, will live on in this heart. The morning after the Bees initial win I awoke to find The Honey Jar on my dining room table.

The Bees freshmen squad saw its four game winning streak come to an end with a 30-21 loss to North Royalton. Brecksville scored only three points in the second half. The young men still had their Chipotle afterward. Mrs. Walcutt saw to that, personally delivering multiple bags of the popular foil-wrapped gut bombs.

The Swarm made a tremendous showing tonight. They arrived early and in crazy numbers. They were loud and into the game. Senior football player Ryder Seballos led the gang. Thanks for your FANtastic support! The grouped swarmed to the goodies too. By the end of the third quarter of the junior varsity game four bags of Tootsie Pop’s had disappeared.

The atmosphere at the Bears Den was what you would expect for a big game between two ancient rivals. Thanks to all at North Royalton for the gracious hospitality. In particular athletic director Bo Kuntz, who accommodated the Bees burgeoning bench with three additional chairs. And volleyball coach Kristin Hubbell who maintained law and order, like only she can, around the visiting bench. Better people and more classy people you will not find.

If the Bees cheerleaders appeared a little bleary-eyed it was because they had a late night last night. In the small hours of this morning they made the rounds and toilet-papered senior members of the teams houses. Sophomore Abigail Gates provided a descriptive play-by-play of the 90-minute caper.

No one was spared. Not even Coach Mehalik’s secluded condo. “Every cheerleader brought 24 rolls of toilet paper. So we had 312 total rolls. That was enough for 52 rolls per seniors house,” said senior Daniela Ortenzi. “But we had some left over so we TP’d Coach Mehalik’s bushes and left him 14 rolls stacked in a pyramid by his front door.”

The tournament draw meeting is Sunday afternoon.

 

QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:

“It doesn’t get any better than the Bears and the Bees.” – Ashlyn Pissini.

“The Bears are going to get stuck in honey.” – Mikey “Coach Smalls” Sejba.

“What’s the over/under on the time that they are going to start turning people away at the gate?” – Jimmy Henyey.

“When you own The Shoe and have for five of the last six years there’s not much else to say.” – Brecksville defensive coordinator John Shirilla.

“The Bench Mob started practicing at 4pm before we got on the bus. We have 13 new bench celly’s for tonight.” – Kyle Seibert.

 

NEXT UP:

The Bees will get back at it Tuesday night with a non-league home game against tradition-laden Canton McKinley. Brecksville lost to the Bulldogs at Canton Memorial Field House last February, 59-52.

“Canton McKinley is a state powerhouse. We’ve got two days to improve on the things that we weren’t good at tonight,” said Steve Mehalik.

 

See You At The Bee Hive!

To contact: Ddipa67834@aol.com.

Follow on Twitter: @beevillesports

Follow the Lady Bees on the worldwide web at: beesbasketball.com.

Brecksville (4-16, 2-11 SL) hosts Youngstown Cardinal Mooney Monday night in a non-conference contest at the fabulous Bee Hive. It is Senior Night. Please join us around 7:00 pm in saluting the careers of classy Lady Bee seniors; Erin Livingston, Kendall Brown and Katie Boehlefeld.

– 30 –   

 


BEES FLY PAST FORGE

February 3rd, 2016  / Author: dipasqua

RING UP 87 POINTS IN 15th STRAIGHT WIN

By Dom DiPasqua/Staff Writer

Tuesday night, February 2, 2016

PARMA HEIGHTS – Over in Western Pennsylvania this morning word was that old Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow. And now we face six more weeks of winter. Here on Independence Boulevard Jared Bazil summed up the Bees 87-60 non-conference victory over Valley Forge. “I don’t think we left a shadow of a doubt,” Bazil said.

Does that mean that Brecksville-Broadview Heights has six more weeks of basketball? The way the Bees lit up the scoreboard here this evening anything is possible.

Three players registered in double-figures, 11 scored, and 14 saw action as Brecksville won its 15th consecutive game in easy fashion in front of a decent crowd.

The 87 points was the most that Brecksville scored in a game since furry Phil the groundhog was a gerbil. “Good things happen when you can score the basketball,” said veteran BBHHS head coach Steve Mehalik afterward.

Good things happened early and often. Despite spotting the Patriots a 4-0 lead the Bees, playing with a high level of energy, went on a 13-0 run to post a 21-11 advantage after one.

Brecksville (16-1, 10-0 Suburban League National Division) led by 16 at the half (43-27) before putting up another 44 points after the break.

The tone-setting quick start was the key to this one. “We wanted to show that we were the better team. I think we showed that tonight,” said Brecksville’s Dan Harwood who scored six points, reached ten rebounds and had eight assists.

Sharing The Wealth

The Bees racked up 28 assists. Their motto is to pass up a good shot and give the ball to a teammate who has a great shot. Zip-zip hockey style passing enabled them to tally 87 points even with Mehalik clearing his bench very early in the final frame.

“We want to play like the San Antonio Spurs. Take care of the ball and make the extra pass. We’re not there yet, but there are glimpses of it. When we do that we are a very good basketball team,” Mehalik said. “We didn’t do a good job on the boards. And we turned the ball over way too much. But this group is unselfish and they are skilled. That’s a dangerous combination when we don’t turn the ball over.”

Unofficially the Bees did win the battle of the boards, 43-35. Only 15 free throw attempts were taken. The contest was quickly played.

Dime-Dropping Dan

Matt Dimitrijevs led Brecksville with 16 points. The junior scored eight in the first period, igniting the 13-0 blitz. He would add eight more in the put-the-game-out-of-reach third.

Senior guard Andrew Bruno hit for 14 in three quarters of work. Point guard Dan Auble added 11 and dished a whopping 12 assists. And Bazil, the Bees 6-6 junior post, popped in nine points, had ten rebounds and blocked three Forge shots.

The Bees bench scored 31 points led by freshman Kenny Ganley who had eight. Danny Shirilla netted seven. Junior guard Griffin Stevens nailed a pair of fourth frame three’s. And sophomore hustler Michael Rose, who was a tad under the weather, scored five points and landed a half-dozen caroms in five and a half minutes of action after his number was called at the start of the fourth quarter.

Scoring Outburst

Still 87 points? “We can score that many points when we want to. We are capable,” said Harwood. “But we prefer to play like the Spurs.”

Tonight Brecksville did both and made it look easy. But it never is. At least not in Mehalik’s mind. No opponent is ever taken lightly. The Bees separation has been in its preparation. The scouting report on the Patriots was on the money.

“It was a Tuesday night on the road and it’s tough when you have a bulls eye on your back. But the guys continue to prepare and they continue to do what they are supposed to do,” said Mehalik. “If we can clean up a couple of things I think we can be pretty good.”

Patriot Pride

Valley Forge (3-14, 1-7 Great Lakes Conference) was paced by 6-2 senior forward Raymone Jackson who scored a game-high 21.

“Forge is a physical team. I give them credit. They can rebound the basketball. Pat (Teresi) is doing a nice job building that program in his identity, which is toughness,” Mehalik said of his coaching counterpart.

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

BRECKSVILLE          21          22          22          22          = 87

VALLEY FORGE       11          16           18          15           = 60

 

STAT-O-MATIC:

BRECKSVILLE ….. The Bees went 5 of 8 from the free throw line for 62.5% and committed 12 turnovers.

VALLEY FORGE ….. The Patriots went 2 of 7 from the free throw line for 28.6% and committed 15 turnovers.

 

OFFICIALS:

Brian Hagan, Tim Hromada and Brian Williams (a veteran group).

 

BEES STATISTICAL LEADERS:

SCORING ….. Dimitrijevs with 16.

REBOUNDS ….. D. Harwood and Bazil with 10 each.

STEALS ….. Bruno with 4.

ASSISTS ….. Auble with 12.

BLOCKED SHOTS ….. Bazil with 3.

CHARGES TAKEN ….. None.

 

STARTING LINE-UPS:

BEES: 4-Andrew Bruno, 10-Matt Dimitrijevs, 12-Dan Auble, 13-Dan Harwood, 31-Jared Bazil.

PATRIOTS: 3-Tim Captain, 4-Kevin Yurik, 11-Brandon Ho, 14-Raymone Jackson, 50-Colin Hogan.

 

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME:

Brecksville-Broadview Heights worked through a sloppy start by going on a 30-4 run and cruised to a 72-33 victory over Valley Forge. It was the squads 17th straight triumph.

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

BRECKSVILLE          14          24          18          16          = 72

VALLEY FORGE       08         02          15          08          = 33

 

BEE BUZZ:

Brecksville and Valley Forge are scheduled to play again next year in Broadview Heights. The Bees are now 8-1 away from home. They topped to 1,000 point mark this season about midway through the third quarter tonight. And are sitting at 1,030 points scored in 17 games (60.6). Opponents are averaging 46.5.

The Bees 15-game winning streak is the second longest in recent history. The 1988-’89 squad rang up 19 straight after dropping its opener. That group won the Pioneer Conference championship and because of a key late season injury suffered an early round tourney exit.

How consistent was Beeville tonight? Quarters of 21, 22, 22 and 22 tell the tale. It doesn’t get much better than that. The Bees “Bench Mob” was at it again. Michael Rose, Kyle Seibert, Joey Frajter and Matt Harwood were up to their usual animated antics.

Brecksville junior varsity coach John Silva was the one-time head coach at Valley Forge. Back in the day Coach Silva was known as “The Prince of Parma Heights” because he strolled the sideline, scowl on his face, in the best suits and ties this scribe has even seen. Today, in his coaching dry-fit and slacks, he has taken on an entirely different look. Silva has promised to meet with the media soon. Perhaps next Ground Hogs Day.

The Bees freshmen team won their fourth in a row, 46-28, over the Pat’s. Naturally the squad adjourned to a nearby Chipotle afterward. The Parma location was the groups eighth this winter in a visiting town. “The one in Hudson is the best,” said forward Thomas Green. Word from Wall Street today was that Chipotle stock is back on the rise.

Former Lady Bee volleyball standout Lauren Bazil, Jared’s older sister, is now the head volleyball coach at Valley Forge. Lauren, who got married this past summer, is a teacher in the Parma school district.

Jared Bazil sported a new look tonight. It was a red headband. Apparently the fashion statement is here to stay. “Maybe I’ll go with a white one next game,” Bazil said.

The public address voice of the Patriots is Joe Stavole. Joe, 30, is legendary V-F coach John Stavole’s son. Coach Stavole was in the house. In his customary seat in the top row opposite the benches.

It is always good to get back to Valley Forge. Lots of good memories in that gym. Joe Zenir’s Lady Bees won a district title there as recently as six years ago. The good folks that handle the chores at the score table always have a smile and kind words. Veteran Athletic Trainer Dave Rausch is always the first to shake hands. And longtime fans, “The Parma Guys”, were in the home crowd. They never miss a game – boys or girls.

Pat Teresi is in his first season back at Forge. As always Coach Teresi was a treat to talk hoops with before the game. He went out of his way to find three additional chairs for the Bees burgeoning bench. The well-dressed Teresi was styling in a black suit, shirt and tie.

It’s not all about fish fry’s and pierogies in Parma Heights. Basketball at Valley Forge certainly had its hay day. John Stavole coached the Patriots to a Division I Final Four in 1988. His 1997 club reached the Elite Eight.

There was a Mini Swarm at the game tonight. Senior soccer goalie Jen Farwell was in charge of doling out the Tootsie Pops. Sophomore volleyball player Amber King publicly lobbied for driving rights to North Royalton Friday night. Clarence may, or may not, have a say in what is certain to be a game-time decision.

Tourney time. The meeting to slot teams in the Division I Strongsville sectional/district tournament is this Sunday afternoon. Look for St. Edward and St. Ignatius to secure the top two seeds.

 

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT:

“You beat these guys by almost 30. No go out and beat the Bears!” – Nate “Dog” Mackenzie (post game locker room).

 

NEXT UP:

Brecksville makes its way over to North Royalton Friday night for a key Suburban League National Division fray with the arch rival Bears. Royalton topped Barberton on the road last Saturday. Expect a huge crowd in the Bears Den. “Get there early!”, cautioned BBHHS sophomore super fan Avery Diedrick.

Start times for all three levels are as usual.

“We’re going to have to shoot the basketball on Friday night because North Royalton is locked in defensively right now. They have only given up a total of 69 points in their last two games combined. So we will have to be locked in offensively,” Steve Mehalik said.

The Bees defeated NORO, 48-33, at the fabulous Bee Hive the Tuesday of Christmas week. There is a lot on the line Friday. Brecksville is on a roll and Royalton would like nothing more than to make the stretch run of the National Division pennant race interesting. A Bears victory would do just that.

“This is my senior year. So this is my last time playing the Bears,” Dan Harwood said. “It means a lot to all the seniors. We want to keep the streak going.”

 

See You At The Bee Hive!

To contact: Ddipa67834@aol.com.

Follow on Twitter: @beevillesports

Follow the Lady Bees on the worldwide web at: beesbasketball.com.

Brecksville (4-15, 2-10 SL) hosts Stow-Munroe Falls tomorrow night at the Hive.

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BEES PULL AWAY TO WIN

January 30th, 2016  / Author: dipasqua

BIG THIRD QUARTER TOPS KNIGHTS

By Dom DiPasqua/Staff Writer

Friday night, January 29, 2016

MACEDONIA – A different Bees basketball team emerged from the locker room for the second half. It was a red-clad gang that had fire in its collective belly and a look in their eyes that said ‘get the heck out of the way’.

Brecksville-Broadview Heights, mired in a defensive struggle, trailed 21-19 at intermission. By outscoring Nordonia 21-4 in the third quarter the Bees went on to a 54-39 Suburban League National Division victory here this evening in front of a good crowd at Summa Care Arena.

“We survived. It’s a road win the second time through,” said veteran BBHHS head coach Steve Mehalik in the Brecksville locker room.

The triumph, the Bees 14th in a row, keeps them in firm grasp of first place with four league contests remaining.

Defensive Struggle

This one was not nearly as easy as the solid double-digit final outcome might indicate. The first frame ended in an 8-8 deadlock. Brecksville, which did not turn the ball over in the tug-of-war opening period, committed a half-dozen miscues in the second, including four in as many possessions. That caused Mehalik’s blood pressure to spike and he shared his thoughts with his squad during the break.

Half of those turnovers were unforced errors. The other half were because of who the Bees were playing. “Number one. Nordonia can flat out defend. Kirk (Culler) has his guys playing hard. They just smothered us,” Mehalik said.

Early foul trouble sent baseliners Dan Harwood and 6-6 post Jared Bazil to the bench. The Knights took advantage of that and sloppy Beeville ball-handling to post a one-basket lead at the intermission.

“We managed to survive that whole second quarter without Jared and without Danny Harwood. That’s tough to do. Big Jared has been playing so well for us. To not have him in for a half, to lose him and Harwood for a half, that’s our front line,” said Mehalik. “And that’s a great credit to guys like Danny Shirilla who now has to guard a 6-6 post player after covering a guard from one possession to the next. I tell you all the time how valuable Danny Shirilla is for us.”

Welcome Back Bees

The third quarter was like a different game.

Bazil, in making up for lost time mode, played like a bull just released from the pen. His strong rebound and put back tied the tilt at 21 a half-minute in. Brecksville’s defense kicked it into another gear. The Bees were now out-hustling the Knights. The hosts felt the pressure and called time out.

That ramped up intensity fueled the offense. Dan Auble hit a three from the top of the arc. Harwood stole the subsequent inbound pass, laid it in, was fouled and converted.

Things began to unravel quickly for Nordonia. They were whistled for a technical foul on that play. Auble hit both freebies. Culler signaled for another t-o. It didn’t extinguish the swarm. Andrew Bruno drained a three with 35 seconds to play in the third. And P.J. Austin canned one at the horn.

Auble, as usual, piloted the Bees offense through some choppy waters. The veteran has become numb to pressure. When he scores, his points come in clusters. Otherwise he gets everyone else involved.

“In the third quarter Danny Auble started looking to attack. I think he’s the best player in the league. He controls everything for us,” Mehalik said of his senior point guard.

Brecksville rallied from a 2-point halftime deficit to a 15-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Austin drilled another trey, this one from the opposite corner, to up the count to 43-25.

This One Is Over

The Knights (4-12, 3-7 SL) struggled offensively for most of the game. Their shooting woes continued well into the fourth. And with 3:41 remaining Mehalik called time and both teams went to their reserves.

Auble paced the Bees (15-1, 10-0 SL) with 11 points. Austin tallied ten off the bench. Harwood and Matt Dimitrijevs, who both registered six points in the first half, finished with nine. Bruno and Bazil chipped in four a piece.

Lightning In A Bottle

Austin, a 6-1 senior, is as athletic as they come. He, like Shirilla, have paid big time dividends off the Bees bench. “Every night it’s somebody different. Tonight was P.J.’s night. Like we’ve been saying all along when he comes in it’s instant energy,” Mehalik said. “When we get points from P.J. coming off the bench like we did tonight that’s huge.”

Austin gets it. He knows his role and relishes in it. Above all it is team first. “This was a really big win, finishing Nordonia off. We beat then both times. And it’s been a different guy every night providing a spark for our team during this run,” said Austin. “I notice what we’re lacking and just try to provide a spark in that area.”

Window Wipers 

The Knights were led by sophomore guard Drew Petros who scored 11 points. The hosts committed ten turnovers. The Bees won the battle of the boards convincingly, 31 to 20, which was impressive due to how much time Bazil and Harwood sat with foul trouble. In fact, despite the above-mentioned fact, Brecksville’s starters still out-rebounded Nordy, 19-9.

The Old Bugaboo

The Bees committed 12 turnovers, but three of then came very late, in mop-up time. Mehalik didn’t want to hear it. “We’ve got to stop turning the ball over. We have a championship heart. The way these kids prepare for a game is at a championship level. But right now taking care of the basketball is not there,” said Mehalik. “If we do finally take care of the ball this team will be dangerous. If we don’t we won’t reach our goals. It’s that simple.”

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

BRECKSVILLE          08          11          21          14          = 54

NORDONIA                08          13          04         14          = 39

 

STAT-O-MATIC:

BRECKSVILLE ….. The Bees went 10 of 13 from the free throw line for 76.9% and committed 12 turnovers.

NORDONIA ….. The Knights went 9 of 14 from the free throw line for 64.2% and committed 10 turnovers.

 

OFFICIALS:

James Duke, Chris Jarus and Jay McMichael (a veteran group).

 

BEES STATISTICAL LEADERS:

SCORING ….. Auble with 11.

REBOUNDS ….. Auble, Bazil and Danny Shirilla with 5 each.

STEALS ….. Auble with 2.

ASSISTS ….. Auble with 5.

BLOCKED SHOTS ….. Kenny Ganley with 2.

CHARGES TAKEN ….. Bruno and Bazil with 1 each.

 

STARTING LINE-UPS:

BEES: 4-Andrew Bruno, 10-Matt Dimitrijevs, 12-Dan Auble, 13-Dan Harwood, 31-Jared Bazil.

KNIGHTS: 2-Jordan Adams, 4-Drew Petros, 5-Mike Piotrowski, 13-Luke Alders, 21-Ryan Smith.

 

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME:

Brecksville-Broadview Heights, after a sluggish first few minutes, went on a 17-4 run to close out the first quarter and cruised to its 16th straight win, 74-55, over Nordonia. The Bees weathered a 16-6 Knights run at the start of the second stanza.

 

SCORE BY QUARTERS:

BRECKSVILLE          19          15          19          21          = 74

NORDONIA                10          19          08         18           = 55

 

FRESHMEN GAME:

Thomas Green scored on a driving layup with 3.2 seconds to play to give Brecksville-Broadview Heights a thrilling 35-33 victory over Nordonia. Green, a 5-10 forward who scored all of his team-high 11 points in the fourth quarter, took a pass from Zach Bahr on the short left side wing and went in for the game-winning basket. Chipotle for everyone.

 

BEE BUZZ:

Brecksville-Broadview Heights is now 7-1 on the road. The Bees have outscored their opponents by a total of 213 points so far this season (13.3 ppg). The team has been shooting free throws very well as of late. This evening they made ten straight during a stretch.

In addition to P.J. Austin’s ten points off the bench senior Jimmy Henyey, junior Griffin Stevens and sophomore Michael Rose also penciled Matt Auble’s green score book.

Steve Mehalik has used the same starting line-up in all 16 games this season. There is no truth to the rampant rumor that junior varsity coach John Silva has been ducking the media after the last several games. P.J. Austin was the last Bees player on the bus for the ride home. The reason? He was dancing with the cheerleaders. And here I thought the dance was tomorrow night.

“It was a nice short bus ride here. And the sun was out,'” said cheerleader coach Michelle Hoy. Assistant coach Steve Piorkowski was also a fan of the short commute. The easy trip made for a great showing by The Swarm which hooted and hollered. The usual suspects were among them. Add Lady Bees freshman post Brigit Naughton to the growing list of super fans.

Former St. Ignatius head coach Sean O’Toole was in the crowd with his sons. First-year Nordonia head coach Kirk Culler was a longtime assistant under O’Toole at Iggy.

The Bees bench brigade has taken to choreographed leg crossings among other creative sideline antics to keep their heads in the game. The enthusiasm that Michael Rose, Kyle Seibert, Joey Frajter and Matt Harwood provide is contagious. Seibert, the teams resident funny man, enjoys a cult-like following by The Swarm. They chant his name. “You’re popular,” Rose told him. Stay tuned for more on this blossoming sidebar story.

 

QUOTES OF THE NIGHT:

“P.J. played really good. He made a lot of threes.” – Mikey “Coach Smalls” Sejba, the latest internet sensation.

“Rosati’s is closed … booooo! Killing the victory vibe.” Avery Diedrick via Twitter.

 

NEXT UP:

Brecksville-Broadview Heights steps away from the Suburban League grind when it makes its way over to Parma Heights Tuesday night for a match-up with Valley Forge in Independence Hall.

The Patriots are coached by former Padua Franciscan head coach and most recently a Revere assistant in Pat Teresi.

“Valley Forge is playing better. It has taken Pat a while to get his system going but they are playing well,” Steve Mehalik said. “They almost beat North Olmsted. And they beat North Royalton. And right now beating Brecksville is a big notch in everybody’s belt. We just have to be ready for it.”

There is no doubt the bulls eye on the Bees back is getting bigger by the game. P.J. Austin spoke of the teams mindset. “We don’t necessarily feel the target, but we know it’s there. And we prepare for it,” Austin said.

 

See You At The Bee Hive!

To contact: Ddipa67834@aol.com.

Follow on Twitter: @beevillesports

Follow the Lady Bees on the worldwide web at: beesbasketball.com.

Brecksville (4-14, 2-9 SL) travels to Wadsworth to take on the state-ranked Lady Grizzlies Saturday afternoon.

– 30 –

 

 

 

 

 

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