MGB @ The Q January 19, 2017 vs. Massillon Jackson
Thanks to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Medina Athletic Department & Medina Boosters for making this experience possible, as well as our sponsors Bubbles N Biscuits, South of the Square Collision Center and Drs. Kase & Cullen, MDs. Though we lost by 5 points,
we had an amazing time!
Photos by Russ Gifford, Pari Yost, Ron Schwane/Gazette,
Katie Salai/Medinamite, Matt Boley, Karen Kase and MGB players.
MGB in CLE Recap
by Pari Yost
On Thursday, January 19, the Medina Girls Basketball teams traveled to Cleveland for an action-packed, eventful day. The bus dropped the team a few minutes early at the arena's Huron Street entrance, giving us a few minutes to pause and pose for some photos. Before the group even entered Quicken Loans Arena, we had a special surprise. Scott MacDonald, a sales & marketing representative with the Cavaliers, greeted our 45-person traveling party and went over some details. He then allowed the players to try on his Cavs 2016 World Championship Ring! Senior Delaney Cullen was the first to try it on and an immediate display of pure happiness came across her face. She said, “It felt fabulous to get to wear a Cavs ring!” Classmate Abby Teske chimed in to say, “It’s really surreal now that we’re here, I just tried on the championship ring - a once in a lifetime experience - so I’m definitely just really thankful for this opportunity.”
After the number of selfies that were taken with the massive, impressive, shiny ring, it was safe to say that the day was off to a spectacular start for MGB!
Upon entering the arena, the Varsity coaches and players were escorted to their locker room to dress and discuss the game. Walking down the hallway, the team passed the Cavs locker room and walls adorned with autographs or photographs of former Cavs legends like Larry Nance, Mark Price and Brad Daugherty. The girls got ready while Coach Kase wrote some notes on the white board, preparing to call everyone together for the scouting report and pre-game talk.
The time arrived for Varsity to take the hardwood against a tough Massillon Jackson team. Coming out of the tunnel, the Bees saw their JV/9th counterparts and some familiar faces / family members in the stands before a quick stretch and 14-minute warm-up. Scott MacDonald reminded the team, “Medina is the home team, so you get to sweat and sit in the same seats the Cavs do!”
Home team also meant Mr. W would be the announcer and Mr. C could sing the national anthem, as usual! Coach Matt readied himself to help with stats, Katie from the Medinamite took lots of notes for her story, and the team managers - Sheridan Metcalfe (video) and Hailee Pogue (bench) took their positions. Coach Britt and Coach Davis were surprised at how bright the lights were from their seats on the bench and spoke highly of the exciting atmosphere. Taking the court for warm-ups, junior Emma Bobey remarked, “I’m feeling great, not nervous at all...at least not yet!”
The ball was tipped and after some initial jitters, Anna Marie Smith scored the first Bees’ points of the game, a three-pointer. The JV and 9th teams sitting behind the bench formed a cheering section of their own. Freshman Molly Zabielski said, “It’s such a great environment with all the energy for our girls to be playing in. I’m so grateful and we’re all very fortunate to have this opportunity.”
The Bees trailed by just one point after the first quarter before the Polar Bears took a 10-point lead in the second quarter. Never backing down, the Bees fought hard and stayed in the game no matter which players subbed in.
No cheer was louder from these girls than when JV point guard Avaya Stockman-Bell checked in briefly and recorded her first-ever varsity assist - a pass that set up a Cullen three-pointer before the half. A third quarter rally by the Bees made it a fun game to watch, with some great passes and clutch plays being made. Bobey posted a double-double with 12points/10 rebounds while Cullen, Amanda Holzman, Lindsey Linard, Madison Luthy and Katie Neate made their mark on the stat sheet. Teske, Abby McMullen, Payton Beech and Alexa Nau also made key contributions.
The game came down to the wire, with Jackson's Taylor Mikesell connecting on free throws to clinch the 46-41 victory. Despite the “DEFENSE” chants from behind the bench and cheers from the family section, the Bees weren’t able to come away with the win.
Sophomore Olivia Bowser was impressed with the team’s ability to work through some non-calls from the refs and freshman Callie Hutchman commented on their momentum and rally in the second half. Slightly disappointed in the result, but grateful for the opportunity, the day was made once again when The King, LeBron James, peeked behind the hallway curtain to say a quick “Hi!” to the Varsity girls as he entered the arena for his own game vs. the Suns. He even paused and had a comment for Holzman, Bobey, Kase and Coach Nau as they were being interviewed by the Medina Gazette. It's safe to say there was a lot of screaming, laughter and permanent smiles as the group walked across the street for team dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.
To top off the night, the team headed back to The Q to watch the Cavs take on the Phoenix Suns. Another surprise awaited as Coach Kase and Scott MacDonald had arranged for a group of Varsity and JV players to go courtside once again. The group was given the chance to form the tunnel for the Cavs as they made their way out to the floor for warm-ups! Before giving high- fives to all of the players (and perhaps winking at some of them!), NBA photos took some snapshots of the group and the Bees were featured on The Q's Humungo-tron. When everyone got back to their seats for tip-off, the Medina section cheered for the reigning NBA Champs. From cheering for their favorite players (namely Kyrie, Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love... but also Kyle Korver playing in his first home game for the Cavs) to dancing to the music at time outs, the girls as well as the coaches and families had an absolutely amazing time.
It was a great day for Medina Girls Basketball and there were a ton of memories made that every member of the program can always carry with them. As Coach Kase said, “We didn’t quite win the game, but we definitely won the day,” so thank you to everyone who made this day possible and so memorable!
Pari Yost is a 2012 graduate of MHS, a recent graduate of BGSU with a degree in Journalism/Public Relations, and just finished an internship at Walt Disney World. She is a former MGB center/captain/ letterwinner, and took in all the behind-the-scenes action on our day at The Q! Thanks Pari!