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Boys HS Hoops: Mentor Plays With a Chip on Their Shoulder, Tops Medina 76-65

MEDINA, OHIO – The Mentor Cardinals last year, lost at Medina 94-81 and they didn’t forget about it.

“Last year, coming in (Medina), we ended up losing by 13 (points)… We took that loss as a chip on our shoulder,” Mentor’s guard Luke Chicone said.

Chicone and Mentor put on a show as they defeated the Medina Bees 76-65.

“It’s a war,” Mentor’s coach Bob Krizancic said after their win.

“The last two games we played, 81-80 at the buzzer; double-overtime game in a regional semifinal. I got so much respect for coach Hassinger and the program… It’s one of the toughest places to play. It is a marquee game.”

Chicone scored a team-high 30 points on the night, 15 in the first half as both teams had their offenses operating at a high level in the first half.

Chicone caught fire from the opening tipoff when he made an and-1 three-point shot to start the game.

It propelled a Mentor (2-0,1-0 in Greater Cleveland Conference) 12-2 run between him and Ian Kipp, who had seven points in the quarter.

Chicone made baskets from the three-point line, at the rim, and even at the free-throw line with a perfect 8-for-8 from there. He shot 8-of-19 from the field and 3-of-9 from the three-point line.

But, Medina (5-2, 1-1 in GCC) didn’t go down without a fight to start, as their offense got in rhythm to trail 25-19 at the end of the first quarter.

The lead was cut by an 8-4 run at the start of the second quarter to cut the lead to 29-27. Brandon Geschke shot 3-for-4 from the three-point arc.

The pressure started to mount on the Bees as Mentor pressed their offense and forced turnovers to go on a 10-0 run to go to halftime with a 43-36 lead.

“I think we made some great hustle plays,” Krizancic said after the win.

“Ian Kipp, who was the quarterback of the football team. I thought he had some great plays on some loose balls and rebounds. I thought he did a really great job.”

Mentor still kept the same offensive production in the third quarter as Medina was slow out of the gates. Mentor went on an 8-2 run to start the second half.

Kipp showed his versatility on the hardwood with his ability to get rebounds, spread the floor with his shooting, and run the offense. He finished with 10 points, three offensive boards, five assists, and two steals.

Steven Key also scored double-digit points with 12 for the Cardinals, displaying his ability to slash to the basket.

For Medina, the top scorers were Corey Tripp with 14, and Matt Spatny with 10.

Mentor’s next game will be at Harding on Saturday, Jan. 9, and Medina’s will be at Copley on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

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