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Boys HS Hoops: Mentor Rolls To A 74-54 Victory Over Solon, Earn Share Of GCC Title

MENTOR, OHIO – Back in January when Mentor lost their first meeting against Solon, they were 4-4 and struggling to build any type of positive momentum.

Fast forward to late February, and the Cardinals season has completely turned around. They wrapped up conference play with a 74-54 victory over Solon, winning a share of the GCC title.

Early in the game, it was Mentor who was dominant on both sides of the ball. They got out to a 7-2 lead thanks to a great start by Andrew Witte. Solon wasn’t able to connect on a basket until the halfway point in the first quarter. The Comets got their offense going later in the quarter, but Mentor still held a 15-11 lead after the first.

6-foot-5, 220 pound center Chad Rogers has been a sleeper within Northeast Ohio this season. He came in averaging 22 points and 8 rebounds per game, and continued to build off of his great season Friday night.

Rogers, a Penn State baseball commit, led all scorers with 12 points in the first half. His effort on offense and guarding the paint propelled Mentor to a 34-19 halftime lead. Witte also was a big part of the dominant first half, as he finished with 11 points.

Solon kept the deficit respectable with a more evenly played third quarter. Junior guard Marcus Steele pieced together a very solid performance in the losing effort, finishing the game with 14 points.

Mentor just continued to play fundamentally sound basketball in the second half to maintain their lead. Great ball movement and a dominant performance on the glass gave the Cardinals a 53-34 lead heading into the fourth.

Luke Chicone, a talented junior guard who committed to Youngstown State as a sophomore, finished the game with 20 points and a plethora of assists.

Mentor grew their lead to 21 early in the final frame before removing their starters. The starters came back in with just under four minutes to play as Solon trimmed the deficit to 15.

Rogers, Chicone, and the rest of this red hot Cardinals squad closed the game out to earn a 74-54 victory over this same Solon team that beat them just over a month ago.

With the victory, Mentor earned a share of the GCC title with Medina. After starting the season with two early conference losses, the Cardinals had to win out to get their second consecutive title. And they did exactly that.

Mentor improves to 16-5 with Friday night’s convincing victory. They have a quick turnaround, as they host Lake Catholic in the season finale Saturday night. After that crosstown rivalry, they will host either Willoughby South or Riverside to open tournament play on February 29th.

Solon finishes the regular season at 16-6. They will host either Bedford or Nordonia on February 29th in the sectional final game.

Box Score

Mentor 15 19 19 21 74

Solon 11 8 15 20 54

Leading Scorers

Chad Rogers (Mentor): 28 Pts

Luke Chicone (Mentor): 20 Pts

Marcus Steele (Solon): 14 Pts

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