Greater Cleveland Conference 2019-20

cardzfan1234

Well-known member
The GCC has been one of the better leagues in Ohio the past several seasons. What does this season have in store?

Here are the 2018-19 final league standings:

Mentor 12-2
Euclid 10-4
Shaker 9-5
Solon 9-5
Medina 8-6
Brunswick 6-8
Elyria 2-12
Strongsville 0-14

Conference Outlook: The league schedule will be deep, but maybe not as deep as last season where the top 6 teams were all pretty solid. At the top, returning GCC champ Mentor brings back their top three scorers (Luke Foriea, Luke Chicone, and Chad Rogers) from last season as well as their 6th man, a DII basketball commit in Caleb Piks. Until proven otherwise, Mentor is the team to beat. Shaker and Medina aren't too fare behind. The Raiders bring back their three most talented players from last year too (Dakota Cochran, Danny Young Jr., and Shammah Scott). Medina has a few returning starters back including junior DI recruit Corey Tripp. The six games between Shaker, Mentor, and Medina will likely decide the league.

Euclid, district champions in 2019, will take a bit of a nose dive after projected 4th year starting guard Garvin Clarke transferred to Cleveland Heights. That was on top of graduating their other four starters and their coach stepping down. But Euclid did pick up their first win over VASJ since 2010 in their opener, so maybe not all is lost. Solon was hit hard by graduation, but they did have a couple youngsters (led by junior Marcus Steele) to watch out for. They have a great coach too, so I don't expect them to be down. The Blue Devils graduated district POY Kyle Goesler. Starters Tre Massey and Trevor Mackey are returning starters that averaged double digit scoring last season. Brunswick is well coached and they are a top 25 pre-season team on Cleveland.com. Elyria probably will finish closer toward the bottom of the GCC. I don't know much about them. Strongsville has been at/near the very bottom of the league every season. I don't expect that to change.

Four teams made the Cleveland.com pre-season Top 25. Mentor (#3), Medina (#9), Shaker (#10), and Brunswick (#24). My predictions on how the league standings will go:

Mentor (13-1)
Shaker (12-2)
Medina (10-4)
Brunswick (7-7)
Solon (6-8)
Euclid (6-8)
Elyria (2-12)
Strongsville (0-14)
 

cardzfan1234

Well-known member
Heading into 2020, here is where we stand:

Shaker (4-0)
Medina (3-1)...lost to Shaker
Mentor (2-1)...lost to Medina
Solon (2-2)...lost to Medina and Shaker
Euclid (1-2)...lost to Strongsville and Elyria
Brunswick (1-3)
Elyria (1-3)
Strongsville (1-3)
 
Last edited:

James x2

Well-known member
I may be wrong but I thought Euclid was 2-1 with a 1pt. win against Strongsville and yesterday nights win against Brunswick .Loosing at Elyria.
 

cardzfan1234

Well-known member
I may be wrong but I thought Euclid was 2-1 with a 1pt. win against Strongsville and yesterday nights win against Brunswick .Loosing at Elyria.
MaxPreps listed Euclid as losing to Strongsville by 1 point. I was originally wrong with Solon's record, but I updated that.

Mentor hosts Shaker this week in a big one. If Shaker can win, they have a huge inside track to winning the GCC in their final season in the league. A win by Mentor would create a three way tie at the top with the three teams that are ahead of the rest of the pack.
 

SVillegrad

Well-known member
MaxPreps listed Euclid as losing to Strongsville by 1 point. I was originally wrong with Solon's record, but I updated that.

Mentor hosts Shaker this week in a big one. If Shaker can win, they have a huge inside track to winning the GCC in their final season in the league. A win by Mentor would create a three way tie at the top with the three teams that are ahead of the rest of the pack.
Yeah, this is a huge game for both teams. A Mentor loss and it's looking very tough for the Cardinals to win the GCC (either vs. Medina, @Shaker is likely a third loss between the two).

If Shaker wins, you never know because even the mid/bottom of the league can pull an upset, but they are likely looking at least a share of the league title. ... because I can't see them losing a third if they win @Mentor.
 

SVillegrad

Well-known member
Tonight's scores:

Medina 81, Brunswick 50
Strongsville 57, Elyria 44
Solon 60, Mentor 57
Shaker Heights 88, Euclid 63

I believe the standings are now:

1. Shaker Heights, 5-0 (Beat Solon, Elyria, Strongsville, Medina, Euclid)
2. Medina, 4-1 (Beat Strongsville, Solon, Mentor, Brunswick; lost to Shaker Heights)
3. Solon, 3-2 (Beat Strongsville, Brunswick, Mentor; lost to Medina and Shaker Heights)
4. Mentor, 2-2 (Beat Brunswick, Elyria; lost to Medina, Solon)
4. Euclid, 2-2 (Beat Strongsville, Brunswick; lost to Elyria, Shaker Heights)
6. Brunswick, 1-4 (Beat Elyria; lost to Mentor, Solon, Euclid, Medina)
6. Strongsville, 1-4 (Beat Elyria; lost to Medina, Solon, Euclid, Shaker)
6. Elyria, 1-4 (Beat Euclid: lost to Brunswick; Shaker Heights, Mentor, Strongsville)

As for how I would rank them (haven't seen Elyria or Euclid):

1. Medina: Blew the game last Friday at Shaker, but I'll still have them slightly above. Both are very good, though, and have separated from the rest as of now.

2. Shaker: Can flip them with Medina and won't argue as both are legit top 5 teams in Greater Cleveland, IMO.

3. Solon: The Comets played Medina tough for three quarters and have the H2H win in Round 1 against Mentor.

4. Mentor: The Cardinals have too much talent and should get it together at some point. A win against Shaker would vault them back up to No. 3. A third loss this early all but eliminates Mentor from the GCC race.

5. Brunswick: Big drop off from the top 4, but the Blue Devils are again an enigma to me. Like last year, have talent but they are off to another bad start ... on the bright side, the Blue Devils are strong at the lower levels again. Very entertaining freshmen and JV games tonight with Medina's undefeated freshmen beating undefeated Brunswick by 10 in what is easily the two top teams in the league (though Shaker has two freshman on varsity or they would be right there too ... and from what I have seen, Strongsville and Solon, with one each on varsity, are the only other GCC teams that has a freshmen playing varsity ... not sure about Elyria or Euclid). Brunswick's undefeated JV team then edged out undefeated Medina, 56-54.

6. Euclid: I guess they are here because they have two wins. I'll be better able to judge them once I see them.

7. Strongsville: Talent is better than last year, coaching is a question.

8. Elyria: Without seeing them yet, Larrick is a solid coach, so guessing the Pioneers are again short on talent.
 
Last edited:

SVillegrad

Well-known member
Wow solon beat mentor.
Yep. They should only get better as the season goes along too. Have a great coach and some nice talent that looks like is starting to come together. Since Shaker blasted them, they: Played Medina tough for three quarters, then have racked up wins against some decent/good teams (records aside) in Brunswick, Lake and Mentor. The other loss was close against a Green team that I was really impressed with when I saw them in a scrimmage against Medina/Cleveland Heights/Olmsted Falls.
 

cardzfan1234

Well-known member
Short of winning out, Mentor's hopes of winning the GCC outright is over. Medina and Shaker aren't going to lose more than two or three league games. That was a tough loss yesterday in terms of the league. But it is still early January and working to get better in the district tournament is top priority.

Great win for Solon. They graduated four starters from last year, the core of a state runner-up team in 2017. Mentor brought back their top three leading scorers. On paper, it should heavily favor Mentor...even on the road. Solon has a great coach and clearly some good young talent. Marbury is just a sophomore and was the Comets' leading scorer. We know Solon has an 8th grade stud that private schools (at least one) has their eye on. Steele is just a junior. Solon isn't going anywhere as long as DeCesare is the coach.
 

SVillegrad

Well-known member
Tonight's scores:
Mentor 79, Shaker Heights 70
Medina 66, Elyria 41
Solon 52, Euclid 51
Brunswick 63, Strongsville 48

Updated standings:
1. Shaker Heights, 5-1 (Beat Solon, Elyria, Strongsville, Medina, Euclid; lost to Mentor)
1. Medina, 5-1 (Beat Strongsville, Solon, Mentor, Brunswick, Elyria; lost to Shaker Heights)
3. Solon, 4-2 (Beat Strongsville, Brunswick, Mentor, Euclid; lost to Medina and Shaker Heights)
4. Mentor, 3-2 (Beat Brunswick, Elyria, Shaker Heights; lost to Medina, Solon)
5. Euclid, 2-3 (Beat Strongsville, Brunswick; lost to Elyria, Shaker Heights, Solon)
6. Brunswick, 2-4 (Beat Elyria, Strongsville; lost to Mentor, Solon, Euclid, Medina)
8. Strongsville, 1-5 (Beat Elyria; lost to Medina, Solon, Euclid, Shaker, Brunswick)
8. Elyria, 1-5 (Beat Euclid: lost to Brunswick; Shaker Heights, Mentor, Strongsville, Medina)

Updated rankings:

1. Medina: Shaker still technically has the league lead, but Mentor really helped out Medina tonight with the win against Shaker.
2. Shaker: Ran into a desperate Mentor team. Not a bad/shocking loss.
3. Mentor: The Shaker win is what people expected from the Cardinals.
4. Solon: Looks like they escaped what would have been a pretty bad loss.
5. Euclid: Close loss to Solon bumps them above Brunswick for now.
6. Brunswick: Handled business against the other bottom feeder.
7. Strongsville: They are better than Elyria.
8. Elyria: They aren't as horrible as they looked in the first quarter (outscored 16-0), but they have to be last for now. On the bright side, was impressed with the Pioneers freshmen and JV teams. Freshmen were the first team so far to keep it within 10 against Medina. Elyria led for most of the JV game but the Bees (9-1) pulled it out with some big 3s in the last 5 minutes.
 

bbfan29

Member
Tonight's scores:
Mentor 79, Shaker Heights 70
Medina 66, Elyria 41
Solon 52, Euclid 51
Brunswick 63, Strongsville 48

Updated standings:
1. Shaker Heights, 5-1 (Beat Solon, Elyria, Strongsville, Medina, Euclid; lost to Mentor)
1. Medina, 5-1 (Beat Strongsville, Solon, Mentor, Brunswick, Elyria; lost to Shaker Heights)
3. Solon, 4-2 (Beat Strongsville, Brunswick, Mentor, Euclid; lost to Medina and Shaker Heights)
4. Mentor, 3-2 (Beat Brunswick, Elyria, Shaker Heights; lost to Medina, Solon)
5. Euclid, 2-3 (Beat Strongsville, Brunswick; lost to Elyria, Shaker Heights, Solon)
6. Brunswick, 2-4 (Beat Elyria, Strongsville; lost to Mentor, Solon, Euclid, Medina)
8. Strongsville, 1-5 (Beat Elyria; lost to Medina, Solon, Euclid, Shaker, Brunswick)
8. Elyria, 1-5 (Beat Euclid: lost to Brunswick; Shaker Heights, Mentor, Strongsville, Medina)

Updated rankings:

1. Medina: Shaker still technically has the league lead, but Mentor really helped out Medina tonight with the win against Shaker.
2. Shaker: Ran into a desperate Mentor team. Not a bad/shocking loss.
3. Mentor: The Shaker win is what people expected from the Cardinals.
4. Solon: Looks like they escaped what would have been a pretty bad loss.
5. Euclid: Close loss to Solon bumps them above Brunswick for now.
6. Brunswick: Handled business against the other bottom feeder.
7. Strongsville: They are better than Elyria.
8. Elyria: They aren't as horrible as they looked in the first quarter (outscored 16-0), but they have to be last for now. On the bright side, was impressed with the Pioneers freshmen and JV teams. Freshmen were the first team so far to keep it within 10 against Medina. Elyria led for most of the JV game but the Bees (9-1) pulled it out with some big 3s in the last 5 minutes.
I agree with all of your assessment of the leagues results last night with one exception, The exception is I don’ t understand how you arrived at the conclusion that people expected Mentor to beat Shaker. Most basketball fans that I talked to felt that Shaker would win by a close margin, based on Mentors record & performance this season.
 

SVillegrad

Well-known member
I agree with all of your assessment of the leagues results last night with one exception, The exception is I don’ t understand how you arrived at the conclusion that people expected Mentor to beat Shaker. Most basketball fans that I talked to felt that Shaker would win by a close margin, based on Mentors record & performance this season.
I meant Mentor's win was what people expected coming into the season (they were the preseason pick to win and ranked no. 3 in the PD rankings.)

Yeah, based off of actual results, they should have lost.

For me, its probably in the middle. Mentor wasn't quite as good as the preseason predictions, but not as bad as the record.

Still it's a team that can beat any team in Greater Cleveland (see yesterday) on a given night, but also get blown out by Medina and lose to Solon (though both are exceeding expectations ... although Medina's were pretty high to begin)
 

bbfan29

Member
I meant Mentor's win was what people expected coming into the season (they were the preseason pick to win and ranked no. 3 in the PD rankings.)

Yeah, based off of actual results, they should have lost.

For me, its probably in the middle. Mentor wasn't quite as good as the preseason predictions, but not as bad as the record.

Still it's a team that can beat any team in Greater Cleveland (see yesterday) on a given night, but also get blown out by Medina and lose to Solon (though both are exceeding expectations ... although Medina's were pretty high to begin)
Regardless of their record, you can never count Mentor out at tournament time. Their past records have proven that point many times. I‘m sure this year will be no different, they will be prepared to make a run.
 

cardzfan1234

Well-known member
Medina 88 Euclid 64
Mentor 79 Strongsville 70
Shaker 72 Brunswick 68
Solon 56 Elyria 55

Updated Standings:
1. Shaker (6-1)
1. Medina (6-1)
3. Solon (5-2)
4. Mentor (4-2)
5. Euclid (2-4)
6. Brunswick (2-5)
8. Elyria (1-6)
8. Strongsville (1-6)
 
Last edited:

SVillegrad

Well-known member
Medina beat Strongsville tonight 88-48 to go to 7-1. What's notable about the game is Medina's Kyle Szumski went over 1,000 points for his career. ... needed 12 and got it late in the first half.
 

SVillegrad

Well-known member
Medina 65, Solon 58 (OT)
Mentor 73, Brunswick 62
Shaker Heights 73, Elyria 53
Euclid 69, Strongsville 64

Medina escaped against Solon in what was a great game and a great night of basketball at all three levels between the two teams. ... Much respect to how hard Solon plays and the program Tony Decesare has going. Medina now has @Mentor and vs. Shaker the next two (with Spire in between). The league race could be decided in the next two games.

Standings are:
1. Medina (8-1)
2. Shaker (7-1)
3. Mentor (5-2)
4. Solon (5-3)
5. Euclid (3-4)
6. Brunswick (2-6)
7. Elyria (1-7)
8. Strongsville (1-8)
 

cardzfan1234

Well-known member
Updated standings after Tuesday are:
1. Medina (8-1)
2. Shaker (8-1)
3. Mentor (6-2)
4. Solon (5-4)
5. Euclid (3-5)
6. Brunswick (3-6)
7. Elyria (1-8)
8. Strongsville (1-8)

Games this Friday are:
Medina @ Mentor
Strongsville @ Shaker
Brunswick @ Solon
Elyria @ Euclid

Obviously, the Medina/Mentor game is the one to keep an eye on. The winner of that game, especially if it is Medina, gives themselves a great chance at winning the league, or at least a share of it in Mentor's case. Winning out is the only way Mentor can win the league outright. Even at that, there is no guarantee. Mentor's chances of beating Medina took a blow after an injury to an important starter on Tuesday. Someone on the bench needs to step up.
 

James x2

Well-known member
Who on Mentor was injured? I am going to this game and expect a close game in the 70's if not more.
 

cardzfan1234

Well-known member
Who on Mentor was injured? I am going to this game and expect a close game in the 70's if not more.
Caleb Piks. He is not one of Mentor's big three, but he is the best of the rest on the team. Tall, willing defender/rebounder, and is a decent shooter. The 4th leading scorer on the team. Still should be a good game, it just puts a little more pressure on the other guys.
 

cardzfan1234

Well-known member
Medina is a solid team. As good as all of Mentor's top three players (Rogers, Chicone, and Floriea) looked yesterday, Medina still had the best player on the floor. No, it wasn't Corey Tripp. It was Kyle Szumski. He is a kid that could start on any team in the country. Szumski does everything well. He has size, ball handling, and can shoot anywhere on the floor. He had 29 points yesterday, but didn't really take a lot of shots. Anytime he sat yesterday, which was 2-3 minutes stretch in the first half and maybe a minute or two in the second half, Mentor seemed to go on a little run.

SVillegrad will be able to hang on to the fact that the mighty JV Bees handled Mentor's JV team again. What is their JV record? How about middle school? In all seriousness, Mentor's JV is never that great - but they don't usually take a butt whooping like they did yesterday. The present and the future at Medina is pretty bright.

Mentor 81 Medina 80
Shaker 80 Strongsville 41
Solon 56 Brunswick 49
Euclid 60 Elyria 49

Updated Standings:
Shaker (9-1)
Medina (8-2)
Mentor (7-2)
Solon (6-4)
Euclid (4-5)
Brunswick (3-7)
Elyria (1-9)
Strongsville (1-9)
 

SVillegrad

Well-known member
Cardz,

I wasn't there, but saw highlights of the Mentor varsity game. Sounds/looks like a classic from start to finish. Tough to see that Medina blew a 5 point lead with 16 seconds left, but Mentor was typical Mentor and never quit. BTW, yes, Kyle is a great HS player and can play D1 ball. Not sure who's all in on him, but I know they have had D1 coaches at pretty much all their open gyms/games this year, but guessing ends up at a top D2 school, where he probably will shine for four years. Don't underestimate Corey Tripp, though, he has been a team player this year and has taken a back seat to Szumski. But Corey can handle a game with the best of them, which is why he's at worst case going to end up at a top MAC school (Bowling Green). He will break out next year when he has to shoulder more of the scoring load.

Medina's JV is 16-1. The lone loss was 56-54 to Brunswick, which is 17-0. Funny thing is that Medina's JV had been playing like crap up until yesterday for the past 2 to 3 weeks, but hanging on. Part of it was the starting PG (a freshman who is real good) being out and partly because they started splitting two more sophomores (already had two sophomores on varsity to start the year) between JV and varsity ... one of which is Drew Allar, who easily could be a D1 basketball player if he actually concentrated on hoops. But he already has a football offer from Central Michigan and is almost a lock to end up at P5 football school, so he just does hoops because he's also pretty good at it, lol.

Medina's freshman is also 16-1 (the loss was last week in overtime to a Walsh Jesuit team that also entered undefeated). And kind of like the JV team scuffling, the freshman team (which had been hammering teams by double digits every game) is also in a bit of flux. With the freshman JV PG going down, the freshman team PG was moved up to JV full-time. They are also splitting two more freshman with the JV team since they started splitting the two sophomore JV players with varsity. ... But at this point of the season, I'm sure Medina is not alone in moving kids around.
 

SVillegrad

Well-known member
Updated after tonight:

Medina 84, Shaker 68
Mentor 95, Elyria 69
Brunswick 66, Euclid 65
Solon 43, Strongsville 42

Mentor beat Euclid, 71-59, on Tuesday to catch back up in the games played column.

Standings:

Medina (9-2)
Shaker (9-2)
Mentor (9-2)
Solon (7-4)
Brunswick (4-7)
Euclid (4-7)
Strongsville (1-10)
Elyria (1-10)

Medina finishes @Euclid, vs. Elyria and @Brunswick. ... Three teams they beat by 25-plus the first time around, though @Brunswick could be a buzzsaw on senior night in a rivalry game.

Mentor has vs. Strongsville, @Shaker and vs. Solon. .. Two tough games, though the game against Shaker could decide at least a split of the title. But Solon did win the first matchup so can't assume a Mentor win.

I'm trying to piece Shaker's finishing schedule together. I believe it's some combination of Mentor (obviously) and then Euclid and Brunswick. Outside of Mentor, Brunswick (72-68 the first time around) also can't be an assumed win.

With that, I'm going to say that Medina wins out and finishes 12-2 and the winner of the Shaker/Mentor game will also win and also finishes 12-2. Hopefully Mentor wins that not to give Shaker the satisfaction of even splitting a league title in pretty much the only sport they have been competitive in the GCC before they bolt.
 

cardzfan1234

Well-known member
Mentor, Medina, and Shaker all earned the top seed at their respective districts. Solon is a 3 seed at Twinsburg, where Shaker is at. Would love to see three GCC teams advance to the Final 16 in DI.

If the chalk holds up, Mentor and Medina would meet in a rubber match at CSU in a regional semifinal. That would be pretty great.
 
Last edited:

SVillegrad

Well-known member
Mentor, Medina, and Shaker all earned the top seed at their respective districts. Solon is a 3 seed at Twinsburg, where Shaker is at. Would love to see three GCC teams advance to the Final 16 in DI.

If the chalk holds up, Mentor and Medina would meet in a rubber match at CSU in a regional semifinal. That would be pretty great.
Definitely rooting for that rubber match between Medina/Mentor, teams that are in a lot of ways mirror images.

I think the GCC once again is in a good position to represent well in the tournament. The three of the No. 1 seeds obviously have a solid chance of making to regionals. But I can see 6, or even 7, of the 8 teams potentially making it to the district semifinals.

Brunswick for the second year in a row underachieved (though is still is 7-1 outside the GCC) and I think a very dangerous team as the No. 7 in Lakewood (on the opposite side St. Edward). Wouldn't surprise me at all to see them knock off St. Ignatius/Rhodes (or Parma) and making it to the district finals. FWIW, Brunswick got two No. 4 votes ... from Brunswick and St. Edward (two respected coaches, even if one was voting for themselves).

The Elyria Catholic District is so weak, it also wouldn't surprise me to see Strongsville (or maybe Elyria) making a run (both on the opposite side of Lorain). If both win their first round games, the two worst teams in the GCC (Strongsville/Elyria) would be matched up against the two best teams in the SWC (Midview/Amherst) in the sectional finals. I wouldn't be shocked if both GCC teams won. In fact, I think Strongsville (which has some young talent and playing better than expected despite the record) will be a tough out ... two years ago they went into the same district at 3-18 and nearly won it, losing to Lorain in a close game in the finals. I can see it happening again.
 
Last edited:

SVillegrad

Well-known member
Tonight's games:
Medina 66, Euclid 39
Mentor 103, Strongsville 51 (Yikes, how does Strongsville go from nearly upsetting Solon to losing by 52 points in a span of four days!)
Shaker 65, Brunswick 62
Solon 63, Elyria 46 (this game was 19-2 after 1 and 42-15 at the half)

Shaker survived a scare at Brunswick in a game that could've opened the door for Medina to capture the outright title. With Shaker winning, it's looking more likely that even if Medina wins out, there will be a split of the title with the Shaker/Mentor winner, especially if it's Shaker.

Standings:
1. Medina (10-2)
1. Shaker (10-2)
1. Mentor (10-2)
4. Solon (8-4)
5. Brunswick (4-8)
5. Euclid (4-8)
7. Strongsville (1-11)
7. Elyria (1-11)

FWIW, Medina's freshmen (which also won the title in football) clinched the GCC title tonight against Euclid. They are 18-1, 12-0 with two GCC games left. Brunswick is 9-3 in league play and I know every other team has at least three losses.
 
.
Top