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  #31  
Old 12-20-17, 04:46 PM
bbfan29 bbfan29 is offline
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Was at the game & was surprised at low score. Strongsville played a zone defense & had very good size. Mentor again missed lots of fouls, but had much fewer TOS & they played good defense. I understand Strongsville”es best player has been out until last game &does make a difference when he is in the lineup.. I look for them to score a few upsets before the season is over because they do have some talent.
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  #32  
Old 01-09-18, 09:38 PM
Bball216 Bball216 is offline
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Saw Mentor for the second time this year tonight against Euclid. In past years Mentor has always had the IT factor - this team does not. They just don't shoot like past teams, they do not execute the press like they have in the past and their overall defense is just not Me for like. I was shocked that Euclid beat them. The biggest shocker is turnovers. It seems if #40 struggles - the team struggles. I know the kid who played QB is their big but he is a bull in a china shop. He is very limited offensively and always seems to be jawing with the other team and in foul trouble. I figured after the Shaker game Coach K would fix some of the glaring issues - now I'm not so sure. Euclid is not a good team. Mentor IMO is the 5th best team at the Euclid District at this time.
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  #33  
Old 01-11-18, 10:26 AM
bbfan29 bbfan29 is offline
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I agree with most of your comments on Mentor basketball record so far. However, I still feel there is hope the program will improve by tournament time. I think part of the problem is that 3 of the stronger players Tadas, Trubisky & Flores just finished football a couple of weeks ago & 7 of the 9 games were all away. It takes a few weeks to make .the transition from football to basketball & not playing in the summer basketball ptogram, because of football commitments, Does’nt
help.. Hopefully time will help improve the performance of the team as they get more playing time together.
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  #34  
Old 01-11-18, 12:38 PM
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I watched a few games over the past month or so and the number one thing Mentor lacks is a true go-to scorer. Almost every Mentor team in the 2000's had (at least) one player that was an All-District level guard. Bratten, Zienkowski, May, Meyer, Crowe, Krizancic, Fritts, Foreman are among the standout guards. All of those players except Foreman made the All-State team. During the district title drought (2014-2016), that type of scorer and leader wasn't present or consistent enough. Last season, Jack Korsok embraced that role and had a fantastic season.

This year's team was always going to be dependent on a trio of senior guards (Koski, Zalba, Kryz) that all have a lot of experience. They are basketball-only guys that are in the gym from April to October as much as anyone in the area. They are nice players in their own way, but none of them are geared quite like the other guards I mentioned above.

This team may improve and surprise someone in the district tournament. But at the rate this is going, they are going to have to surprise two or three teams to win the district. This is looking like a probable No. 5 seed (behind Solon, Brush, Benedictine, and Cleveland Heights) at the Euclid tournament. Mentor may have to beat three of those four to cut down the nets. I can't see that happening. On any one given day, they have the talent to beat any of those teams - including Solon. But they don't have the consistency to keep that up for multiple games and weeks in March.
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  #35  
Old 01-12-18, 11:13 AM
bbfan29 bbfan29 is offline
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Agree with your assessment cardz1234.
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  #36  
Old 01-15-18, 03:25 PM
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A busy, but very winnable next week for Mentor. They play at North tomorrow, at home against Elyria on Friday, and then a makeup game on 1/22 at Medina. A sweep over the next week is my expectation. Hopefully that would build some confidence as the tougher games come up with rematches against Shaker and Solon as well as a showdown against Cornerstone.
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  #37  
Old 01-17-18, 10:53 AM
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Mentor Coach Bob Krizancic reached his 600 th win against North in a 96-38 victory. He has spent 25 years at Mentor, winning the Division I State title in 2013, also the Dvision II state title at his alma Mater Girard, in 1993. IMO, Coach K has done a phenomenal job at Mentor, making it one of the best & most respected programs in Ohio. Hopefully, he will continue to Coach, but I feel he has got to be considering retirement after 38 years of head coach. If he does retire, I think Mentor should honor him by doing something like naming the gym after him or something very grateful, because of what he has done for their program in the past 25 years.
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  #38  
Old 01-17-18, 01:08 PM
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Yes, I echo the congrats to one of the more accomplished HS basketball coaches in the history of Ohio. How many coaches have 600+ wins and state titles with multiple schools? Probably none. He has done a fantastic job making Mentor very relevant locally and frequently in contention for regional or state titles since he arrived.

Who know when he will hang it up. I thought it would happen by now, but happy he is still around. This is not looking like it will be the most memorable year to complete your career. Hopefully the team can pull together and finish strong.

I agree that I could see the gym being named after Krizancic.
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  #39  
Old 01-17-18, 03:41 PM
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Most memorable wins (for me):

1) State championship (2013) win over Toledo Rogers. For a school with very few state championships, this was especially memorable. A great team that played together very well. Mentor's 3rd quarter blitz on Rogers separated themselves before they would eventually cut down the nets.

2) Regional final win (2010) over St Edward. Mentor had played the Eagles in Lakewood earlier in the season...it didn't go that well. The Eagles were very good, and two of their top players with 6'9 or 6'10 that were headed to the Big Ten and the ACC. Led by a trio of talented small guards (Cole Krizancic, Jaron Crowe, and Justin Fritts) - Mentor somehow upset the Eagles and made it to Columbus for the first time

3) State semifinal win over Northland (2013). This was the true state championship in my eyes. Northland was undefeated and No. 1 in the state. In a season filled with lots of great wins, this was the most impressive. Northland was talented. Mentor won the game with tough defense, scoring in the paint, and hitting their free throws.

4) District final win over Glenville (2001). Back when the stands were packed for district finals at Euclid, this game had a fantastic atmosphere. This was the first season Krizancic won a district title at Mentor. The game was very intense and went to overtime.

5) District final win over Glenville (2006). After winning three straight district titles (2001-2003), Mentor was in a little slump having not won in 2004 and 2005. Down two with seconds left, sophomore sharp shooter Joey Meyer hit a three-point shot at the buzzer to win the game. It was the only district title for the well-deserved Adam May, one of the top scorers and players in Mentor history. Mentor lost in the next round, but it was an exciting buzzer beater three in a big tournament game.
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  #40  
Old 01-17-18, 08:50 PM
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IMO one of two coaches in NE Ohio that all others are judged (along with Flannery). He is as elite as they come. Congrats on an amazing accomplishment. I love the way most Mentor teams have played. They are usually fun to watch and very competitive against teams that many times have superior talent. He has the amazing ability to get more out of a player then the player ever thought they could give. His teams are always hard working and well conditioned. I would love to see what he would do with the elite talent other schools in the area have year in and year out. I think there is NO DOUBT the gym or court needs to have his name on it when he walks away.
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  #41  
Old 01-18-18, 10:26 AM
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IMO, The one thing that really was amazing about Coach K is the state championship in 2013. His team that year did not have a single player that was selected to any of the all-state teams & they still beat some of the best teams in the state. That, to me, was the high lite of a great coaching career. I also agree with all of the comments posted above by B-ball216. I would be deeply disappointed if the school district does not honor him in a deserving way when he decides to retire.
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  #42  
Old 01-18-18, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbfan29 View Post
IMO, The one thing that really was amazing about Coach K is the state championship in 2013. His team that year did not have a single player that was selected to any of the all-state teams & they still beat some of the best teams in the state. That, to me, was the high lite of a great coaching career. I also agree with all of the comments posted above by B-ball216. I would be deeply disappointed if the school district does not honor him in a deserving way when he decides to retire.
Shortly after Mentor won, I went back and looked at the previous DI champions. I believe it has been a long time (if ever??) that a team that won the DI state title didn't have either a 1st/2nd team All-Ohio player OR a player that was going to play DI basketball in college. It was a very fun team to watch. Lots of length, athleticism, strength, and high basketball IQ. Besides the wins, my favorite memory of the season was the game against national power Huntington Prep, led by Andrew Wiggins. Mentor played them very tough. They had a chance to win with an inbound play in the closing seconds. That game, even in a loss, showed me the team had what it took to go all the way.
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  #43  
Old 01-18-18, 02:20 PM
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I also looked back & discovered no one on that championship team made the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or special mention teams. Just proves u don’t need all- stars or super stars to be a winner. But u do need good coaches that get the most out of their players & build good basketball IQ & Coach/player relationships. I truly believe that is what the Mentor program is all about.
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  #44  
Old 01-19-18, 07:08 AM
Bball216 Bball216 is offline
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1234 - I was at the Huntington Prep game because VASJ played the game before. You guys were a bad inbounds pass at Fritts ankles away from the upset. He was wide open and would have laid it in with ease. That was one of the most enjoyable and hard fought games I ever witnessed.
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  #45  
Old 01-27-18, 09:01 AM
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Mentor won their 4th game in a row last night against Strongsville to improve their record to 9-4. They won the games they were supposed to. Now the tough part. Their next five games:

1/30: @ Shaker
2/2: Solon
2/3: VASJ
2/9: @ Brunswick
2/10: Cornerstone

Based on what I have seen so far, Mentor is probably looking at one win. But you never know with a Krizancic-led team. They find ways to pull of some unexpected wins in February leading into the tournament. Mentor is very likely outside the top 4 of seeding at the Euclid tournament. If they can go 3-2 against this group of power teams, Mentor might find themselves as the 3 or 4 seed come voting in a couple weeks.
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  #46  
Old 01-31-18, 09:27 AM
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http://www.news-herald.com/sports/20...away-in-fourth

Part one of a five-legged journey before district seeding/voting started off well. Mentor wins last night at Shaker, outscoring the Raiders 23-9 in the 4th quarter for a 79-63 win. In the game at Mentor last month, Shaker routinely beat Mentor's full court pressure for an easy two on one at the other end. Christian Guess was often the receiver at the end of the court as he would get layup after layup on his way to 57 points. I wasn't at Shaker yesterday, but it sounds like Mentor stayed away from the zone press and stayed in man defense.

Great win for Mentor. It is their signature win of the year so far. I would like to see them still get another win this weekend. VASJ is a winnable game at home. Going 2-1 this week would speak volumes as the tournament approaches.
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  #47  
Old 01-31-18, 10:28 AM
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I was at game last nite & was impressed with Mentor s game plan. Defensively, they played straight man full court & offensively broke Shaker s press. Great coaching adjustment from their game 1 loss to Shaker & well executed by the team.
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  #48  
Old 01-31-18, 07:28 PM
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If you look back to my post on Dec 12th I said Coach K will remember Guess getting 57 - and how he did it. I also stated how I thought he would fix the issues that seemed to plague them - namely the turnovers. I was surprised a few weeks later against Euclid to see they still had turnover issues and the offense looked lethargic.

In true Coach K tradition it seems he has fixed some of the issues to the point where Mentor is starting to play Mentor basketball. I will again get a chance to watch them as they play VASJ on Saturday. I know how hard the Cardinals work and when coach is not happy I can only imagine the practices and conditioning. I'm sure many teams work hard but it's the only team I have seen in practice work as hard or harder then VASJ on conditioning during the season.

There was no way Guess was going to go off and you could bet your life somebody else was going to have to step up for Shaker. Mentor is shooting the ball better, playing Mentor defense and more importantly not turning the ball over. That is the Mentor blueprint. When they do that along with making the extra pass, playing with confidence and knocking down free throws - watch out. This Euclid District just got serious because it appears Mentor has decided to show up. Solon, Brush, Cleveland Heights, Benny and a hot Mentor - along with Senate Champs East and sneaky good Chardon, Mayfield and South -WOW. I expect crazy games every night. Whoever emerges from Euclid will have damn well deserved it. Mentor is back in the conversation.
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  #49  
Old 02-03-18, 03:14 PM
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Looking forward to an exciting game tonight against two of the best coached teams in Ohio. Both teams know each other so it will come down to execution. If the games in the past are any indication this should be a good one between Joe's and Mentor.

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  #50  
Old 02-04-18, 01:09 AM
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Mentor won in OT 106-99. Nice job !


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  #51  
Old 02-04-18, 08:41 AM
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Great win that caps an incredible week for Mentor. This will be key when coaches try to figure out how to seed Mentor next week. I would really like to see Mentor have a shot at getting the 3 seed. It would avoid Solon as long as possible. Just as important, it would mean a less daunting sectional final against a team like South or East Tech rather than one against Brush/Cle Hts.

Unfortunately, I missed last nights game. Hard to believe they overcame Koski and Zalba fouling out. A nice confidence booster for the depth on the team. I was at the Brunswick game when those two (and Tatarunas) fouled out in the 4th quarter. The team looked lost. Good to hear they found ways to score without their leading scorers.

Last edited by cardzfan1234; 02-05-18 at 09:50 AM.
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  #52  
Old 02-04-18, 10:37 AM
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Great game last night. Joe's really dug a hole for themselves early in the game and trailed by 17 at the half. Mentor played well but a lot had to do with weak defense from VASJ. They struggled to stop the ball which allowed several easy lay ups and plus ones. The Vikings also did not shoot well from the foul line and Mentor did - except for their center. The players who fouled out did so very late in the game. The freshman Chicone stepped up and played pretty well down the stretch. He had some fouls due to his small stature but also made a huge 3 and knocked down key free throws late.

The Vikings show glimpses of being really good and at times make mistakes that leave you shaking your head. Stopping the ball and boxing out are basic fundamentals and need to be done every time down the floor - that is not happening as of yet. Jerry Higgins put on a clinic by scoring 47 and almost willed Joe's to a win. While this squad has the talent to go pretty far they have to learn to win and play 4 solid quarters of basketball simultaneously. The encouraging thing was that Joe's fell behind big on the road against a very good team and battled all the way back and forced OT. Many teams would have folded up shop and called it a night. I expect both teams to do well in the post season. It was a very enjoyable atmosphere. I would pick watching a game between two high school teams like this over watching that train wreck playing at The Q.
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  #53  
Old 02-06-18, 11:01 AM
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Nice article on Mentor basketball Coach Bob Krizancic in today s News-Herald.
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  #54  
Old 02-06-18, 12:56 PM
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http://www.news-herald.com/sports/20...ey-to-600-wins

Yes, a very lengthy and informative look at the life of Krizancic. Some highlights:

- Inspired to implement this system after learning from his own head coach at Girard as well as being on the receiving end against opponents playing up tempo as a guard at YSU
- During first year at Girard, 10 seniors quit the program...probably not liking Krizancic's style
- Fallout of a coaching gig at a pro league in Canada that led Krizancic to arrive at Mentor
- Nearly taking a three-year contract in New Zealand's pro league before the 2010 season
- Quotes from past players like Fritts, McClure, Barth, and the leader of his first Mentor team (Jason Ioppolo) from 1993
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  #55  
Old 02-25-18, 01:33 PM
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Mentor wrapped up the regular season with one of their most impressive wins of the season against Jackson (16-6, top seed at Canton district, reigning state champs). The first three quarters, the Cards held Jackson to a measly 33 points as their defense really set the tone. Mentor allowed the game to stay at Jackson's pace. It worked out in Mentor's favor as they had a 49-33 lead entering the 4th quarter.

Jackson switched to a 1-2-2 press and it really frustrated Mentor's ball handlers. Several 4th quarter turnovers and continued missed free throws gave Jackson the opportunity they needed to get back in the game. And they did. Jackson outscored Mentor 18-5 to start the 4th to close the lead to 54-51. Mentor finally started hitting their free throws and were able to put away a solid Jackson team.

I was at last year's Mentor/Jackson game. Jackson was obviously really, really good. Mentor had a good team last year, but they were nowhere near Jackson. This year was pretty even. I like the way Jackson plays. They are very well coached and really make the most out of their talent. Offense is fundamental and crisp. Hardworking and disciplined on defense. That is really a great basketball program. Rare for me to see a team coached as well as Mentor.

I would love to see a rematch at CSU. Pretty unlikely in Mentor's case. I think Jackson has a really good chance at making it to the regional final though. Mentor would have to beat Brush, Solon, and the Solon district winner (Garfield, Shaker, or CCC) to get to a rematch.

Mentor's league record (8-6) was not eye-popping. Overall record of 15-7 isn't too bad though. Those two losses to Euclid are what separated Mentor from having a great to just a pretty good regular season. Time for the tournament in six days as Mentor will have their toughest sectional final in many years. Normally, the sectional final is a pretty easy game. Mayfield is not to be overlooked.
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Old 03-04-18, 05:51 PM
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Mentor and Brush will play Thursday at Euclid for the 8th time since 2003. Most games were extremely competitive and close. I happened to have been at all of these games I am detailing. Between my own memory and research, be prepared for way too much information on the recent history between Mentor and Brush:

2003 District Final: Mentor 71 Brush 62

Mentor's 2003 team had a talented senior class that were a part of three straight district titles at Euclid and a regional final appearance in 2002. All-Ohio guard Eddie Zienkowski led the way. Brush had a couple of very talented players, Marcel Frost and Ray Mosby. I believe Mosby in particular had a huge game against Mentor. Frost was a talented post player that went on to OSU as a tight end. The final score was 81-72.

2004 Sectional Final: Brush 60 Mentor 55

Maybe the only real black eye on the fantastic career of Mentor's coach Krizancic occurred during this season. Earlier during the regular season, Mentor violated OHSAA rules about missing school days when the Cards went to Utah for a tournament. The punishment was a suspension of Krizancic during the entirety of the postseason. He could only watch from the stands as Mentor's district title winning streak came to an end. Brush was led by E.B. Davis, a standout sophomore that was the younger brother of Cavalier Ricky Davis. After his brother got traded, Davis left the NEO area and went on to play at Oak Hill and eventually in college at a couple different DI schools. Mentor had a super sophomore of their own in Adam May. In the 2000's, this was one of only two times I can remember (2007 was the other) that Mentor did not make it to the district level of the tournament. This was also the only time Brush has beaten Mentor at the Euclid tournament in the 2000's.

2008 District Semifinal: Mentor 81 Brush 73

Brush was coming off an upset of St Ignatius in the sectional final. I believe that was Becker's last game in that era before Sean O'Toole took over. A young sophomore Nate Tait was a big part of that upset. The 2008 Mentor team was young and very small. Cole Krizancic was starting as a freshman. Sophomore PG Jaron Fritts and senior guard Joey Meyer were also under six foot guards that started. Mentor defeated Brush in the semifinal and then Glenville in the final. WGH absolutely smoked this tiny group of over achievers at CSU.

2009 District Final: Mentor 59 Brush 50

As a junior, Nate Tait erupted across the NEO basketball scene. He was one of the finest guards in Ohio and would be the News-Herald POY. Tait finished the game with 40% of Brush's total points, but it wasn't enough. For the second season in a row, Brush's season ended at the hands of Mentor. Junior guard Jaron Crowe led Mentor with 23 points. It was the first of what would be four straight district final matchups between the two schools. Mentor went on from this game to suffer what I view as the most surprising loss they ever suffered at regionals to North Ridgeville.

2010 District Final: Mentor 88 Brush 73

Maybe the most exciting and talented offensive team Mentor has ever had, led by senior guard Jaron Crowe (would would be Cleveland.com POY this season), all-time leading scorer Cole Krizancic, and future Mr Basketball Justin Fritts. This trio of guards was as good on the high school level as you will ever find. They all had 20+ points in this game and they combined for 73 of the 88 points. I celebrated a Mentor victory, but really felt for Nate Tait. He gave everything he had, but just couldn't overcome Mentor during his career. Tait struggled in this game, only scoring 15 points. Sophomore Pharaoh Brown and freshman Curtis Oakley (nephew of Charles) played well and gave Brush something to look forward to in the post-Tait days. Mentor hit 28 of 30 free throws in the game to help give them separation. Mentor would go on to beat Avon Lake and upset St Edward at the CSU regional to give the program their first ever trip to the state tournament.

2011 District Final: Mentor 76 Brush 67

Mentor replaces the departed Jaron Crowe with transfer Collin Barth to maintain a crazy-good backcourt trio. Barth joined Cole Krizancic and Justin Fritts. Oakley/Brown combined for 41 points for the Arcs. Amazingly, Cole was able to match their scoring all by himself with a career-defining performance of 41 points in a district final. The senior guard hit five three-pointers in the game. Mentor defeated Berea in the regional semifinal before falling to Garfield Heights in the final.

2012 District Final: Mentor 76 Brush 72

This was the only one that really made Mentor fans nervous. Behind the strong physical play of Pharaoh Brown (24 points and 24 rebounds) and Curtis Oakley, Brush found themselves in great position to cut down the nets. With an 11-point lead, Mentor dug deep and outscored the Arcs 24-9 in the 4th quarter. Once again, Brush struggled at the free throw line (10-26), which essentially cost them the game. With a foundation of a state championship team (a year away) playing with Mr Ohio Justin Fritts and steady senior PG Danny Wallack, this was one of the best teams Mentor has put on the floor. Fritts (24 points) and Wallack (17) led the way for Mentor. This was the 4th straight district final win over the Arcs, and 5th straight win overall at Euclid.

The two teams haven't played at the tournament since...see you Thursday!
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  #57  
Old 03-04-18, 08:42 PM
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Good summary cardz. Hope we get to 7-1 since 2003 on Thursday but it will be a toss up game this year


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  #58  
Old 03-04-18, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardzfan1234 View Post
Mentor and Brush will play Thursday at Euclid for the 8th time since 2003. Most games were extremely competitive and close. I happened to have been at all of these games I am detailing. Between my own memory and research, be prepared for way too much information on the recent history between Mentor and Brush:

2003 District Final: Mentor 71 Brush 62

Mentor's 2003 team had a talented senior class that were a part of three straight district titles at Euclid and a regional final appearance in 2002. All-Ohio guard Eddie Zienkowski led the way. Brush had a couple of very talented players, Marcel Frost and Ray Mosby. I believe Mosby in particular had a huge game against Mentor. Frost was a talented post player that went on to OSU as a tight end. The final score was 81-72.

2004 Sectional Final: Brush 60 Mentor 55

Maybe the only real black eye on the fantastic career of Mentor's coach Krizancic occurred during this season. Earlier during the regular season, Mentor violated OHSAA rules about missing school days when the Cards went to Utah for a tournament. The punishment was a suspension of Krizancic during the entirety of the postseason. He could only watch from the stands as Mentor's district title winning streak came to an end. Brush was led by E.B. Davis, a standout sophomore that was the younger brother of Cavalier Ricky Davis. After his brother got traded, Davis left the NEO area and went on to play at Oak Hill and eventually in college at a couple different DI schools. Mentor had a super sophomore of their own in Adam May. In the 2000's, this was one of only two times I can remember (2007 was the other) that Mentor did not make it to the district level of the tournament. This was also the only time Brush has beaten Mentor at the Euclid tournament in the 2000's.

2008 District Semifinal: Mentor 81 Brush 73

Brush was coming off an upset of St Ignatius in the sectional final. I believe that was Becker's last game in that era before Sean O'Toole took over. A young sophomore Nate Tait was a big part of that upset. The 2008 Mentor team was young and very small. Cole Krizancic was starting as a freshman. Sophomore PG Jaron Fritts and senior guard Joey Meyer were also under six foot guards that started. Mentor defeated Brush in the semifinal and then Glenville in the final. WGH absolutely smoked this tiny group of over achievers at CSU.

2009 District Final: Mentor 59 Brush 50

As a junior, Nate Tait erupted across the NEO basketball scene. He was one of the finest guards in Ohio and would be the News-Herald POY. Tait finished the game with 40% of Brush's total points, but it wasn't enough. For the second season in a row, Brush's season ended at the hands of Mentor. Junior guard Jaron Crowe led Mentor with 23 points. It was the first of what would be four straight district final matchups between the two schools. Mentor went on from this game to suffer what I view as the most surprising loss they ever suffered at regionals to North Ridgeville.

2010 District Final: Mentor 88 Brush 73

Maybe the most exciting and talented offensive team Mentor has ever had, led by senior guard Jaron Crowe (would would be Cleveland.com POY this season), all-time leading scorer Cole Krizancic, and future Mr Basketball Justin Fritts. This trio of guards was as good on the high school level as you will ever find. They all had 20+ points in this game and they combined for 73 of the 88 points. I celebrated a Mentor victory, but really felt for Nate Tait. He gave everything he had, but just couldn't overcome Mentor during his career. Tait struggled in this game, only scoring 15 points. Sophomore Pharaoh Brown and freshman Curtis Oakley (nephew of Charles) played well and gave Brush something to look forward to in the post-Tait days. Mentor hit 28 of 30 free throws in the game to help give them separation. Mentor would go on to beat Avon Lake and upset St Edward at the CSU regional to give the program their first ever trip to the state tournament.

2011 District Final: Mentor 76 Brush 67

Mentor replaces the departed Jaron Crowe with transfer Collin Barth to maintain a crazy-good backcourt trio. Barth joined Cole Krizancic and Justin Fritts. Oakley/Brown combined for 41 points for the Arcs. Amazingly, Cole was able to match their scoring all by himself with a career-defining performance of 41 points in a district final. The senior guard hit five three-pointers in the game. Mentor defeated Berea in the regional semifinal before falling to Garfield Heights in the final.

2012 District Final: Mentor 76 Brush 72

This was the only one that really made Mentor fans nervous. Behind the strong physical play of Pharaoh Brown (24 points and 24 rebounds) and Curtis Oakley, Brush found themselves in great position to cut down the nets. With an 11-point lead, Mentor dug deep and outscored the Arcs 24-9 in the 4th quarter. Once again, Brush struggled at the free throw line (10-26), which essentially cost them the game. With a foundation of a state championship team (a year away) playing with Mr Ohio Justin Fritts and steady senior PG Danny Wallack, this was one of the best teams Mentor has put on the floor. Fritts (24 points) and Wallack (17) led the way for Mentor. This was the 4th straight district final win over the Arcs, and 5th straight win overall at Euclid.

The two teams haven't played at the tournament since...see you Thursday!
Very thorough and informative post.A+
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Old 03-05-18, 02:49 PM
bbfan29 bbfan29 is offline
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Although I have been a fan of the Mentor basketball program over the years, I have to admit I do not feel comfortable in a Mentor victory in the Thursday Brush/Mentor matchup. If you really look at the raw talent level of both teams, Brush has the distinct advantage. Mentor does not have the go-to guys or the shooters or great point guards as in the past & make way too many TO's. I believe this years team represents a great example of "overachievers", winning 16 games & some outstanding wins against quality teams. However, Brush has the speed, athleticism & size going into this game. I believe the only hope for a Mentor victory is that Coach K finds a way to beat Brush by some magic formula. In any event it should be a good game.
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Old 03-07-18, 08:53 AM
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In all of the years Mentor has played Brush, this is the most talented (in terms of college talent) Arcs teams by far that Mentor has faced. Three guys will be playing DI basketball. As good as Nate Tait was, he didn't have any DI offers that I know of. He played DII at Lake Erie. Here is some info on Brush's talented trio:

http://www.news-herald.com/sports/20...all-postseason

1) DJ Dial - the junior PG is the most heralded player of the group. Dial has offers from Kent and Cleveland State. He is the leading scorer on the team and will have the ball in his hands more than any other Brush player. Making it a difficult night for Dial will be key for a Mentor victory.

2) Andre Harris - the 6'2 guard has six DI offers from mid-majors, including Kent and CSU. He is averaging 13 ppg and will challenge Mentor as a much longer guard than the 5'9 Dial. Like Dial, he is just a junior. The two will rival any starting backcourt in Ohio next season...and maybe even this season.

3) John Hugley - a big (6'8 220-pound) post player that could cause a lot of issues for a Mentor team that doesn't have a traditional big anywhere near his size. Hugley scores 12 ppg and will be difficult to deal with in the paint. Just a sophomore, he already has more offers than Harris/Dial.

Their top three players will all return next season, which is a scary thought. Brush might be a year away from being this year's Solon team...one that is heads and shoulders above the rest of the district. Brush has had their ups (won their league and beat Garfield/CCA) and downs (lost to Mayfield/Riverside) this season.

Defensively, we should see a good dose of Floriea guarding Dial. That should be a fun matchup to watch. Tatarunas (among others when he gets in foul trouble) will try to bang with Hugley. This is the first time this season that Mentor has played a talented post player. Not sure who else will step up to defend him. I imagine that Zalba will be the primary defender on Harris. I am worried about foul trouble against an athletic and talented team like Brush. Hopefully, Mentor will be disciplined to defend without getting in foul trouble.
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