Preview - Brunswick (11-1) at Mentor (9-1)
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Brunswick (11-1) will be on the road Friday to meet Mentor (9-1) in a Northeast Ohio Conference showdown. Here are five things you need to know to get you ready for Friday's meeting of titans.
1) Brunswick's only loss was to Garfield Heights. The Blue Devils own quality wins over Elyria, Shaker Heights, Mayfield, and Stow along with winning the New York Tip Off Classic and the Brunswick Holiday Hoops Classic. Mentor's lone setback was at the hands of The Christ School (NC) in the championship of the Arby's Classic. The Cardinals earned wins over Elyria, Medina, Garfield Heights, Charlotte Christian, and Greater Atlanta Christian.
2) Mentor is led by 6-1 senior Justin Fritts, who is averaging a state-best 29.9 points per game. Fritts has signed to play at Division 2, Wheeling Jesuit University. 5-10 senior Danny Wallack is next with 14.3 points a night followed by 6-2 sophomore Conner Krizancic and his 8.8 points. 6-4 sophomore Brandon Fritts (7.9 ppg.) and 6-3 junior Mitch Trubisky (7.7 ppg.) are two more valuable scoring options. 6-3 junior Jeff Foreman, who has been out for the last four contests, will return along with his 7.8 tallies. 6-6 senior Kyle Morris is netting just below five points an encounter. 6-3 sophomore Caleb Potter is still out of action with a broken rib.
3) The Blue Devils are paced by 6-2 sophomore Ryan Badowski, who is scoring 16.6 points a contest. Badowski tallied 22 points in an overtime win over once-beaten Shaker Heights. 6-3 junior Kyle Wheeler has been good for 11.9 points and 6-2 sophomore Zach Parker is netting just above seven points per game. 6-2 senior Jason Swords (5.3 ppg.) and 6-6 junior Taylor Armagost (4.7 ppg.) can also provide scoring punch.
4) The Cardinals, who are 82-21 in the last four years, have made 131 three-point field goals on the season in 350 attempts. Five players have at least 12 triples, including Fritts (38), Wallack (30), Krizancic (20), and Trubisky (13) combining for 101. Mentor made 53 treys in its four games at the Arby's Classic including 17 makes in the opener. The Cardinals, who set a state-record for threes in 2011 with 307, average a state-best 93.7 points per contest.
5) Brunswick is shooting 76.5 percent as a team at the free-throw line. Wheeler, Badowski and 6-2 sophomore Scott Suren are all tossing between 82 and 89 percent. The Blue Devils are holding their opponents to 47.8 points a night, which means something must give.