Brecksville Bees escapes overtime with win over Westlake Demons

WESTLAKE — The Brecksville Bees outlasted the Westlake Demons in a 66-63 overtime thriller Friday night.

An overtime three-shot from Matt Csuhran, a key inside hoop from Mark Chrzanowski, free throws by Timmy Tupa, and tough defense sealed the win for the Bees. The three lead the team in scoring with 18, 19, and 20 points respectively.

“Brecksville is a great team, we know that,” acting Westlake head coach Dave Fazeka said. “Interestingly enough, our seniors have been playing them for ten years — it’s the same guys and I coached against them. Ironically with me doing this it was the same guys the last ten years. They’re really good.”

Westlake senior Danny Strodtbeck sank four 3-point shots and Shawn Turk two 3s to keep the Demons close to the Bees all night.

“We knew we had to bring intensity, go to the glass, get some rebounds, hit a few shots. I couldn’t be any prouder of our boys,” Fazeka said. “Considering the circumstances, they played amazingly well, they gave it everything they had. If we lose in overtime to what is the number one seed in our district — we played alright.

Brecksville head coach Steve Mehalik agreed.

“It’s always close,” Mehalik said. “They’re a very good basketball team, very physical, very strong, and they know how to defend. Even without Skelly, we knew it was going to be a battle because they’re winners. They are winners in the locker room, they’re well coached, and we just survived.”

At the end of the opening quarter, it appeared Brecksville had control of the game being up ten points early.

“We wanted to pressure them, and we did early and it worked,” Mehalik said. “But they had guys step up: Strodtbeck hit some big shots, Shawn Turk just played the best game of his career tonight. Shawn’s a good kid and he carried them for a long stretch. Finally down the stretch, our good players made some plays and we survived some heated tempers. It was a good win for the Bees.”

“Hats off to the Brecksville coaching staff,” Fazeka said. “They played tough and they throw some things at you that — it’s never the same thing. From our side, we only played eight guys because we have so many injuries right now, Gavin (Skelly) was out. I was so proud of Tyler (Zack), he hasn’t played much this year, but that just go to show you what happens when you work hard and you stay with it. He hit a huge 3-point shot when things could have went the wrong way. He had his head up all year and he earned his moment for sure. Again, my seniors — I’ve been coaching them since they were in the third grade — so this was kind of a surreal moment. I commend both teams, everyone made a difference.”

The Demons will play their final game at their gym against Lorain tonight at 7:30 p.m.

“We have to think about tomorrow already,” Fazeka said. “As I look around this gym, I didn’t grow up in Westlake, but I’ve been coaching for ten years in this gym. Again, when Shawn Turk and Bryan MacKenzie were in third grade, and I can’t believe tomorrow night I’m going to coach my last game here. It’s really strange to think of. I know it’s a special night for this community. Strangely enough, I grew up in Lorain so the fact were playing Lorain — I don’t know what’s going on. Tomorrow night is going to be special for everybody being that this is the last game to ever be played here by a Westlake team. We’ll be ready.”

Part of Bee’s edge Friday came from the line; they shot 75 percent. After Turk sank a three-pointer with just seconds left in regulation, Chrzanowski dropped two free throws to take the match into overtime.

“We’ve been struggling from the line, so to make them here says a lot,” Mehalik said. “It was a hard-fought game on both ends and you have no energy left, so to make those free throws, I think we’re getting better.”

“Timmy Tupa — the way he handles the ball and creates for us, we can’t do anything without him. Our two big guys, Mark Chrzanowski and Matt Csuhran, at times kind of disappeared, but down the stretch they made huge plays. Our freshman that we played there at the end — Tyler Tupa — almost had a game-winning steal and bucket. He’s not a freshman, he’s a pretty darn goodplayer.

“Hopefully we play each other again, in the district final. It would be nice to get a team from the SWC out to the Regionals.”

The win improves the Bees’ record to 15-2 ovrall and 12-1 in the Southwestern Conference. Westlake drops to 12-6 with the loss.



@MJournalSports

Last Updated: 2/15/2013 11:53:35 PM EST

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