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    Short-handed Mentor grinds out win over host Solon

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    Just 11 games into the season and Mentor seems to doing something in January that Coach Bob Krizancic hopes he doesn't have to deal with in March.

    The youthful Cardinals are thriving in the face of adversity.

    With senior guards Andrew Valeri and Kyle McIntosh out with injury and junior standout Allen Sims limited by illness, Mentor found a way to go on the road and defeat Solon, 61-57, on Jan. 5.

    The win was the first of 2016 for the Cardinals, who improved to 8-3 on the season and 3-1 in the Greater Cleveland Conference.

    “We want to be playing meaningful games in late February and in March, so for our young guys to get this kind of experience on the road and win is huge with Valeri and McIntosh out,” Krizancic said.

    “I told the guys we have a window of opportunity. I think we have a chance to grow and build with our youth and when we get healthy hopefully soon we can be a really good basketball team.”

    Junior guard Jack Korsok led the Cardinals with a game-high 25 points. Sophomore Tadas Tatarunas added 12 points and Andrew Robinson chipped in 11 for Mentor.

    The Cardinals jumped out to a 16-9 lead at the end of one quarter and were able to maintain control for the remainder of the night.

    “We finally won the turnover battle and the free throw battle which we haven’t done this year,” Krizancic said. “Korsok scored and played well and we had a lot of young guys out there getting meaningful minutes. I am eager to see what we look like once we are healthy and playing together for a while.”

    Mentor takes on GCC foe Elyria at home on Jan. 8. McIntosh could dress and see action for the first time this season against the Pioneers.

    "We are 3-1 in the league which is huge and two of our three losses are in double overtime so we could have 9 or 10 wins," Krizancic said.

    "Our young guys are getting valuable minutes and hopefully we are learning. It will be interesting to see what kind of team this is in February and March."
     

    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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