AMHERST — For 16 minutes, Amherst had Brecksville on the ropes. In just over six minutes, the Bees took control.
Brecksville opened the second half on a 16-0 run to grab the lead, then cruised to a 54-42 Southwestern Conference victory.
Sophomore Adam Srnis connected on five 3-pointers in the first half to lead the Comets to a 28-19 lead late in the second quarter. Brecksville (10-1, 6-0) scored the final four points in the half to cut the lead to 28-23, then reeled off 16 straight to open the third quarter.
A Garrett Klekota free throw stopped the Bees run with 1:31 left in the third, but Brecksville had a 39-29 lead. Amherst (6-5, 2-4) cut the lead to eight, 39-31, late in the period, but an 11-2 Bees run put the game away.
“Our guys, they drive me crazy,” Brecksville coach Steve Mehalik said. “Sometimes I think they play like that just to see me mad at halftime. When we choose to defend we’re pretty good. When we choose not to…any team can get us.”
Despite scoring just two points in the first half, Klekota did a good job of breaking the Brecksville press. He found Srnis in the corner for uncontested 3-pointers time after time, and the sophomore was hitting them.
In the second half the Bees dropped out of their press, played man-to-man defense and put their best defender, senior Tom Tupa, on Srnis. After scoring 16 in the first two periods, Srnis was held scoreless in the final two. In fact, he was able to get off just one shot after halftime.
After struggling from the floor in the first half, hitting just nine of 24 shots and three of 12 from beyond the arc, the Bees lit it up in the third quarter. They shot 8-of-13 in the third period and hit four of five from 3-point range.
Amherst coach John Srnis thought his team’s lack of offensive execution in the second half was the difference.
“In the first half (Brecksville) created offensive opportunities for us. In the second half we didn’t do a good job of creating offensive opportunities for ourselves,” Srnis said.
Brecksville 54, Amherst 42
BRECKSVILLE (54): Paul Karthan 3-0-9, Tom Tupa 3-0-7, Mark Chrzanowski 6-0-14, Tim Tupa 6-1-16, Sam Swenton 2-1-5, Tyler Tarnowski 0-1-1, Jon Balhorn 2-0-4, David Urse 0-1-0, Luke Cipolla 0-2-2. Totals 22-5-54.
AMHERST (42): Adam Srnis 5-1-16, Nick Glowacki 1-1-4, Garrett Klekota 2-1-5, Matt Kneisel 0-0-0, Guy Schuler 0-2-2, Rees Rua 2-0-4, Anthony Eliopoulos 1-0-2, Eric Lamb 3-1-7, Andrew Woods 1-0-2. Totals 15-6-42.
Brecksville 10 13 20 11 — 54
Amherst 13 15 3 11 — 42
Three-point goals: Brecksville 9-25 (Karthan 3, Chrzanowski 2, Tim Tupa 3, Tom Tupa), Amherst 6-19 (Srnis 5, Glowacki). Field goals: Brecksville 22-52 (42.3 percent), Amherst 15-38 (39.4 percent); Free throws: Brecksville 5-9 (55.5 percent), Amherst 6-11 (54.5 percent); Rebounds: Brecksville 40 (Balhorn 11), Amherst 25 (Lamb 5). Turnovers: Brecksville 10, Amherst 14. Total fouls: Brecksville 9, Amherst 7. Fouled out: none. Junior varsity: Brecksville, 48-43.
Contact Mike Perry at 329-7135 or email@example.com.