The Mentor High boys basketball team registered many firsts of its season Friday night against Urspring (Germany) in the championship game at the Arby's Classic tournament.
None of them were positive.
They trailed for the first time at the half this season, 31-22. They were outrebounded by an opponent for the first time. And, most importantly, the suffered their first loss of the season, 63-51 (8-1).
"They were big, physical, long defensively and a smart basketball team. It was a tough matchup for us, but what are you going to do?" Mentor coach Bob Krizancic said to Ohio Varsity.
"We talked about tempo and never got the pace of the game the way we wanted. We had some open shots, but didn’t shoot the ball well. They are long and defended well. To score 28 points through three quarters is not our style of play."
Brandon Fritts played for the first time this season. He was recovering from a broken ankle suffered in the state semifinal football game.
Fritts came off the bench to score 12 points and Jeff Foreman scored another 10 for the Cardinals
This is the second year in a row that Mentor finished second place at the Arby's Classic.
Foreman, Conner Krizancic and Caleb Potter were all named to the all tournament team for the Cardinals.
"We have Shaker Heights on Friday so there’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves," Bob Krizancic said.