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Mentor Plays Way Into Arby's Classic Championship Game

The Cardinals boys basketball team won a tight game against Memphis Melrose

There were no 20- or 30-point margins of victory when the Mentor boys basketball team played Memphis Melrose in the semifinals of the Arby's Classic Saturday night.

But the Cardinals came away with the win.

Mentor had been a tornado, blowing through their opponents all season (8-0) and during the tournament (3-0) by double figures.

Memphis Melrose ultimately had enough to slow Mentor but not enough to beat them.

Despite not scoring a field goal in the final eight minutes of the game, the Cardinals still held on to win 66-63.

That's a season low for scoring for the Cardinals, but they still got 14 points from Conner Krizancic, 12 Potter and 10 each from Brody Nelson, Foreman and Michael Gallagher.

Potter, Foreman and Nelson also grabbed seven rebounds and the Cardinals outrebounded their opponent for the eighth consecutive game.

However, they also gave up 19 turnovers.

"We have to take better care of the basketball and we were fortunate to win this game tonight, but it was a huge win for us over a very talented team that jumps out of the gym and is extremely athletic," Mentor coach Bob Krizancic told Ohio Varsity.

"We worked hard on the boards against a bigger team and we did it without (junior forward) Brandon (Fritts), which is huge for us. We got some second shots and that was big."

This is the third consecutive year that the Mentor High boys basketball team has competed in the Arby's Classic tournament in Tennessee.

Two years ago, they were third place; last year, runners up.

They can take first this year against Ursprung Germany, on New Year's Eve.

"We are playing with a huge chip on our shoulder, and we want to prove to everybody that there is only one reason we came all the way down to this tournament and that is to win the title," Foreman said.

"We finished third and we finished second, but we want to finish what we started this time. We feel like we are a very versatile team and we have a lot of room for improvement. Tonight was big for our confidence and now we have to take it into the finals on Monday."

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