LAKEWOOD, Ohio – Like many times before, St. Ignatius coach Brian Becker did not shy from assigning Austen Yarian to the opposition’s point guard.
What makes it a unique assignment is Yarian’s 6-foot-8 height advantage on the smaller foe. In the case of No. 1 St. Ignatius’ 75-72 overtime win Friday, that left 5-11 Tommy Schmock sometimes looking up when he brought up the basketball.
For Yarian, this requires lateral movement unusual for players with his size.
“I love the challenge,” Yarian said after the win at St. Edward, ranked third in the cleveland.com Top 25. “I love getting down and playing defense. It’s one of my favorite things to do.”
Yarian played inside and out. He guarded Schmock on the perimeter and moved inside to block five shots and grab 10 rebounds.
He and Schmock hope this isn’t the last time they will meet. Two of the top teams in the Division I Strongsville District, they could meet a third time.
Even then, Yarian does not expect it to be the last time.
He is heading to Hillsdale College, while Schmock is bound for Findlay. Both are members of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
So they’ll remain rivals.
BEAT THE CLOCK
A handful shots beat the buzzer Friday around Northeast Ohio. Perhaps, none was bigger than Maple Heights’ shot to shock Cleveland Heights, 85-84.
Point guard Fonse Hale’s push up court led to a feed, a miss and a tip-in as Hale and Daray Menefield leaped to force up the last shot.