No. 2 Shaker Heights boys basketball holds off No. 5 Medina, 69-63 (slideshow, video)

  • 02/14 - 7:30 PM Boys BasketballFinal
    Medina 63
    Shaker Heights 69
Complete Box Score »

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — Behind four players in double figures, the No. 2 Shaker Heights boys basketball team held off No. 5 Medina, 69-63, on Friday night to clinch a share of the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division.

The Raiders (17-4) can win the division outright with a win against Brunswick next Friday.

Medina (16-4) trailed by as much as 10 in the first half, but had the deficit down to two points with 20 seconds remaining. The Raiders went 4 for 4 from the foul line in the game’s final 16 seconds to seal the win.

“We just had to play harder than them, rebound and talk on defense” said Shaker Heights guard Rosel Hurley, who finished with 14 points.

Hurley was joined in double figures by Esa Ahmad (17 points), TJ Steele (13 points) and Kaleb Roy (11 points).

Ahmad added 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocks, but battled for touches all night against Medina’s Branden Wilkins. With Ahmad getting denied the ball, the Raiders had other players step up.

Steele scored nine points in the third quarter, and Roy scored six in the fourth quarter, including a pair of free throws with 16 seconds left.

“Lately that’s the way we’ve been scoring, it’s been real balanced,” Shaker Heights coach Danny Young said. “Teams are really keying on Esa, making it hard for him to get touches and get to the rim.”

Ahmad was still able to get his teammates involved early, dishing out four assists in the first quarter. He scored 10 of his 17 in the second half.

Craig Randall led Medina with 17 points, 12 of those in the second half despite suffering an apparent ankle injury in the second quarter. He left briefly, but returned to spark the Bees' rally in the second half.

Randall scored six of the Bees' final eight points, all in the last minute of the game, but turned it over on a mixup with Mike Kaminski with five seconds remaining in a four-point game.

“I think sometimes our mental focus wasn’t as tough as it needs to be if you want to win on the road,” Medina coach Anthony Stacey said.

The Bees turned it over 23 times. Wilkins scored 16 points, and Kaminski added 10 off the bench.

Both teams came out hot in the first quarter, but Medina’s offense sputtered in the second quarter to the tune of just 11 points. The Raiders shot 61 percent in the first half, using a 10-0 run in the second quarter to create the separation they needed.

“We talked about getting deflections, getting steals and rebounding the basketball,” Young said. “We thought if we could do those things and secure the ball, we could run on them. During the games, we’re going to make some runs, and that’s when Shaker basketball is at its best. I think our defense allowed us to do that.”

Coming Monday: Playoff party show at Harry Buffalo

Fans and players are invited to the NEO Varsity Insider's High School Basketball Playoff Party on Monday, Feb. 17 at the Harry Buffalo in downtown Cleveland (2120 East 4th Street). If you can't make it, watch live video of the show on

More than 25 boys and girls teams will be in attendance and on set during the show: 6-7:30 for boys and 7:30-9 for girls. Cavs and Monsters tickets will be raffled off and everyone in attendance is eligible for the prizes. See more details about the event here.

Contact high school sports reporter Bill Landis by email ( or Twitter (@blandis25). Or log in and leave a message in the comments section below.