Men’s Basketball Reaches Regional Final

The men’s basketball team finished the season 21-7, losing to Mentor in the regional final March 16 at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center.

The Raiders won the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division, going 8-2 in division play. Sophomore Esa Ahmad was named NOC Valley division player of the year and Head Coach Danny Young was named the NOC coach of the year.

“I thought we had a great run,” said Young. “I would say the hard work paid off.”

The Raiders ended the regular season on a five-game win streak and finished second behind St. Ignatius in the final Plain Dealer high school men’s basketball poll.

Shaker, seeded third in the Solon district, beat John Adams 63-54 and Bedford 69-53 to advance to the district final. There, Shaker beat St. Ignatius 61-52 to win the district title for the second year in a row.

In the regional semifinal, Shaker, led by Ahmad’s 19 points, beat North Royalton 54-52 to advance to the regional final, where the Raiders lost to Mentor, 76-56. Freshman Keith Griffin did not play due to a one-game suspension for breaking a team rule. It was the third meeting this season between the rivals. Shaker came from behind twice to defeat the Cardinals during the regular season.

Ahmad was also named to the All-Ohio division I second team. Senior Kash Blackwell earned a special mention, and junior Rosel Hurley earned honorable mention on the All-Ohio division I men’s basketball team.

Shaker graduates three seniors, but next year, Young still expects to improve. He hopes the team will improve their discipline, accountability, strength and conditioning, but also improve in the classroom.

“Shaker has talent; we always have someone else who is ready to accept the baton,” he said. “We have players that are ready to take us to the next level.”

A version of this article appeared in print on 26 March 2013 on page 16 of The Shakerite

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