Basketball team rolls to 22-2 season record

by Martin McConnell

The Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School boys basketball team was scorching hot this season.

The Bees finished with a 22-2 overall season record, which included an 18-game winning streak and an undefeated 12-0 record in OHSAA Suburban League play.

Steve Mehalik has been the head coach of the Bees’ boys basketball team since 2008, and this year’s .920 winning percentage is the highest of his 14-year career as head coach.

“We pride ourselves on three things,” Mehalik said. “We’re going to outwork everybody, we’re going to out-prepare them, and we’re going to play unselfish basketball. It’s that simple.”

Part of Brecksville’s red-hot season came in the heat of central Florida, where the team played three games at the end of 2021, going 3-0 during that span. For the past five years, the team has traveled during winter break for tournament games in places with warmer weather.

“We lost on Dec. 27 [2017] at Mayfield, and I’m walking out to our bus, and it’s one degree on my phone,” Mehalik said. “And I turned to my coach and I said, ‘We’re not doing this anymore.’”

Mehalik listed off reasons for his team’s success this year, stressing that it comes from the Bees being a tight-knit group who truly care for each other. Specifically, it was senior guard Tyler Ganley who started organizing extra team activities two years ago, following three straight losses to North Royalton during his sophomore season.

“The success this year started two years ago,” Mehalik said of Ganley’s work. “They were organizing workouts on their own, doing Zoom meetings. We owe a lot to what Tyler did for us, and I’m grateful for that. Great kid.”

Perhaps the crowning achievement for the Bees, outside of their stellar 22-2 season record, was the team’s win at St. Edward High School on Feb. 15. Brecksville’s win over the Eagles marked the first public high school victory over St. Ed’s at home in eight years.

Brecksville’s season came to an end in a 57-49 playoff loss to Cleveland Heights on March 5. As Mehalik and the Bees look forward to next season, they hope to instill their three-step formula into new students to reach even further success.

“We’ve got a lot of holes to fill, but we’ve got some strong candidates to fill them,” Mehalik said. “Trust me, I screw up a lot of things. But I think our work ethic is one of the best around.” ∞