Year in Review: Top story countdown continues with Nos. 20-11

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Stories 20-11 from 2008

Sports Illustrated recently tabbed 2008 the Best Sports Year Ever.
It wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to consider 2008 in similar terms
for prep sports in Ohio. Whether you like football, basketball,
wrestling, track or whatever, 2008 was a remarkable year across the
board. Today we continue to unveil the Top 30 high school sports
stories from the past 12 months.


Sports Illustrated recently tabbed 2008 the Best Sports Year Ever.
It wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to consider 2008 in similar terms
for prep sports in Ohio.

Whether you like football, basketball, wrestling, track or whatever, 2008 was a remarkable year across the board.

Today we continue to unveil the Top 30 high school sports stories from the past 12 months.

I’m sure some will disagree so I invite you to email me and let me
know what I have wrong (and right) and what I may have missed.

We unleashed Nos. 30-21 on Tuesday and release 20-11 today. Thursday we unveil the Top 10.

Let the games – or rather countdown, recognition and debate – continue.

11. Cleveland Beaumont wins record 16th state track title: The Blue Streaks won their second straight D-I girls state track title and 16th overall on June 7, which is one more than the Glenville boys program. Senior Emily Infeld powered Beaumont by becoming just the 15th girl in history to win an event four times when she captured the 800 title (2:09.12). She also defended her 1,600 title. Senior Aareon Payne also gave a great effort, winning the 200 for the third straight time and adding titles in the 100 and 400 relay. Infeld is now at Georgetown and Payne is at USC.

12. Pendleton continues family dominance in the discus ring:
After watching her older sister Emily win four straight D-III discus titles at the state track meet, Elmore Woodmore’s Erin Pendleton captured her first title with a heave of 168-10. The effort broke Emily’s state meet and Jesse Owens Stadium record of 163-4 and is Ohio’s best ever in state competition, regardless of division. The throw was the second longest throw in the country by a prep athlete last season. Erin, who finished second to her sister in 2007, will join Emily at Michigan next year.

13. Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame claims third straight D-I girls basketball title and fourth in five years: In the 33-year history of the girls basketball state tournament, no D-I team had ever won three titles in a row until Mount Notre Dame accomplished the feat with a 69-67 win over West Chester Lakota West on March 10. The Cougars were playing in their fifth straight D-I state final.

14. New Knoxville (boys) and Versailles (girls) record the only undefeated records in the state in boys and girls basketball:
The Midwest Athletic Conference has long been consider head and shoulders above every other small school conference in Ohio. The 2008 basketball state tournament in March reinforced that fact. Versailles won the D-III girls state basketball title, while New Knoxville won the D-IV boys crown. The Tigers (28-0) were the state’s lone unbeaten girls basketball team (regardless of division), while the Rangers (27-0) matched that feat on the boys side. Versailles also put a stamp on its title by handing stalwart South Euclid Regina its first loss in six trips to state and 10 state games. The Tigers beat the Royals 75-60 in the semifinals. New Knoxville won both its state games by over 20 points and its average margin of victory over the course of the entire season was 27 points.

15. Fitch’s Jameson wins fourth wrestling state title:
Austintown-Fitch senior Tony Jameson added his name to a short list of four-time state winners, becoming just the 16th with a hard fought 8-4 win over New Carlisle Tecumseh’s T.J. Rigel in the D-I 145 finale on March 1. Jameson, who trailed 4-2 entering the third period, is only the fourth wrestler to win four titles in D-I and his championships span eight weight classes, which is the most of any four-time champ (103, 119, 135 and 145). Jameson’s final high school record is 168-6. He’s now at Ohio State.

16. North Canton Hoover’s Simpson wraps stellar high school softball career:
Senior Jessica Simpson ended her high school pitching career by leading the Vikings to their second D-I state title in three years. Simpson allowed two hits in 10 innings of work as Hoover beat Elyria 1-0 in 10 innings in the state final. Simpson ends her career ranked in several state records. She’s No. 1 in shutouts (69), No. 2 in wins (103) and No. 4 in strikeouts (1,162).

17. Chillicothe returns to state after 78-year hiatus, wins first title:
Chillicothe appeared in the boys state basketball tournament in 1924 and 1930. Seventy-eight years, the Cavs returned. Led by standout Anthony Hitchens, Chillicothe won it’s first state title with a dramatic 70-69 win over Toledo Libbey and Mr. Basketball William Buford. With 5.1 seconds remaining, Hitchens dribbled the length of the floor and fed Ray Chambers for the winning basket as time expired. Hitchens had 24 points, while Chambers had 23.

18. B.J. Mullens scores 62 points against Our Savior New American at Flyin to the Hoop: The 7-foot-1 Canal Winchester senior and current Ohio State Buckeye slapped 62 points and 21 rebounds on OSNA, a private school from New York, in a 79-69 win at the Flyin to the Hoop on Jan. 21. Mullens scored 36 of Canal’s 38 first half points. His tally was just the fourth since 1969 in which an Ohio high school player scored more than 60 points in a game.

19. Newark wins fourth basketball title, first in 65 years:
Newark ended a 65-year basketball championship drought when the Wildcats bested favorite Lakewood St. Edward 65-52 in the Division I title game March 15 at Ohio State’s Value City Arena. It is the fourth basketball title for Newark (24-4) with the others coming in 1943, 1938 and 1936. Senior guard Greg Avery, who was named to the All-Ohio third team with 18.6 points per game, poured in 33 in the championship game and pulled down 11 rebounds. Newark didn’t even win the Ohio Capital Conference finishing second to Hilliard Darby.

20. Gates Mills Hawken wins its ninth straight D-II girls swimming championship:
Hawken continued its dominance in the pool by capturing its 12th state title in 13 years and raised its all-time lead in girls state swimming and diving championships to 18. The Hawks had 358 points to runner-up Lima Shawnee’s 142. Hawken was led by senior Brittany Strumbel who won her third straight championship in the 200 freestyle, won her second consecutive 500 freestyle title and swam on the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

ON DECK

Thursday: Stories 1-10

LOOKING BACK

Stories 21-30 and honorable mention

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