In six days Genoa and Millbury Lake meet again with the Suburban Lakes League title on the line. How big is the game? Lake has never won an SLL title. It joined the league 30 years ago. As for this weekend, several league wrestling titles are on the line. As for last week? Click here to see who shined.
High School basketball tournaments will be heating up in the next several weeks but in the meantime wrestlers throughout Northwest Ohio will begin making their way toward the state finals. This weekend most of the area’s leagues will hold their tournaments, while the sectionals begin next weekend.
Northwest Ohio wrestlers to keep your eye on are:
In Division I, Toledo Start’s Kirk McLaughlin (130) may be able to take advantage of a relatively open weight class to be in contention for a state title. Sylvania Southview’s Greg Isley (189) is the highest finishing state finalist in his weight class and should be fresh heading into the tournament. Isley missed a great deal of the season due to injury and should not be seriously challenged until he reaches the state tournament.
Division II has one of Northwest Ohio’s best candidates for a state title. Oak Harbor’s Ian Miller (135), only a sophomore, is no stranger to winning state titles having won a state junior high championship two years ago. Based on his regular season match-ups and successes Miller should be in the mix for another state championship. Joining Miller as a state title contender is his fellow Oak Harbor sophomore Konner Witt (145). Witt was a state qualifier last season so he has the requisite experience but has moved up four weight classes and he may find the road a bit tougher this year.
In the 152 weight class, Sandusky Perkins’ Jonathan McGookey is considered by many prognosticators as the state’s best. McGookey finished third in this weight class last year and has done nothing this year to indicate that he should not be considered the favorite. In the other weight classes, Eastwood’s Ashton Brown (189), Toledo Central Catholic’s Dave Pickerel and Jared Torrence (285) are strong state candidates as well.
In Division III, the area has two top candidates at 103. Sandusky St. Mary’s David Harrington and Elmwood’s Nick Goebel have been considered among this weight class’ top performers all year. Similarly, in the 112 weight class, Delta’s Jonny Tolson and Tim Majoy are also top contenders. Monroeville has three quality wrestlers, Hunter Stieber (119), Logan Steiber (125), and Cam Tessari (130) who should all be wrestling in the season’s final weekend.
At 152, Kyle Gladieux of Cardinal Stritch, may be one of the state’s hottest wrestlers. Pinning his opponents has become his trademark and it is possible that this junior wrestler may pin his way all the way to a state title. Other northwest wrestlers to keep your eye on are: Tiffin Calvert’s Dillon Kwait at 160, Chris Phillips of Monroeville at 171, and Stuart Miller of Delphos Jefferson at 215.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Lake Girls Basketball: The Lady Flyers have emerged from the doldrums of the Suburban Lakes League this season to not only place themselves into position to claim the school’s first girls hoop championship but have also vaulted to a state ranking. The Flyers, who presently sport a perfect 15-0 record, recently recorded a 68-61 victory over their closest challenger, Genoa, but must face Genoa again next week in order to clinch Lake’s first SLL basketball title in 30 years. The Lady Flyers are ranked No. 6 in the D-III state poll, while Genoa is No. 8.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Katelyn Saums, Findlay Liberty-Benton, Girls Basketball: The senior had an incredible week shooting 3s. On February 3, she scored a career high 24 points, including 6 threes, against Hardin-Northern and then turned around later the same week and scored three more 3s in her team’s 63-58 upset of previously undefeated Lima Bath.
NEWS, NOTES & NUGGETS
A Lakota Turnaround: Lakota senior wide receiver Jacob Smith (6-2, 200) has signed a national letter of intent to play football next season for Ashland University. Smith’s signing marks the fourth season in a row that at least one Lakota player has signed to play college football. This trend signals a remarkable improvement in the Lakota football program. This past season Smith had 38 receptions for 714 yards and six TDs. As a free safety he registered 55 tackles and four interceptions.
Boys’ tournament seed irony: The Toledo City League coaches crowned their top team, Waite, with the area’s No. 1 in Division I. Sylvania Southview received the No. 2 seed. Ironically, the two teams meet next week in a regular season match-up.
600th Win: Sylvania Northview coach Jerry Sigler reached a milestone this past week by registering his 600th career win as a high school basketball coach. All 600 of Sigler’s wins have come at the helm of the Northview Ladykats. In his 34 years at Northview he has never had a losing season.
League Hopping: The scene is changing rapidly in the northwest corner of the state as several teams are changing their league affiliations. Upper Sandusky is the latest team to change conferences as they have moved from the Northern Ohio League to the North Central Conference. Upper’s exit is expected to prompt other moves, but nothing official has been announced by other Northwest Ohio schools.
Déjà vu: For the second year in a row, Toledo Christian and Ottawa Hills, have tied for the TAAC boys hoop title. Like last season both teams protected their home court in splitting their season series.
Mat Success: Bellevue’s Markie Brooks has capped off his senior season by winning his 100th career wrestling match. “He has had a great career,” said Bellevue coach Jim DePolo, “and 100 wins is not something too many people get.”
Buckeye Border Ace: In the next six weeks, Hicksville’s Josh Vandemark will play his final high school game but not without achieving status as one of the best players in the history of Hicksville high school basketball. Dominating on both ends of the court, Vandemark is presently averaging 13.9 points per game and 13 rebounds.
Outside Hockey Fun: The Ottawa Hills and Lake hockey teams decided to do something different and scheduled their regular season game against each other at the City of Toledo’s Ottawa Park rink. Ordinarily the teams would play inside at the Tam-o-Shanter ice facility in Sylvania but instead they played outside. Lake won the contest, 5-3.
League Wrestling Championships, Saturday: Wrestling champions will be determined this weekend in the NWOAL, the Suburban Lakes League, the Toledo City League, the Northern Lakes League, the Firelands Conference, the Midland Athletic League, the Northwest Conference, the Ohio Wrestling League and the Western Buckeye League.
Sectional Swimming, Saturday: The first sport to begin sectional tournament action will be Swimming and Diving, which commences sectionals at several locations throughout northwest Ohio.
Toledo Waite at Sylvania Southview, Boys Basketball, Tuesday: No. 1 Waite and No. 2 Sylvania Southview will offer basketball fans a possible district final preview when they meet on February 17. The teams were to have met earlier in the year but weather forced a postponement.
Genoa at Lake, Girls Basketball, Tuesday: Even though they just met for the first time this season with Lake prevailing before an overflow crowd, 68-51, the two teams meet again on February 17. Genoa will be looking for revenge as a Lake victory would give the Flyers their first girls’ basketball title while members of the SLL.
City League Basketball Playoffs, Wednesday: The Toledo City League playoffs begin on Wednesday, February 18 with Start facing Notre Dame and Waite meeting Central Catholic. The Championship game will be played on Saturday (Feb. 21) afternoon.