Northeast Ohio Huddle: Smithville going for rare undefeated double


Northeast Ohio Huddle

It’s rare for a school to have one basketball team finish the regular season undefeated, let alone two. But that’s just what can happen at Smithville, should the state’s No. 1 ranked D-III boys team win its last two games. The Smithies girls team is 20-0 and the boys are 18-0. Several other schools had athletes step up this week as well. Read on to find out who they were.

While they don’t have a high school team per se to compete for, a trio of Trumbull County swimmers are linked as they head towards the state swimming and diving meet.

Sophomores Jordan Moxley of Maplewood, Emilee Gysegum of Lakeview and Katie Joseph of McDonald traveled to the state meet as freshmen and had fantastic first years in high school as a collective but do not have full teams at their respective schools.

The trio trains together at the Warren Harding Aquatics Center under coach Frank Supansick and all three are back in the district this weekend competing for another trip to state. They will begin action at 3 p.m. in Division II at Cleveland State University.
Gysegem will be joined by teammate Caitlyn Yocum. Gysegum won the 200-yard IM (2:13.15) and the 100 backstroke (1:01.64) at last week’s sectional at Akron’s Ocasek Natatorium.

Moxley and Joseph finished 1-2 in the 50-yard freestyle with both breaking the meet record. Moxley finished in 24.42 seconds and Joseph in 24.56. Moxley added a win in the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.47 while Joseph set a new meet mark in the 100 freestyle by winning in 53.25 seconds. Yocum was fifth in the 100 free and eighth in the 50 free.

At last year’s state meet, Moxley was ninth in the 50 free and 11th in the 100 breaststroke. Gysegem was sixth in the 200 individual medley and fifth in the 100 breaststroke at state last year while Joseph was fifth in the 100 free and sixth in the 50 free.


Karisma Penn, Shaker Heights, Basketball: The University of Illinois recruit fired in 27 points and hauled down 16 rebounds to go with five blocks in her team’s 45-43 win over Akron Kenmore last week. But with all of the points and blocks, it was her final two points and her final block that meant the most. Penn hit a 12-foot shot with 12 ticks left to break the 43-43 tie and also blocked the last shot of the game with one second left to seal the deal.


Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Wrestling: The Royals dominated the Principals’ Athletic Conference Wrestling Championships, sending eight wrestlers to the championship round and ending the day with a perfect 8-0 mark in the finals. The Royals scored a dominating 204 points.

Seth Powers ruled the lightweights with his title at 112 pounds while Zack Vargo won at 125. Brandon Sommers (130), Tyler Powers (135) and Matthew Hickin (140) made it four straight weight class wins while Matt Meadows (152) and Alex Utley (160) went back-to-back. Greg Hojnacki added a win at 215 pounds.


Two times the perfection: At many high schools in Ohio, success finds its way either into the girls’ program or the boys’ program. It is very rare that both programs at the same school enjoy perfection. Meet Smithville High School, where perfection is plural.
The Smithville girls’ team wrapped up a 20-0 regular season last week with a 54-48 win over Norwayne. Mike Miller’s crew was paced by Jenna Pew who had 17 points and 17 rebounds.

The Smithie boys, coached by Mike Snowbarger, are 18-0 and are led by 6-foot-8 center Kenny Kornowski who had 25 points and 14 rebounds in a recent 53-39 win over 14-3 Northwestern. The Smithville boys are ranked No. 1 in the state in Division III.

Whopping Wilson:
Streetsboro’s Robert Wilson had already passed the 1,000-point mark long ago but the next step was 1,500 points and the strong senior did that in a 94-68 win over Ravenna. Wilson hit for 22 points that went along with his 14 rebounds as he ended the game with 1,501 points.

In her team’s 57-53 overtime win over Firelands last week, Medina Buckeye’s Kelsey Knoll not only picked up a double-double of points and rebounds, she doubled her doubles with 20 points and 22 rebounds. She also found the time to dish out six assists.

Sensational Smith:
Laquon Smith of Kenmore grabbed seven rebounds in his team’s 65-35 win over Akron Garfield to become his school’s all-time leading rebounder. The senior has pulled in 437 total boards in his career.

Hunting the Baron Cup:
In the chase of the ultra-competitive Baron Cup hockey title, Hunting Valley University beat Lake Catholic 3-2 last week to win its fifth Cup in the last eight years. Freshman Matt Wipper scored on a power play with 8:13 left in the final period to secure the win as his team improved to 25-6-3 on the year.

Pair of perfects:
The Pymatuning Valley and Howland girls’ basketball programs aren’t far from each other geographically and in terms of winning this season, they are both perfect. Howland wrapped up a 20-0 regular season with a 57-51 win over Canfield in the season finale. John Diehl’s team was led by Kelly Barzak with 19 points while Erika Nites had 12 and Abby Nicholas 10.

The Lakers of PV wrapped up its perfect season with a 56-41 win over Campbell Memorial. They are the first undefeated girls team in Ashtabula County since the school was last undefeated in the 1996-1997 season. Constance Stech, the team’s leading scorer, had 17 points and 11 boards against Memorial.

Crusaders cruising:
Steubenville Catholic’s boys’ basketball team has not lost a game since January 16 and are 14-5 this year. It is the first winning season in 14 years for the Crusaders who are coached by Sean Tucker. The team is led by the sibling duo of Jordan and Justin Teramana.

Minerva magic:
The Minerva girls’ bowling team picked up its second-straight sectional title after winning the sectional at AMF Hall of Fame Lanes in Canton last weekend. The Lions averaged a 191.3 in six Baker games and will move on to the district at Wedgewood Lanes in Austintown on February 28.

The Lions, playing without their leading scorer, were led by Rachel Treep with a 552, Katlin Thayer with a 515 and Staci Thomas with a 509.

Hundred for Hairston:
Canton Timken boys’ head coach Rick Hairston won his 100th game recently and helped guide the Trojans to their second-straight Principals’ Athetic Conference title. Hairston has won 41 games the past two seasons to hit the century mark after his squad advanced to the regionals last year and sits 17-1 this season.

Rockin’ Rosalita:
Rosalita Woodall of Akron East, a 5-foot-5 guard, scored 34 points, brought down 12 rebounds, dished out three assists and had four steals in her team’s 67-50 win over Akron East last week.

Upset city:
The Cleveland Lutheran East boys’ basketball team upset No. 4 ranked Cleveland Glenville 63-57 last week. Ladell Trotty had 24 points and Will Felder 18 as East improved to 15-2 and Glenville fell to 15-2. It was Glenville’s second-straight loss as they fell by seven points to Euclid as well. Maurice Catney had 25 points for the Tarblooders.

Rough going:
The Geneva girls’ basketball team beat Harvey 72-4 last week in a regular-season game. The Eagles led 30-0 after one quarter, 43-0 and halftime and did not give up points until Harvey’s Kendra Mackey had a putback with 5:23 left in the third quarter. Taylor Webb had 18 points for 18-2 Geneva.


Dover at Coshocton, Boys Basketball, Friday, 7:30 p.m: Cambridge has already locked up a share of the East Central Ohio League title with a 10-2 record. Now it’s time to see which team will share it with the Bobcats. Dover has been the league leader for the past few years but will now have to fight past Coshocton just to share. Dover and Coshocton are both 9-2 with Coshocton besting the Tornadoes in Dover earlier in the year. Dover is 17-2 and is led by guard Corey Lisowski and Anthony Monaco, bullish post player Marcus Mamarella and dependable junior Kyle Dummermuth. Coshocton is 13-6 and is led by 25-point per game scorer Dave Brown, guard Dom McCluskey and 6-foot-7 post player Christian Taylor.

Division I Wrestling Sectionals, Friday-Saturday:
No. 3-ranked (according to the Brakeman Report in Division I) Wadsworth and No. 8-ranked Brecksville-Broadview Heights are in this highly-competitive sectional at Medina. With state power Lakewood St. Ed’s at the Southview Sectional with No. 7 Elyria, the competition will be grueling all over the region.

The rest of the Northeast Ohio teams in Brakeman’s Top 10 are spread out throughout the area in sectionals. No. 2 Massillon Perry will compete at North Canton Hoover while No. 4 St. Ignatius is at Midpark, No. 5 Mayfield at Midpark and No. 10 Fitch at its home in Austintown.

North Canton Hoover vs. Massillon Jackson, Boys Basketball, Federal League Championship game, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., at Canton Memorial Civic Center: The Jackson boys are 14-3 overall and the Hoover boys are 15-2. Both teams finished the regular season tied in the Federal League standings at 8-1. Mark Henninger, a 6-foot-8 senior leads the Jackson Polar Bears with 21 points per game while Cory Veldhuizen paces balanced Hoover with 12 points per contest.

District swimming and diving:
The Northeast District swim meet will take place at Cleveland State University Friday and Saturday with Division II competing on Friday and Division I on Saturday.

The Eastern District swimmers who qualified out of the Steubenville sectional will travel to Columbus to participate at the Ohio State University natatorium.

Hockey Districts:
In the Northeast, hockey districts are already under way with semifinals and finals on tap for next week. Kent State University’s Ice Arena features top-seeded University as well as 2-4 seeds Lake Catholic, Gilmour and Walsh Jesuit. The semifinals will take place March 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. The finals are slated for March 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Brooklyn’s John M. Coyne Recreation Center will hold the other district on March 3 and 4 at 7 p.m. with the championship taking place on March 7 at 6 p.m. The top seed is Lakewood St. Ed’s while St. Ignatius, Strongsville and North Olmsted are the second through fourth seeds.

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