The Northeast was a busy place last week as the region’s wrestling teams dominated, area swimming teams ruled the pool in Canton and the Youngstown area held serve over the district bowling tournament in Austintown. Toss in a heated district for hockey and even hotter basketball districts for girls and sectionals for boys and the top part of the state was scorching.
The wrestling action around Northeast Ohio was sick last weekend as the region was dominated by stellar team performances. The team that led the way was Wadsworth in the Division I district at Massillon Perry. The Grizzlies advanced nine wrestlers to the state meet in winning the team title with 215 points. The nine that are going to state is a new school record and includes four champions for coach John Gramuglia. Louden Gordon (135), Nick Tavanello (215), Brad Squire (140) and Ben Buzzelli (285) were all champions.
Perry took second at the event with 190 points and had four champs of their own in Seth Horner (145), Sam White (125), Zach Dailey (130) and Nick Heflin (171).
Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy dominated the Maple Heights Division III district with 186 points and four champions. Zak Vargo (125), Tyler Powers (135), Alex Utley (160) and Greg Hojnacki (215) all took home gold as individuals to help the Royals to glory.
Lakewood St. Ed’s continued its dominance with its 30th district title at the Division I district at Mentor. The Eagles scored 197 ½ points and had eight state qualifiers. Three-time state champion Collin Palmer led the way with his championship at 140 pounds while Jamie Clark (119), Anthony Salupo (135) and Nick Sulzer (152) also took home gold. Elyria was second in the team standings with 151 points.
University School won the Firestone Division II district with 147 points to beat out West Branch’s 105 ½. James Inghram (119), Kyle Roddy (145), Brad Wukie (152) and Nick Mills (189) all won titles. Padua took the Fostoria district in Division II with 125 ½ points, edging out Lexington’s 124. Brent Fickel had a title at 125 and Riley Kilroy the championship at 160.
Finally, Uhrichsville Claymont, an Eastern District power, took the title at Heath in Division II, outlasting rival Harrison Central 157.5 to 139. Kyle Warner (112), Tyler Beckley (145) and Josh Jackson (heavyweight) all won titles. The Mustangs did it without the services of junior Cody Garbarandt, who won a state title and was runner-up last year. He lost in the quarterfinals.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ian Stewart-Bates, Hunting Valley University swimming: The Most Valuable Swimmer of the Division II boys’ state swimming championships at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton won two individual titles, one relay title and was second with another in helping his team win its first-ever state team championship.
Stewart-Bates took the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle titles while helping the 400 free relay team to a first and the 200 free relay team to a second. The team scored 288 points to easily outdistance Cincinnati Wyoming’s second-place score of 180. It was a sweet victory for coach Brian Perry as his team was the first from Cuyahoga County to win a state boys’ team swimming title since 1965.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Hawken girls’ swimming: The numbers are gaudy and impressive. Eleven straight state championships and 19 total state titles and Hawken is still going strong after winning another team championship last weekend with 334 points.
Hawken outdistanced New Albany by 121 points and was led by Brittany Rospierski’s three wins and one second. She defended her title in the 100 breaststroke in a new record of 1:03.98 and also won the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay. She was second in the 200 individual medley.
Alana Arnold repeated as champion of the 100 butterfly and was on both relays and Morgan Cohara took second in the 200 freestyle and was on both relays.
The team is coached by veteran leader Jerry Holtrey.
McCann Do It: Akron Firestone’s Breanna McCann became her school’s first swimming champion in 12 years when she won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:01.1 at last weekend’s state swimming championships in Division I. She was second the year before and improved better than five seconds to win her title. She added a second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.21.
Magnificent Nortz of Magnificat: Magnificat’s Kelly Nortz took home the all-around title at the West Geauga District gymnastics finals to advance to this week’s state meet at Hilliard Darby. Nortz was first in the vault, first in the uneven parallel bars and first on the beam for an all-around score of 37.575.
Brecksville-Broadview Heights was the team champion with 145.35.
Amazing individuals: In his team’s 94-91 overtime win over Strongsville, Garfield Heights’ Carl Jones pumped in 45 points to help his team improve to 18-3. At a Division I sectional game, Mentor beat Cleveland Shaw 80-67 behind Scott Branchick’s 41 points. Also, Oberlin’s Morgan Jones set a new standard for scoring at the Division IV sectional at Strongsville after leading his team past Kidron Central Christian 69-66. Jones scored a tournament-record 38 points on 14 of 25 shooting from the field with 9 of 12 free throws.
Bowling Brownfield: While Cuyahoga Falls’ boys and Boardman’s girls ruled the team competition at the Northeast Ohio District Bowling Championships at Austintown’s Wedgewood Lanes, Canton Timken senior Tim Brownfield was the standout individual.
Brownfield tied for top honors as an individual with his 770 series and has the top individual score heading into this weekend’s state championships at Lancaster’s Tiki Lanes. Stow-Munroe Falls’ Eric Randazzo also shot in the 700s with a 721.
Cuyahoga Falls, coached by Evan Karnoupakis, was led by Aaron Walke’s 673 while Ty Hoover added a 650, Mike Longhitaro a 647, Craig Fishel a 633 and Ben Hier a 621. The team finished with a score of 4,341 to beat out Austintown-Fitch’s 4.281. The team was led by Marty Sharisky with a 693. North Ridgeville was third with Joe Sas leading with 640 and Struthers was fourth at 4212 (Jared Wazzelli led with 664). Warren Harding took the fifth and final team spot with its 4231 and Nick Gigax leading with a 633.
In girls’ action, Boardman was paced by Ciarra Moran’s 711 while Amanda Van Fossen added a 619, Angela Kaczowka a 674, Franki Fuller a 542 and Tiffany Dugan a 527 for Al Duhar’s crew. The team had a score of 4,028 which dominated second-place Fitch’s 3,809 as Gina Cheff had a 624. Canfield scored a 3688 with Sarah Bolina firing a 591 and Hubbard hit for 3686 with Jamie Zenoni shooting a 563.
Massillon Jackson was fourth with a 3582 with Fallon Tallman’s 605 and Warren Harding took fifth with a 3568 behind Shelby Boyd’s 600.
Individually, Casey Reese of Masillon shot a 637 and Michelle Heldreth fired a 613 for Youngstown Chaney.
Perfect King: Admiral King wrapped up a 20-0 regular season with a 82-73 win over Euclid. Playing without point guard Chris Kimbro, who tore his ACL earlier in the week, the team still won the Lake Erie League. Adrian Casey, a 6-foot-4 senior had 22 points, 15 rebounds and five steals. The 10th-ranked team will miss Kimbro’s 14 points, seven assists and six steals per game in the tournament but against Euclid, Gary Donald had 15 points and Bryant Parker 14 for coach Al Stacey.
Go go GlenOak: Canton GlenOak had 101 points and a 40-point lead after three quarters and cruised to a 122-80 Division I sectional win over Youngstown Chaney. C.J.
McCollum had 30 points to lead the Golden Eagles, who had every player score at least one point and six players hit double figures. Storm Sanders chipped in 14 points and 10 assists as the winners had 29 dimes on the night.
Miraculous Minerva: The Lions improved to 20-1 on the season with a 62-57 Division II sectional win over Orrville. The Lions of Pepper Locke won the always-competitive Northeastern Buckeye Conference and now face league foe Louisville in the sectional finals. Troy Summers scored 24 points to lead the Lions over Orrville.
Upset City: Ranked as the No. 13 seed at the Euclid Division I sectional, Painesville Riverside sat at 6-15 entering the postseason. But staring at 15-win Glenville wasn’t as intimidating because the Tarblooders had been beaten five times in a row after a 15-0 start to the year. Riverside pulled off the upset 56-55 as Tyler Falvey hit a 24-foot desperation heave at the buzzer. Mychael Delamo had 21 points and Andrew Tomkins 20 to lead the Beavers of veteran coach Rob Winton while Maurice Catney had 25 for Glenville, which ended the year 15-6.
No. 9 seed Meadowbrook, a regional qualifier the year before but a 7-15 team, beat No. 2 seed Coshocton 75-61 in a Division II sectional boys’ basketball game at Ohio University-Belmont. The Colts shot a blistering 23 of 32 from the field and were led by Ethan Shriver with 20 points and Jeramie Neff with 18.
Dave Brown led Coshocton (13-8) with 19 points.
Hiland vs. Strasburg, Division IV boys’ sectional championship at New Philadelphia High, Saturday, 8 p.m.: The two teams were separated by just nine total points in two Hiland wins in the Inter-Valley Conference this season. The Hawks improved to 21-0 with an 86-34 win over Conotton Valley in its sectional opener. Strasburg beat Steubenville Catholic Central 71-59 in its opener. Hiland is led by 6-foot-4 freshman Dylan Kaufman while 6-foot-7 guard Noah Boyd, 6-foot-5 forward Colton Troyer and 6-foot guard Colten Hostetler all can score 20 points in a hurry. Strasburg (14-7) is paced by 6-foot-6 freshman Seger Bonifant and 6-foot-5 senior Craig Sewell in the middle with guards Tyler Bell and Jonathan Shaw on the outside. These two teams always battle and this will be no different.
District championship ice hockey: Defending state champion Lakewood St. Edward’s will face off against St. Ignatius/Strongsville at the district championship at Brooklyn’s Recreation Center at 6 p.m. March 7 for a chance to go to the Final Four again. St. Ed’s beat North Olmsted in the Sweet 16 7-5.
In the other Northeast district final, Lake Catholic (29-10-2) will face Hunting Valley University at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Kent State’s hockey arena. Lake Catholic beat last year’s state runner-up Gilmour 3-2 in overtime on Ryan Kucera’s goal 48 seconds into the extra period on an assist from Tommy Michals. University beat Shaker Heights 6-0 in its Sweet 16 match.
Shadyside vs. Hiland, Division IV girls’ basketball district final at Indian Valley High, 7 p.m., tonight: The No. 2 ranked Hawks face off against the No. 8 ranked Tigers in a fantastic Eastern District matchup with the winner getting to go to the regional at Massillon Perry. Shadyside beat Beallsville 57-48 while Hiland (22-1) ousted Strasburg 65-40. Shadyside was led in the district semifinals by Laken Gibson with 17 points while Hiland’s Hillary Weaver pumped in 27 points on 6 of 7 shooting from 3-point range against Strasburg while Karli Mast added 17.
Canton McKinley vs. North Canton Hoover, Division I boys’ sectional at Canton Memorial Civic Center, 7:30 p.m., Saturday: It’s the third meeting between the two teams as McKinley enters the game at 14-7 and Hoover at 18-3. McKinley, the fifth seed, beat Canfield 53-45 in its sectional opener behind Terrell Lipkins’ 27 points and Branden Means’ 11. Hoover dominated Austintown-Fitch 81-39 as Tyler Fausnight had 17 and Cory Veldhuizen 15.
Division II girls’ regional at Zanesville High: Traditional Eastern District powers River View and West Holmes have secured their spots in the regional this week and will welcome in the Central District champion in either Big Walnut or New Albany. West Holmes, led by 6-foot-2 senior center Sarah Hammond, will face that winner at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
River View (21-2), a 2-time state champion two years ago, beat Meadowbrook 59-33 in the district title game as senior Dayton signee Kari Daugherty, a freshman and sophomore on those state title teams, had a near-triple double of 25 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. Daugherty and the Black Bears will face Southeastern champions Chillicothe Unioto or Greenfield McClain at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday. In the final AP poll, Unioto was ranked third while River View was seventh.