It was a lucrative week for Southwest Ohio high schools. Graham and Troy Christian captured state wrestling titles, while Kenton Ridge brought home a boys bowling state championship. Individually, Elder, Mason, Harrison, Miamisburg, Clinton-Massie, Mechanicsburg, Troy, Blanchester and Stebbins high school’s also had athletes claim state titles. Hoops and hockey is still going strong.
Call it a rite of spring – or at least of March.
The Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame girls’ basketball team is in familiar territory today when it plays Mason in a Division I regional semifinal at 6:15 p.m. at Wright State.
MND (23-1) won its seventh consecutive district title Saturday with a 60-40 over Glen Este. Senior Kendall Hackney (Southern California) led the Cougars with 15 points.
MND will play Mason (19-5), which won its first district title since 2001 with a 52-49 win over Chaminade-Julienne Saturday. Mason was led by senior guard Cara Werner with 14 points. C-J was led by junior Samarie Walker (UConn) who had 30 points and 14 rebounds.
Mason did not play MND during the regular season.
“Once you get to the districts no game is easy, and we know that,” MND coach Dante Harlan told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We look at this as a one-game tournament.”
The winner will play Beavercreek or Kettering Fairmont at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the regional final.
Beavercreek defeated Winton Woods 60-56 to advance to tonight’s game against Fairmont, which defeated Cincinnati Colerain 37-34.
Beavercreek (20-2) has won 16 consecutive games since it lost to Alter 40-31 on Jan. 2. The Beavers are led by senior center Mikaela Ruef, who averages 14 points and 12 rebounds. Ruef, who is committed to Stanford, had 30 points and 23 rebounds in the win over Winton Woods.
“All I wanted to do this year was win a district because we haven’t done it since I’ve been in high school,” Ruef told the Dayton Daily News.
Fairmont (21-3), which has seven consecutive games, is led by senior forward Briana Welch (13.5 ppg.) and junior forward Cassie Sant (13.1 ppg.).
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Kenton Ridge Boys Bowling: The Cougars captured the school’s first bowling state title Saturday by beating Fairmont in the finals of the state bowling tournament at Tiki Lanes in Lancaster. KR was the top team in the qualifying round and then subsequently beat Westerville South, Beavercreek and Fairmont in the championship round en route to the title.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Orlando Scales, Cincinnati Elder: The nation’s No. 1 ranked wrestler at 215 didn’t disappoint at the state wrestling meet. On Saturday Scales captured his second straight Division I state title with a victory over Hamilton’s Denicos Allen (pinned in 3:26). Scales also completed his second straight undefeated season, going 39-0. Last year he was 49-0.
NEWS, NUGGETS AND NOTES
Winner’s Circle: While Northern Ohio steals its share of the spotlight at the state wrestling tournament, the southwest portion of the state always does quite well too. This past weekend at Value City Arena in Columbus was no different.
Graham won its ninth consecutive Division II state title and 11th overall. The Falcons had seven state champions including sophomore Nick Brascetta (103), senior Zach Neibert (125), freshman Felipe Martinez (130), senior David Taylor (135), senior Brian Stephens (145), sophomore Kyle Ryan (160) and junior Max Thomusseit (189).
In Division III, Troy Christian won its third straight state title with a narrow 113-112 win over Monroeville. The Eagles had three state champions, including seniors Zac Hancock (140) and Zach Toal (160) who won their second and third titles, respectively.
Individually in D-III, Mechanicsburg’s Bryce Baker (112), Blanchester’s Jake Howe (152) and Clinton-Massie’s Corby Running (189) also won titles.
There were four Division I state champions from Southwest Ohio, including Miamisburg’s Shawn Fayette (130), Mason’s Robert Shepherd (135), Harrison’s Andrew Tumlin (189) and Elder’s Orlando Scales, who repeated as the 215 champion.
In the team race, Moeller, which finished ninth, was the top Southwest Ohio team.
For complete state wrestling coverage click here.
Bowled Over: In addition to Kenton Ridge’s boys team title, several other Southwest Ohio teams and individuals faired well at the state bowling tournament.
Stebbins junior Chase Carter won the individual boys state title with a 723 series, while Troy’s Alicia Benson won the girls’ state title with a 608 series. She had a 227 high game.
Troy and Centerville finished Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, in the girls’ final team standings.
Fairmont and Beavercreek were Nos. 2 and 4m respectively, in the boys’ final team standings.
Four in a row: West Chester Lakota West girls’ basketball program won their fourth consecutive Division I district title on Saturday with a 45-31 win over Vandalia Butler. It was also the 200th career coaching win for Lakota West coach Andy Fishman. The Firebirds (22-2) were led by senior forward Alexis Rogers (Duke) who had 13 points, 12 rebounds and three steals. Senior guard Tessa Elkins (Murray State) added 10 points.
Fishman improved to 200-82 with nearly a 71-percent winning percentage.
“Two hundred wins represents that I have had the pleasure to coach many hard-working and talented student-athletes and that I work with great assistant coaches and have excellent athletic administrative and parental support,” Fishman said.
Lakota West plays Pickerington North tonight (Tuesday) at Otterbein College in a regional semifinal.
Record-setting season: The Mount Orab Western Brown girls’ basketball team finished 18-2 during the regular season which tied the 1984-85 team with the best regular-season record in school history. The Broncos also finished 13-1 in the Southern Buckeye Conference American division. The Lady Broncos won the league title for two consecutive seasons and are were 35-5 overall and 26-2 in the league the past two seasons. A win over New Richmond in mid-February was the final regular-season game for seniors Ashley Fischer, Kayla Howard and Samantha Attinger – all of whom played four years on varsity.
Ram Tough: Trotwood-Madison senior Aaron Robinson had a game-high 29 points in the Rams’ 62-37 win over Springfield in a Division I sectional final at UD Arena on Sunday. Robinson had 13 points in the first half and scored 12 consecutive points at one point to give the Rams a 43-33 lead. Trotwood-Madison (20-3) advances to play Centerville in the district final at UD Arena.
Upset special: Cincinnati St. Xavier defeated Middletown 68-59 in a Division I sectional final Saturday. Senior center Erik Stenger had 19 points to lead the Bombers. Middletown was ranked second in the Cincinnati-area poll.
Staying on the West Side: Colerain senior outside/middle hitter Taylor Figgins has committed to play at Mount St. Joseph. Figgins was eighth in the Greater Miami Conference in kills and digs last season.
Another future Bearcat: Fairfield junior free safety Arryn Chenault (6-1, 180) orally committed to play football at Cincinnati on Sunday night. Chenault also had an offer from Indiana.
Kickin’ it at Oxford: Kings Mills Kings senior kicker/punter Zac Murphy has committed to play at Miami University.
Murphy, a Cincinnati Enquirer Divisions II-VI first-team selection, was 20-of-26 on field goals, including a 55-yarder last season. He punted 39 times for a 41-yard average with 21 punts inside the 20-yard line.
XU extends offer: Cincinnati Colerain junior guard Ashley Wanninger has picked up an offer from Xavier, according to Colerain girls’ basketball coach Christi Mack.
Wanninger, who is 5 feet 9 inches, averages 15.5 points and 5.1 rebounds for the Cardinals, which play Kettering Fairmont in a Division I district final at Harrison Saturday.
Wanninger is one of the area’s top players in the 2010 class. She also has offers from UC and Bowling Green among others.
Aiken vs. Moeller, Division I district final at 11 a.m. Saturday at UD Arena: Moeller just got by Liberty Township Lakota East 60-56 in the sectional final. Aiken defeated Loveland in the sectional final. Both teams feature strong big men. Aiken is led by sophomore power forward Chane Behanan (Cincinnati), while Moeller is led by Griffin McKenzie, a 6-foot-9 center.
Princeton vs. Mason, Division I district final at 2 p.m. Saturday at UD Arena: Top-ranked Pricneton will face its Greater Miami Conference foe. The Vikings, which have won 16 consecutive games, defeated the Comets 49-43 Jan. 6.
St. Bernard Roger Bacon vs. Thurgood Marshall, Division II district final at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday at UD Arena: Top-ranked Roger Bacon is led by freshman center Adolphus Washington, who had 22 pints in the 47-29 win over Goshen Saturday.
North College Hill vs. Miami East, Division III district final at 9 p.m. Thursday at UD Arena: NCH was led by junior forward Stefone Grace (26 points) in a 62-52 win over CHCA in the sectional final.
Centerville vs. Toledo St. John’s, State ice hockey semifinal at 4 p.m. Saturday at Nationwide Arena: The Elks earned a berth to the state final four with a 5-3 win over Dublin Coffman last weekend. The championship is 11 a.m. Sunday in Columbus.