As girls basketball hits the Sweet 16 level, three Central District
Division I schools helped to form perhaps one of the toughest regions
in the state at Otterbein College. Speaking of girls basketball, Amanda-Clearcreek took home its first district title since 1998. And speaking of titles, Westerville North’s Josh Demas won the D-II 152 state title this past Saturday. Don’t worry there’s more…
As girls basketball hits the Sweet 16 level, three Central District Division I schools helped to form perhaps one of the toughest regions in the state at Otterbein College. The regional, which played its semifinal games Tuesday, includes undefeated Dublin Coffman, Pickerington North and Central and defending state runner-up West Chester Lakota West from the Southwest District. All four teams appeared in the Associated Press Division I state poll at different times during the season.
The four schools also have some of the best talent in the state. Central features Ohio State-bound forward Emilee Harmon, Coffman has guard and Dayton signee Samantha MacKay, North is led by Northern Illinois-bound Brittany Callahan and Lakota West has senior forward and Duke recruit Alexis Rogers.
Tuesday, Coffman and Lakota West continued their seasons and advanced to the regional championship, which will be decided Saturday.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Josh Demas, Westerville North, Wrestling: Demas won a Division I state championship at 152 pounds with a 4-3 victory over Nick Sulzer of Lakewood St. Edward at the Schottenstein Center. Demas also defeated Cincinnati Princeton’s Charles Mason with a 15-4 major decision, Twinsburg’s Chet 13-6 and had a 22-8 major decision over Hilliard Darby’s Joe Crabtree.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Amanda-Clearcreek Girls Basketball: Amanda-Clearcreek won its first district title since 1998 with a 62-46 victory over Heath in a Division III Central District championship game.
The Lady Aces clamped down on Division III district player of the year Megan White, allowing the Heath sharp shooter 20 points for the game and only 10 points for the last three quarters. White had scored 41 and 33 points in the past two Heath victories.
“We were concerned when Cara Thaxton and Shelby Smith (two of A-C’s best defenders) each got two fouls, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise,”
Amanda-Clearcreek coach Butch Kobel said. “We put Abby Meyer (normally thought of as offense first player) on Megan White, and Abby did a whale of a job playing defense in the last two-and-a-half quarters.
“That allowed us to put Cara and Shelby on their guards, which turned out well for us.”
Now 22-2 overall, the Lady Aces were led by Abby Meyer with 16 points. Aimee Hall had 15 points and Thaxton added 10.
Amanda-Clearcreek plays Margaretta in a regional semifinal game this evening at
Lexington High School.
NEWS, NOTES & NUGGETS
Division I state wrestling highlights: Reynoldsburg’s Tommy Sasfy fell 3-1 in a 140 pound state championship match against St. Edward’s Collin Palmer…Hilliard Davidson’s J.T. Rice was pinned in 3:04 by Kyle Lang of Brecksville-Broad. Hieghts at 160 pounds….Lancaster’s Kyle Dilley added a third-place finish at 171 pounds.
Division II state wrestling highlights: Circleville Logan Elm’s Shane Gifford garnered five wins in the state tournament en route to a third-place finish at 152 pounds. Gifford ends his career with a school-record 156 wins…Jake Vaughan placed third at 130 pounds for Columbus DeSales.
Division III state wrestling highlights: Marion Pleasant finished fourth, followed by Mechanicsburg in fifth. Mechanicsburg’s Bryce Baker won a state title at 112 pounds with a 6-3 win over Richwood’s North Union’s Spencer Pierce. Colton Bowers of
Pleasant was state runner-up at 189 pounds, falling 5-3 in overtime to Clarkville Clinton-Massie’s Corby Running.
The Butcher: Pickerington North girls basketball coach Dave Butcher won his 21st consecutive Central District championship with a 43-36 victory over Columbus Northland.
Sweetness: Central Ohio’s undefeated girls basketball schools – Dublin Coffman in
Division I and Marion Pleasant in Division III – each won a Central District championship and a berth in the Sweet 16. Pleasant defeated Utica 60-52, led by Ashley Andrews with 18 points and Julie Rice with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Coffman cruised past Columbus Bishop Watterson 41-22 to advance. Sam MacKay tallied 18 points to lead Coffman.
Newark rising: Despite losing senior 6-foot-9 center Dane Kopp, who quit the team last month for personal reasons, the defending Division I state champions have rolled into a Central District final, making Upper Arlington its latest victim. The Wildcats shot 25 of 43 from the field in a 75-66 victory, paced by Ryan Dierks tallying 21 points and Rahlin Watson with 20 points. The Wildcats play Dublin Scioto Saturday for a trip to the regional.
Cinderella lives: Ralph Hill kept Westerville North’s Cinderella tournament run alive, hitting a three-point play with 7.1 seconds left to upend No. 9 seed Gahanna 55-53. Hill scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter as North improved to 13-10 on the season.
Division IV Central District boys basketball semifinals, Wednesday, Ohio Expo Center Fairgrounds Coliseum: Marion Catholic vs. Worthington Christian, 6:15 p.m., Lancaster Fairfield Christian vs. Columbus Harvest Prep, 8 p.m.
Division III Central District boys basketball championships, Thursday, Ohio Expo Center Fairgrounds Coliseum: Columbus Bishop Hartley vs. Carroll Bloom-Carroll, 6 p.m., Grandview Heights vs. Sparta Highland, 9 p.m.
Division II Central District boys basketball championships, Friday, Ohio Expo Center Fairgrounds Coliseum: Granville vs. Columbus Bishop Watterson, 6 p.m., Columbus Eastmoor Academy vs. Columbus DeSales, 9 p.m.
Division I, Region III girls basketball championship, Saturday, Otterbein College: Dublin Coffman/Pickerington Central winner vs. West Chester Lakota West/Pickerington North winner, 7:30 p.m.
Division I Central District boys basketball championships, Saturday, Ohio Expo Center Fairgrounds Coliseum: Dublin Coffman vs. Grove City, 10 a.m., Newark vs. Dublin Scioto, 12:30 p.m., Westerville North vs. Columbus Northland, 3 p.m.