Northeast Ohio Huddle: St. Edward, Brecksville-Broadview Heights win state titles


Northeast Ohio Huddle

Magnificat gymnast Kelly Nortz highlights this week’s athletes from the Northeast while Lakewood St. Edward proves its mettle at the state tournament. Toss in a goliath matchup at the State Hockey Tournament and a little matchup of undefeated Division III girls’ basketball teams and the region will have an exciting week.

Magnificat gymnast Kelly Nortz highlights this week’s athletes from the Northeast while Lakewood St. Edward proves its mettle at the state tournament. Toss in a goliath matchup at the State Hockey Tournament between St. Ed’s and University School and the region will have an exciting week. Oh yeah, there’s also a little matchup of undefeated Division III girls’ basketball teams Saturday night as South Euclid Regina faces Smithville at Cuyahoga Falls High. Both teams are 25-0 so something will have to give.


Kelly Nortz, Magnificat Gymnastics: Nortz ruled the State Gymnastics Meet at Hilliard Davidson High School last weekend, winning three individual events while taking the all-around competition as well. Nortz won the bars with a 9.425 to beat out Cloverleaf’s Ashley Rose and her 9.250. She won the floor exercise with a 9.525 to beat out Brecksville-Broadview Heights’ Emily Mahnke and her 9.400.

Nortz added a win in the vault at 9.300 while also scoring a 9.000 in the beam. She wrapped up her title by taking the overall title with a 37.250, besting Dublin Coffman’s Hailey Fairchild and her 37.000 and Strongsville’s Allie Marko in third with a 36.975.


Lakewood St. Edward’s Wrestling: St. Ed’s won its 25th state championship and its 13th in a row in a loaded Division I field at the Jerome Schottenstein Center at Ohio State University. The Eagles scored 111.5 points and were led by 4-time state champion Collin Palmer at 140 pounds.

The Eagles also received a state championship from Jamie Clark at 119 and second-place finishes from Gus Sako (112) and Nick Sulzer (152). Anthony Salupo was also third at 135 pounds.


Grappling with Northeast Dominance: Northeast Ohio dominated Division I at the State Wrestling Tournament last weekend at Ohio State University. Of the 14 championship matches, nine were won by Northeast Ohio representatives. Other than the two champions from St. Edward’s, Kory Mines of Maple Heights took 103 and Jerome Robinson followed him at 112. Massillon Perry’s Sam White won 125 and St. Ignatius’s David Habat took 145. Brecksville-Broadview Heights had champions at 160 (Kyle Lang) and 285 (Jeremy Johnson) while Massillon Perry’s Nick Heflin took 171.

In the team standings, St. Ed’s won with Massillon Perry second. The next six teams in the standings were all from Northeast Ohio as Brecksville-Broadview Heights was alone in third with 84 points and St. Ignatius was fourth with a 76.5. Wadsworth took fifth at 74 and Elyria and Mayfield was sixth with 49. Twinsburg was eighth with 46.

D-4 Dominance:
In the Youngstown area, there are several small school powers that have found old hat in returning to district championships. Windham (14-8) beat Bristol 78-44 to reach the Division IV district finals at Warren G. Harding. It’s the sixth straight title game with the last five ending in wins and the aptly-named Bombers will face Warren JFK (64-59 winners over Mogadore). Cody Apthorpe led Windham with 26 points while Clayton Ridenbaugh had four 3-pointers on his way to 18 and Rico Hall had 17.

McDonald is in its sixth straight Division IV district championship game after besting Lake Center Christian 55-42 at Struthers High. McDonald is 22-0 and now faces 18-3 Youngstown Christian. McDonald is led by coach Jeff Rasile, who is in his seventh-straight district title game after leading Champion to the Division III game in 2003. McDonald is balanced with Justin Rota scoring 12 points, Devin Bansberg 11 and Lance Ronghi 10 in the semifinals.

Calculating Claymont:
Uhrichsville Claymont needed its two wrestlers in the finals to win to give them a chance to take second in Division II at the State Wrestling Meet and when Zach Garbrandt and Josh Jackson did just that, it was enough to push the Mustangs past Hunting Valley University 81-80.5.

Garbrandt took the 171 weight class with a sensational last-second score to win 4-3 while Jackson, the projected champion at heavyweight, won 5-4. Obviously state power St. Paris Graham was the champion but the race for second was extremely exciting.

Also winning a championship individually from the Northeast in Division II was Walsh Jesuit’s Johnni DiJulius at 119, Harrison Hightower of University at 140, Jonathan McGookey of Sandusky Perkins at 152 and Medina Highland’s Tyler Houska at 215.

Bowled Over:
The Northeast did not fare as well as they would have liked at the State Bowling Tournament at Tiki Lanes in Lancaster. North Ridgeville’s Justin Hardner was the top placer in second as an individual with a score of 717 (235-269-213). He was beat by champion Chase Carter of Riverside Stebbins and his 723 (223-243-257-723). Jeremy Hammond of Canfield took third with a 715 (205-267-243-715) while the Austintown-Fitch boys were fifth as a team.

In the girls’ team standings, Boardman was fourth and Fitch fifth while Boardman’s Ciarra Moran was the top Northeast finisher in third with her 599 (210-189-205-599).

Brecksville-Broadview Heights Bests the Best:
The Bees won their sixth-straight state championship and ninth overall after edging out Rocky River Magnificat 145.825-145.700 at the State Gymnastics Meet at Hilliard Davidson. It was the third-straight runner-up finish for Magnificat.

Alexandria Putich, Diana Moock and Leah Miko participated in all four events while Amy Trippet and Meghan Doherty were in three events. Emily Mahnke and Jacqueline Jesser were in two events while Juliana Kivett and Katleyn Bartoszek were in one event each.

The Northeast dominated the team standings as Strongsville was third at 142.025, Mentor was fourth with a 140.125 and Solon took fifth at 139.925

Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy’s Tyler Powers was the lone champion from Northeast Ohio in Division III as he won the 135-pound weight class at the State Wrestling Meet.

Tucci Down:
While playing a 22-0 team is already difficult enough, doing it without one of the greatest athletes in Eastern District history is nearly impossible. So Malvern’s boys found out in a Division IV district semifinal last week at Meadowbrook High. Star quarterback, point guard and baseball player Tyler Tucci injured his shoulder at practice late the week before and tried to go against Hiland. He ended the night with three points in the first half before sitting out the second half of his team’s 79-59 loss.

Tucci is a 3-time All-Ohioan in football and basketball and was state player of the year as a quarterback this past Fall and may be a state player of the year in hoops before it’s all said and done. Without him, Hiland pressed and ran on the Hornets (19-3) all night. Not to fear Malvern fans, Tyler’s freshman brother Travis had an outstanding game with 17 points and there is a third brother in the junior high.

Big Brown:
Six-foot-seven Nick Brown led Warren JFK in its 64-59 win over Mogadore in the Division IV district semifinals at Warren Harding. Brown had 39 points on 10 field goals and 19 of 22 free throws. He also added nine boards.

Cruising Carrollton:
Overtime games can often be stressful, shortened periods where the first team to take possession sits on the ball. Such was NOT the case when Carrollton and Dover went to overtime in its Division II district championship game at Zanesville. Carrollton outscored the sixth-ranked Tornadoes 11-0 in the extra period to win 62-51 and advance to its first regional since 1987.

John Lowdermilk scored four of his 17 points in the extra period to lead the Warriors, who improve to 13-10 after a grueling schedule in the Northeastern Buckeye Conference.

WTCBCA Taking Place:
It’s the end of many basketball seasons for teams around Ohio which means the all-star season is upon us. The 2009 Women’s Tri-County Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Games will take place March 23 at Barberton High. At 6 p.m., the Akron City Stars will face off against the Portage Stars while at 7:30 p.m., the Medina/Suburban Stars will face the Summit Stars.

The Akron City Stars will feature Buchtel’s Cassandra McGinnis, Ellet’s Emily Albanese and Ashley McCall, Hoban’s Nikki D’Amico, Rachel Tecca and Brittany Brown, Kenmore’s Andola Dortch and Scharlawn Hubbard and St. Vincent-St. Mary’s Jess Bridenthal and Amanda Oszewski. Coach of the team is Tracy Miller of Hoban.

The Portage Stars will feature Field’s Tracy Vandergrift, Garfield’s C.J. Carlisle, Mogadore’s Heather Holmes, Ravenna’s Lauren Flarida, Roosevelt’s Jasmine Howard, Paige Berger and Lauren Hughes of Rootstown, Katlin Orchosky of Woodridge, Mya Levels of Southeast and Sarah Wojciehowski of Waterloo. The coach is Mogadore’s George Tompkins.

The Medina/Suburban Stars feature Emily Loyer of Barberton, Cloverleaf’s Candace Andel and Brittanie Pekar, Copley’s Beth Mankowski, Kristen Mattei and Brittany Powell; T. Henley of Green, Revere’s Emilee Vitez, Tallmadge’s Morgan Allen and Lindsey Tenyak of Wadsworth. Steve Coon of Copley is the coach.

Summit is led by Nordonia’s Brittany Kilgore, Emma Shiray and Mariah White; Twinsburg’s Katie Whittington, Syndee Carter, Lauren Macer and Rachel Peelman, Cuyahoga Falls’ Kristen Gammell and Manchester’s Lexus Staubs. The coach is Amie Cormell of Nordonia.

Howling at Howland:
Newton Falls is in its eighth district championship game in the last 15 years in Division III at Howland after beating Pymatuning Valley 73-57. Led by 6-foot-11 senior Marcus Fowler (17 points, nine boards in the seminfinals), Falls will face LaBrae (54-35 winners over Champion) at 7 p.m. tonight. Todd Medallis had 16 points and the team was led in the semis by Brian Sole with 20 markers. Falls is 21-2.

Berkshire Badgers Lakers:
In a district semifinal game last week at Ashtabula Lakeside, Berskhire’s girls gave Pymatuning Valley its second headache in just 365 days. PV had not tasted defeat since February 16, 2008 at the hands of the Badgers in the sectional tournament as the Lakers rolled to a 22-0 record this season. Berkshire beat the Lakers in this year’s district semifinals at Lakeside in Division III 45-42.

The Badgers trailed 29-15 at halftime but came back for the win as Meghann Wright had 16 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Attacking Amherst:
The Amherst Steele boys’ basketball team still sits with a losing record, even in the Division I district at Midview. They are 11-12 after beating Southview 63-58 and will now face North Ridgeville, which beat Olmsted Falls 67-64, in the district championship Saturday at 7 p.m. Andrew Eliopoulos led Amherst with 17 points as four players hit double figures.


River View vs. West Holmes, Division II girls’ basketball regional final, 7:30 p.m., tonight at Zanesville High: Both of these teams are Eastern District powers with great history and the first week of the season proved just how close both programs are. River View won in week 1 over the Knights 40-39 as Jenna Saylor hit a 3-pointer with less than five seconds remaining for the victory.

West Holmes beat Sunbury Big Walnut in the regional semifinals 46-40 to improve to 20-4. Katy Baker scored 17 points and 6-foot-1 Sarah Hammond had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

River View (22-2) beat Greenfield McClain 37-27 as 6-foot-2 senior Dayton recruit Kari Daugherty scored 17 points and had nine rebounds. Six-foot Oliva Neace added 11 points.

Smithville vs. Wooster Triway, Division III boys’ district championship, 7 p.m., tonight at Wooster High: The top-ranked Smithies nearly fell to Norwayne in the district semifinals and had to score the last 12 points of the game to earn a 50-45 victory. The Smithies held Norwayne scoreless over the last five minutes of the game to improve to 22-0 and face a Wayne County foe in the Titans.

It will be a battle of the Kennys as 6-foot-8 Kenny Kornowski of Smithville had 26 points and 13 rebounds in the semifinals for Smithville and Kenny Goldstein led Triway with 25 points in its 68-57 win over Northwestern. Triway is 17-6.

Canton Timken vs. North Canton Hoover, Division I boys’ district championship, 7:30 p.m., Saturday at Canton Memorial Civic Center: Timken beat Canton GlenOak 73-71 in overtime as Rakim Reed tipped in a shot at the buzzer to account for the only points scored in the extra period. Jared Porrini had 29 points, six boards and five assists to lead the Trojans as he scored 17 of his team’s 33 second-half points on 19 of 21 free throws in the contest.

GlenOak’s C.J. McCollum scored 33 points in the loss but ends his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,405 markers.

Hoover beat Jackson 58-47 as Nick Sommers scored 28 points for the Vikings, who are the No. 2 seed behind the top-seeded Timken Trojans.

Smithville vs. South Euclid Regina, Division III girls’ regional championship, 1:30 p.m., Saturday at Cuyahoga Falls High: It’s a battle of 25-0 teams in this regional title clash. Regina was recently cleared of OHSAA violations and pounded 19-win Gilmour Academy 51-33 in the regional semifinals. P’Sonna Hope and Riley McCormick shared scoring honors for Regina with 12 each and Jackie Cook tallied 11.

Smithville stayed unbeaten with a 49-40 win over Hanover United. Junior standout Jenna Pew, a 5-foot-11 center, had 18 points while Kayla Carver tallied 15.

Lakewood St. Edward’s vs. Hunting Valley University, State Hockey Semifinal, 1 p.m., Saturday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus: It took six overtimes but St. Ed’s beat rival St. Ignatius 3-2 to reach the state tournament. Alex Kaserman scored a goal 13 ticks into the sixth overtime period on a cross pass from Johnny Buttitta to win. St. Ed’s improves to 27-6-5 on the year and won its 18th district championship.

Hunting Valley is now 29-6-3 after beating Lake Catholic by the identical score of 3-2, but in just one overtime. Pat Shedlock scored the game-winner just a little under two minutes into the extra period for the victory.

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