Hunting Valley University’s hockey team dominates in the state championship match while Robert Wilson of Streetsboro dominates in the final 30 seconds of his team’s regional semifinal game. Toss in a sprinkling of Northeast Ohio girls’ teams at the state tournament in Columbus and we are rolling state-wide.
Five teams from Northeast Ohio will take or have taken to the Schottenstein Center floor this week in the state girls’ basketball tournament. The action started with Hiland’s impressive 73-42 win over Carey Thursday in a Division IV semifinal. The Hawks will face Africentric in a rematch of last year’s state championship game.
It continued with Regina’s utter dominance over Liberty-Benton 59-30. Regina improved to 27-0 with the win. Therany Dunnigan scored 17 points to lead Regina while teammate Jackie Cook scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. The Royals will face Oak Hill Saturday in the finals.
A pair of Northeast teams highlight today’s action in Division II as 23-2 River View faces Wapakoneta at 1 p.m. and Hathaway Brown takes on Kettering Alter at 3 p.m.
River View beat rival West Holmes 39-36 in their regional final matchup as senior Dayton signee and All-Ohio Division II Co-Player of the Year Kari Daugherty had 20 points and blocked a shot with less than 10 seconds while sinking a free throw to seal the win. The seventh-ranked Lady Bears (23-2) have won four state championships, including back-to-back in 2006 and 2007.
Brown beat Canton South 61-52 in its regional final as Mylan Woods had 17 points. It’s their third straight appearance in the state tournament as they have been runners-up the past two years.
Finally, at 6 p.m., Canton McKinley makes its third state appearance against Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame, who is top-ranked, is in its sixth-straight state final four and who has won three straight championships with one runner-up.
McKinley beat Mentor 52-36 in its regional final as freshman Ameryst Alston had 14 points. In the semifinals, senior Orlandriea Kirksey hita 3-pointer with four ticks left to send the Bulldogs to a win.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Robert Wilson, Streetsboro, boys’ basketball: The 6-foot-5 senior Wilson has stood out all season for his team but none more than in the final 30 seconds of his squad’s 77-75 Division III district championship win over Poland last week. Wilson scored 23 points and grabbed 14 points but his final two points and his last rebound were the biggest. He converted a three-point play with 27 ticks left to give his team a 75-73 lead. After a Poland basket tied it with 10 ticks left, his team drove downcourt and had not one, but two chances to score but missed. On the third attempt, it was Wilson grabbing a board and converting the game-winning basket.
Streetsboro celebrated its first-ever district title as Wilson led the way with 15 fourth-quarter points. Teamamate Rico Smith added 21 points and Carrington Hanna chipped in 17.
Luke Wollett hit six 3-pointers to lead Poland as he had 25 points.
Streetsboro fell in the Division II regional semifinals to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary but Wilson still put up one last monster effort with 22 points to finish with 1,694 points for his career.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Hunting Valley University Hockey: University had to take two overtimes to beat defending champion Lakewood St. Edward’s 4-3 in the semifinals and then shut out Toledo St. John’s 3-0 in the finals.
Against St. Ed’s, University trailed 2-0 after St. Eds’ Ross Kivett and Kyle Kidd scored second period goals on feeds from Jimmy Shefchik and Alex DeAngelo, respectively. But University made it 2-1 after two periods when Pat Shedlock scored on an assist from Britt Scroyer and Andy Gerow.
Brian Stovsky tied it on a feed from Shedlock and Ian Robertson gave University a 3-2 lead after Stovsky and Shedlock assisted him in the third period. But Michael Mackie-Kwist tied it for St. Ed’s with five minutes left in regulation.
Gerow wrapped up the semifinal win with a goal on an assist from Shedlock just 67 ticks into the second overtime. Goalie Jamie Regan stopped 32 shots for University (31-6-3).
In the finals, University got goals from Charlie Clark, Robertson and Andy Neff and assists from Matt DeGulis, Sam Turben, Shedlock and Matt Whipper. Regan stopped all 10 shots that came his way.
Making it Count: With his team tied 46-46 with Warren JFK in the Division IV regional semifinals at Canton’s Memorial Fieldhouse, Youngstown Christian’s Caleb Yanno decided, “what better time to score my first points of the game.” Yanno did just that, hitting a 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds left to send his team to the regional finals in a 49-46 victory.
John Pecchi had 13 points and Torrell Grier 11 to lead Christian while JFK standout Nick Brown led all scorers with 26 points.
Youngstown Christian reached its first-ever regional by defeating previously-undefeated McDonald 61-59 in the district finals at Struthers. Olonzo Johnson paced Christian in that game with 16 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and four blocks while McDonald was paced by Justin Rota and Matthias Tayala with 15 each.
Reversal of Fortune: It’s not unusual for teams in a region of the state to face each other in both boys and girls sports during tournament time but in one week in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Lutheran East and Berlin Hiland took it to the highest level with differing results.
Hiland’s girls, trying to win its fifth Division IV state championship, outscored Lutheran East 29-10 in the fourth quarter to take a 34-33 lead after three quarters and turn it into a 63-43 victory over the Falcons in the regional finals at Massillon Perry High. Hiland’s only senior, Noelle Yoder had 17 points and the lone Hawk senior, Karli Mast, added 15.
Just a few days later, the Falcon boys turned the tables on the Berlin outfit, handing the Hawks their first loss after a 24-0 start 76-68 in a regional semifinal at the Canton Memorial Fieldhouse. With the game tied 43-43, East used a run not as potent as the Hawk girls the previous weekend but it still stung as they outscored Hiland 9-0 at one point to go ahead 52-43 and cruise from there.
Lutheran East had tremendous depth in scoring with Luqman Sabir and Bradley Stevenson scoring 15 points each and Robert Martin and Taylor Calhoun 12 each. William Felder and Ladell Trohy finished with 11 each.
Hiland was led by freshman sensation Dylan Kaufman with 24 points while 6-foot-7 forward Noah Boyd had five 3-pointers for 15 points and senior Colten Hostetler 15 points as wel.
Battle of Unbeatens: Regina dominated previously-undefeated Smithville 62-41 in its Division III regional final as the Royals improved to 25-0 themselves. Tay’ler Mingo had 21 points, six assists and five steals for the defending state champs. Regina used a 20-0 run in the game to easily beat the Smithies.
Wrong Side of a Run: Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy held a 21-6 lead over Tinora in the second quarter of its Division III regional semifinal clash at Bowling Green State University. Unfortunately for the Royals, a 30-13 run the rest of the game by Tinora trumped the 15-point lead.
CVCA was outscored 2-0 in overtime as Tinora won 36-34. Mark O’Brien had 11 points for CVCA while star player Eric Worthey had nine points and eight boards while sitting quite a bit with foul trouble. CVCA closes the season at 21-4.
Youth Will Be Served: Carrollton’s boys’ basketball team reached its first regional in 22 years but fell to Cambridge 61-52 Wednesday night at Ohio University’s Convocation center. Cambridge was loaded with experience and talent this year but Carrollton, which ended the year 13-12, returns its entire starting lineup next year as second-year coach Matt Voll started three juniors and two sophomores. Kristian Cross, a junior, had 16 points at OU while junior Chris Ericksen and sophomore John Lowdermilk, son of former NFL lineman Kirk Lowdermilk, added 10 each.
Voll was highly successful at West Holmes, taking the Knights’ girls’ program to several regionals during his tenure. He spent one year as head coach of Carrollton’s girls before taking over the boys’ program last season.
Canton McKinley vs. Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame, Division I girls’ state basketball semifinal, 6 p.m., tonight at Schottenstein Center: The Baby Pups will take on Notre Dame, which has won the past four state championships with six straight state appearances. They are the top-ranked team in the state and sit at 25-1 overall.
McKinley beat up on Mentor 52-36 in the regional finals after an emotional win over Twinsburg in the semifinals on Orlandriea Kirksey’s triple with four seconds left. The 22-3 Pups were led by freshman sensation Ameryst Alston with 14 points in the win in the regional finals. It is the third state appearance for McKinley and first since 1995.
Warren G. Harding vs. North Ridgeville, Division I boys’ basketball regional final, 7:30 p.m., Saturday at Cleveland State University Wolstein Center: North Ridgeville, led by 6-foot-11 Miami of Ohio recruit Drew McGhee came back to defeat Mentor 50-43 in the regional semifinals while Harding made a tough comeback of its own, taking down last year’s state runner-up Lakewood St. Edward’s 61-57 in overtime.
McGhee had 15 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks while teammate Jake Grigsby led the way with 19 points on four 3-pointers. North Ridgeville hit on 10 of 13 shots in the seocond half after a 21-14 halftime deficit.
Desmar Jackson scored no points in the first half but made up for it in the second half after his Harding team trailed 24-17 at the intermission. Jackson erupted for 24 points, including 13 points in the fourth quarter and seven in the extra session to power his team past the Eagles, who ended Harding’s year in the regional final a year ago. Delbert Love led St. Ed’s with 23 points.
Hiland vs. Columbus Africentric, Division IV girls’ basketball state championship, 10:45 a.m., Saturday at Ohio State University Schottenstein Center: A rematch of last year’s state title game which was won by Hiland 44-37 after they took an 18-15 lead at halftime and made it 32-17 after three just to hold off a 20-12 Nubian run in the final eight minutes.
Hiland beat Carey 73-42 Thursday in the semifinals, outscoring Carey 24-5 in the fourth quarter while hitting 27 of 30 free throws in the game. Noelle Yoder had 22 points and six rebounds to pace the defending champs while Karli Mast added 16 and Hilary Weaver 11.
Africentric defeated previously-undefeated Convoy Crestview 39-33 to improve to 22-4. Ashar Harris had 15 points and seven boards while Shardai Morrison-Fountain added 11 points. The Nubians hit on 19 of 24 free throws but just 10 of 31 field goals.
Smithville vs. Cleveland Central Catholic, Division III boys’ basketball regional final, 7:30 p.m., Saturday at Canton Memorial Fieldhouse: Smithville remained undefeated at 26-0 with a huge 63-58 win over Campbell Memorial as the top-ranked Smithies got 30 points and 19 boards from 6-foot-8 standout Kenny Kornowski. Corey Caldwell added 21 points. Memorial was led by Jeram’he Williams with 26 points.
Central Catholic defeated LaBrae 51-39 as Anton Grady had a triple-double of 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks.
Hunting Valley University vs. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, Division II boys’ basketball regional final, 3 p.m., Saturday at Canton Memorial Civic Center: University needed a 12-4 run in overtime but dispatched of feisty Akron East 74-68 in the regional at Canton. Richard Marrow led a balanced Prepper attack with 25 points as four of his teammates reached double figures.
St. Vincent-St. Mary beat Streetsboro handily, 78-50, as Michael Hammonds had 20 points, Daylen Harrison 14, Jakarr Simpson 13 and Ricky Johnson 10.