This past weekend brought the first state championships
of the spring sports season to central Ohio in boys tennis and girls lacrosse. Now area baseball, softball, track and boys lacrosse teams try to follow suit. And their odds are good…
This past weekend brought the first state championships to central Ohio of the spring sports season in boys tennis and girls lacrosse.
New Albany senior Peter Kobelt reached back for his power serve to overcome defending boys tennis state champion Wyatt Lippert of West Chester Lakota West to emerge with a 3-6, 7-6 (7-4) and 6-4 match to take a Division I state championship.
The Worthington Kilbourne doubles team of Kevin Metka and Jonny Price also claimed a Division I state title, knocking off the Bishop Watterson brothers team of Philip and Chris Diaz, the defending state champs, in straight sets of 6-4.
Columbus Academy’s Andrew Enslen and Joey Frank fell in a Division II state final to Cuyahoga Valley Christian’s Alex Aleman and Lou Konstan 3-6 and 5-7.
In girls lacrosse, New Albany won its third straight Division II state championship with a 13-8 verdict over Hathaway Brown. New Albany scored its first goal just 30 seconds into the match and had a 4-0 lead after the first 10 minutes. Molly Hamilton led the Eagles’ offense with five goals and Sam Arey had 16 saves in goal.
Upper Arlington fell a goal short of Cincinnati Sycamore in a 7-6 Division I state final defeat. Kelly Mason and Erin Junk scored goals in the closing two minutes for the Golden Bears, but it wasn’t enough to overcome undefeated Sycamore.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Eastmoor Academy, boys track: Call this a puzzle championship. Eastmoor Academy pieced together enough finishes in second through eighth to edge Granville 50-49 at Dayton Welcome Stadium to win its fifth consecutive regional title.
Some of the pieces that fit together for the Warriors included: Second place finishes by Steven Mitchell in the 300m hurdles and Sam Lucas in the 800m run. Ryan Wilborn and Victor Rodriguez also combined for 11 points by taking third and fourth, respectively, in the discus. Wilborn also finished fifth in the shot, accounting for four more points.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Drew Dosch, Canal Winchester baseball: The Canal Winchester hurler picked up both regional wins as the Indians return to the Division II state tournament for the second straight year. Trailing 8-2 in a regional semifinal game, Rosch came in to check New Philadelphia to one run in four innings of relief work, which allowed the Indians enough time to come back for a 10-9 victory. In the regional title game, Rosch allowed two runs on six hits in five more innings of relief as the Indians claimed a 13-7 win over Cambridge.
NEWS, NOTES AND NUGGETS
Record breakers: Bishop Hartley made it a clean sweep for Central District programs at the Division II Dayton Regional, defeating runner-up Cincinnati Archbishop McNicholas 82-74. Hartley broke two impressive regional records as the 4x1m relay team of CharAnna Dixon, Chesna Sykes, Ashlee Hoffman and Aisha Cavin won in a new regional-best 47.57. Sykes also went on to break the regional record in the 100m dash in 11.06.
Raiding party: Reynoldsburg put out an impressive statement at the Division I Pickerington girls regional, outdistancing second place Hilliard Davidson 113-65. The Raiders won nine regional titles over the two-day competition, including sweeping all four relay events.
The 1,600 relay relay team of Alonda Marchello, Melanie Marx, Dani Watson and Taniesha Cordell finished in 9:21.75. The 4x2m relay team of Destinee Gause, Faith Washington, Kacia Grant and Azia Walker took the event in 1:40.15, and Abby Timblin, Ashley Phillips, Kacia Grant and Gause prevailed in the 4x1m in 48.37. Washington, Gause, Cordell and Walker then combined for a 3:46.22 in the 4x4m relay.
Gahanna takes region: The other side of the Division I Pickerington regional went to the Gahanna boys, who denied Reynoldsburg a clean sweep of the event by outdistancing the Raiders 81-48. The Lions were led by an impressive dash performance from Blake Heriot, who won the 100m in 10.56, the 200m in 21.34 and the 400m in 47.25.
Cinderella rides on: Hilliard Darby strung together four of its seven hits to upend Teays Valley in a Division I regional title game. Darby, which started the season at 5-7 and came into the Central District tournament unseeded, has won 17 of its last 18 games.
“When we started to believe we had to perform, that was the difference,” Darby coach Kevin Moody said. “Each win has kind of built confidence for us.”
Darby’s Kellie Roudabush scattered seven hits over seven innings, allowed a run, and fanned seven batters. She also added three hits.
Katie Davis doubled to score Hiedi Graessle in the fourth inning. Mary-Kate O’Shea then delivered a two-run single to score Davis and Roudabush to make it 3-0.
Welcome back: Last year’s Division III state softball champion Hebron Lakewood will get a shot in Akron to defend its crown as the Lancers defeated Frankfort Adena 4-2 in extra innings to advance back to the Final Four. After losing a 2-0 lead in the seventh to Adena, the Lancers clawed for two runs in the ninth to punch the ticket to Akron.
Alissa Birkhimer, who hit a two-run homer in a regional semifinal win over Piketon, did enough on the mound, allowing three hits and fanning nine Adena batters.
Green is rising: Newark Catholic advanced to its sixth baseball Final Four appearance this decade with a convincing 11-2 win over Toronto in a Division IV regional championship game. The Green Wave had everyone in the lineup contribute at least one knock in an 11-hit barrage against Toronto. Miles Richardson had a two-run homer for Newark Catholic, Chris Leibold accounted for three hits and Kevin Cox scored three runs.
Stallions ride into Final Four: DeSales clinched its first state baseball tournament appearance since 2002 with a 14-0 shelling of Franklin in five innings. Thomas Gentile threw a three-hitter to improve to 9-2 on the year for the Stallions. Sean Vollenweider set the tone on offense with a solo blast in the first inning.
Panthers clinch: With a senior-laden team numbering nine, Pickerington North advanced to its first state baseball tournament appearance in tournament history by pounding Hilliard Davidson 13-3. The Panthers collected 16 hits off Davidson pitching, including home runs by Matt Hayes and Alex Bayer. North scored seven runs on five hits in the fifth inning.
Division III state softball semifinal, Friday at 10 a.m. at Akron Firestone Stadium, Lakewood vs. Bishop Ready: Ready is making its first Final Four appearance since 1996, but has state tournament experience on the roster in pitcher Gabby Gillilan, who pitched for two state championship Carroll Bloom-Carroll teams in 2006 and 2007.
Division II state baseball semifinals, Thursday at Columbus Huntington Park, Canal Winchester vs. Chardon Notre Dame-Cath. Latin, 4 p.m.; DeSales vs. Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, 7 p.m.: The Indians and Stallians will try to set up an all-Central Ohio state final.
Division I state baseball semifinal, Green vs. Pickerington North, Friday at 7 p.m. at Columbus Huntington Park: Pickerington North is making its first state tournament appearance.
State track and field championship, Friday and Saturday at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium: The Reynoldsburg girls have the best shot of Central District teams to finish as either state champion or runner-up.
Division I state boys lacrosse championship, Saturday at 7 p.m. at Upper Arlington: Central Ohio powers Worthington Kilbourne and Upper Arlington are still alive in the tournament.
Division II state boys lacrosse championship, Saturday at 2 p.m. at Upper Arlington: New Albany is still alive in the semifinal round.