Northeast Ohio Huddle: Classic in the Country hosts Ohio’s best girls teams


Northeast Ohio Huddle

“Strength of schedule is
of the utmost importance to us,” Hathaway Brown girls basketball coach Paul Barlow. “I am a believer that we
need to play the best competition we can and the Classic In the Country
and (Ohio Girls’ Basketball Report’s) Tom Jenkins always puts us in
position to play someone solid.”

It’s Classic In the Country time as Berlin Hiland will host the top
teams in Ohio Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Northeast Ohio is
well-represented (see schedule below) over the course of the three-day
Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. It’s the seventh year of the event,
which brings in more than 150 college coaches and some of the top
talent in the nation.


Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown
coach Paul Barlow’s team has gone to the Classic five of the six years,
going 1-4 in the process yet consistently hitting the state Final Four
come March. He said he looks at the weekend as a measuring stick for
his program as they prepare to face Division I Mt. Notre Dame and
Lakota West this year.

“Strength of schedule is
of the utmost importance to us,” said Barlow. “I am a believer that we
need to play the best competition we can and the Classic In the Country
and (Ohio Girls’ Basketball Report’s) Tom Jenkins always puts us in
position to play someone solid.”

Barlow added that the event is top-notch in terms of hospitality.

event is run exceptionally well and in terms of hospitality, it’s
second to none,” said Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown coach Paul Barlow.

Northeast Ohio teams competing in the weekend include Hathaway
Brown, North Canton Hoover, Berlin Hiland, South Euclid Regina,
Twinsburg, Millersburg West Holmes, Mogadore, Canton McKinley,
Westlake, Smithville, Walsh Jesuit and Boardman.


Nicholas Crane, Hunting Valley University Swimming:
Crane, just a sophomore, was fabulous in leading his team to the
championship of the competitive Ned Reeb Invitational at Ohio State

He set a new meet record in winning the 200 individual medley
in 1:53.94 and teamed with Russell Stack, Mike Guadiani and Ben
Stewart-Bates in setting a new meet record in the 400 freestyle relay
in 3:11.34. He then added a win with Guadiani, Stewart-Bates and Andrew
Malone in the 200 free relay in 1:27.20.

Honorable Mention goes to Howland girls’ basketball dynamo Taylor Williams, who is a double-double machine.

Williams has had a double-double in every Howland game this
year, including a monster 29-point, 25-rebound performance in her
team’s 62-51 win over Canfield last week. She had as many rebounds as
the entire Canfield team did.


Wadsworth Wrestling: For the second-consecutive season, Wadsworth put a clamp down on the defending state champions at the Ohio State Duals.

Competed at the Grizzlies’ home mats, Wadsworth defeated
Lakewood St. Edward’s 36-23 in its dual and also took care of Mentor
54-6 and Cincinnati Elder 46-15. St. Ed’s topped Springboro 50-21 and
Twinsburg 53-18.

Wadsworth won five of the last six events, including the last
three as Caleb Busson took a 9-2 decision at 189, Nick Tavanello won at
215 by pin and heavyweight monster Ben Buzzelli won 3-2.

Louden Gordon won at 135 while Alfredo Gray at 112, Nate Ball
at 140, Sheldon Brandenburg at 160 and Kagan (119) and Brad Squire
(152) also won.

St. Ed’s Freshman 103-pounder Dan Heil and senior Matt Salupo (145) pinned for the Eagles.


Mighty Mentor: Nearly
earning Team of the Week, Mentor toppled state power Warren G. Harding
99-91 in double overtime in a battle of Division I unbeatens at the
Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic at Cleveland State University.

Mentor is now 9-0 and Harding 8-1 after Mentor came back from
as many as 13 points at one time. The Cardinals were just 10 of 32 from
3-point range but hit 29 of 37 free throws, including 23 of 27 after

Cole Krizancic hit for a career-high 42 points while Jaron Crowe added 26 and Justin Fritts 18.

Angel Gonzalez led Harding with 28 and Fred Williams had 15.

Unreal University: Hunting Valley University cruised to the Ned Reeb title with Crane leading the way but Andrew Malone also stood out.

Malone was on the 200 free relay team with Crane but also
claimed wins in the 50 free (21.34) and 100 breaststroke (58.78) while
joining Kevin Stang, Russell Stack and Korey Schneider in taking second
in the 200 medley relay in 1:37.91.

Guadiani was second only to the record-setting Crane in the 200
individual medley and also placed first in the 500 free in 4:38.79.
Stack also took second in the 100 butterfly while Stewart-Bates was
second in the 200 free.

It all helped propel University to a dominating 314-229 win over second-place Toledo St. Francis DeSales.

KO Kubuski: Elyria Catholic’s Andrew Kubuski knows how
to end a career. In the game before he is set to have season-ending
shoulder surgery, Kubuski put in 27 points on the strength of five
3-pointers in his 1-win team’s near upset of power Villa Angela-St.
Joseph (55-53).

Deadly Duos: In Akron Buchtel’s girls’ basketball
victory (82-47) over Akron Firestone, Imani Gordon and Shaia Horton
teamed to score 44 points while guards Senica Reid and Janea Perdue
combined for 27 rebounds.

In Akron Kenmore’s 94-80 boys’ basketball loss to Akron East,
brothers Charles and Antonio Hearn scored 36 and 26 points,
respectively, to lead their team in the loss but had no one else in
double figures. East had six players with 12 or more points, led by
De’Shon Hudson with 22.

In Massillon Jackson’s 65-51 win over Wadsworth 6-foot-7 Mark
Henniger and 6-foot-6 Josh Egner combined for 29 points but it was the
9 for 9 shooting performance by Brad DuPont and C.J. Julian that was
big in the win. The duo was 8 for 8 from 3-point range as DuPont had 17
points and Julian nine.

The Pitts: In Akron Buchtel’s 80-61 trouncing of Olmsted
Falls, Jason Pitts dominated, hitting for 37 points while hauling in
nine rebounds, grabbing four steals and dishing out five assists.

So Great Solon: Solon’s
girls’ swimming team won the Northeast Ohio Conference Swimming and
Diving Championships at Cleveland State University behind a slew of top

The meet, held between all of the teams from three divisions
(Valley, Lake and River), counts as half towards the overall team
titles at the end of the season. Solon won the Valley while
Strongsville’s boys won the Valley meet title.

Winning the River was Mayfield’s boys and girls while the Lake went to Nordonia’s boys and girls.

But Solon’s girls were paced by Emily Schwartz and Annie
Marquiss, who each took individual titles and helped relays to victory.
Schwartz won the 200 free in 1:55.96 and was third in the 500 free
while helping the 200 free relay to victory in 1:39.97. Joining her on
that team were Kelsey McRill, Marquiss and Katherine Mitchell. She also
swam on the winning 400 free team in 3:38.78. Joining her were
Marquiss, Maryn Bieganski and Melissa Besman.

Marquiss also won the 50 free in 24.91 and was third in the 100 free.

The 200 medley team of McRill, Bieganski, Mitchell and Katherine Taylor also took first in 1:51.63.

Houston We Have a Win: With
his 24 points, Alfonzo Houston led Cleveland Heights in scoring but his
jumper with eight ticks left gave his team a 57-56 upset win over Akron
St. Vincent-St. Mary. He also added seven boards.

FSU Fun: South Euclid Regina won the battle of teams with Florida State recruits, topping Toledo Waite 56-47.

Regina features FSU recruit Tay’ler Mingo, who had 19 points,
seven steals, seven assists and five rebounds as she outplayed future
teammate Natasha Howard of Waite, who had a respectable 17 points.

It was the first loss of the year for Waite.

Regina also toppled defending Division I state champion
Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame 61-38 as Mingo had 18 points and 11 steals
for a unique double-double.

Accounting For …: Several area players led their squads in wins and losses last week.

In Mathews’s 85-68 win over Bristolville Bristol, Collin Bowser
scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half, including all four of
his 3-pointers for the winners.

In Mentor’s 38-37 win over Stow, Kristy Kolschetzky hit the
game-winning shot with 2.1 seconds left and had the final seven points
for Mentor in picking up the win. She finished with 15 points and even
stole the Stow inbounds to secure the win.

Badger’s Sarah Bonar isn’t leading her team to wins but it’s
not for a lack of effort. IN her team’s 72-38 loss to Conneaut, she hit
11 of the team’s 12 field goals and had 29 of the 38 points. In a 58-44
loss to Ledgemont, she had 20 of the team’s 22 points in the first
quarter as her team led 22-13. She finished with 35 points in the game.

Returning the Favor:
Akron Manchester’s girls returned the favor of getting its only loss,
topping previously-undefeated Principals’ Athletic Conference rival
Tuscarawas Valley 68-48.

Both teams are 7-1 in the PAC and Manchester is 10-1 while
Tusky Valley is 11-1. Manchester outscored the Trojans 18-4 in the
opening quarter and 20-11 to end the game in the final eight minutes as
Tyalor Mattioli had 15 points.

TV was led by Sara Tucke’s 16 points.

Rocky River Runs It: In Rocky River’s 8-3 win over Normandy in hockey action, the winners got a hat trick each from Greg Soltes and Clay Johnson.

Upset City: Walsh
Jesuit served up a 57-55 upset of state-ranked Hathaway Brown as
sisters Cheryl and Sandra Yu came up big. Cheryl had 13 points but
Sandra, just a freshman, came in for the fouled-out Rachel Theriot (14
points) and had all six of her points in a run to put her team up

“B” Real: The Lakewood St. Ed’s wrestling team cruised
to the team title with its “B” team at the Perry Pin City Tournament
with 315 points while its varsity participated in the State Duals. It
easily outdistanced visiting McDowell’s 258.5 points.

Getting pins were Chance Driscoll at 103, Edgar Bright at 112,
Jacob Peterjohn at 125 , Richie Barberic at 140, Jacob Davis at 152 and
Matt Tusick at 160.

Great Gallagher: Solon’s boys didn’t win their team
title at the Northeast Ohio Conference Championships but Comets’
swimmer Jamie Gallagher was outstanding, taking first in the 200 free
(1:47.03), 500 free (4:54.52) and with the 200 freestyle relay.

Kirtland Holds Court: The Kirtland girls’ basketball team won its 19th-straight
home game as it took down Berkshire 53-32. The Hornets were led by
Carly Madden’s 22 points, five steals, four assists and three boards.

Three-Point Barrage: Cleveland Glenville’s Mikhail Gibson hit eight 3-pointers on his way to 24 points in his team’s 88-67 win over Cleveland MLK.

Minerva’s Taylor Maurer set a new school record for triples in
a game by hitting eight long balls for 26 points in a 67-36 win over

Dalton freshman Morgan Merriman hit eight 3-pointers for 24 points in her team’s 52-50 overtime loss to Jeromesville Hillsdale.

Coshocton senior David Brown hit a school record eight 3-pointers for 37 points in his team’s 73-56 win over Buckeye Trail.

Hittin’ Hiland: The Hiland girls’ basketball team has
long been known for its long-distance shooting. It was on display in
full force in a 75-29 win over Magnolia Sandy Valley. The Hawks were 9
of 21 from long range as McKenzie Miller had 20 points on four triples
and Noelle Yoder 18 points on four triples.

Hiland led 42-9 at halftime.

Perfect Plouse: In Norton’s 83-44 win over Ravenna, Mike Plouse poured in 40 points to lead the winners.

Super Sandy: Magnolia
Sandy Valley went from Stark County to the Ohio River to win the
Shadyside Invitational with 248 ½ points. The Cardinals were led by
individual titles by Zak Monte at 152 and Parker Cole at 160.

CVC-Awesome: Cuyahoga
Valley Christian Academy, ranked second in Division III in the first
wrestling poll had little trouble dispatching with Division II’s
third-ranked Walsh Jesuit team 54-13.

CVCA got pins from Nate Tomasello, Michael Ratay, Brandon Sommers, Josh Decatur, Matt Dobber and Justin Goss.

Fantastic Gymnastics: At the Willoughby South
Invitational, Mentor edged Painesville Riverside 136.650 to 134.950 in
a gymnastics meet. But Riverside had the top two overall placers as
Lauren Bradshaw edged teammate Maria Salvia by .550. Salvia did win the
floor exercise and beam.

Aggressive Ashley: Avon’s Ashley Evans scored her 1,000th through 1,006th points in a 54-43 win over Vermilion by hitting for 19 points.


Classic In the Country VII, Girls’ Basketball at Berlin Hiland High, January 16, 17 and 18:
Northeast teams participating on January 16: 10 a.m.: Minster vs.
Mogadore; 11:45 a.m.: Cols. Brookhaven vs. Wadsworth; 1:30 p.m.: Cols.
Africentric vs. Canton McKinley; 3:15 p.m.: University (New Jersey) vs.
South Euclid Regina; 5 p.m.: Twinsburg vs. West Chester Lakota West;
6:45 p.m.: Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown vs. Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame;
8:30 p.m.: Berlin Hiland vs. Potter’s House (Florida).

January 17: 3:30 p.m.: West Chester Lakota West vs. Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown; 5:15 p.m.: South Euclid Regina vs. Mason.

18: 10 a.m.: Westlake vs. Smithville; 11:45 a.m.: Springfield Kenton
Ridge vs. Walsh Jesuit; 1:30 p.m.: North Canton Hoover vs. Millersburg
West Holmes: 3:15 p.m.: Twinsburg vs. Dayton Chaminade-Julienne; 6:45
p.m.: Dresden Tri-Valley vs. Boardman; 8:30 p.m.: Berlin Hiland vs.

Top Gun Wrestling at Alliance High, Today and Saturday, 11 and 10 a.m., respectively: You
want it, you got it. The best in the state descends upon tiny Alliance
to battle. The field includes St. Paris Graham, Massillon Perry and a
slew of other great programs that will hit the mat for two whole days.

Mercy Medical Center Classic, Boys’ Basketball at North Canton Hoover High, January 16 and 17:
The boys’ rival to the Classic In the Country, this smaller event
features two days of great matchups of Northeast Ohio teams with a
smattering of other squads from around Ohio and beyond. The action
kicks off on Saturday at 12:30 with Canal Fulton Northwest against
Copley. Here is the complete schedule:


12:30 pm – Canal Fulton Northwest vs. Copley
2:15 pm – Bedford St. Peter Chanel vs. Wheeling Park, W.Va.
4:00 pm – Coshocton vs. Twinsburg
6:45 pm – Toledo St. John’s vs. Romulus, Mich.
8:30 pm – North Canton Hoover vs. Cincinnati Withrow


12:30 pm – Canton South vs. Oak Hill
2:15 pm – Mentor vs. West Chester Lakota East
4:00 pm – Dover vs. Youngstown Ursuline
6:45 pm – Malvern vs. Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas
8:30 pm – Minerva vs. Sugarcreek Garaway

Northeast Classic Swimming and Diving Invitational in Canton and Akron, Saturday, 9 a.m.: The
meet is split for the preliminaries between the University of Akron and
the C.T. Branin Natatorium at Canton McKinley High in Canton. The
finals will be held at C.T. Branin Natatorium, home of the state

10th Annual Midpark Len Pariano Invitational Wrestling, Saturday, 10 a.m.: This
event features returning champion Madison Comprehensive but Northeast
Ohio is well-represented with teams from Hudson, Cloverleaf, Lakewood,
Rocky River and Brooklyn, among others.

Coshocton at Dover Boys’ Basketball, Tonight, 7:30 p.m.:
These two teams are the top squads in the East Central Ohio League. It
pits a super-explosive pair of guards in 5-foot-8 Coshocton gunner Dave
Brown against 6-foot-3 slasher and junior Anthony Monaco of Dover.

Canton Timken at Massillon Jackson Boys’ Basketball, Saturday, 7 p.m.:
Two of the prohibitive favorites in Canton’s Division I district, these
teams will collide with two differing styles. Jackson features a pair
of Division I big men in 6-foot-7 Kent State recruit Mark Henniger and
6-foot-6 Akron recruit Josh Egner.

Timken counters with strong guard play by Cory Porrini and Jehvon Clarke.

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