Interesting week in the southeast as action on the floor, in the pool,
and on the mat gives us plenty to recap. With teams passing the halfway
mark of their schedule, we still have some unbeaten teams out there
chasing a perfect season. We look at their latest wins and then peek
ahead at who they have next. We also honor one of these perfect squads
with our top team this week.
As mentioned last week in our On Tap section, we were looking forward to a battle of coaching legends in one key SEOAL match-up, yet it never did take place due to a bizarre situation in Jackson County. Let’s just say you know times have changed when nearly forty years of service is not a sufficient qualification in itself. Nonetheless, the game did get played and it produced us our top individual of the week.
We also mentioned last week that several conferences seemed to be tighter this year than in recent years. This week, we find this to still be true, but several of the mainstay programs are starting to show signs that their dynasty like runs may not be over just yet.
So here we go! We will head to the SOC and then the SEOAL to honor our top team and individual before heading all over the southeast to recap some of the top games and performances.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
South Webster Jeeps, Boys Basketball: South Webster led by 11 in the final period only to see Waverly cut the lead to one, but South Webster’s Connor Scott made 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the last two minutes to lift South Webster to a 53-48 victory Friday night in Waverly. The win keeps the Jeeps perfect at 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the SOC. They remain one of just two unbeatens in the SOC II, joining Oak Hill. Scott led all scorers with 20 points, adding eight rebounds and five assists. Wes Loop added 11 points while Austin Loop scored nine points.
Waverly (6-3, 3-2) was paced by Jake Kretzer’s 14 points. Derek Roback and Sam Johnston each added 11 points for the Tiger. One of the top individual talents in the SOC in Waverly’s Harrison Martin played limited minutes due to a bad ankle. He scored just six points.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Michael Turner, Chillicothe Boys Basketball: The Chillicothe Cavaliers continued their great play this week and a large part of this is the continued great play of guard Michael Turner. Turner scored 27 points in a win over Warren. In this win, Turner was held scoreless in the first quarter, before completely taking the game over in the final three frames. Turner then followed that up with 25 points in a win against Jackson. This game had an interested side note that is explained in this week’s News, Notes, & Nuggets.
NEWS, NOTES, & NUGGETS
Perfect Habits: The Lady Shermans of Unioto had little trouble this week staying perfect on the season. Thursday, Unioto hammered Westfall 72-24. In the win, Janae Driggs scored 20 points while Mackenzie Arledge and Chloe Cottrell added 13 and 12 points respectively. Two days later, the Lady Tanks were up to the high scoring habits again as they blew out Southeastern 86-39. Leading the way again was Driggs and Arledge with 18 points apiece. Madison Davis added a career-high 15 points and Cottrell was in double-figures once again with 13 points.
In other SVC action Saturday, Zane Trace defeated Adena 46-40. This gives ZT and Adena two league losses giving Unioto (13-0, 8-0) plenty of breathing room. Zane Trace, who is one of the hottest teams with a winning streak now at eight, will host Unioto next Thursday.
Not to be Outdone: Just like Unioto, Tri Valley stayed perfect this week. Hanna Luburgh scored 20 points as Tri Valley used a 19-5 second quarter run to defeat Crooksville 56-43. The Lady Dawgs are now10-0 in the MVL and 13-0 overall. For Crooksville in the loss, Brittany Swingle had 18 points and 10 rebounds.
A Winning Host: The wrestlers from Sheridan posted a winning total of 244 points to win the 37th annual Sheridan Invitational. Rounding out the 10-team field is as follows: Licking Valley (238), Pickerington North (201), Circleville (178.5), Lakewood (135.50), Barnesville (125.50), Vincent Warren (84), Newark (83), Fairfield Union (82) and Johnstown (42).
Athens Alone in First: Athens continued its perfect ways in the TVC Ohio Division this week with a 51-31 win over Pomeroy Meigs. For two-and-a-half quarters, Meigs appeared in position to pull the upset, but with the game tied at 22-22 late in the third, Athens started on a 29-9 spurt to pull away. Leading the way for Athens, who improved to 8-1 overall, was Collin Pfaff and Frank Valentour with 16 points apiece. Cori Butcher added 10 points for the Bulldogs. Valentour also grabbed 15 rebounds.
Battle of Divisional Leaders: In the other half of the TVC – the Hocking Division, Eastern Meigs (Reedsville Eastern) defeated Racine Southern in a battle of conference unbeatens by a final score of 74-66. Titus Pierce and Jake Lynch led Eastern with 19 points apiece. Kelly Winebrenner was also in double figures with10 points. Southern had four players in double figures led by Dustin Salser with 19 points. Sean Coppick scored 15 points while Cyle Rees chipped in 12 points. Michael Manuel added 11 points.
Battle of Legends Interrupted by Lack of Certification: When Chillicothe traveled to Jackson, most storylines were pointing to the sidelines where longtime Scioto Valley Conference rival coaches – Gary Kellough and Larry Jordan – were to go head-to-head. The match-up never did take place as Larry’s son and JV coach Mike Jordan was forced to coach Jackson due to the fact that Larry’s first aid certificate had expired. Jordan, who has coached high school basketball in five decades, told WBEX out of Chillicothe in a pregame interview that he was told by Superintendent Phil Howard, he was not permitted to coach until the certification reached the proper authorities.
As for the game, it was all Chillicothe. Michael Turner led Chillicothe with 25 points, Jalen Ragland had 17 points, and Malik London scored 13 with 17 rebounds as the Cavs rolled to a 77-57 win. The Jackson attack was led by Morgan Dobbins with 17 and Dylan Newsome and Andrew Christmas had 16 points each. The win improves Chillicothe to 5-1 in the SEOAL and the loss drops Jackson to 1-3 in league play.
SVC Showdown: The Zane Trace Pioneers defeated Piketon 75-71 Friday night to take over first-place in the Scioto Valley Conference. Piketon held ZT’s leading scorer Kirk Maxwell to just 11 points; however, junior Joel Tripp produced 21 points and six rebounds and Gabe Haynes and Drew Davis both added 14 points as the Pioneers now own a one-game lead in the conference standings. Davis delivered two big threes late in the game and then added three free throws down the stretch to help ZT earn the victory.
For Piketon in the loss, the league’s top scorer Evan Legg scored a game-high 28 points. Jamie Helton and freshmen Craigen Moore scored 11 and 10 points respectively.
Montgomery Lifts Eagles: Kevin Montgomery produced a game-high in points (21) and rebounds (15) as Eastern defeated Sciotoville 69-60 this past weekend to stay unbeaten and all alone in first-place in the SOC I. East seniors Jordan and Jon Garrett were the top scorers for the Tartans with 18 and 17 points respectively.
News from the Pool: Both the John Glenn boys and girls swim teams claimed a pair of wins Wednesday in a swim meet at the Bishop Rosecrans’ pool. The JG boys (6-4) defeated Cambridge 57-30 and followed with a 48-32 victory over West Muskingum. Cambridge then beat West Muskingum 42-37.
In the girls’ events, the Lady Muskies (8-2) won twice with a 54-37 win over Cambridge and a 60-32 victory over West Muskingum. Cambridge then defeated West Muskingum 47-42.
Starting to Peake at the Right Time: The Panthers of Chesapeake are starting to show signs of playing some great basketball as the season reaches its halfway point. The ‘Peake defeated Ohio Valley Conference rival Fairland on Friday night by the score of 63-48.
In the win, the Panthers were led by Chad Fisher with 23 points. Colin Kennedy added 18 points and nine rebounds while Austin McMaster scored 16 points and Nathan Copley added 14 points. Trent Saunders chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds. In the loss for the Dragons, Evan Salyers scored 14 points and pulled down five rebounds.
Chesapeake also defeated Huntington Ross on Saturday night in Chesapeake’s own Beast of the Southeast Classic.
Longtime Coach Honored, Trio of Teams Split: On a night when veteran Cambridge wrestling coach Tom “Tank” Moore was honored for his 15 years of coaching, everyone walked away with a 1-1 record in a triangular match which included the host Bobcats, Meadowbrook and Buckeye Local.
Cambridge beat Buckeye Local 52-26, Buckeye Local defeated Meadowbrook 49-27, and in the nightcap, Meadowbrook came from behind by winning the final five bouts to pull out a 39-38 decision. The results leave Cambridge with a 9-6 dual record while Meadowbrook is 9-7.
On the individual side of things, double-winners for Cambridge included Sawyer Leppla (103), Andrew Bertubin (112), John Scrudders (152), Tanner Roller (171) and Zac Wojciechowski (285). For Meadowbrook, picking up two wins were Christian Money (119), Anthony Gerdau (125), Jonathan Smith (135) and Matt Smith (140).
Tri Valley vs. Youngstown Boardman, Monday, January 18th, Hiland High School: Tri Valley has had little trouble with the MVL or surrounding area as they have started 12-0 this season; however, this talented team from Youngstown should provide them with a nice challenge in preparation of tournament play later next month.
South Webster vs. Portsmouth West, Boys Basketball, Tuesday, January 19th, Portsmouth West High School, Freshman tip at 5 p.m. Portsmouth West will have the next opportunity to stop South Webster’s perfect start as these two SOC rivals meet in what should be a tough road game for the Jeeps.
Unioto vs. Zane Trace, Girls Basketball, Thursday, January 21st, Zane Trace High School, JV tips at 5 p.m. The unbeaten Unioto squad will face one of their toughest tests when they travel to Zane Trace to play the 11-2 Lady Pioneers.
Athens vs. Belpre, Boys Basketball, Friday, January 22nd, Belpre High School, Freshmen tip at 5 p.m. As mentioned above the Athens boys are enjoying a great start to the season. The Bulldogs will face a great TVC Ohio test when they travel to Belpre – one of the toughest TVC venues to leave with a win.
Chillicothe vs. Timken, Boys Basketball, Saturday, January 23rd, Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center, 2 p.m. Great match-up on a great stage as one of the southeast’s top programs goes north to take on a good program from Canton.