Northwest Ohio Huddle: Toledo Central Catholic looking for first TCL title since 1968

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Northwest Ohio Huddle

Well, it is all over but the shouting now. The regular season in all
winter sports ends this weekend with a scattering of boys’ basketball
games. Meanwhile the playoffs are in full gear in hockey, wrestling,
gymnastics and girls’ basketball. Across the state many seniors will be
playing in their last high school game of any kind and it is a sad
moment for not only the player but also his or her parents.


Well, it is all over but the shouting now. The regular season in all winter sports ends this weekend with a scattering of boys’ basketball games. Meanwhile the playoffs are in full gear in hockey, wrestling, gymnastics and girls’ basketball. Across the state many seniors will be playing in their last high school game of any kind and it is a sad moment for not only the player but also his or her parents. Few high school athletes appreciate the role that their parents have played in their success until they too have become parents and this week is a good time to honor those mothers and fathers who give up so much so that their son or daughter can participate. Congratulations to the young athletes and good luck in your future. As you take the court, mat or ice for the final time,try to remember what your parents have given you.

Upsets are becoming fairly ordinary in Toledo City League basketball. First it was the Waite Lady Indians defeating last year’s state runner-up, the Start Lady Spartans, not once but twice and now the St. Francis Knights have joined in by defeating St. John’s in the City League playoffs. St. Francis’ win sets up an exciting match-up with Central Catholic for the City League championship. The winner of this contest will break a long drought between championships. St.Francis has not won a City League title in basketball since 1991 while Central’s drought is even longer as they have not won since 1968.

While the basketball excitement will be fierce over the next several weeks, hockey fans will be gathering at Sylvania’s Tam-O-Shanter to watch the action involving four of the best hockey teams in the state. The number one ranked team in the state, Toledo St. Francis, has already qualified for the district semi-finals and will face off this weekend against a Findlay Trojan team that has been ranked in or around the top ten in the state all season. Meanwhile, on the other side of the bracket, last year’s state runner-up, Toledo St. John’s, is likely to face either Sylvania Northview or Bowling Green in the other semi-final game. St. John’s, Northview and Bowling Green have all been ranked in the top ten in the state at some point in the season and the a capacity crowd can be expected to see some great hockey action this weekend regardless of the outcome.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Aja Hall, Fostoria, Girls Basketball: Scoring 45 points in a high school basketball game is remarkable in and of itself, but doing so in a state playoff game makes the achievement even more remarkable. Hall did exactly that, however, in her team’s 65-54 first round D-III playoff game against Eastwood. Hall’s 45 points came on two 3-pointers, 10 2-pointers and 19 free throws.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

Marion Harding, Tiffin Columbian, Liberty-Benton, Lake and Ottoville, Girls Basketball: Usually only one team is selected for this honor but as the state basketball playoffs begin this week five different girls’ basketball teams from northwest Ohio deserve to be recognized. These five teams, Marion Harding, Tiffin Columbian, Liberty-Benton, Lake and Ottoville have all posted perfect regular season records and should be applauded for this special achievement.

NEWS, NOTES AND NUGGETS

Knights Upset Titans: The Toledo St. Francis Knights were the last team to qualify for the Toledo City League’s season ending tournament but did not allow that to affect their play as they upset the number one seed, Toledo St. John’s, 72-63, to advance to the championship game. The Knight’s victory avenges a regular season, overtime loss to the Titans. St. Francis will play Toledo Central Catholic for the City League championship on Thursday, February 25. Central advanced to the championship game by defeating Toledo Whitmer, 54-39.

Another Football Retirement: In a football off-season that seems to have been dominated by the resignation of experienced coaches still another coach has decided to hung it up. Tiffin Columbian’s Steve Gilbert, who has been the head football for the Tornadoes for the past 17 years, had his resignation officially accepted by the Tiffin City Schools Board of Education. Under Gilbert’s guidance the Tornadoes went 147-44, won or shared 10 Northern Lakes League titles and made the state playoffs eight times.

800 Career Wins: Kalida High School’s boys’ basketball coach, Dick Kortokrax, recorded his 800th career victory as a head basketball coach at three Putnam County League schools, Fort Jennings (1959-61), Ottoville (1962-74) and Kalida (1975-present).

Kortokraz, who career appeared to be over after last year’s state final four appearance, has been afforded new life this season and been rewarded with a team that is 16-2 heding into this year’s state playoffs.

ON TAP

Toledo St. Francis (13-6) v. Toledo Central Catholic ( 16-2), boys’ basketball, Thurs., Feb. 25, 7:30 pm: Showdown for the Toledo City League Championship. Both teams have illustrious histories but have neither has hung a City League basketball banner in a number of years.  Someone’s drought will have to end. WILL BE BROADCAST LIVE ON JJHUDDLE.

Sylvania Southview (9-10) v. Toledo Start (11-6), boys’ basketball, Tues., Mar. 2, 7:00 pm: Two teams that have under achieved this past season. Playoffs provide an opportunity for redemption for both teams.

Sylvania Southview (16-4) v. Toledo Notre Dame (14-5), girls’ basketball, Sat., Feb. 27, 6:15 pm: Match-up between two teams that finished just out of the money in their respective conferences. Two young teams with good talent looking to make a statement in the playoffs.

Holland Springfield (13-7) v. Findlay(14-6) , girls’ basketball, Sat., Feb. 27, 8:00 pm: Springfield Lady Blue Devils surprised a number of teams this year and would love to knock off the Findlay Lady Trojans who have historically owned this district in girls’ basketball.

Celina (10-6) v. Lima Shawnee (14-3), girls’ basketball, Sat. Feb. 27, 6:15 pm: Early playoff meeting  between two seeds who are highly familiar with each other. Celina looking to avenge a lopsided, 80-58, regular season loss while Shawnee is looking to prove that their Western Buckeye League championship was well deserved.

Findlay v. Toledo St. Francis, ice hockey, Fri, Feb. 26, 7:00 pm: Top-seeded and number one ranked St. Francis against upset minded Findlay. St. Francis won both regular season meetings between the two schools, 5-4 and 3-0. WILL
BE BROADCAST LIVE ON JJHUDDLE.

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