Northwest Ohio Huddle: Ottawa Hills and Port Clinton put it on the line


Northwest Ohio Huddle

Upsets are part of the game of basketball once the playoff season
begins. Can you spell “Kansas,” Can you spell, “Northland.” This past weekend, however, upsets were not really a part of the
girls’ basketball scenario in Columbus…will they be this weekend with the boys?

Upsets are part of the game of basketball once the playoff season begins. Can you spell “Kansas,” Can you spell, “Northland.”

This past weekend, however, upsets were not really a part of the girls’ basketball scenario in Columbus as there were no real surprises in the four division winners. For Northwest Ohio basketball fans the results were mixed. In Division III, the Liberty-Benton Lady Eagles finished the season undefeated at 28-0 by defeating Middletown Madison, 66-44. The Lady Eagles won in an easy style that was typical of their entire season as their big two, senior Amanda Hyde and sophomore Caite Craft, led the way with 23 and 19 respectively.

In Division I, the outcome was not as favorable. Toledo Waite entered the contest rated a slight favorite by some but unfortunately they fell behind early and had to stage a late comeback in the fourth quarter to keep the game close. Behind Ohio’s Ms. Basketball, Natasha Howard, the Lady Indians came up two points short, 49-47, in their first trip to the big dance but impressed many of those in attendance.

The boys gather this weekend to crown their champions and the mantle for Northwest Ohio is being carried by three representatives: Lima Central Catholic in Division III; Port Clinton in Division II; and Ottawa Hills in Division IV. Of the three, Port Clinton has the best record at 25-0 but Ottawa Hills is not far behind at 24-1. Lima Central Catholic enters the weekend with a 21-4 mark. Port Clinton will likely enter their game against Zanesville as the favorite but Ottawa Hills and Lima Central Catholic both face stiff tests against Newark Catholic and Chesapeake, respectively.

The winners in all four divisions will be crowned Saturday and hopefully Northwest Ohio fares better in the boys’ tournament than they did last week when the girls met.

Eliot Browarsky, Ottawa Hills, Basketball:
Stats alone do not always tell the story of a player’s contribution to a team’s success. Such is the case with Browarsky and his value to the Ottawa Hills Green Bears. Browarsky has enjoyed a remarkable career at Ottawa Hills, both on the soccer field and on the basketball court, and, although his statistics are respectable (19.2 pts per game), it is his leadership skills that make him such a valuable piece of the Green Bears’ puzzle. As was noted by his teammate, junior Andy Jamieson, “Eliot is the best point guard I have played with. His ability to distribute the ball keeps the morale on this team high. He is our driving force.”

Liberty-Benton, Girls Basketball:
It does not get any better than winning a state championship but the Liberty-Benton Lady Eagles did it with impressive style. Capping a perfect  28-0 campaign, the Liberty-Benton ladies easily dispatched a talented Middletown Madison, 66-44, team that was also undefeated before meeting the Lady Eagles. LB’s senior leader, Amanda Hyde, ended her remarkable career by scoring 23 points.


New Coaches at Scott: Scott basketball coaches Joe Suboticki and Debra Jones have resigned their positions with the boys’ and girls’ teams respectively. Suboticki, one of the state’s most successful coaches, exits with an overall record of 472-223 over 30 seasons (73-53 at Scott). During his 30 seasons, Subocki coached at seven different schools, (Barberton, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, Portsmouth, North Royalton, Toledo St. Francis, Toledo Waite, Toledo Scott) and won three state championships. Coach Brown’s retirement comes after only four seasons. This past season her Lady Bulldogs finished 9-11.

Football Resignations: Two Toledo City League football programs, Bowsher and Start, will also be seeking new coaches following the recent resignations of Wondell Hills at Bowsher and Pat Gucciardo at Start. Hills’ resignation came after only one season at the helm while Gucciardo comes after seven years. Under Hills Bowsher was 4-7 while Start was 39-45 under Gucciardo. The future plans of both coaches were not announced.

First Team All-American: The honors for Toledo Waite’s Natasha Howard keep on arriving. This past, after being named Ohio’s Ms. Basketball, Howard was named to the first team of the 34th annual Parade All-American team. The Parade team is selected by a panel of coaches, scouts and recruiters throughout the nation. This past season Howard averaged 23.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.

State Honors: Liberty-Benton senior guard Aaron Craft was named Division III player of the year and Ottawa Hills head coach John Lindsay was named DIV coach of the year by the Associated Press. Craft, who has signed to play with Ohio State, averaged 26.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 6.5 assists this past season while Lindsay guided his Green Bears to a 24-1 record and a berth in the state final four.


Chesapeake (21-4) v. Lima Central Catholic, Thurs, Mar.25, 10:45 am, state semi-final: Two teams enjoying remarkable playoff runs. Lima CC upset number one ranked Liberty-Benton in their road to Columbus so there are no stranger to big games.

Zanesville (17-6) v. Port Clinton, Thurs., Mar.25, 8:30 pm, state semi-finals: Undefeated Port Clinton looking to keep their dream season going. Zanesville comes in with the poorest record of the four semi-final teams in DII.

Ottawa Hills (24-1) v. Newark Catholic (24-1), Fri., Mar. 26, 10:45 am, state semi-finals: Can Eliot Browarsky will his team to victory? Two teams with only one loss each. The victor would seemingly be a heavy favorite for the state title.

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