2010 Year in Review: Nos. 45-41

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Ohio’s Top 50 High School Sports Stories from 2010

It’s nearing the end of 2010 and it’s time again for our annual look
back at Ohio’s Top 50 High School Sports Stories of the Year. Today we continue the countdown by releasing stories 45-41. Every day after this we’ll release five
more stories until we culminate with the release of the Top 5 on New
Year’s Eve. Here’s what ranks where…


It’s nearing the end of 2010 and it’s time again for our annual look
back at Ohio’s Top 50 High School Sports Stories of the Year.

As usual it’s been an extremely successful and memorable 12 months.
National championships, state records, once in a lifetime
performances…it’s all here. And here’s how they rank.

Today we continue the countdown by releasing stories 45-41. Every day after this we’ll release five
more stories until we culminate with the release of the Top 5 on New
Year’s Eve.

Nos. 45-41:

45. Dayton Dunbar continues to establish a dynasty: Dayton Dunbar advanced to its fourth boys basketball state tournament in five years and captured its third state championship during that stretch and fourth overall with a 64-50 win over Port Clinton in the D-II state final held March 27 at the Schottenstein Center. Down 27-26 at halftime, Dunbar turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, scoring 18 points off 15 Port Clinton turnovers. Three players were in double-figures for Dunbar, including first-team OHSH/JJHuddle All-Ohio senior Geron Johnson, who scored 24 points, dished out seven assists and had four steals. Senior Ryan Bass poured in 13, while fellow senior Deon Stewart scored 10. Dunbar, which finished 25-3, adds the 2010 trophy to its collection of state basketball championships from 1987, 2006 and 2007. Port Clinton, advancing past the district tournament for the first time since 1943, was making its first state tournament appearance and finished at 26-1.

44. Small school soccer powers battle it out again: No. 2 Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (18-3-1) avenged a state final loss from a year ago to Worthington Christian by downing the seventh-ranked Warriors 3-2 on Nov. 12 in the D-III boys soccer state final at Crew Stadium. After Worthington Christian (16-5-2) tied the score at two in the 53rd minute with a goal by junior Ben Tjoelker, CVCA senior Evan Crocker took the ensuing kickoff from senior Jack Thompson, spun around a defender and struck the game-winning goal 10 seconds later from about 15 yards out. Worthington Christian outshot the Royals 20-8, but was held at bay by CVCA sophomore goalkeeper Nick Ciraldo, who recorded 10 saves. The Royals made the most of their scoring opportunities, netting three goals on four shots. CVCA junior forward Sachem Wilson collected a goal, while Thompson pitched in a goal and two assists. The match featured two teams that have become regular participants in the state soccer tournament. Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, in its eighth state tournament appearance and seventh in the last nine years, claimed its third state title. The other titles for the Royals came in 2007 and 2004. Worthington Christian, state champions in 2009 and 2006, was making its ninth state tournament appearance since 2000.

43. Waynesville’s Ritchie is two-time singles champion: Waynesville senior Alyssa Ritchie became a back-to-back state champion in Division II singles, winning in straight sets 6-2, 6-0 over Rachel Nelson (So., Millersburg West Holmes) at the girls state tennis tournament on Nov. 23 at Hilliard Davidson High School. Ritchie became the 14th girl in OHSAA history to win multiple state singles titles and finished her career with 66 consecutive wins over the course of her junior and senior seasons.

42. Five of six cross country champs repeat; Three-time boys winner crowned: Five of the six team state champions from a year ago repeated and a three-time individual state champion was crowned Nov. 6 at the Cross Country State Championships at Scioto Downs Race Track in Columbus. Senior Zach Wills from Mason became the fifth boy in state history to win three individual state titles, winning the D-I race by 6.8 seconds in a time of 15:19.8. The best overall time of the day – and the largest margin of victory – was turned in by Bay Village Bay senior Michael Brajdic, who set a boys course record with a time of 15:01.9. The previous boys’ course record was held by Bob Kennedy of Westerville North with a time of 15:03.2 in 1987. Brajdic, who also won the individual title in 2009, won his race by 20 seconds. The only team champion that didn’t repeat from 2009 was St. Ignatius in D-I boys. Independence repeated as boys Division III champion;Peninsula Woodridge won its fifth-straight team title in D-II boys; Minster notched its third-straight girls D-III title and ninth overall; Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary easily repeated as D-II girls champion; and Rocky River Magnificat won its third straight D-I girls title and fourth overall.

41. Brothers battle each other for D-I pole vault title, state record: In an ongoing spring struggle that finally ended with a state title and record, twin brothers Chris and Joey Uhle of Olentangy Liberty finished 1-2 in the pole vault at the D-I state meet on June 5 at Jesse Owens memorial Stadium. Chris won the state title and set D-I state, state tournament and stadium records with a winning vault of 16-9. Joey finished second with a vault of 16-0. During the regular season, both brothers broke the previous state record of 16-4 with vaults of 16-7. Then Joey set the state record at 16-8 before his brother broke it at the state meet. The best part? They were just juniors.

* OHSAA Reports contributed to this series

SCHEDULE:
Dec. 21: Honorable Mention (Nos. 65-51)
Dec. 22: Nos. 50-46
Dec. 23: Nos. 45-41
Dec. 24: Nos. 40-36
Dec. 25: Nos. 35-31
Dec. 26: Nos. 30-26
Dec. 27: Nos. 25-21
Dec. 28: Nos. 20-16
Dec. 29: Nos. 15-11
Dec. 30: Nos. 10-6
Dec. 31: Nos. 5-1

PREVIOUS COUNTDOWNS
2008’s Top Stories
2009’s Top Stories

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