2011’s Top Ohio High School Sports Stories: Nos. 10-6


Ohio Year in Review: 2011’s Top 40 Stories

It’s nearing the end of 2011 and it’s time again for our annual look back at Ohio’s Top High School Sports Stories of the Year. As usual it’s been an extremely successful and memorable 12 months.
National records, state records, once in a lifetime performances…it’s
all here. And here’s how they rank.

It’s nearing the end of 2011 and it’s time again for our annual look back at Ohio’s Top High School Sports Stories of the Year.

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

Today we continue the countdown…

Dec. 21: Honorable Mention
Dec. 22: Nos. 40-36
Dec. 23: 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


Nos. 10-6

10. Gates Mills Hawken remains the only team ever to win the D-II girls swimming state title:
The number 13 proved to be lucky for Gates Mills Hawken, which won its 13th straight D-II girls swimming state title and continued to be the only school in history to hoist the D-II hardware since the division was added in the 1999-2000 school year. Hawken swimmers won eight events, set three state meet records and set a state record. Hawken has 20 team state titles overall.

9. Cleveland St. Ignatius rebounds from having a 22-season playoff streak snapped by winning its 11th state title: Last season St. Ignatius and head coach Chuck Kyle missed the playoffs for the first time since 1987. This season they made amends for it. A year after having a 22-year playoff streak snapped, the Wildcats rebounded to win their 11th OHSAA Division I state title with a 34-13 win over Pickerington Central (Pickerington) at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium. All 11 titles have come under Kyle’s lead.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever had a team that’s improved as much as the year went on,” Kyle said. “We’ve had good teams, but these kids started out and just kept improving. They kept saying ‘Hey we have to get better at this’ and they did it. That’s the thing that impresses you.”

Ignatius’ performance in the D-I final was impressive too.

The Wildcats opened up a 13-0 first quarter lead and never trailed. Pickerington Central closed to 20-13 by halftime but the Tigers were held scoreless and managed just 78 yards in the second half. St. Ignatius racked up 431 yards of offense and was led by senior quarterback Eric Williams who completed 19-of-31 passes for 297 yards and two TDs. Junior running back Tim McVey added 107 yards and two TDs on 24 carries.

Defensively the Wildcats held Pickerington Central to 22 yards rushing on 25 carries and forced two turnovers.

“A state championship – that’s Ignatius football right there,” senior tight end and Ohio State recruit Blake Thomas said. “That was our goal from the start of the year to the end of the year. That’s what we’ve been working on since the final play of last season.”

8. Akron SVSM wins its sixth boys basketball state title: Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary took its first lead with a little under three minutes left in the first quarter and never relinquished it, cruising to a 57-46 win over Dayton Thurgood Marshall in the D-II state final at the Schottenstein Center. The win earned the Irish their sixth boys basketball title and moved them into second place for all-time titles. Only Middletown has more boys basketball state championships (seven). The game was a rematch of the 2009 D-II title also won by SVSM 59-53.

SVSM (19-9) was paced by Lorenzo Cugini, who recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Davonte Beard contributed 13 points.

Unranked Thurgood Marshall (22-6) was led by Jordan Watson, who tallied 16
points and six rebounds.

7. Cincinnati Taft ties state record for largest margin of victory in a boys basketball final: No. 1 ranked Cincinnati Taft set D-III state championship game records for most points in a game and in a quarter and tied the record for the largest margin of victory in a state final in any division en route to defeating unranked Cleveland Central Catholic 95-52 in the D-III boys basketball championship at the Schottenstein Center. The record for margin of victory (43 points) was originally set in 1953 by Cincinnati Mariemont who beat Philo 87-44.

Taft (25-1) shot 54 percent from the field and had three players score in double figures: junior Adolphus Washington (18 points), junior Jalen Lowe (15) and senior Chris Lowe (12)

It was Taft’s first appearance in the state tournament.

6. Norwayne and Kenton stage a Classic in the D-IV football state final: When they talk about the greatest players in Ohio high school football history, they’ll talk about Kenton quarterback Maty Mauk. When they talk about the greatest games in state history, they’ll talk about the time Creston Norwayne denied Mauk that last feather in his cap – a state title.

In a game that featured six fourth-quarter touchdowns and several state finals records that were tied or broken, Norwayne scored the game-winning touchdown with 31 seconds left to beat Kenton, 48-42, at Massillon’s Paul Brown Tiger Stadium before a raucous crowd of 10,329.

The game wasn’t over until the last pass attempt of Mauk’s high school career was intercepted at the goal line on the final play.

“That might have been the game of the year,” said Norwayne head coach Joe Harbour.
Added Kenton head coach Mike Mauk, “I think you just saw the best of high school football.”

It’s hard to argue differently.

Mauk finished the game 27-of-50 for 421 yards and five TDs, and also carried the ball 22 times for 50 yards and a TD. His five passing TDs tied a D-IV finals record. Senior receiver Brice Fackler caught five passes for a D-II finals record 178 yards, and also set an all-divisions finals record with four TD catches. 

Combined, the teams totaled 966 yards in offense, which is the fourth-most in Ohio finals history. The 703 combined passing yards was the most ever in a non-overtime state final, regardless of division.

Norwayne senior QB/LB Adam Wallace had a remarkable evening as well, completing 15-of-24 passes for 282 yards and four TDs and running 30 times for 140 yards and three scores. He also had a team-high 8.5 tackles.

Down 41-28 with four minutes left, Kenton scored two TDs in 90 seconds to take their first lead (42-41) with 2:41 to go. Wallace proceeded to march Norwayne down the field and hit Kaleb Harris for a 31-yard TD and the win with 31 seconds left.

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