Tayala, Klaric headline All-NEO basketball honors
Three area coaches and two players earned a little more basketball hardware this week in addition to district medals.
Coaches Joe Savko, of Struthers, Chad Kiser of LaBrae and Tony Matisi of Lowellville as well as McDonald’s Matthias Tayala and Warren JFK’s Paige Klaric were named as the coaches and players of the year for their respective divisions as The Associated Press announced its All-Northeast Ohio Inland District teams Friday. The teams were voted on by a media panel.
Savko led the Wildcats to a 18-2 regular season and second-consecutive All-American Conference White Tier championship to earn the No. 1 seed in the Division II boys tournament. Kiser’s Vikings were also a unanimous pick for the top seed. They’ll play for the Division III district crown against Berkshire today.
Matisi led the Rockets to an undefeated regular season and Division IV girls district championship. Despite a roster depleted by injury, including losing the top two scorers, Matisi led the team to the regional semifinals.
Tayala was the leading scorer for an undefeated McDonald team — it’s third straight perfect regular season — and another Division IV boys title. Klaric led the Eagles in scoring and were one game away from a district title, losing Lowellville in the championship game.
Struthers also had three boys and a girl represented on the district squads. Dangerous deep-ball shooter Nate Jacubec was honored on the district’s first team. Brother Jake Jacubec and post player Adam Ryzcaj were each selected to the second team. Katelyn Aredale also received second-team honors.
Joining Tayala on the district team was Blue Devil teammate Nick Rota. Rota and Taylor Stanley were named to the boys and girls second teams.
Also making the first team for the boys were T.J. Lanier (Howland), Tre’ Brown (Warren Harding), Colin Reardon (Poland), Jacob Jaros (LaBrae), Cody Dillon (Newton Falls) and Cole O’Dell (Matthews) for the boys. The girls named to the first team were Taylor Williams (Howland), Kourtney Williams (Warren Harding), Sarah Bonar (Badger), Courtney Powell (Ursuline), Destiny Prusky (Newton Falls), Mikayla Tipton (Wellsville), Sarah Cash (Lordstown) and Taylor Hvisdak and Emily Carlson of Lowellville.