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Back in the hunt

Published: Mon, March 12, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.


Struthers senior guard Jake Jacubec has a simple, well-defined role with the Wildcats: score a boatload of points, which he did in the Division II district final Saturday against Poland. Jacubec scored 23 points — 15 in the first quarter — to propel the ’Cats to the regional semifinal on Thursday.

Struthers basketball returns to Canton for regional

Staff report


Struthers senior guard Jake Jacubec has a simple, well-defined role with the Wildcats: score a boatload of points.

His teammates’ roles aren’t as obvious — or as fun — but they’re no less important.

“Whether it’s Christian Walker diving for loose balls, Dylan Schmidt shooting 3s, Jordan Sapp shooting 3s, Joe Wilaj playing defense — all the guys know their roles and they accept them,” said Jacubec, who had 23 points in Saturday’s 47-49 win over Poland in the Division II district final.

That unselfishness propelled the Wildcats to their first back-to-back district titles in school history after losing seven seniors (and four starters) to graduation from the 2010-11 team.

“They’re both special,” said Struthers coach Joe Savko, whose team will meet Mentor Lake Catholic in a Division II regional semifinal Thursday night at the Canton Civic Center. “Teams change from year to year.

“Every team is a special group.”

The Wildcats are one of three area teams still alive in the tournament, joining Springfield (Division III) and Warren Harding (I).

The Wildcats (19-4) fell to Cleveland John Hay 74-60 in last year’s regional semifinal. John Hay lost to Lake Catholic in Saturday’s final.

“It means so much to these kids,” said Savko. “And this community, they support everything we did.

“It’s a special feeling, a very good feeling to win it back-to-back.”

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