Mangapora, Aldridge repeat as district players of the year

Staff report

Four Mahoning Valley basketball players were named Players of the Year in their respective Divisions on the Northeast Inland All-District basketball teams, which were announced Wednesday by the Associated Press.

Two of them — Canfield’s Sabrina Mangapora and LaBrae’s Peyton Aldridge — repeated as Players of the Year in the district and their teams are still alive in tournament play.

Mangapora, a 6-foot-1 senior, was the top player in Division II. She averaged 18.5 points during the regular season for the Cardinals (25-1), who will meet Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown in a regional final on Friday night at Barberton High School. Mangapora is headed to Ball State on a volleyball scholarship.

Aldridge, a 6-7 junior, also repeated as the Division III Player of the Year. He averaged 19.6 points for the Vikings, who will face Ursuline in a district final on Saturday night at Howland High School.

Lordstown’s Sarah Cash and Bristol’s Chad Oliver were voted the Northeast Inland District’s Players of the Year in Division IV.

Cash 22.5 points and 17 rebounds for the Red Devils (20-5), whose season ended last Saturday in a 51-46 loss to Northeastern Athletic Conference rival Maplewood in a district final at Rootstown High School. Cash is a 6-2 junior.

Oliver, a 5-11 senior, averaged 24.7 points for the Panthers (24-1), which breezed through a perfect regular season and its first two tournament games. Bristol was eliminated in an 83-74 loss to McDonald on Tuesday in a district seminal at Warren Harding.

Area coaches also earned district honors in voting by a media panel from newspapers — including The Vindicator — within the district.

Craig Giesy, the former Bristol star player who took over the Panthers’ program several years ago, was named the Division IV boys Coach of the Year.

West Branch’s Walt DeShields, whose team finished 24-3 after losing to Canfield in a district final, was named the Division III girls Coach of the Year.

Lowellville’s Tony Matisi, whose Rockets are in the regional tournament for the sixth consecutive year, was named the Division IV girls Coach of the Year.

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