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WRITER: Brad Emerine

Playing for a district berth

GIRARD — The last outs are the toughest ones to get. That rang true Thursday in a Division II sectional bracket final, as host Girard scored four times in the seventh inning to beat Struthers 5-4. The 17th-seeded Wildcats were left standing on the diamond and wondering what had hit them while the ninth-seeded Indians were celebrating and mobbing senior Sophie Griffith, who capped the rally by scoring the ...

Offensive outburst

LIBERTY — By the end of Crestview’s 14-6 win over host Liberty in a high school softball game Friday, both sides were left more pleased than disappointed. Both coaches saw some promising play, but also recognized their teams must continue to improve. After beating the Leopards 21-0 earlier in the week, Crestview may have entered the rematch a little loose. Liberty made the Rebels work for this one, ...

Cardinals cruising

CANFIELD — Having a third strong pitcher in a high school baseball team’s starting rotation is a luxury. Junior Ryan Petro is proving that for the soaring Canfield Cardinals. In his second varsity start on Wednesday, Petro tossed a three-hitter in a 2-0 win over visiting Howland in a late-developed spring tournament. “He pitched a one-hitter the first game out and now a three-hitter,” said coach ...

Learning to win

NILES — Good Friday was indeed good for the Niles baseball team. Sophomore southpaw pitcher Matt Kozak, making his second varsity start, allowed two hits in six-plus innings and added a two-out, two-run double during a six-run fifth inning as the Red Dragons beat Ashtabula Edgewood, 9-0, for their first win of the season Friday at Wilder Field in Waddell Park. “This is a big win for us because we’re ...

Simons says football

AUSTINTOWN — It’s been quite a school year for Fitch senior Todd Simons. Despite playing just six games for the Falcons’ football team, Simons managed to make 26 receptions for 517 yards and finish his career as the program’s all-time leader in receiving yards (1,125) and receiving touchdowns (14). He moved to third all-time in receptions (53). Those career totals are impressive considering Simons, a ...

Tough loss

BARBERTON — The Chaney boys basketball team is building some tradition, reaching the Division II regional the past two seasons. But on Thursday night in Barberton, the Cowboys couldn’t find enough offense in transition or from the perimeter and allowed too many points in the paint from Gilmour Academy in a 59-52 loss to the Lancers. “When you reach this level, you have to execute on a high level, and ...

SVSM just too strong as Struthers’ season ends

BARBERTON — As good as Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary is, not many people were expecting such a lopsided contest against Struthers, which entered this Division II regional semifinal at 25-0. But the Wildcats turned the ball over way too often early, which led to easy transition points for the Fighting Irish, who ran to a dominating 76-37 victory. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they were cutting the nets down ...

Mooney season ended by Lutheran East

TWINSBURG — For one quarter, it appeared that the approach of the Cardinal Mooney boys basketball team might be somewhat effective against Cleveland Heights Lutheran East in their Division III regional semifinal Tuesday night. But the Falcons turned that around quickly in the second quarter, extending a 9-4 lead into 34-9 at halftime en route to beating the Cardinals 74-31. Jalen Knott scored 13 of his 18 ...

Not this time

TWINSBURG — The second regional this school year between Springfield and Creston Norwayne was just as close as the first one. But this time the Bobcats prevailed in a thriller, beating the Tigers 55-49 in a Division III regional semifinal Tuesday night at Twinsburg High School. Prior to the game, Norwayne senior Joey Raudebaugh was leading his team down the hallway to the floor when he stopped and told his ...

Cardinals, Tigers differ in styles

The Cardinal Mooney and Springfield boys basketball teams are hoping to be playing vastly different styles in their respective Division III regional semifinals tonight at Twinsburg High School. The Cardinals (17-4) are looking to slow the pace against a very quick Cleveland Heights Lutheran East (12-3) squad in a 5:30 p.m. tipoff. The Tigers (18-4) will try to speed up a sizable lineup in Norwayne (22-4) ...