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WRITER: Joe Simon

Century mark

BOARDMAN — In celebration of coach Pat Birch’s 100th career victory, the Boardman High School basketball team dumped a water cooler on him in the locker room, but they didn’t do a great job of it. Birch, who wasn’t exactly mad about the players only getting his back wet, couldn’t help but compare the so-so water dumping to the Spartans’ 54-42 victory over Austintown Fitch. “It was a lot like ...

Rust evident in Girard’s loss at Lakeview

CORTLAND — No high school basketball team in Trumbull County was able practice for the majority of December, and in the early going, the rust has been as evident as a 1982 Ford Pinto that sat outside for the last 38 years. Girard, missing one of its best players, is still shaking that rust off as the Indians piece together their rotations and find a rhythm on offense over the first two games of the ...

Positive response

YOUNGSTOWN — As Warren G. Harding’s Dom Foster drove up court on a breakaway, his eyes lit up. A supreme athlete being courted by numerous Division I colleges for football, Foster sprang into the air and threw down a vicious dunk to tie a matchup with Cardinal Mooney midway through the third quarter, igniting a delirious Harding bench. The Cardinals had seen this before, however. Last year, in a very ...

Veteran coach Bohren not slowing down

This will be head coaching job No. 11 for Bill Bohren. He thinks. “This will be 11, or so they tell me,” Bohren said, laughing. “I keep seeing them listed. I’ve got to count them. I can’t remember them all.” His record over nearly 50 years of being a head coach is no laughing matter. As the 86-year-old Bohren prepares to lead the Mathews Mustangs football program in the 2021 season, he does ...

Finding their way

AUSTINTOWN — Keith Gunther looked out on the court and couldn’t help but smile from time to time at what he saw. It wasn’t the score or even the fact that his Ursuline Irish were simply playing basketball, which is more of a task than ever these days. It was that the Irish actually looked like a basketball team. “I’m just proud of them, to see our guys finally start to come around and actually look ...

Seeking top position

CANFIELD — To say Canfield’s Logan Miller and Nick Barber have been through the highs and lows over the past four years wouldn’t be completely true. The Cardinals wrestling team just hasn’t experienced a lot of lows over the past four years, with Canfield becoming one of the top Division II teams in the state. However, Barber and Miller weren’t always two of the team’s best wrestlers — as they ...

Great expectations

Last year was a breakout season for the South Range High School wrestling team, which qualified for the Division III state team tournament for the first time in school history. The Raiders won’t be sneaking up on anyone this year, and that’s just fine with coach Levi Hively. Hively is glad South Range, which also qualified two wrestlers to the individual state tournament, made its presence known across ...

West Branch hustles past Canfield

CANFIELD — Jaxon Hendershot was ticked off, and apparently so were the rest of the West Branch Warriors. West Branch only trailed by one point going into halftime of a non-conference game with Canfield, but it wasn’t necessarily the score that had the Warriors upset. It was that the Cardinals were playing harder. “The 50-50 balls, we should be getting those,” said Hendershot, a junior guard for West ...

Cardinals adjust in 2nd victory

YOUNGSTOWN — Moments before Cardinal Mooney’s matchup with Steubenville on Tuesday, there was a problem with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner, so Mooney coach Carey Palermo improvised. Palermo started reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and everyone else in the gymnasium followed suit. Improvisation has become pretty natural for Palermo and the Cardinals, and it showed in other ways against the Big ...

Rivalry renewed

POLAND — Poland had a lot working against it going into its home opener with arch-rival Canfield on Friday. The Bulldogs had one scrimmage about a month ago. COVID-19 caused them to take a two-week break after that, and the first time they had their full roster together was Monday. So, four full practices were about all they got to prepare for one of their biggest games of the year, and it was evident in the ...