Cincinnati St. Xavier swimming coach Jim Brower handed out report cards of sorts when discussing his team to the media this past weekend at the state meet in Canton.
The Bombers saved their best grades for the final day – as St. X won its 31st Division I state championship on Saturday. The 31st state title is the most for any school in Ohio High School Athletic Association history.
"(Friday) I thought we were kind of average but (Saturday) we were straight As," Brower told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "We were not the kind of team that was going to win a lot of events but we did what we had to do. We brought 20 guys up here to compete and they all competed. It was a team event."
According to the Ohio High School Athletic Association, the Bombers’ 400 freestyle relay team of sophomore John Galvin and seniors Cole Dennis, Max Bierman and Alex Miller took second place to ensure the state team title. Miller had a solid meet for the Bombers. He won the 500 freestyle, was second in the 200 freestyle and third in the 200 freestyle relay.
Morrow Little Miami junior Steven Zimmerman was named the boys swimmer of the meet after he won the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke, according to the OHSAA. Upper Arlington won the Division I girls’ state meet – its sixth consecutive title, according to the OHSAA.
The team won the 200 medley relay and had swimmers finish in the top eight in every event, according to the OHSAA. Junior Abby Chin was second in the 500 freestyle and 200 and 400 freestyle relays, according to the OHSAA.
"Every year we lose unbelievable seniors, and every year they seem to step up and fill the shoes very well," Upper Arlington coach Dan Peterkoski told the Columbus Dispatch. "It’s amazing what transpires here in the course of 12 months.
Dublin Scioto senior Kate McNeilis was named the girls’ swimmer of the meet after she won the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke, according to the OHSAA.
2. Walnut Hills advances to district: The Walnut Hills (Cincinnati) girls basketball team defeated four-time defending state champion Mount Notre Dame 49-41 in a Division I sectional final at Harrison on Friday night. Walnut Hills was led by senior guard Phylesha Bullard (a Syracuse signee) with 16 points and four rebounds. Senior forward Tayler Stanton (Kent State) had 15 points and 10 rebounds. "I’m so overwhelmed and excited," Bullard told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "We just stayed calm, handled their defensive pressure and worked for good shots." Walnut Hills (20-3) plays Mason (13-9) at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Division I district tournament at Harrison.
3. McMahon commits to Illinois: West Chester Lakota West junior 6-foot-6 middle hitter Liz McMahon orally committed to Illinois last week. McMahon, a Division I second-team all-state player last season, is one of Ohio’s top volleyball players in the 2011 class. She also considered the likes of Stanford, Florida, Nebraska, USC and Penn State. McMahon, who was first-team all-Greater Miami Conference last season, had 339 kills for the Firebirds (21-3). "The best part is she feels 100 percent sure about her decision and when a player gets that feeling about a school, as a coach you are happy for them because they know in their heart they are making the right choice," Lakota West coach Tracey Kornau said.
4. Southern Cal offers Miller: Huber Heights Wayne junior quarterback Braxton Miller recently received a scholarship offer from the University of Southern California. Miller, who is regarded as one of the nation’s top players in the 2011, class, also reportedly has offers from Florida, Ohio State, Alabama, Notre Dame, Tennessee and several others, according to ScoutingOhio.com.
5. Colerain players receive attention: The Cincinnati Colerain football team continues to be in the spotlight this winter with several juniors being recruited by top college football programs. Colerain junior linebacker Jarrett Grace and junior running back Trayion Durham each received an offer from Wisconsin recently. Grace, who is 6-4 and 230 pounds, also has offers from Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Kentucky, Stanford, Boston College and several others. Durham, who is 6-2 and 230 pounds, also has offers from Colorado and Minnesota.
Among the outstanding efforts this week
Nikki McKee, Wyoming girls basketball: The junior guard scored a season-high 32 points as Wyoming defeated McNicholas 65-50 in a Division II sectional semifinal game. After the game, McKee averaged 20.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.0 steals.
Tamara Mayes, Finneytown girls basketball: The freshman forward tied a season-high by scoring 20 points in a 64-48 win over Bethel-Tate in a Division II sectional semifinal game at Withrow.
Shane Eagle, Xenia boys basketball: The senior guard had a season-high 32 points in a 78-68 win over host Beavercreek in a regular-season game. Eagle’s previous season-high was 24 points.
Colerain (Cincinnati) vs. Lakota East (Liberty Township), boys basketball, 6 p.m. today (Monday): These two Greater Miami Conference teams meet in a Division I sectional semifinal at the University of Cincinnati. Senior forward Ken Kunkel averages 11.5 points to lead Colerain. Senior forward Trae Broadnax averages 13.4 points to lead Lakota East.
Lakota West (West Chester) vs. Withrow (Cincinnati), boys basketball, 7:30 p.m. today (Monday): Lakota West is led by senior guard Obi Nwankwo (15.1 ppg.) and All-America football player Jordan Hicks (13.8 ppg.), who is signed with Texas for football. The winner plays Lakota East or Colerain on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at the University of Cincinnati.
Bacon (Cincinnati) vs. Batavia, boys basketball, 6 p.m. today (Monday): Roger Bacon, the top seed in the Division II Mason sectional, plays No. 13 seed Batavia in the opening game tonight. The winner plays the winner of North College Hill vs. Taylor on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Mason. Roger Bacon is led by senior guard Jorian Hudson (a Cincinnati football signee) and junior 6-8 center Jared Bryant.
Finneytown junior offensive lineman/defensive lineman Donovan Clark (6-4, 290) has been offered by Ohio University. He also has offers from West Virginia, Duke, Indiana and Ball State. … Archbishop Moeller junior defensive lineman Jesse Hayes (6-4, 230) has been offered by Kent State. He also has offers that include Tennessee, Kansas, West Virginia, Minnesota, North Carolina State, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin and Cincinnati. … Pickerington Central junior strong safety Eilar Hardy was reportedly offered by Michigan State, according to ScoutingOhio.com. Hardy reportedly has several other offers, including Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Kentucky and others, according to the Web site.
Beavercreek won the Dayton City Championship in gymnastics in late February, according to the Dayton Daily News. The team scored a season-high 132.075 points, according to the publication. … Hamilton Badin junior quarterback Patrick Coyne (6-2, 215) recently added scholarship offers from Wisconsin and Buffalo. Coyne also has offers from Toledo, Illinois and Ohio University. … Fairfield junior linebacker Marquise Vann (6-1, 215) recently added an offer from Illinois State. He also has offers from Michigan State, Ball State, Toledo and Bowling Green. … St. Xavier junior linebacker Steven Daniels (6-1, 240) recently added an offer from Minnesota.