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The Suburbanite
  • Suburbanite sports year in review: December

  • A school year full of rivalry games, state champions, postseason runs and memorable moments came to a close with the state track and field championships in Columbus in the first weekend of June. With the year now complete, a look back reveals some of the hallmark moments and memories from the 2012-13 school year. Today, the recap of winter sports begins with December.

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  • A school year full of rivalry games, state champions, postseason runs and memorable moments came to a close with the state track and field championships in Columbus in the first weekend of June. With the year now complete, a look back reveals some of the hallmark moments and memories from the 2012-13 school year.
    December
    In a win Coventry girls basketball coach Robert McNamara described as "bigger than big," the Comets upset PTC power Woodridge 44-33 one year after losing to the Bulldogs 71-33. Coventry forced 29 turnovers in the win, including 10 in the fourth quarter, to close out a big early-season triumph. The drama was also high for Lake Center Christian boys basketball, which rallied in the final minute for a 48-47 win in its season opener against Berlin Center Western Reserve as senior forward Trevor Rainieri made two free throws with 5.1 seconds left for the winning points.
    Head coach Gene Schindewolf and the Manchester Panthers broke out their slingshots and did a bit of giant-killing with a 51-50 win over Canton Timken, snapping the Trojans' 68-game PAC-7 winning streak dating back to 2007-08.
    No Suburbanite-area school saw a bigger turnaround on the court this season than Springfield, which used the scoring power of transfers Victor Dorsey and Collin Floyd and the defensive focus of first-year head coach Steve Shaffer to win four in a row for a 5-3 start. Included in that stretch was a slow, grinding 38-34 win over LCCS in which the Spartans held the ball for the final three minutes of the first half to bring the game to a grinding halt.
    The first month of the season was a tough one for Manchester girls basketball as the perennial PAC-7 power opened 2-2 and suffered a lopsided, 84-33 loss to Division I juggernaut Wadsworth. Green also found itself at .500 after a 62-44 win over Copley as senior guard Erika Rector led the way with 13 points.
    Three area football players received First Team All-Ohio honors as senior running back Gary Strain and senior offensive tackle Joey Callihan of Mogadore and Manchester quarterback/punter Nick Peyakov received top recognition in Division VI and IV, respectively. The Manchester wrestling team added to the school's successful month with a fifth-place finish at the Coke Classic in Mansfield.
    Coventry bowling set out for its season with heavy hearts after the unexpected passing of its coach, Dave McNamara. Under new coach Tera Monroe, the Comets started 4-2 on the boys' side and 5-1 on the girls' side.
    The Lake Blue Streaks boys bowling team rolled its way to Federal League wins over Jackson and GlenOak in their first round of league competition and concluded the first half of their schedule with a 3-6 mark. At 4-5, the Lake girls joined the boys in two holiday tournaments before beginning the second half of their season.
    Page 2 of 2 - The holiday season wasn't a jolly one for the LCCS girls basketball team. Already without injured starters Amanda Floyd and Melanie Harvey and key reserve DeShawnna Sommers, the Tigers lost sophomore point guard Kelsey Raymondi in a loss to Sandy Valley. The Tigers headed into Christmas break with an 0-6 record and a long list of injuries.
    Jackson
    So much for settling into a new season.
    The girls basketball team began its year with a double-overtime win at Kent Roosevelt as junior guard Lexie Pittinger scored a season-high 16 points and freshman center Caitlin Tytler made her varsity debut a memorable one with a 14-rebound effort. December proved to be a tough month overall for the Polar Bears as they lost four of their next five games. Their fortunes began to turn with the debut of center Abby Duffy, who missed the early part of the season with a foot injury. Duffy compiled 35 points and 26 rebounds to key a three-game winning streak that included triumphs over Boardman, Revere and Louisville.
    The boys and girls swimming and diving teams plunged into their campaign with the McKinley Relays. The girls team won the overall title, while the boys team placed second, giving the program its best result at the event in several years. The Polar Bears added a holiday flavor to their season by competing at the Viking Christmas Invitational at Cleveland State. Chase Kinney set a meet record in the 50 freestyle on the girls' side of the meet and all six Jackson relay teams reached their event finals.
    Tournaments formed the building blocks of the early-season schedule for Jackson wrestling. A first-place finish at the Canton South Duals started the new campaign off well for coach Rocky Laughlin's squad. Lucas Marcelli earned MVP honors at 152 pounds the following week as Jackson competed at the North Canton Holiday Tournament and Marcelli also helped his team to a 32-31 win over the Vikings.
    Following a season-opening loss to Zanesville, the boys basketball team opened Federal League play with a pair of 20-plus-point wins against GlenOak and Perry. After suffering a second non-league loss to Division I power Lakewood St. Edward, Tim Debevec's team responded with league road triumphs at Canton McKinley and Boardman to close out 2012 unbeaten in conference play. The McKinley win came at a high price, however, as senior point guard Miles Griffin suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, ending his season.
    Reach Andy at 330-899-2872 or andy.harris@thesuburbanite.com.
    On Twitter: @aharrisBURB

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