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March 24, 2011

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Commentary

Memories abound from state tourney When the final seconds tick off the clock on Saturday, March 26, at the Division I state boys basketball tournament at Ohio State, it will complete 60 years for me of watching tournament basketball in Ohio. My dad took me to see Columbus Aquinas play in a quarterfiLARRY nal of the 1952 tournaLARSON ment in the Fairgrounds Coliseum, and it has been a six-decade joyride since. But with my move to California this summer, this could be my last final four for a while. So here is my chance to share some of my greatest memories along with my list of the five greatest tournament games I’ve witnessed. Before we hit the top-five list, let’s just say that mine has been a lifetime of thrills in the venues of high school basketball. I have been privileged to witness some of the greatest individuals who played the sport, like Jerry Lucas, Clark Kellogg and LeBron James. I had the chance to see great central Ohio players beginning with Columbus South’s Frank Howard and Marion-Franklin’s Herb Williams. I saw the electric Todd Penn of Linden-McKinley, Jerry Francis Sr., who played for Columbus West, and Jerry Francis Jr., who played for Columbus Wehrle. I watched the wonderful Eddie Ratliff and his teammates lead Columbus East to consecutive state titles in 1968 and 1969. I saw girls basketball begin and develop and, along the way, got to see Logan’s Katie Smith and Pickerington coach Dave Butcher forever eliminate any doubt about how good girls can play this sport. I got to see a flouncy haired Dale Lambert light up the Fairgrounds with his shooting in the ’60s and Mount Vernon’s Scott Dapprich light up the Fairgrounds in the ’90s. I saw great teams and unheralded teams win state championships, but the common thread through 60 years has been the incredible efforts put forth by these young people. Here is a list of my five favorite games that I was lucky enough to see. As usual, I rank them in reverse order, No. 5 through my No. 1. 5 — East vs. Cleveland St. Joseph, 1979 Class AAA boys state final: St. Joseph was the favorite to win the title and after East won its semifinal over Akron Central-Hower, it lost a starter to an injury. But on state championship Saturday, East was more than brilliant. East took a 26-13 lead after the first quarter and expanded it to 5426 at halftime. Kellogg tried to rally St. Joe’s with a 51-point performance, but the day belonged to East in one of the best team performances the state has seen. 4 — Pickerington vs. Logan, 1992 Division I girls state final:

By Tim Norman/ThisWeek

Senior 1B/DH Jordan Boggs is one of six returning starters for the Canal Winchester baseball team, which opens Tuesday, March 29, at DeSales under first-year coach Jay Bartos.

Canal Winchester Roundup

Baseball team will play ‘small’ By AARON BLANKENSHIP

Schedules

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First-year Canal Winchester High School baseball coach Jay Bartos feels like his team has a more powerful lineup than it had the previous five years when he was part of the program as an assistant coach. Nevertheless, Bartos isn’t planning on abandoning the small-ball style of offense that former coach Jason Vest utilized during his three-year tenure before stepping down last summer for personal reasons. The Indians finished 21-6 overall last season after losing to Hartley 6-5 in a Division II district semifinal. “Just like Jason’s teams of the past, we’re going to play small ball,” said Bartos, whose team opens Tuesday, March 29, at DeSales. “Small ball is a lost art in the era of steroid baseball, but when we went to the state final (in 2008), we bunted probably 20 percent of the time to get there. We have some power and we’re going to use it when the situation calls for it, but we’re going to try to make those styles mix. If we do that successfully, we’ll be in great shape.” The Indians return six starters in seniors Drew Black (SS/P), Jordan Boggs (1B/DH), Garrett Brown (LF), Tim Hawkins (RF), Trey Kiser (3B/P) and Derrick Petruskevich (C). Senior Dustin Williamson and junior David Hawkins are vying to start at second base and junior Zach Petty will make some starts at first base. Black is expected to be the See LARSON, page B2 Indians’ No. 1 pitcher. Junior

ThisWeek file photo

Sophomore Kaleigh Whitlatch is among several players vying for starting positions for the Indians softball team, which opens Wednesday, March 30, at Ready.

Chris Angle and Kiser are competing for the No. 2 pitcher slot and junior left-hander Connor Kaib is expected to see significant time on the mound as well. Rounding out the team are senior Chaz Palmer (OF) and juniors Zach Petty (1B/P), John Sharp (OF/P) and Alex Yantis (OF/P). “Our top three pitchers are really good and we’ve got some good defensive players, too,” Bartos said. The Indians tied Circleville for first in the MSL-Buckeye Division last season at 11-3,

, Don t let your kid go to IOU.

ahead of Bloom-Carroll (9-5), Logan Elm (9-5), Hamilton Township (6-8), Fairfield Union (4-10), Amanda-Clearcreek (311) and Teays Valley (3-11). Seeded third for the district tournament, Canal Winchester had a first-round bye and defeated London 11-10 in the second round before getting upset by fifth-seeded Hartley. The Indians had reached the state final in 2008 and a state semifinal in 2009. “It’s hard not to shoot for the goals of winning our conference and district every year after

doing so well in 2008 and 2009,” Bartos said. “As long as we can get this team to hit, the recipe to go far in the tournament is there, because we have the pitching and defense to get it done.” •The softball team features six returning starters in seniors Mariah Bonner (C), Andrea Peer (1B) and Emily Wynkoop (OF), and juniors Lauren Arndt (P), Angela Steube (3B) and Morgan White (SS). White was second-team allSee INDIANS, page B2

BASEBALL March 29 — at DeSales March 31 — vs. Independence *April 1 — vs. Hamilton Township April 2 — at Olentangy Orange (DH) *April 4 — at Amanda-Clearcreek *April 6 — vs. Bloom-Carroll *April 8 — vs. Circleville April 9 — at Granville (DH) *April 11 — at Fairfield Union *April 13 — at Teays Valley *April 15 — vs. Logan Elm *April 18 — at Hamilton Township *April 20 — vs. Amanda-Clearcreek *April 21 — at Bloom-Carroll *April 25 — at Circleville April 26 — at Pickerington Central *April 27 — vs. Fairfield Union *April 29 — vs. Teays Valley April 30 — vs. Logan (DH) *May 2 — at Logan Elm May 3 — at Sparta Highland May 5 — at Hartley May 7 — vs. Mount Vernon (DH) SOFTBALL March 30 — at Ready March 31 — vs. Central Crossing *April 1 — vs. Hamilton Township April 2 — at DeSales with Granville *April 4 — at Amanda-Clearcreek *April 6 — vs. Bloom-Carroll *April 8 — vs. Circleville April 9 — at Hartley with New Albany *April 11 — at Fairfield Union *April 13 — at Teays Valley *April 14 — vs. Logan Elm April 16 — at Watkins Memorial *April 18 — at Hamilton Township *April 20 — vs. Amanda-Clearcreek *April 21 — at Bloom-Carroll *April 25 — at Circleville *April 27 — vs. Fairfield Union *April 29 — vs. Teays Valley April 29 — Columbia Station Columbia in Centennial Stellar Classic at Ohio State April 30 — vs. Minerva and Strasburg Franklin in Stellar Classic *May 2 — at Logan Elm May 7 — at Dublin Coffman with Liberty Union *MSL-Buckeye game

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ThisWeek Canal Winchester 3/24  

ThisWeek Canal Winchester 3/24