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The Corner's Lane. This old-timer will have coverage of Cats Basketball, the Ice Cats' pursuit of another Cleveland Cup and Sunday morning I'll take my coffee to Buckeye Lanes to see the Alley Cats knock 'em down in Sectional competition
2/12/2016

We will also have a recap on Saint Ignatius' swimmers, as they compete in the Lakewood Sectional at noon on Saturday in the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium on the campus of Cleveland State University.

NOTE: For a preview on both of the Cats' Varsity Basketball games this weekend - Cleveland Heights and Massillon Jackson- see the corner's stories from Thursday.

- Eddie Dwyer 

Here is a corner's view of the Massillon Jackson Polar Bears, who host the Basketball Wildcats on Saturday night
2/11/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - After hosting the Cleveland Heights Tigers on Friday night (see the corner's preview from this afternoon), Coach Brian Becker's Wildcats board the buses on Saturday for a trip to Massillon Jackson High School, where they will face the always sound Polar Bears.

The Saint Ignatius basketball web page has the action beginning with a 6 PM Junior Varsity start, followed by another big time Division I Varsity matchup at 7:30. With Matt MacKenzie and Brendan DeVenney on the Varsity call, the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network will bring you the games live from Stark County.  

In Coach Becker's 13-4 Wildcats and Coach Tim Debevec's 15-4 Polar Bears, you just might have the two best programs not ranked in the AP Division I state poll.

Coach Debevec, a graduate of Barberton High School and a former assistant at Jackson, became the head man in 2011 after Jackson's highly successful head coach Mike Fuline took the head coaching position at the University of Mount Union.

The now healthy Polar Bears, co-Champions of the always challenging Federal League, earned the No. 1 seed for the upcoming Canton District. Canton McKinley was seeded second. Jackson and McKinley split their two encounters this season, but the word from Stark County is that Jackson's top seed was "near unanimous."

Saint Ignatius, the fourth-ranked team in cleveland.com's Top 25 area poll and the second seed at the Strongsville Division I District, turned in what was probably the biggest victory in Ohio last weekend - a 70-65 triumph at Columbus Northland that snapped the Vikings' 91-game home winning streak. Northland still finds itself in the top 10 of the Division I state poll.

As for Jackson, they certainly have the respect of Coach Becker, who told his players after Tuesday's 89-62 victory over Glenville that Jackson has the talent to make a run to the state final four.

Helping showing the way for the Polar Bears are their gifted junior forwards, 6-foot-8 Kyle Young and 6-6 Logan Hill.

Young, who is averaging 20.9 points per game and has made 38 3-pointers this winter, can score inside and obviously outside, has deep range and is a very skilled offensive rebounder.

Hill not only averages 14.1 points, but is an excellent leaper and shot blocker. He takes full advantage of his timing, anticipation and footwork. Offensively, he is solid from 15 feet in.

Like Saint Ignatius, Jackson is a very versatile team with above average depth.

Among the other mainstays is 6-3 senior forward Jake Pallotta, a two-year starter who is an aggressive defender and rebounder. Jake also has good range (16 treys), so you have to get out on him when he is near the arc.

The other half of the Pallotta 1-2 punch is 6-5 sophomore forward Jaret Pallotta, an all-around athlete and a capable rebounder at both ends.

Coach Debevec can also turn to 6-8 backup post Michael Zitney, who is passionate off the glass, 6-2 junior guard Kyle Nicolas, who has 21 3-pointers (including 7 in one game), 6-2 senior guard Justin Johnston, a solid all-around player who has buried 19 treys, and 6-1 senior guard Ben Seaman and his 14 3-pointers.

The Polar Bears, who brought home the Division I State Basketball Championship in 2010 and added a Division I State Baseball title in 2014, share two significant common opponents with Saint Ignatius.

As we mentioned above, Jackson has split two games with McKinley this season and could be headed for a third meeting with "The Pups" in the Canton District. The Polar Bears lost to talent-rich Huber Heights Wayne in the Scholastic Play-By-Play Classic, 65-58.

The Wildcats defeated McKinley, 68-59, on Dec. 19th in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium and were defeated at Huber Heights Wayne on Jan. 9th, also by a 65-58 score. Huber Heights Wayne is Ohio's top-ranked Division I team.

Stay safe, happy and warm this Valentine's Day weekend.                        

Here is a look at the Cleveland Heights Basketball Tigers, who pay a visit to Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium on Friday night
2/11/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2016.

Cleveland, Ohio - In the first game of its home-and-series with Cleveland Heights back on December 12th, Saint Ignatius withstood an impressive third-quarter run by the Tigers, closed the show in style and presented Coach Brian Becker with his 300th overall victory, which includes two seasons as Fairview's Head Coach.

As we reported after Tuesday's dominant victory over Glenville, Coach Becker currently has 311 overall career victories and is just three wins shy of the mark he covets the most - 300 victories at his alma mater Saint Ignatius.

The final score of the season's first matchup with the Heights Tigers was 88-59. Saint Ignatius' gifted senior guard/forward Deven Stover finished with a game-high 25 points, including three of the Cats' 10 3-pointers. The game took place at Lutheran East High School because of the building and renovations that are going on at Cleveland Heights.

Saint Ignatius jumped on the Tigers early and often in the first meeting, storming to a 50-27 lead early in the second half.

However, Cleveland Heights put together a 21-7 run and cut the deficit to 57-48 entering the final eight minutes.

The long, athletic and deep Cats responded big time and moved to leads of 66-48 with 5:31 left to play and 81-56 with 2:19 remaining.

It has been a tough winter for the Tigers, who throughout the 1990s and early 2000s under Hall of Fame Coach Jim Cappelletti were a household name around the area's and state's basketball circles.

Through 16 games, Cleveland Heights was 5-11, 4-3 in the Lake Erie League.

Saint Ignatius enters Friday's 7:30 PM tipoff at 13-4 and ranked fourth in the seven-county area.

A 6 PM Junior Varsity matchup will get things started and, if you can't make it to Sullivan Gym tomorrow (Friday) night, the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network will bring you the action live. Matt MacKenzie and Brendan DeVenney will have the Varsity call.

Here is a look at some of the key Heights Tigers, a team that has more skill than its record indicates.

Yahell Hill, 5-foot-11 guard: A quick penetrator who can let it fly off the bounce or the dribble, Hill averages 14.1 points per game.

Jaylen Harris, 6-5 forward: An exceptional athlete (a major-college football recruit) who runs the floor, can score in a variety of ways and is a strong rebounder, Harris averages 13.8 points.

Mike Pettit, 6-5 post: Skilled and quick, big Mike checks in at 10 points per game.

Tyreke "Ty"  Smith, 6-4 forward:  A physical player who blends his strength and skill, Ty is averaging 8.4 points per game.

Malik Smith, 6-5 forward: A strong rebounder that must be boxed out, Malik averages 8.1 points per game. 

Among the other Tigers who can also burn bright are 5-8 guard Chaz Hardin with 7.4 points per game, athletic left-handed 6-2 wing Grayson Green and guard Cory Hicks, who has provided scoring off the bench.

Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Jerry Porath emphasizes that the Tigers have very balanced scoring across their main seven players. Coach Porath also pointed to the fact that Cleveland Heights has been starting a bigger lineup.

The Tigers now start one guard. Hardin hasn't been starting lately, but stills plays several minutes. Defensively, Cleveland Heights will play mostly man-to-man and will chase and trap. The Tigers did employ some diamond pressure versus Bedford.

In a closing note, the Wildcats' Junior Varsity defeated Cleveland Heights back on Dec. 12th, 52-42. Standout 6-4 sophomore post Luke Wiskes scored 17 points and blocked five shots, and sophomore guards Charlie Kriak and Neeko Melendez tossed in 11 and 10 points, respectively.  

  

  

  

 

 

 

Congratulations to Wildcats Soccer Standout Steve Milhoan, the 2015-16 Gatorade Ohio Boys Soccer Player of the Year
2/11/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer with the official News Release.

Steve continues the rich tradition of Coach Mike McLaughlin's state and nationally acclaimed program, as he joins Matt Foldesy '12 and Mark Bades '06, who were previous winners of this prestigious award.

Here is today's official release of this special honor for Steve

CHICAGO (February 11, 2016) — In its 31th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Stephen Milhoan of St. Ignatius High School as its 2015-16 Gatorade Ohio Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Milhoan is the third Gatorade Ohio Boys Soccer Player of the Year from St. Ignatius High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Milhoan as Ohio’s best high school boys soccer player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced in May, Milhoan joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, Mich.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, East Brunswick HS, N.J.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).

 The 5-foot-9, 165-pound junior forward led the Wildcats to a 22-0-1 record and the Division I state championship this past season. Milhoan scored 29 goals and passed for 19 assists. He tallied nine goals and six assists in seven postseason games, including a goal in a 4-0 win over Hilliard Davidson in the state final. The Ohio State Soccer Coaches Association’s Division I Player of the Year, Milhoan is a member of the U.S. Soccer Futsal National Team. He concluded his junior year with 49 goals and 30 assists in his prep soccer career.

 Milhoan has maintained a 3.58 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally at Holy Family Home, an initiative for people with cancer, and at a homeless shelter. He has also donated his time as a youth soccer coach and referee.

 "Stephen has great technique, can hit a ball with either foot effectively and has great pace, balance, agility and coordination," said Brett Neiderman, head coach of Dublin Coffman High. "He sees the field so well and can pick the killer pass to unlock another team’s defense."

 Milhoan has made a verbal commitment to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Xavier University beginning in the fall of 2017.

 The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Milhoan joins recent Gatorade Ohio Boys Soccer Players of the Year Chris Brennan (2014-15, Copley High School), Jack Clark (2013-14, Mason High School), Sam Bascom (2012-13, Madeira High School), Matt Foldesy (2011–12, St. Ignatius High School), Wil Trapp (2010–11 & 2009-10, Lincoln High School), Matt Wiet (2008–09, Worthington Kilbourne High School), Nick Blevins (2007-08, Bloom Carroll High School), and Lamar Skeeter (2006-07, Fairmont High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

Again, congratulations from this old-timer, who has had the privilege to cover and report on some of Steve's many accomplishments on the pitch. And congratulations to Steve's family, Coach McLaughlin, Steve's teammates and the entire Saint Ignatius Soccer Program.

Tito Vazquez III shares with the corner his decision to furher his education and football career at the University of Akron
2/11/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio - Shortly after Saint Ignatius' highly competitive wrestling triumph over Lake Catholic in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium on Wednesday night (see the corner's story below), senior wrestling and football mainstay Tito Vazquez III shared with the corner his decision to further his education and football career at the University of Akron.

Tito tweeted his decision to join the Zips on Tuesday evening.

"I felt really welcomed at the University of Akron, it felt like another home away from home," said Tito, a mainstay as both a heavyweight for Coach Mark Sullivan's high-rising wrestling program and a defensive lineman for Coach Chuck Kyle's state and nationally acclaimed football program.

"The people there were really excited to see me and talk with me," Tito continued. "The campus is just so nice with how much its has improved and I could just see myself being there for the next four or five years of my athletic and academic life.

"I really like him, he's a great guy," Tito said of Zips Head Football Coach Terry Bowden, who guided the University of Akron's football program to its first Bowl victory this past season, a win over Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. "He's a coach who wants to win, he just knows the sport well and he makes you feel wanted and feel good about yourself."

Tito said he was recruited by Akron as an interior defensive lineman, a tackle or possibly a defensive end, the positions he played at Saint Ignatius.

As far as his education, Tito said he looking at studying History and going Pre-Law. He emphasized that the University of Akron has a very good Pre-Law Department.

The corner wishes to join Coach Sullivan, who said he and the Wildcats' Wrestling Program couldn't be prouder of Tito, in saying congratulations to Tito, his family, Coach Sullivan, Coach Kyle and his longtime Defensive Line/Defensive Coordinator Dan Corrigan, who helped develop Tito's football skills.           

 

Mother Nature threw a curve at Saint Ignatius Wrestling's annual Seniors and Alumni Night, but the spirited competition that saw the Wildcats edge Lake Catholic, 35-29, was worth the nerve-testing drive home
2/10/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - After seniors Hunter Toth, Kyle Vilsack, John Robinson and Tito Vazquez III, along with their parents, were introduced to a crowd in Fr. Sullivan Gymnasium that braved a heavy snow filled, windy and cold Wednesday night, Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats and the always hard-nosed and highly competitive Lake Catholic Cougars went at it like there was a trip to the OHSAA State Tournament on the line.

Coach Sullivan, a graduate of Lake Catholic, was pleased with the competition that took place on the center court mat in storied Sullivan Gym, in terms of how much it will prepare his predominately young team for this month's OHSAA Sectional Tournament at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.

The hard-earned 35-29 victory over the Cougars saw mainstays Quade Rasmussen and Hunter Toth wrestle up and record impressive victories, and gifted 126-pound junior Matt French record a pin in 24 seconds.

Quade went from the 132-pound class to 138 for his key 8-4 decision over Lake Catholic's Luke McKeon down the stretch, and Hunter jumped from 145 to 152 and pinned the Cougars' Matthew Valentino.

Savvy and strong 160-pound junior Cal Miller and oh so promising 170-pound sophomore Michael Drobnick kept the early momentum train going with a 17-2 major decision for Cal and a 6-0 decision turned in by Michael's gritty effort.

We say early momentum because unlike most matches that see the lighter weights get things started, Wednesday's match involved a coin flip to see which class opened the show and it came up 152.

Just when it appeared that Saint Ignatius was in control, Lake Catholic grabbed some much-needed emotion with an upset at 182 that saw the Cougars' Johnny Szep defeat Wildcat standout Kaden Russell, 11-7.

After Kyle Vilsack won by forfeit at 195, Lake Catholic recorded a pin at 220. Saint Ignatius' Tito Vazquez III then went pin city at 285 and the Cats held a 26-9 advantage.

"The kid came out pretty quick, pretty aggressive," Tito said. "With me it was like controlling the pace and seeing what he wanted to do. When he came up and tried to throw me, I was able to keep my hips low and catch him for the pin. I'm feeling very well going into the Sectional Tournament and looking forward to a good week and a half of practice."

The Lake Catholic faithful were feeling pretty good, too, watching their Cougars make up some significant ground in the late lower-class matches. Before you knew it, Lake Catholic trailed by only a 26-18 margin.

Matt French silenced the Cougars and their fans briefly with his impressive pin at 126, but Lake Catholic answered with a pin of its own at 132 and Saint Ignatius' margin was trimmed to 32-24.

Quade Rasmussen was then money at 138 and, after the Cougars' 19-4 victory at 145, the final score stood 35-29 and the wrestlers lined up, shook hands and wished each other well.

"I thought our boys wrestled very well," Coach Sullivan said. "They were probably slightly tired because we had hard practices both Monday and Tuesday, very hard practices because we're preparing for the State Tournament. So we went into tonight's match not 100 percent fresh. I told them our goal is the state tournament and, although a little tired, they took the challenge and wrestled very well tonight. So I'm very proud of them." 

JUNIOR VARSITY HAS A STRONG NIGHT: Among the exceptional efforts in the Junior Varsity matches were two pins at 152 by Zach Tomford, a pin by Joe Gibbons at 285 and a 6-1 decision at 182 by freshmen Kyle Sullivan, Coach Sullivan's nephew. Kyle had to battle a bloody nose throughout the match.           

 

     

 

      

The Ice Cats and St. Edward are seeded 1-2, respectively, for the OHSAA Brooklyn District
2/10/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The top four seeds at Brooklyn are Saint Ignatius, St. Edward, Padua Franciscan and Rocky River.

Saint Ignatius, ranked second in Ohio to defending state champion Toledo St. Francis de Sales and winner of its second consecutive Great Lakes Hockey League regular season championship, will look to keep its GLHL Cleveland Cup Tournament reign alive when it faces the always tough Walsh Jesuit Warriors in a semifinal round matchup on Friday at 6 PM in the OBM Arena at Strongsville's IceLand USA.

Saint Ignatius, which brought home the Cleveland Cup in 2014 and 2015, will bring a record of 29-2-1 and an 18-game winning streak into Friday's fourth encounter with the Warriors this season. The Ice Cats are 2-0-1 in the three previous meetings, including last weekend's 3-2 regular-season finale victory at the Brooklyn Ice Arena that saw Saint Ignatius rally with two third-period goals.     

 

Congrats to Wildcats Basketball standout Jimmy Berger, the Saint Ignatius Athlete of the Week
2/10/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Jimmy had a double-double in rebounds and assists, and was three points shy of a triple double in this past weekend's victory at Division I state-ranked Columbus Northland.

In helping the Wildcats snap Northland's 91-game, 10-year home winning streak, 70-65, Jimmy had 11 assists, 12  rebounds and 7 points.

Jimmy, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, teams with his twin brother Ryan, a 6-4 senor guard, in forming one of the top 1-2 punches in the area. Jimmy also excelled in football as a long snapper and wide receiver.

Congrats to Jimmy, his family, Head Coach Brian Becker '77 and the entire Saint Ignatius Basketball Program.

The top seeded Ice Cats eliminate Gilmour Academy, 7-0, in the opening round of the Cleveland Cup Tournament. See the weekly state poll that accompanies this report.
2/10/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Wildcats took command early with five first-period goals and went on to eliminate the Lancers in Cleveland Cup opening-round play for the third consecutive year. The Ice Cats also defeated Gilmour Academy, 8-0, in a regular season matchup at Quicken Loans Arena.

Saint Ignatius, which improved to 29-2-1 and extended its winning streak to 18 games, will now face the talented and tough program from Walsh Jesuit in Friday's semifinal round. The puck will drop at 6 PM in the OBM Arena at Strongsville's IceLand USA.  

Senior Captain/forward Aidan Spellacy and junior forward Jon von Keyserling each scored a pair of goals for the Ice Cats on Tuesday night, and senior goalie Mark Mastroianni got the start and stopped all 10 shots he faced for the shutout.

Spellacy, who joined Saint Ignatius senior Captain/Defenseman Brian Russell on the ALL-GLHL Team (see the corner's post from Jan. 31), also had two assists.

The Ice Cats , the two-time GLHL regular season champions and two-time defending Cleveland Cup champions, just faced Walsh Jesuit this past Saturday evening and rallied for two third-period goals in a 3-2, regular-season finale victory at the Brooklyn Ice Arena in the John M. Coyne Recreation Center. Saint Ignatius is 2-0-1 versus the Warriors this winter.

HERE IS THE WEEKLY ICE HOCKEY STATE POLL, COURTESY OF THE COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS' JOEL SIEGMAN AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

1. Toledo St. Francis de Sales 80 points (10 first-pace votes) Defending State Champion and the only Ohio team to defeat Saint Ignatius this season, 5-1, in the championship game of the annual Padua Franciscan Christmas Tournament.                 

2. Saint Ignatius 72  Will take an 18-game winning streak into Friday's GLHL Cleveland Cup Semifinal Round matchup with Walsh Jesuit at the OBM Arena in Strongsville's IceLand USA. See story above.   

3. University School 60

4. St. Edward  55

5. Columbus St. Charles 42
             
6. Bowling Green 39

7.  Dublin Jerome 22

8-T.  Shaker Heights 15

8-T.  Upper Arlington 15

10. Sylvania Northview 14

Others receiving votes: Dublin Coffman, Springboro, Walsh Jesuit, Findlay and Olentangy Liberty

   

Just a reminder, the Alley Cats will look to prowl Buckeye Lanes in this Sunday's OHSAA Sectional Competition
2/10/2016

The doors at Buckeye Lanes will open at 7 AM on Sunday, which is Valentine's Day. Practice begins at 8:40 AM and the Sectional competition gets underway at 9 AM.

The corner wishes all of the best to Head Coach Jim Viets and his gifted and tough-minded Keglers.

- Eddie Dwyer

  

A solid all around effort by standout senior Deven Stover and a high-low offense that was fueled by one of the top big men combinations in the state, juniors Austen Yarian and Matt Davet, help key the Wildcats' 89-62 victory over Glenville Tuesday night
2/9/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2016

From Sullivan Gymnasium - In covering Coach Brian Becker's Saint Ignatius teams for many years at The Plain Dealer and now having the privilege to do so again in his second time around as the Cats' Head Basketball Coach, this old gym rat has a pretty good handle on whether or not Coach Becker was pleased with his team's performance on any given night.

Well, after the now 13-4 Wildcats outplayed and wore down a Glenville program that has plenty of promise, this corner can tell you very confidently that Coach Becker went off into a snowy night in Ohio City VERY PLEASED.

And why not?

In defeating the Tarblooders, 89-62, Coach Becker watched Cats gifted 6-foot-5 senior guard/forward Deven Stover turn in a drive and desire filled all around performance that included 15 points, 9 rebounds and a solid defensive effort against Glenville's young, but very talented 6-5 sophomore forward/guard Christian Guess.

Guess, who took the Sullivan Gym floor Tuesday night averaging 21.5 points, finished with an extremely hard-earned 16 points. More than a handful of those 16 came after Stover was on the sideline receiving congratulations from his teammates.

Glenville, which slipped to 11-7, has played some of the area's best down to the wire. The Tarblooders were coming off a tough 68-65 loss to East Tech in last weekend's annual City Championship Game. East Tech is ranked seventh in the seven-county area, just three spots behind Saint Ignatius.

The Wildcats were coming off a performance in Columbus on Saturday night that saw Coach Becker's team defeat state-ranked Northland High School, 70-65, and snap the Vikings' 91-game, 10-year home winning streak.

Riding the emotion of that victory in the State Capital, Saint Ignatius unleashed its zone high-low offense against Glenville that featured the size and athletic skills of 6-8 junior post/wing Austen Yarian and 6-7 junior post Matt Davet. It was an offense generated by the scoring, passing and rebounding of Davet and Yarian, and near flawless floor games by the versatile Berger twins, 6-3 senior guard Jimmy and 6-4 senior guard Ryan, and savvy and tireless senior point guard Kyle Kalish.

Davet finished with a game-high 18 points and pulled down 7 rebounds, Yarian had 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, and Kalish and Jimmy Berger dished out five and four assists, respectively. Thirteen Wildcats hit the scoring column.  

Along with Guess' 16 points, Glenville also got a 16-point night from junior guard Jerome Wright.

"I thought Deven Stover brought a lot of energy tonight," said Coach Becker, who is now just three wins shy of the record he covets the most - 300 victories at his alma mater Saint Ignatius. Brian currently has 311 career victories overall, including two seasons as Fairview's Head Coach, with 297 of those coming at Saint Ignatius.

"Deven did a really good job on the Guess kid, and that was one of our keys," Coach Becker continued. "Yarian and Davet worked really well on that high low and I thought Jimmy (Berger) and Kyle (Kalish) managed the team really well.

"They're a good team and Michael (Glenville's veteran Head Coach Michael Holt) does a great job with those guys," Coach Becker said. "But our team game really came together tonight. That is what we need going into this final stretch with the opponents that we play."

The beat goes on Friday night when the Cleveland Heights Tigers pay a visit to Sullivan Gym for the second game of a home-and-home series. Saint Ignatius defeated the Tigers, 88-59, on Dec. 12th. That was the night Coach Becker got his overall 300th win.  

Saturday night features a trip to Massillon Jackson. Coach Becker firmly believes that the now healthy Jackson Polar Bears are capable of making a run at the final four.

And then there is next week, when the Cats make the short trip to Garfield Heights on Wednesday night to face Coach Sonny Johnson's talent-rich Bulldogs. Garfield Heights, ranked second to St. Vincent-St. Mary in the seven-county area, was again the only area team ranked in this week's Associated Press Division I State Poll.

Saint Ignatius, the second seed at the Strongsville Division I Sectional/District, closes its regular season on Feb. 20th, when it hosts West Side rival St. Edward in the second game of the annual home-and-home series. The Eagles, ranked one notch below the Wildcats as the area's fifth-ranked team, defeated Saint Ignatius, 83-80, in double overtime on Jan. 22nd at St. Edward. Coach Eric Flannery's Eagles received the No. 1 seed at Strongsville.

BENCH BRIGADE: Throughout this season, Coach Becker '77 and his outstanding staff of Coach Jerry Porath, Coach Dr. Tim Vala '76 and Coach Michael McGlynn '02 have developed exceptional depth.

That rotation is led by senior forward/post Tim Kiefer and senior forward Tyler Musbach, young men capable of starting for several teams throughout Northeast Ohio.

Saint Ignatius' depth helped take its toll on the Glenville Tarblooders and that is why you saw 13 players in the box score for the Wildcats.

Among those making their presence felt were senior post Sharief Irish, who is getting back into the flow every day; junior forward Quinton Farren, whose motor on the court never stops running; junior guard Colin Goodfellow, who turned in a "sweet dish" assist and an athletic tip in; senior guard Michael Hollis, who buried another kiss-the-sky 3-pointer and disrupted Glenville's flow with his endless hustle; junior guard Michael Spear, who sent home an authoritative driving one-hander down the lane that barely tickled the twine, and junior point guard Devin Jackson, who almost chipped the paint on the ceiling in Sullivan Gym with a pair of treys that would have drawn a smile from J.R. Smith.

VERY IMPRESSED: Wildcats standout junior post Matt Davet, who turned in another solid game at Columbus Northland last weekend, had nothing but high praise for the Vikings' 4-Star player, 6-8 forward/post Seth Towns. Towns, an outstanding student athlete, is bound for Harvard University after considering scholarship offers from several big-time programs. At Harvard, Towns will be playing for one of the top coaches in the nation, Tommy Amaker.

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME

SAINT IGNATIUS 60, GLENVILLE 48

The Cats and the Tarblooders went back and forth in the first seven minutes before 3-pointers by sophomore guards Neeko Melendez and Ryan McLain helped Saint Ignatius to a 14-8 lead entering the second quarter.

Thanks to baskets by sophomore forward Aymin Bahhur, McLain and gifted 6-4 sophomore post Luke Wiskes, and a strong baseline drive by 6-6 sophomore post Kazmir Dzurec, the Wildcats clung to a 26-20 advantage at halftime.

Saint Ignatius, now 11-6 on the season, began to create some distance between itself and the 14-3 Tarblooders in the third quarter.

A smooth pull-up jumper by sophomore guard Charlie Kriak, a strong move down the lane by Wiskes that resulted in a 3-point play and another basket by Melendez had the Cats on top, 33-22.

After 3-pointers by sophomore point guard Mark Bobinski and Melendez slowed down a mini rally by Glenville and extended Saint Ignatius' lead to 13 points, Wiskes helped keep it there with a put back and two free throws. Wiskes, who was coming off a 33-point performance in last weekend's five-point loss to Northland's Jayvees, finished with a game-high 19 points.

The Cats, sparked by the hustle of sophomore forward Joshua Ozanne and an authoritative driving one-hander down the lane by sophomore guard/forward Dominic DiNunzio, started to pull away from the Tarblooders.     

Leading by 15 points entering the fourth quarter, Saint Ignatius, with Bahhur, Wiskes and Melendez helping show the way, stretched its lead to 18 points before Glenville closed out the game with an 8-2, make-it-respectable run.

One of the plays during the Cats' sealing stretch that drew a roar of approval from the Saint Ignatius faithful was a reverse layup along the baseline by Wiskes off an one-the-money assist from Melendez.

  

           

 

 

                        

  

        

Garfield Heights remains the only area team in this week's AP State Basketball Poll
2/8/2016

The Top Ten teams in the Associated Press Ohio high school basketball poll with first-place votes, record and total points

 DIVISION I

1, Huber Hts. Wayne (11) 20-0 200

 2, Lima Sr. (9) 18-0 196

3, Gahanna Lincoln 20-1 155





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4, Wilmington 19-1 131

5, Warren Harding (1) 17-1 100 Only setback was to Saint Ignatius in Sullivan Gymnasium on Dec. 29

6, Garfield Heights 16-3 91 Hosts Saint Ignatius on Wednesday night, Feb. 17

7, Cincinnati Elder 18-3 66

8, Archbishop Moeller 17-3 58

9, Columbus Northland 18-2 40 The 91 consecutive wins at home came to an end courtesy of Ohio City's Cats

10, Westerville South 17-4 21

Others receiving 12 or more points: 11, Mason 18. 12, Cincinnati La Salle 17. 13, St. John’s Jesuit 13.

Here is a look at the Glenville Basketball Tarblooders, who make the short trip to Sullivan Gym Tuesday night to face the area's fourth-ranked Wildcats
2/8/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - The Saint Ignatius Wildcats, riding the emotion of Saturday night's impressive performance at Columbus Northland, where they ended the Vikings' 91-game, 10-year home winning streak, will be making a short, little-rest turnaround when they take on the Glenville Tarblooders tomorrow night in storied Sullivan Gymnasium.

According to the schedule on the Cats' basketball web page, a 6 PM Junior Varsity Game will get yet another week night of basketball underway, followed by the Varsity tipoff at 7:30.

Coach Brian Becker's Cats enter the game at 12-4 and ranked fourth in the cleveland.com seven-county Top 25 area poll.   

As we mentioned in the weekly Where The Cats Play that was posted this afternoon, if you can't make it to the game Tuesday night, the 1-2 punch of Matt MacKenzie and Brendan DeVenney will bring it to you live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

The Tarblooders, who agreed to tomorrow night's matchup early last month, which gives the Wildcats a regular-season schedule of 21 games, are coming off a tough 68-65 loss to the East Tech Scarabs in Friday's Senate Athletic League City Championship Game. The Tarblooders' undoing came courtesy of a 49-point performance by East Tech's outstanding guard Markell Johnson. East Tech is the area's seventh-ranked team.

Glenville, which stands 11-6, is led by one of the top sophomores in Greater Cleveland in 6-5 forward Christian Guess.

Guess, who tossed in 17 points in the City Championship Game, is averaging 21.5 points per game. A young man who averaged nearly 12 points per game on the Varsity as a freshman, Guess is long and quick, attacks the basket, can go coast-to-coast on the break, and is a more than capable rebounder and defender.

Among Guess' supporting cast is strong and skillful 6-6 post Joshua Manningham. Manningham, who goes to the rim with authority and rebounds with a passion, averages 8.2 points per game and has a shooting range of about 15 feet. He is coming off a 10-point, 8-rebound effort against East Tech.

The Tarblooders' backcourt is keyed by steady point guard Marcus Drish, an underrated performer, and Jerome Wright, who is averaging 12.9 points per game. Wright also brings exceptional hands on defense, is quick and can get off the floor in the blink of an eye.

Nelson Wheatley is a Tarblooder who lends defense and depth to the point guard position.

Glenville's post players and guards will have to bring their A-plus game if they want to hang with Saint Ignatius' super six of 6-7 junior post Matt Davet, 6-8 junior wing/post Austen Yarian, 6-5 senior guard/forward Deven Stover, senior point guard Kyle Kalish and what is one of the area's top 1-2 punches, 6-3 senior point guard/two guard Jimmy Berger and his twin brother Ryan, a 6-4 senior guard who can light it up from beyond the arc.

As Wildcats outstanding Assistant Coach Jerry Porath pointed out, Glenville got off to a 3-0 start this season before losing three in a row - to East Tech in the regular season matchup, to St. Edward and to Beachwood. St. Edward and Beachwood are ranked fifth and eighth, respectively, in the seven-county area.

This old gym rat is looking forward to seeing the young Tarblooders, as I was disappointed when last season's game at Glenville was wiped out by Mother Nature. My dear friend and mentor, the late Dick "Zip" Zunt '50, and yours truly spent many of afternoon and evening in the grand gymnasium that sits off East 113th St.         

              

Wildcats Basketball climbs two spots to fourth place in this week's cleveland.com seven-county area Top 25 poll
2/8/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Here are this week's Top 10 area teams.

1. St. Vincent-St. Mary

2. Garfield Heights

3. Benedictine

4. Saint Ignatius

5. St. Edward

6. Lorain

7. East Tech

8. Bechwood

9. Bedford

10. Copley 

 

 

Wildcats Basketball, Hockey and Wrestling get started early this week in what is another chapter of Where The Cats Play. Cats' Swimming and Bowling teams are gearing up for OHSAA Sectional competition.
2/8/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Brian Becker's Varsity Basketball Wildcats (12-4), coming off a Saturday night performance that saw them defeat Columbus Northland, 70-65, and snap the Vikings' 91-game, 10-year home winning streak, will host the Glenville Tarblooders tomorrow night (Tuesday).

Tuesday's action begins with a 6 PM Junior Varsity matchup, followed by the Varsity Game at 7:30.

The dynamic duo of Matt MacKenzie and Brendan DeVenney will bring you the game live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network and this old gym rat will provide game coverage.

NOTE: The corner will be previewing the Tarblooders later this afternoon.

On Friday night, Coach Becker's high-rising, team-first Cats play host to the Tigers from Cleveland Heights and Saturday night it's a trip to Stark County to face the always capable Polar Bears from Massillon Jackson.

Also on Tuesday evening, Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats, the two-time Great Lakes Hockey League regular season Champions and two-time defending GLHL postseason Cleveland Cup Champions, will begin Cleveland Cup play versus the Lancers from Gilmour Academy at the OBM Arena in Strongsville's IceLand USA. The puck will drop at 6 PM. 

The Ice Cats, who defeated Gilmour Academy, 8-0, in the regular season, enter Tuesday evening's faceoff with a 28-2-1 record and riding a 17-game winning streak. Coach O'Rourke's gifted team is the top seed for the Cleveland Cup.

On Wednesday evening, Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats will present their annual Seniors and Alumni Night with a match versus the Cougars from Lake Catholic. Action gets underway in Sullivan Gym at 6 PM and the corner is privileged to be able to provide coverage.

The Wildcats' wrestlers are coming off impressive victories over Bedford and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy.

For Coach Mike Lehto's Swimmers and Coach Jim Viets' Alley Cats, aka Saint Ignatius' outstanding bowling team, this weekend marks the beginning of the OHSAA postseason with sectional competition.

The Wildcats' swimmers will be competing in Saturday's Lakewood Sectional at the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium on the campus of Cleveland State University. Warm ups begin at 11 AM, followed by the competition at high noon.

Coach Viets' Keglers are slated to be competing in the Division I Sectional at a site they are very familiar with - Buckeye Lanes. For times and other information at Buckeye Lanes, call Sectional Manager Kevin Minnich at 440-309-5293.

Have a safe and great week and weekend, and all of the best to the Cats' fab five winter sports teams.  

  

Just fyi on the GLHL "news" post under Athletic News, the corner, via Coach Pat O'Rourke and yours truly posted the All-GLHL Team on Jan. 31st. In case you mssed it, Captains Aidan Spellacy and Brian Russell were named to the team.
2/8/2016
Saint Ignatius Basketball to host Lincoln-West and the Max S. Hayes Lakers in OHSAA Sectional play
2/7/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

CLEVELAND, OHIO - Coach Brian Becker's Wildcats, who are 12-4 after Saturday's impressive victory at Columbus Northland, will host Lincoln-West in a Sectional Semifinal on Feb. 24 at 7 PM.

In what is expected to be a victory over Lincoln-West, the Cats would then move on to a Sectional Final versus the Max S. Hayes Lakers on Feb. 27 at 7 PM, also in Sullivan Gymnasium.

Saint Ignatius is heavy favorite to advance to District play at Strongsville High School, which would begin with a projected semifinal matchup versus the Bees from Brecksville-Broadview Heights on March 3 at 7 PM.

Brecksville-Broadview Heights faces the winner of the Lakewood vs. Rhodes matchup in a Sectional Final at the Bee Hive.

In the other half of the Strongsville District pairings, St. Edward, like Saint Ignatius, is a strong favorite to advance to District play. Barring an upset, the Wildcats and the Eagles would be on course for a third meeting this season - the Strongsville Division I District Championship Game on March 5 at 7 PM.

Of course St. Edward makes the short trip to Sullivan Gym on Feb. 20 for the second of the annual regular season home-and-home series with the Wildcats. The Eagles won the first matchup at St. Edward last month in double overtime.

The top three seeds at Strongsville are St. Edward, Saint Ignatius and Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

Simply put, the Cats have the road to the Strongsville District paved smoothly.

At the Strongsville District, Brecksville-Broadview Heights could have something to say about a third meeting this season between Saint Ignatius and St. Edward, but if the Saint Ignatius team that ended Columbus Northland's 91-game, 10-year home winning streak continues to show up, Wildcats fans could be looking for hotels in the State Capital come late March.

On a side note, Saint Ignatius' sectional opponents, our neighbors from Lincoln-West and Max S. Hayes, could walk to Sullivan Gymnasium.

HERE ARE SOME COMMENTS FROM COACH BECKER ON THE CATS' IMPRESSIVE TRIUMPH OVER THE NORTHLAND VIKINGS, WHO ENTERED SATURDAY'S GAME AS THE EIGHTH-RANKED DIVISION I TEAM IN OHIO.

FROM COACH BECKER: "As for last night (at Northland), we played a solid team game on the glass and defensively. The Berger brothers were a calming force on both ends of the floor, while Matt Davet complemented them with a strong game on the glass.

"Clutch free throws by Kyle Kalish and Jim Berger sealed the victory.

"No rest, as we play an NBA schedule this week with games on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday."

FROM THE CORNER: For a recap on the Northland game, see the corner's post from Saturday night.

As for the Cats' schedule this week, they host the Glenville Tarblooders on Tuesday, Friday night Cleveland Heights pays a visit to Sullivan Gym for the second game of a home-and-home series (the Cats won the first meeting, 88-59, as Coach Becker won his 300th career game) and on Saturday night, Coach Becker's gifted team makes the trip to Massillon Jackson to face the always well-schooled Polar Bears.

The corner will get you started with Monday evening's preview on the Glenville Tarblooders.

NOTE: Coach Becker '77 would never offer this, but he needs just four more victories to reach the mark he truly cherishes - 300 victories at Saint Ignatius. He entered the season needing just two victories for 300 overall, which includes two seasons as Fairview's Head Coach. His number of victories at Saint Ignatius heading into this season was 284. So it's 296 and counting for something that would mean the world to Coach Becker. This old-timer has been around to witness many of those 296, and God be willing I will see the second of what will be another 300 memorable night this winter.

Enjoy your Super Bowl!

 

         

 

   

Saint Ignatius Basketball rides clutch free-throw shooting by senior guards Jimmy Berger and Kyle Kalish in the final 19 seconds and turns back the state's eighth-ranked Northland Vikings, 70-65. Cats snap Northland's 91-game home winning streak!
2/6/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius, unranked in this past week's Division I state poll and dropped three notches to sixth place in the seven-county area poll, controlled most of the game as Coach Brian Becker's team improved to 12-4.

Columbus Northland, which lost for just the second time in 20 games this winter, saw Saint Ignatius stretch a four-point halftime lead to an 11-point advantage entering the final eight minutes.

Coach Becker's team held a 10-point lead with 1 minute and 47 seconds remaining, and, on the strength of three clutch free throws by skilled and savvy senior guard Jimmy Berger and two more big-time shots from the charity stripe by gutsy and gifted senior point guard Kyle Kalish, put an end to the Vikings' 91-game, 10-year home winning streak.

Northland entered the game as Ohio's eighth-ranked team in Division I.

Saint Ignatius was led by a 20-point effort from strong and talented junior post Matt Davet, a 14-point night from multi-skilled senior guard Ryan Berger, Jimmy's twin brother, and 12 points from senior guard/forward Deven Stover, who is among the area's best.

Davet had nine baskets, Ryan Berger dropped in four 3-pointers, Stover hit six free throws among his 12 points, and Jimmy Berger's exceptional efforts included 12 rebounds and 10 assists. The Cats also got a solid defensive performance from 6-8 junior wing/post Austen Yarian.

Northland was led by its 4-star player, 6-8 senior forward and Harvard University bound Seth Towns, who finished with 36 points, including 15 from the foul line. Seth scored 23 of those points in the second half.

The Wildcats did an excellent defensive job on the Vikings' other offensive threats, as guard Jordan Kinchen with 10 points was the only other Northland player in double figures.

The Vikings made 20 free throws and the Cats dropped in 19 points from the charity stripe.

Up next for Coach Becker's Cats is Tuesday night's game versus the Tarblooders from Glenville, who lost a 68-65 thriller to the East Tech Scarabs in Friday's annual Senate Athletic League City Championship Game.

Tuesday's Varsity tipoff in Sullivan Gymnasium is slated for 7:30 PM and will be preceded by a 6 PM Junior Varsity matchup between the Tarblooders and the Wildcats.

NOTE: The corner will have quotes on Sunday from Coach Becker, along with the seeding from the OHSAA Strongsville Division I District, where the Wildcats are competing this upcoming postseason.

    

The Ice Cats ride two third-period goals to a 3-2 victory over Walsh Jesuit in the regular-season finale at the Brooklyn Ice Arena
2/6/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Junior forward Connor Koehnke with two lamplighters, including the game winner, and senior Captain/forward Aidan Spellacy with the tying goal in the late stages of the third period provided the offense for Coach Pat O'Rourke's Wildcats on Saturday evening, as Saint Ignatius closed its regular season at 28-2-1.

Koehnke opened the scoring off assists from Benji Rechin and Geoff Allman, and the Ice Cats led 1-0 after the first period.

Walsh Jesuit answered with two goals in the second period, including a short-handed effort.

Trailing, 2-1, with 5:20 left in the third period, Saint Ignatius knotted the score off Spellacy's goal, which resulted from a nice assist by Allman.

Less than a minute later, Koehnke scored again to put the Ice Cats up 3-2 and that's how it ended.

Saint Ignatius had 34 shots on goal and Walsh Jesuit had 13, as Cats standout senior goalie/Captain Dylan McKeon had 11 saves in the win.

The back-to-back champion of the Great Lakes Hockey League, Saint Ignatius will take a 17-game winning streak into next week's annual GLHL Cleveland Cup Postseason Tournament, where the Ice Cats are the top seed.

The Ice Cats, the two-time defending Cleveland Cup Champions, are expected to face either Lake Catholic or Gilmour Academy in Tuesday's 6 PM first-round action in the OBM Arena at Strongsville's IceLand USA.

With Saturday evening's victory over a Walsh Jesuit team that leaves everything it has on the ice, Saint Ignatius stands 2-0-1 versus the Warriors this season. The teams could meet again in Cleveland Cup play. 

 

Saint Ignatius Junior Varsity Basketball is defeated by Columbus Northland, 62-57, at Northland
2/6/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

With tonight's 5-point loss to Northland, the Junior Varsity Wildcats slip to 10-6 on the season.

Up Next for the JV Cats is Tuesday evening's encounter with the Glenville Tarblooders' Jayvees in Sullivan Gym.

The JV schedule on the Saint Ignatius website page currently shows Tuesday's game as being a 6 PM tipoff.

Wildcats wrestlers ride Friday's impressive victories, 59-17 over Bedford and 69-8 over CVCA, into Wednesday's annual Seniors and Alumni Night vs. Lake Catholic
2/6/2016

The corner will be on hand in Sullivan Gymnasium for Wednesday's action, which begins at 6 PM.

- Eddie Dwyer

To all Saint Ignatius Students from the Captains of the Ice Cats
2/5/2016

To All Saint Ignatius Students on Saturday's special fundraiser for the sport of Sled Hockey.

We want to personally invite you, on behalf of the hockey program, to a Cleveland Mighty Barons sled hockey charity game.

This year the Saint Ignatius Wildcats are collaborating with Walsh Jesuit to play the Cleveland Mighty Barons in a game of sled hockey.

Sled hockey is designed to provide a means for physically disabled children and adults to play competitive Ice Hockey. The sport was invented in the early 1960s in Stockholm, Sweden by a few players who wouldn't let their disability get in the way of doing what they loved - playing hockey.

Players sit in adjustable sleds with skate blades and use two sticks to propel themselves across the ice.

It's great that a sport so many people love can be adapted with very few modifications for people with disabilities. However, the modifications can be costly.

Ohio Sled Hockey, a nonprofit organization, provides this opportunity for participants.

We are hoping that this fundraiser game will help defer the cost to disabled participants and bring awareness of the sport to our community.

Admission is a $5 donation.

Thank You, Captains Aidan Spellacy, Brian Russell, Jared Stepka, Dylan McKeon and Cam Gerard, Saint Ignatius Varsity Blue Hockey.

FROM THE CORNER: The special fundraising game of sled hockey involving the ice hockey teams from Saint Ignatius and Walsh Jesuit, and the Cleveland Mighty Barons sled hockey team, will take place tomorrow (Saturday) evening at 7 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center.

Festivities surrounding the game will include "Chuck-A Puck," raffles and the opportunity for fans to play the game of Sled Hockey.

This special event will follow the 4:45 PM Great Lakes Hockey League regular-season finale between the Ice Cats and the Warriors from Walsh Jesuit.

Saint Ignatius, which clinched its second consecutive GLHL championship and the top seed at next week's annual Cleveland Cup Tournament by defeating Holy Name, 4-0, on Tuesday evening (see the corner's game story from Tuesday night), will take a record of 27-2-1 and a 16-game winning streak into the faceoff with the Warriors.

Saint Ignatius is 1-0-1 versus Walsh Jesuit this season.       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildcats Basketball is preparing to face one of Ohio's best of the best, Seth Towns from Columbus Northland. Saint Ignatius travels to Northland on Saturday for a State Capital headliner.
2/4/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - He is a 4.0-plus National Honor Society student who has committed to further his education and endless-promise basketball career at Harvard University, where Crimson Head Coach Tommy Amaker is doing an outstanding job.

And that was after he said Thank You, but it's Harvard, to The Ohio State University, the Michigan Wolverines and the UCLA Bruins, among others.

The name is Seth Towns, my friends, and the gifted 6-foot-8 forward has the Columbus Northland Vikings standing 17-1 and ranked eighth in the Associated Press Division I State Poll.

Entering Friday night's game at Centennial, Towns, a 4-star recruit, is averaging 31.7 points per game. He has 38 3-pointers among his impressive numbers, which also include 138 free throws made in 18 games.

On Saturday night, Towns and his solid supporting cast host Coach Brian Becker's Cats, who are 11-4 and ranked 6th in the seven-county area by cleveland.com. The Junior Varsity tipoff is now scheduled for 5:30 PM, followed by a 7 PM Varsity matchup that has drawn the interest of coaches around Northeast Ohio, and the entire state for that matter.

Yes, there will be plenty of score-line searching going on around 9 PM Saturday.

Towns is described by Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Jerry Porath as a player who can handle the ball, draw fouls and score from just about anywhere on the court. The 138 free throws made tells you all you need to know about Seth's ability to draw a whistle in his favor.

Coach Porath also referred to Towns' special skills when it comes to shooting, where he can hurt you off the catch and the dribble. Towns looks to score, obviously, so defenses have to be aware of him leaking out.

"In my mind, the Division I Player of the Year," said Coach Becker of Towns. "The kid does it all. He handles the ball, he rebounds, he screens, he's the cheerleader, he makes threes (3-point shots), I mean he's really a complete player who demands a lot of attention.

"Not only is Seth Towns very good, they have really good guards in Brandon Waugh and Jalen Stevens," Coach Becker continued. "They're strong, they're athletic and they're quick. Northland does a lot of trapping, they want to get you into a tempo game. So it's similar to the Warren Harding, Canton McKinley and St. Vincent-St. Mary teams that we've played (and defeated), where we have to handle the basketball.

"If we handle the basketball and going into the fourth quarter have somewhat of a handle on Towns, we have a shot to win," Coach Becker said. "We have to rebound really well and help on Towns. They're a solid team."

Northland's loss came in overtime at Springfield, but, as Coach Porath said, you really can't read too much into that. A couple of the Wildcats' setbacks this winter came to teams they weren't supposed to lose to. And Saturday's encounter is on the Vikings' home floor, where Northland has a tradition of success.

One early season score that caught this old-timer's good eye took place during the LeBron James Classic, when Northland had to call on a buzzer-beating layup by Towns to defeat a talented East Tech team, 59-57, in The LeBron James Arena at St. Vincent-St. Mary.

East Tech, a legendary program this corner grew up with in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, is ranked ninth in the seven-county area.

Along with the 6-3 Stevens (11 points per game and 13 3-pointers) and two-year starter Waugh, who Coach Porath said is solid in all aspects of the game, the Vikings can call on point guard Jordan Kinchen (8 points a game, 17 treys and an excellent defender), 6-4 guard JeJuan Witherspoon (10.8 points per game and 19 3-pointers), 6-7 post Quentin Jones, and Andrew Breckenridge, a scorer off the bench who has dropped in 24 3-pointers and is averaging nearly 8 points per game.

Saint Ignatius is getting healthier, as standout 6-4 senior guard Ryan Berger, who had to sit out last weekend's eight-point loss at Benedictine with a sprained ankle, was moving fine in practice on Thursday. Ryan's defense and exceptional long-range shooting could be huge keys on Saturday night.

PICKING UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF LAST SEASON, AND THEN SOME: Seth Towns averaged more than 21 points and more than 11 rebounds in earning first-team All-State honors as a junior.

TRADITION: Coach Becker '77 guided Saint Ignatius to a Division I state runner-up finish in 1998, when the Cats and the St. Edward Eagles battled for all of the marbles, and he led his alma mater to the Division I State Championship in 2001, as the Cats turned away Cincinnati Elder, 49-46. Saint Ignatius' other appearances in the state tournament took place in 1923, 1952 and 1953.

Northland brought home the big-school hoops championship in 2009 by defeating Cincinnati Princeton, 60-58, was the state runner-up to Cincinnati La Salle in 2011 and advanced to the state final four in 2013, the year the Mentor Cardinals captured Ohio's Division I honors.

THE LATE RED HOLZMAN WAS SMILING DOWN ON SULLIVAN GYMNASIUM LATE THURSDAY AFTERNOON: Coach Holzman, a Halll of Famer who always emphasized to his great New York Knicks teams the importance of moving without the basketball, would have loved to be on hand when Coach Becker stressed exactly the same thing to his Wildcats following practice on Thursday.

Coach Becker made it clear to his Cats that unless they learn to move without the ball, they will never fulfill their full potential.

SIBN!: If you can't make the trip to Columbus on Saturday evening, Matt MacKenzie, Brendan DeVenney and their savvy supporting cast will bring you the game live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

Have a safe and wonderful 50th Super Bowl Weekend. This old-timer wishes all of the best on Sunday evening for two young men I had the privilege to cover and report on during their outstanding high school careers, Carolina Panthers standout wide receiver/kick returner, the pride of the Glenville Tarblooders, Ted Ginn Jr., and the tackling machine from Cincinnati St. Xavier High School, Panthers All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly.              

 

 

   

          

   

 

   

       

   

 

 

 

Congrats from the corner go out to Wildcats senior heavyweight wrestler Tito Vazquez III, Saint Ignatius' Student Athlete of the Week
2/4/2016
Posted By Eddie Dwyer
 
This past week, Tito went 2-0 in the first round of the OHSAA Division I Region 2-B State Dual Team Tournament, including a pin over his then 32-0 opponent from John Adams.
 
Tito's performance helped the Wildcats advance to the Dual Team Tournament Regional Semifinals. Tito was also a key member of Saint Ignatius' defensive front in Varsity Football.
 
Congratulations to Tito, his family, Wildcats Head Wrestling Coach Mark Sullivan and the entire Saint Ignatius Wrestling Program.  
Cal Miller's victory at 160 is the major highlight in the Cats' 61-3 loss to St. Edward during Wednesday's Division I Region 2 finals of the OHSAA Dual Team State Wrestling Tournament
2/3/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2016

Lakewood, Ohio - Cal Miller, a big-match tested junior, defeated St. Edward's 160-pound junior Michael Carpenter in a 9-3 decision.

Cal avenged a 6-5 decision loss to Carpenter that took place on December 17th during the annual regular season matchup between the Wildcats and the Eagles, which was also held at St. Edward. That night saw the Eagles prevail, 63-6, and they followed with a 61-3 victory over the Cats on Wednesday night.

After a short break, Coach Greg Urbas' Eagles defeated Wadsworth, 47-10, and advanced to the OHSAA Dual Team State Tournament Quarterfinals, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 14th, in historic St. John Arena on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Cal, who has been putting a lot of time in refining his positioning, held leads over Carpenter of 5-0 after the first period and 7-1 after two periods, before taking home the gutsy 9-3 victory.

As both Cal and Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Coach Mark Sullivan emphasized, despite the 61-3 final score in the Eagles Nest on Wednesday night, several of the Wildcats made great strides from their matches versus St. Edward back in December.

Not to offer any excuses, especially when you are wrestling a program that is state and nationally acclaimed, legendary if you will, but this corner would be remiss not to report that Saint Ignatius was without its top wrestler on Wednesday night - standout 182-pound junior Kaden Russell. Kaden was ill.

Kaden's presence on Wednesday night would have probably given the Cats a few more points, not enough to win of course. In the regular season encounter with St. Edward, Kaden recorded an impressive pin over Eagles talented 182-pound junior Tyler Stepic, who won by forfeit Wednesday night.

FROM CAL MILLER: "I used to wrestle up," Cal said, referring to the Dec. 17th matchup with Carpenter. "Lately, I've been trying to get low and stay in good position. My goal tonight was just stay in good position and not let him get any takedowns in the first period.

"Luckily I got a takedown that put me ahead and gave me a confidence boost," Cal continued. "I just stayed in good position and was able to keep my score up.

"A lot of guys who wrestled tonight, they didn't win, but they improved greatly (from the Dec. 17th encounter with the Eagles)," said Cal. "About five of our wrestlers got pinned in the first period that night. But tonight, they got through the third period and Drobnick even took it to overtime."

Michael Drobnick, a 170-pound sophomore and a talented wide receiver on the Wildcats' Junior Varsity Football Team, battled to a 0-0 first period. Michael then came back from a 3-0 deficit and forced an overtime by tying his match with the Eagles' top 170-pounder, senior Jared Leidich, at 4-4 as the final three seconds of the third period were ticking off the clock.

Leidich prevailed in overtime, however, and St. Edward held a commanding 46-3 lead. The Wildcats' Coaching Staff was more than pleased with Drobnick's big-hearted effort.

FROM COACH SULLIVAN: "What I told the team was, as a whole, we improved quite a bit in the level of competitiveness," said Coach Sullivan. "We closed the gap in a lot of matches and were much closer to beating a lot of their guys, The scoring wasn't indicative of that, however. Obviously without D.J. (120 freshman mainstay D.J. Huff) and Kaden in the lineup, those are probably two more wins.

"Drobnick with the overtime and Quade Rasmussen (junior 132-pound mainstay), who got pinned pretty quickly in the first match (on Dec. 17th), loses 9-4 tonight," Coach Sullivan continued. "And there were other tightly contested matches.

"As a team, I'm happy with our progress," Coach Sullivan said. "We closed the gap and we're peaking at the right time with the upcoming (OHSAA) sectionals."    

        

   

 

        

 

If I may, a heartfelt Congratulations and Thank You
2/3/2016

By Eddie Dwyer

Before I head over to St. Edward High School to cover and report on our Wildcats Varsity Wrestlers in the regional semifinals and finals of the OHSAA Division I State Team Tournament, I wanted to express my CONGRATULATIONS to all of our outstanding Student Athletes, as today they sign their NCAA National Letters of Intent to further their educations and athletic careers at various universities and colleges throughout this great country.

Many of you are young men I have come to know and respect through the coverage of your various sports.

For that opportunity, and those lasting memories you have provided, allow me to say Thank You.

May God Bless You now, and in all of your future endeavors.

- The old-timer on the corner.   

 

  

It's still St. Francis de Sales and Saint Ignatius 1-2 in the latest State Ice Hockey Poll
2/2/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer and Courtesy of the Columbus Blue Jackets Joel Siegman

1. Toledo St. Francis de Sales 80 (8 first-place votes) Defending state champion             

2. Saint Ignatius 72 The Ice Cats wrap up another Great Lakes Hockey League title and extend their winning streak to 16 games (See the corner's story from Tuesday night following this poll).  

3. University School 60 The Preppers are back to their winning ways.

4-T. Columbus St. Charles 52

4-T. St. Edward 52
             
6. Bowling Green 37

7.  Dublin Jerome  23

8.  Dublin Coffman 21

9.  Shaker Heights 14

10. Sylvania Northview 9

   
Others receiving votes: Findlay, Rocky River, Springboro, Upper Arlington and Walsh Jesuit

The Ice Cats wrap up a second consecutive GLHL title, their 5th division crown in 6 years and the No. 1 seed for next week's Cleveland Cup by defeating Holy Name, 4-0. Holy Name goalie C.J. Balodis totals 62 saves.
2/2/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit February 2016

Brooklyn, Ohio - The Ice Cats, who improved to 27-2-1 and extended their winning streak to 16 games, outshot the Green Wave, 66-9, despite what was an impressive 62-save effort between the pipes by Holy Name's talented and tough-minded senior goalie C.J. Balodis on Tuesday evening in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

Saint Ignatius clinched its second consecutive Great Lakes Hockey League title, its fifth division crown in the last six regular seasons, and what Ice Cats outstanding Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 said is the eighth overall division title for the program.

"I believe that ties us with University School and St. Edward for the most ever (division crowns)," Coach O'Rourke said of a mark that dates back to the Red North Division years. "It's a good time to be a Wildcat."

Those good times will send the Ice Cats, ranked second in the state to defending state champ Toledo St. Francis, into next week's prestigious GLHL Cleveland Cup Tournament as the No. 1 seed.

Saint Ignatius begins Cleveland Cup play on Tuesday, Feb. 9th (note date change) versus either Gilmour Academy or Lake Catholic. The puck will drop at 6 PM in the atmosphere-rich OBM Arena at Strongsville's IceLand USA.

If successful on Feb. 9th, Coach O'Rourke's gifted team will advance to next Friday's (Feb. 12th) semifinal-round game at the OBM Arena, which is also slated for 6 PM. The Feb. 12th opponent is expected to be either Walsh Jesuit or Padua Franciscan.

The Ice Cats are the two-time defending Cleveland Cup Champions.

First things first, however, as Coach O'Rourke emphasized there will be no letup on Saturday when the Ice Cats close out their regular season versus Walsh Jesuit. The puck will drop at 4:45 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena. Saint Ignatius is 1-0-1 versus the Warriors this season.

SUPPLYING THE OFFENSE: Saint Ignatius' first goal on Tuesday night was provided by junior forward Benji Rechin off a long-distance assist by junior defenseman Steven Neff with just under 12 minutes remaining in the first period. Neff sent a picture-perfect pass to Rechin, who displayed speed and smooth stick work en route to his lamplighter.

The Ice Cats struck home twice in the second period, with senior forward/Captain Cam Gerard scoring off assists from senior forward/Alternate Captain Jared Stepka and senior defenseman Geoff Allman, and senior forward Zack Kisel making it a 3-0 game courtesy of assists from Stepka and Gerard.

Saint Ignatius closed out the scoring in the final seconds of the game, when versatile junior defenseman Seth Whitney tallied off assists from All-GLHL senior forward/Captain Aidan Spellacy and multi-skilled junior forward Connor Koehnke.

The Ice Cats' defense was in shutout mode from the opening faceoff, as was standout senior goalie/Alternate Captain Dylan McKeon.

Enough can't be said for the night Holy Name's Balodis turned in, which featured a variety of saves off authoritative shots by Saint Ignatius.

Quick reaction glove saves, pad stops, stick rejections, smothers under pressure, you name it. The man behind the mask for the Green Wave left it all on the ice in the John M. Coyne Recreation Center, and then some.

"He's a senior All-Star and could well be on the All-State Team," Coach O'Rourke said of Balodis. "I think he would be on there somewhere. C.J. Balodis is very good. I would have liked to score more goals than that on 66 shots, but sometimes you run into a hot guy like that and you don't.

"Basically, we controlled the play," Coach O'Rourke continued. "They (the Green Wave) did a good job of blocking some shots, trying to counter punch and counter attack. But we did a pretty good job of handling that. Overall, I was pretty pleased.

"The most important thing is we got the win and two points, and now we have another divisional crown."

TOO GOOD TO STAY TRUE: After two periods of penalty-free hockey, there were five penalties called in the final 8:24. There were no major penalties and they all appeared to be legitimate calls.

This old-timer was rooting for a penalty-free game. I'll admit it.

AND ANOTHER POSSIBLE NO. 1 SEED: The Ice Cats could be seeded No. 1 at the OHSAA Brooklyn District. The draw is on Feb. 10th. Stay tuned.  

  

    

    

     

  

     

 

Garfield Heights only Cleveland area team in this week's Division I State Basketball Poll
2/1/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

FIRST-PLACE VOTES IN PARENTHESIS, FOLLOWED BY RECORD AND TOTAL VOTING POINTS RECEIVED

DIVISION I

1. Huber Heights Wayne (11) 17-0 233 Defeated Saint Ignatius at Wayne on Jan. 9

2. Lima Senior (10) 15-0 230

3. Archbishop Moeller (2) 16-1 182

4. Gahanna Lincoln 18-1 134

5. Wilmington 17-1 124

6. Garfield Heights 14-3 120 Hosts Saint Ignatius on Feb. 17

7. Warren Harding (2) 14-1 90 Only loss came at Saint Ignatius on Dec. 29 

8. Columbus Northland 16-1 64 Hosts Saint Ignatius on Saturday night

9. Westerville South 16-3 63

10. Cincinnati Elder 15-3 25

Others receiving 12 or more points: 11. Dublin Coffman 21, 12. Mason 19, 13. Columbus St. Charles 14.

 

Saint Ignatius goes from third to sixth place in this week's cleveland.com Top 25 area basketball poll
2/1/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Here are this week's Top 10 teams in the seven-county area.

1. Garfield Heights

2. St. Vincent-St. Mary

3. St. Edward

4. Lorain

5. Benedictine

6. Saint Ignatius

7. Bedford

8. Beachwood

9. East Tech

10. Archbishop Hoban

Here is a quick glance at the corner's Where The Cats Play for this week
2/1/2016

By Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio - Although some of this information was covered through the corner's Sunday posts, we will be more than happy to fill out the week for you.

As we reported on Sunday, Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats, ranked second in Ohio and riding a 15-game winning streak, will look to wrap up their second consecutive Great Lakes Hockey League title and fifth division crown in six years when they host Holy Name's Green Wave tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Brooklyn Ice Arena in the John M. Coyne Recreation Center.

A Groundhog Day puck is scheduled to drop at 4:30 PM and the corner will be on hand for game coverage.

The Ice Cats close out their regular season versus Walsh Jesuit on Saturday with a 4:45 PM matchup at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

In what is another key early week event, Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats will make the short trip to St. Edward on Wednesday for the Region 2 finals of the OHSAA Wrestling Division I Dual Team Tournament.

Wednesday's 5 PM matches will have the Cats wrestling St. Edward on Mat 2. Olmsted Falls takes on Wadsworth on Mat 1. The winners of those matches will take a 20-minute break and then wrestle for the right to advance to the State Quarterfinals.

On Friday, the wrestling team is scheduled to compete in the Bedford Double Duals, beginning at 5 PM.  

The corner will also make the short trip to St. Edward to provide coverage on Wednesday.  

Coach Brian Becker's 11-4 Varsity Basketball Wildcats, coming off a 54-46 loss at Benedictine, will travel to Columbus Northland High School on Saturday to face the Vikings, who are currently 16-1. Columbus Northland is ranked 8th in this week's Associated Press Division I State Poll.

According to the schedule on the Wildcats' basketball web page, the action at Northland will begin with a 6 PM Junior Varsity Game followed by the 7:30 Varsity tipoff. This old-timer took a glance at Northland's schedule and it doesn't quite appear to match the talent the Cats have faced. Oh well, the corner will preview the Wildcats-Vikings Varsity encounter on Thursday night.

The Alley Cats, aka Coach Jim Viets' Varsity Bowling Team, are gearing up for the OHSAA Sectionals. For a look at this past weekend's accomplishments, see the report from Coach Viets that was posted Sunday on the corner.

As is the case with the Alley Cats, Coach Mike Lehto's Swimming and Diving Team is focused on the OHSAA Sectional competition, which is slated, on the Swimming and Diving web page, to begin on Feb. 13th in the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium on the campus of Cleveland State University.

Have a safe and great week and weekend, and we will see you at "The Big Barn on Memphis" Tuesday for the Ice Cats-Green Wave faceoff and at St. Edward on Wednesday for the Cats-Eagles wrestling match.      

 

    

Congrats to Ice Cats senior standouts and Captains Aidan Spellacy and Brian Russell on being selected to the 2016 All-Great Lakes Hockey League Team
1/31/2016
Posted By Eddie Dwyer
 
2016 GLHL ALL LEAGUE TEAM
 
Forwards:
Aidan Spellacy, Saint Ignatius
Drew Musgrave, Walsh Jesuit
Ryan Gorbett, University School
 
Defensemen:
Zach Goetsch, University School
Brian Russell, Saint Ignatius
 
Goalie:
Lynsey Wallace, Padua Franciscan
 
Coach of the Year:
Pat McKendry, Walsh Jesuit
The Ice Cats go for their second consecutive Great Lakes Hockey League title and fifth division crown in six years when they host Holy Name on Tuesday
1/31/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Pat O'Rourke's 26-2-1 Ice Cats, currently ranked second in the state and riding a 15-game winning streak, will host the Green Wave in a GLHL matchup on Tuesday at 4:30 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center. Yes, it's Groundhog Day, but Bill Murray has other plans and can't make the game.

If successful on Tuesday, it will mark the program's fifth division crown in six years and a second consecutive GLHL title. The Ice Cats defeated Holy Name, 8-1, on Jan. 23 at Parma's Michael A. Ries Ice Rink.

Admission on Tuesday is free to any faculty, staff, and students with a school ID.

The corner will be on hand for game coverage.

After this week's schedule, which includes Saturday's 4:45 PM regular-season finale versus Walsh Jesuit at the Brooklyn Ice Arena, the Ice Cats will focus on the GLHL's annual Cleveland Cup Postseason Tournament, which is scheduled to begin for the Cats on Feb. 10th, Ash Wednesday, in the OBM Arena at Strongsville's IceLand USA.

Saint Ignatius is the two-time defending Cleveland Cup Champion. 

 

Here is an update on Saint Ignatius Varsity and JV Bowling, courtesy of Alley Cats Coach Jim Viets
1/31/2016

Presented By Saint Ignatius Head Bowling Coach Jim Viets and Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Varsity:
 
The Wildcats took care of business in the morning, as they easily disposed of the Ironmen from Central Catholic. Cedric Crawford took top honors with his 225, 592 series.
 
After finishing the season in a tie in the OHSAA standings with Garfield Heights, a best of three baker format was next on the schedule. It took the Wildcats only 2 games to claim the Division 1 title.
 
Next on the agenda was the first match up for the year against the Bruins from Padua for the OHSAA championship.
 
Two costly missed spares allowed Padua to take game one, 199-186. Unable to find the line in game two gave the OHSAA title to the Bruins.
 
Junior Varsity:
 
Having already won the scratch title, the junior Wildcats entered the day looking forward to the match against Padua for the OHSAA title. After winning 7 points in scratch and handicap, the Wildcats found themselves in a tie in 2 standings.
 
First they had to roll-off against Padua for the OHSAA title. Mission accomplished. Next up was a roll-off against the Bengals from Benedictine for the Handicap title. Led by a lineup of Tom Kmet, Alex Gehrlein, Nizar Dergham, Vinny Doran, Nick Frank and Devin Venczel, the JV's completed a sweep of all 3 divisions
 
The Varsity travels to Cloverleaf for a tournament on Sunday, hosted by Cleveland Heights. A very tough collegiate oil pattern will be waiting for them as they continue to sharpen their skills for OHSAA Sectionals on the 14th at Buckeye Lanes. 
We're talking baseball with news on Rich McGraw and former Cats standout Sam Fuller
1/31/2016

By Eddie Dwyer

Rich McGraw, a pitcher/infielder for Coach Brad Ganor's 2015 Division I state semifinalists, has committed to play baseball at Catonsville College in Baltimore next year. Rich was also an offensive lineman for the Wildcats' Varsity Football Program. 

And a tip of the corner's cap goes out to former Wildcats outstanding center fielder Sam Fuller '15, who was recently named a co-captain at St Bonaventure University, as a freshman!

Benedictine's rebounding, transition and clutch free-throw-shooting key Saturday's 54-46 victory over the Wildcats at the "Home of Champions." JV Cats watch a 20-point lead slip away in a 52-49 loss to the Bengals.
1/30/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January/February 2016

Cleveland, Ohio -  The Varsity Basketball Wildcats, ranked third in the seven-county area and 13th in the AP Division I State Poll, trailed by four points after the first quarter, by three at halftime and again by four points entering the final 8 minutes in Benedictine's Trueman Fieldhouse on Saturday night.

After Saint Ignatius' multi-skilled junior post Matt Davet converted an on-the-money assist from savvy senior guard Jimmy Berger into a three-point play, Coach Brian Becker's team trailed, 31-30, early in the fourth quarter.

At that point, Coach Rob Stircula's Bengals made a concerted effort off both backboards, took what was given to them in transition and hit clutch free throws down the stretch.

Following a recovery of a loose ball by Benedictine sophomore guard Chris Jefferson that Jefferson's assist turned into a smooth layup in transition by Bengals' gifted senior guard Justin Layne, the "Home of Champions" was rocking to a 12-point lead with just over a minute remaining.

The now 11-4 Wildcats closed to 49-41 on a 3-pointer by Davet and a free throw by Jimmy Berger.

Mr. Momentum was still riding with the home team, however, as two clutch free throws by Bengals post Justin Sylver pushed Benedictine back into a double-digit lead with just 38.5 seconds left.

Saint Ignatius' gritty senior point guard Kyle Kalish would make it a seven-point game by burying one of his trademark 3-pointers, but the Bengals offset two free throws by Cats senor guard Michael Hollis with three more points from the Charity Stripe, and the faithful on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive were celebrating.

For those too young to recall, there was a strong Saint Ignatius-Benedictine rivalry long before the rivalry with St. Edward became what it is today. Can you say the Charity Game?    

In completing a 3-0 week that saw Benedictine defeat the area's third and fifth-ranked (Archbishop Hoban) teams, along with a Friday night victory at Padua Franciscan, Coach Stircula's team sits at 15-2.

The Bengals entered last night's game with the Wildcats ranked a very underrated ninth in the seven-county area.

OUT OF THE GATE: Saint Ignatius took a 5-0 lead in the first quarter, courtesy of Davet's first 3-pointer on the night and a put back by senior post/forward Tim Kiefer. Tim, a key fixture in Coach Becker's rotation, was starting in place of junior wing/post Austen Yarian (foot injury).

Benedictine, sparked by the play of Layne, went on a 13-0 run and took a 13-9 lead into the second quarter.

One of the premier athletes in the state, Layne will be taking his All-Ohio and national recognition credentials as a wide receiver to Michigan State.

SECOND QUARTER: After a pull-up jumper by Kalish and two free throws by Hollis, the Wildcats trailed by just two points. The Bengals answered with a baseline jumper by Sylver and a 3-pointer by Jefferson, and held a seven-point advantage coming down the stretch of the first half.

The Cats, sparked by Davet's two free throws and spinning one-hander in the lane, and Jimmy Berger's authoritative will to the rim, trailed, 22-19, at halftime.

THIRD QUARTER: Benedictine would again push its lead to seven points, only to watch Kalish respond with a highlight-reel three-point play off a drive and a steal and spin move down the lane that cut the deficit to 26-24.

The Bengals, on the strength of baskets by junior guard Jamari Patterson and Layne, pushed their lead to six points, and Coach Stircula's team clung to a 31-27 advantage entering the final eight minutes after Jimmy Berger converted a three-point play in transition and Benedictine junior forward Lenel Camp hit one of two free throws.

Jimmy Berger was without his twin brother and 'best friend" on the court Saturday night," as Cats standout senior guard Ryan Berger was sidelined by a sprained ankle.

BY THE NUMBERS: Kalish and Davet led the Cats with 13-point nights. Layne paced the Bengals' attack with 13 points and was supported by Jefferson and junior forward/post Marlon Moore, who each had nine points.

Benedictine was 13-of-20 from the foul line and Saint Ignatius hit on 13 of its 17 free throws.

A couple of stats that had Coach Becker shaking his head showed the Bengals coming up with points off 10 key offensive rebounds and Saint Ignatius making just 14 of its 57 shots from the field.

"You can't win a CYO game shooting like that," said Coach Becker. "It just never felt like we were in a flow. Nothing came easy tonight. Part of that is Benedictine's defense, but part of it is our ineffectiveness to execute. We've got to get better in terms of execution if we want to become a better basketball team.

"The first half, we rebounded, we were on the offensive glass," Coach Becker continued. ""The second half, their athleticism, their commitment to the backboard beat our commitment. Therefore easy second shots, put backs and fouls. It's frustrating, we're a better team than that."

Up next for Coach Becker's Cats is a trip to Columbus Northland on Feb. 6. Northland was ranked 10th in this past week's Division I State Poll.

JUNIOR VARSITY: Benedictine 52, Saint Ignatius 49

This old-timer has seen his share of wild and/or impressive comebacks in nearly five decades as a high school sports reporter and more than five decades of following area high school athletics.

That said, last night's comeback by the talented and tough-minded Benedictine Jayvee Team, although not a first for this corner, was sure impressive, and then some.

And that is what I choose to emphasize.

The tip of the cap goes out to the Bengals' JV Coaches who, with their team trailing by 20 points with 1:35 remaining in the third quarter and by 17 points entering the final seven minutes (JV quarters are seven minutes), refused to let the young Bengals call it a night. They knew, if no one else did, that their team was better than what took place for the first 19-plus minutes.

In what was a great display of isolating their young, but oh so promising guards, and convincing their players to leave it all on the floor with relentless defensive pressure, the Bengals' JV Coaches watched their team go on to outscore the JV Cats, 29-6, including a 26-6 margin in the fourth quarter.

So, as difficult as Saturday night's loss was for Saint Ignatius' outstanding coaches and their gifted players, let's congratulate Bengals freshmen Davin Ziegler and Devon Fox, sophomores Jalen Austin and Isaac King Jr., junior Antoine Hudson and sophomore Bryan Washington for leading a memorable night.

Fox finished with a game-high 15 points, Hudson had 12 points and Washington and Ziegler chipped in with 8 and 7 points, respectively. The Bengals' Junior Varsity now stands 11-5 on the season.

As for Saint Ignatius' Jayvees, yes it was a tough way to have a six-game winning streak snapped. However, anyone who has been as fortunate as this old-timer to watch the JV Cats throughout this season realizes how talented and resilient they are.

Now 10-5 this winter, the JV Cats will regroup and focus on Saturday night's 6 PM matchup in Columbus with the Jayvee team from Northland High School.

The Saint Ignatius JV team we watched build that 20-point lead on Saturday night is a reality. And they will grow, both mentally and physically, from letting one get away. All teams experience one that is hard to swallow. It's the successful teams who digest it and move forward.

That said, another tip of the cap goes out to Cats' sophomores Luke Wiskes and Neeko Melendez for their 14 and 12-point efforts at Benedictine, including four 3-pointers by Neeko.           

             

      

 

      

             

           

 

Another area headliner awaits Wildcats Basketball, as the Cats travel to Benedictine's "Home of Champions" on Saturday night
1/28/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January/February 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Saint Ignatius, coming off what was its second double-overtime game in five nights, Tuesday's 82-80 thriller over Cleveland Central Catholic at Sullivan Gym, will make the short trip to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on Saturday for the annual second half of the season matchup with the Benedictine Bengals.

A 6 PM Junior Varsity Game precedes a 7:30 Varsity matchup that will attract a standing-room crowd to the "Home of Champions." 

The 11-3 Wildcats, ranked third in the seven-county area and 13th in the AP State Poll, are expected to be without the major contributions of versatile 6-foot-8 junior wing/post Austen Yarian and gritty and relentless 6-4 senior guard Ryan Berger on Saturday night. Austen and Ryan were on the injured list after Tuesday's demanding double OT with the Ironmen of Central Catholic and have not practiced the past two days.

Benedictine has a rich sports tradition that needs no introduction to veteran area high school sports fans.

The Bengals currently carry a record of 13-2 and are ranked ninth in the area. Benedictine travels to Padua Franciscan on Friday night for a North Coast League game.

Coach Rob Stircula's Bengals are 7-0 at home this winter after their dominant 78-52 victory over the area's fifth-ranked Archbishop Hoban Knights on Tuesday night.

Yes, Archbishop Hoban was without the services of its multi-skilled senior guard Anthony Christian, who was on a college visit. That said, several neutral seasoned gym rats told this old-timer that Benedictine's triumph over the Knights was even more dominant than the final 26-point differential.

Showing the way for the Bengals against Hoban were their strong and active junior big men, 6-5 Marlon Moore and 6-7 Justin Sylver, and their gifted 6-3 senior point guard Justin Layne. And describing Layne as gifted might be an understatement.

Moore scored a game-high 21 points, pulled down eight rebounds and blocked three shots, Sylver tossed in 13 points, swept the glass for nine boards and swatted away two shots, and Layne contributed 18 points, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that had the "Home of Champions" rocking at halftime.

In case you are not a fan of area high school football, Layne, a Michigan State recruit, was the top-rated wide receiver in Ohio this past fall. The Bengals, while preparing for their OHSAA playoff games this past fall, again used the services of Saint Ignatius' Wasmer Field. I guess the magic does rub off.

After Saturday's highly anticipated game at Benedictine, Coach Brian Becker's Wildcats will travel to state-ranked Columbus Northland on Feb. 6. As we reported on the corner last week (Jan. 22), Saint Ignatius has added JV and Varsity games versus the Glenville Tarblooders for Tuesday night, February 9, in Sullivan Gymnasium. 

AMONG THE OTHER BENGALS WHO ROAR

6-2 senior guard Spencer Johnson, who is capable of a lot of damage from beyond the arc.

5-9 sophomore point guard Chris Jefferson, a quick and strong performer with 3-point range.

6-5 sophomore Mario Caywood, a long backup post who scored nine points versus Hoban.

6-6 junior post Jonathon Stallworth, a shot blocker, my friends.

Note: The Bengals, with Layne averaging nearly 17 points a game and Sylver and Moore at 14 and 11 points per outing, respectively, will employ a nine-man rotation.

Layne is flirting with 20 3-pointers after burying 55 treys last season.

FROM COACH BECKER: "The Sylver kid, the Layne kid, those are D I athletes. They're studs who are big, quick and get to the glass really well. It's like any other night that we've played in our schedule, we have to come ready to rebound.

"Our inside presence has to show up big for us against Benedictine," Coach Becker continued in reference to standout 6-7 junior post Matt Davet.

Without Yarian's presence down low the Cats will rely heavily on 6-7 senior post Sharief Irish, 6-3 senior forward Tyler Musbach, 6-5 senior post/forward Tim Kiefer and 6-6 senior guard Michael Hollis. Musbach, Kiefer and Hollis are providing big moments off Coach Becker's bench.

And then there are the reliable multiple skills of 6-3 senior point guard Jimmy Berger, 6-5 senior guard/forward Deven Stover and ever-present senior point guard Kyle Kalish. Deven continues to create matchup problems for opponents, and that could be the case again on Saturday night.

"The Bengals are really talented and quick on the offensive glass," said Coach Becker. "Hopefully, we can control their guards. They are definitely an up-tempo team. Defensively, they'll press us with some 1-3-1 half-court trap stuff. So we have to be aware of what defenses they are in and make the proper adjustments.

"The Layne kid just wills himself to the basket," added Coach Becker. "And he will pull up and shoot it over you. We'll have our hands full. They're undefeated at home and obviously they've had this game circled on their calendar."

SIBN!: If you can't make it out to the game on Saturday night, Matt MacKenzie and Brendan DeVenney will provide their Joe Tait and Austin Carr-like play-by-play and commentary over the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcast Network.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend and this old gym rat will see you at tradition-rich Benedictine High School.          

               

 

     

 

  

Just FYI, next week's (Feb. 3) semifinal-round match of the OHSAA Division I Wrestling Dual Team Tournament between the Wildcats and St. Edward will take place at St. Edward at 5 PM
1/28/2016

For a look at Saint Ignatius' impressive first-round victories over John Marshall and John Adams last night, see the corner's story from Wednesday night - Eddie Dwyer

Congrats to Saint Ignatius Lacrosse standout Crew Cintron, who will further his education and outstanding athletic career at Lehigh University
1/28/2016

By Eddie Dwyer

The face of Coach Patrick McManamon's outstanding lacrosse program, Crew '16 has been a consistent All-Region, All-Midwest and All-State selection, garnering First-Team All-Midwest honors in the spring of 2015.
Crew also earned co-Team MVP honors with defensive mainstay and tri-captain Patrick Mulach '15 last spring.  
Crew's savvy and skilled play at Attack helped lead the Lax Cats past the previously undefeated and state's top-ranked Hudson Explorers in last year's Regional Championship matchup at Wooster High School.
In helping Saint Ignatius Lacrosse to a second-place state ranking and its second state-semifinal appearance in three years, Crew gave the Cats an 8-7 lead over Hudson with 7:35 remaining in the fourth quarter and, after Hudson tied the score, Crew stepped up again and tallied a man-down goal that put Coach McManamon's team up, 9-8, with 6:19 left.
The highly competitive triumph over the Explorers extended Saint Ignatius' winning streak to 14 games.
Congratulations to Crew, who talents were also recognized by cleveland.com on its 2015 All-Area Team, his family, Coach McManamon and the entire Saint Ignatius Lacrosse program.
Lehigh University is blessed with one of the nation's best of the best.

  

Wildcats Varsity Football Defensive Back and Track Athlete Quinn Lawless commits to Mercyhurst University
1/28/2016

By Eddie Dwyer

Quinn, the Wildcats' Most Valuable Defensive Back for the 2015 season and a mainstay on the Varsity Track Team as a key relay man/sprinter, will further his education and football career at Mercyhurst University in Erie (Pa.).

Mercyhurst is a Catholic Liberal Arts school that was founded in 1926 by the Sisters of Mercy.

Quinn, a two-year fixture in Coach Chuck Kyle's defensive secondary, said he wasn't just looking at Mercyhurst from a football aspect. He emphasized what a great Intelligence Program, CIA and FBI, that the school offers.

"Dayton was my biggest other consideration," Quinn said.

"They (Mercyhurst's football staff) saw my work at cornerback and liked what I did there," added Quinn. "But they would like to try me at free safety."

During the fall of 2015, Quinn totaled 25.5 tackles for the Wildcats.

Those key stops included 8 tackles against Mentor, 6 versus St. Xavier and 5 in the annual Week 10 showdown with St. Edward.

Quinn also had a key fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter of the St. Edward game that led to a touchdown and put Saint Ignatius back in the game.

Among Quinn's other stats were 16 pass breakups, an interception and two kick returns that totaled 26 yards.

 

   

 

      

Standout swimmer Marcus Hong is the Saint Ignatius Athlete of the Week
1/28/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

This past week Marcus won seven of the eight events he competed in at Shaker Heights and Erie Cathedral Prep.

Individual wins came in the 200IM, 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.

Marcus was also part of relay wins in the 200MR, 200 and 400 Freestyles.

A junior, Marcus is currently ranked 1st in the NW District 100 Backstroke, 2nd in 100  butterfly, and 4th in the 200 IM.

In the State rankings (which includes both D1 and DII), Marcus is 14th in 100 backstroke and 19th in the 100 butterfly.

Congrats from the corner go out to Marcus, his family, Coach Mike Lehto and the entire Saint Ignatius Swimming and Diving Team.

Congrats from this corner go out to Ice Cats' senior Captain Aidan Spellacy
1/28/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Aidan, a fixture at forward for three seasons under Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90, has been selected to play in the state's Senior All-Star Game.

The game will be played at 10 AM on Saturday, March 12th at Nationwide Arena, the home of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets.


 

Two tough minded and physically resilient victories by Tito Vazquez, an impressive snap down by Michael Drobnick and an array of pins lead the Wildcats to victories over John Marshall and John Adams in the OHSAA Dual Team Wrestling Tournament
1/27/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats took care of business on Wednesday night, as they defeated John Marshall, 66-9, and John Adams, 77-6, in the Region 2-B Quarterfinals of the 2016 OHSAA Division I Regional Dual Team Wrestling Tournament at Sullivan Gymnasium.

With their array of impressive efforts, the Wildcats advanced to a Feb. 3, 5 PM Regional Semifinal matchup with St. Edward at site to be announced. Saint Ignatius' coaching staff is expecting the match to be at St. Edward, but the official announcement from the Ohio High School Athletic Association isn't expected until Friday.

Saint Ignatius' relatively young, but oh so promising wrestlers put their potential on display throughout the evening.

Against the Lawyers of John Marshall, who were once a household name in the area's and state's wrestling circles, the Cats started with forfeit victories at 106 by sophomore Anthony Delsanter and 113 by freshman Patrick McGraw.

Then 120-pound sophomore Jake Micheli, who recently stepped up to help the Varsity, came up with a pin in 1 minute and 9 seconds, and the Cats were in a groove as they ran off three more pins.

Junior Matt French pinned his opponent at 126 in 1:59, big-match tested junior Quade Rasmussen recorded a pin at 132 in just 23 seconds, and hard-nosed 138-pound junior Tommy Gallagher pinned his competition in 1:55.

After senior Hunter Toth won by forfeit at 145, John Marshall came up with the first of its two victories on the night - a 9-4 triumph by Lawyers' 152-pound junior David Smith.

A forfeit victory by Wildcats talented 160-pound junior Cal Miller followed Smith's solid win for the Lawyers and Cats 170-pound sophomore Michael Drobnick and outstanding 182-pound junior Kaden Russell dampened the spirits of the John Marshall faithful with pins at 1:02 and 24 seconds, respectively.

Kaden recently won his second consecutive championship at the tradition-rich Catholict Invitational Tournament, which this year was held at Cincinnati Elder High School.

Saint Ignatius' savvy veteran Kyle Vilsack followed with a 3-0 win at 195 before John Marshall, which wrestled with pride and extreme effort, got another victory -  a pin at 2:31 by 220-pound sophomore Allen Dixon.

In what was the first of two impressive and will-testing victories on the night by Saint Ignatius' gifted 235-pound senior Anastacio "Tito" Vazquez III, Tito turned away Lawyers heavyweight SinQue Davis, 3-1.

"It was a nice night of wrestling for Cleveland," said Coach Sullivan. "I appreciate John Marshall, John Adams and Garfield Heights (who lost to John Adams, 48-36) coming over here and wrestling very well. We won a lot of matches, but some of them were highly contested and the score doesn't show how close they were.

"I appreciate that the coaches brought their teams ready to wrestle and I thought our guys wrestled very well," Coach Sullivan continued. "Each and every week it seems like they're getting better and better, on the mat with technique and conditioning. In the mental part of wrestling, and all facets, we're doing very well right now."

Coach Sullivan's Cats continued to do just that in Wednesday night's win or go home match with the Rebels from John Adams.

A pin by Delsanter in 44 seconds set the tempo for the match, as McGraw followed with a technical fall 17-2 victory and Micheli pinned his Rebel in 2:38.

French kept Mr. Momentum in a Blue and Gold state of mind as he racked up a pin in 51 seconds and Rasmussen (1:12), Gallagher (3:10) and the Toth brothers, Hunter (46 seconds) and 152-pound sophomore Logan ( 3:02), also went pin city against John Adams.

After another forfeit victory by Miller at 160, Drobnick, putting together an impressive snap down move, pinned his opponent from John Adams in 3:13. Russell (1:02) and Vilsack (2:28) followed with pins before the Rebels' talented 220-pound junior Chris Kyles put his team on the board with a pin in 1 minute and 29 seconds.

Then came Tito's second impressive showing on the night, as he snapped the unbeaten streak of 32-0 that John Adams senior heavyweight Eric West brought into the tournament by pinning West in 5:57.

"With him being 32-0, the record with me isn't really too big of a thing going in," Tito said. "I was talking with my dad (Anastacio Ttio Jr.) earlier. He and I actually did some scouting and we knew he (West) was going to want to go big, try to get under and just go for the throw.

"The big thing for me in that match was staying smart, using a little bit of speed because he was a bigger guy and was going to tire down faster," Tito continued. "Just getting points from wherever I could get them was probably the biggest thing."

Tito complimented his first opponent from Wednesday night, SinQue Davis of John Marshall, saying that Davis was pretty good, that SinQue was battling the entire match and wasn't letting him control what Tito wanted to control.

"I got in some bad positions at times, there should have been more opportunities where I could have been more offensive," said Tito. "Closer near the end of the match, I got him around and got the two (points), but it was a good learning experience in showing me where I am now and how much work I have to put in to be where I want to be."    

            

             

         

 

     

   

 

Coach Mike McLaughlin's remarkable Varsity Soccer Program receives its MaxPreps National Champion Trophy during halftime of Tuesday night's Basketball Game
1/27/2016

By Eddie Dwyer

Cleveland, Ohio - The Soccer Cats, who were also co-National Champions by USA Today, were ranked No. 1 through MaxPreps' computer ratings system, which included more than 10,000 schools nationwide.

Coach Mike McLaughlin's Wildcats, who finished their fall to recall with a record of 22-0-1 and added an Ohio-best seventh Division I State Championship to the record sixth state title they brought home in 2014, garnered the nation's top spot for the third time in the illustrious career of Coach McLaughlin '85.
The Soccer Cats join Coach Chuck Kyle's Football Wildcats as three-time National Champions..
Coach McLaughlin's other NSCAA national titles came in 2005 and 2010.
After facing what Coach McLaughlin described as the most demanding schedule in the program's rich history, Saint Ignatius Soccer will enter next season having won its final 16 matches of 2015. The Soccer Cats now carry an unbeaten streak of 36 consecutive matches, a mark that dates back to the 2014 state title run. USA Today pointed to the Wildcats' schedule as being a big factor in its decision to crown two national champs, Saint Ignatius and St. Benedict's Prep out of Newark, New Jersey.
A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE!
Saint Ignatius outscored its opponents this past season, 127-11. That includes a 48-2 mark in the seven OHSAA postseason tournament matches. The 127 goals are two shy of the mark set by the Cats' 2000 State Final Four Team.
Along with his three national titles and seven state championships, Coach McLaughlin has a 21 year Head Coaching mark at his alma mater of 353-46-44. That record includes a 94-14 record in the OHSAA postseason. Mike's teams have won 15 District Championships, 11 Regional titles and have now made 11 State Final Four appearances.
And a final record that truly shows the character of the student athletes who are guided by Coach McLaughlin and his outstanding staff is that 2015 marked the 17th consecutive season that the Soccer Cats were declared NSCAA Team Academic All-Americans.
Again, THANK YOU from this old-timer for having the privilege and pleasure to have covered and reported on Coach McLaughlin's Men for Others, Men of exceptional skill, class and character.
Saint Ignatius remains in the second spot in the latest release of the State Ice Hockey Poll
1/27/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer and courtesy of the Columbus Blue Jackets Joel Siegman

First-place votes are in parenthesis

1. Toledo St. Francis de Sales 70 (7)  Defending state champion           

2. Saint Ignatius 63 Currently on a 15-game winning streak

3. Columbus St. Charles 53

4. University School 47 

5. St. Edward 41
             
6. Bowling Green 33

7. Dublin Jerome 25

8.  Dublin Coffman 19

9. Sylvania Northview 10

10. Shaker Heights 9

   
Others receiving votes: Findlay, Walsh Jesuit, Padua Franciscan, Rocky River and Springboro.


 

Saint Ignatius Basketball persevered in the final minute of the second OT and turned away Cleveland Central Catholic, 82-80, in Sullivan Gym Tuesday night. The JV Cats make it six in a row
1/26/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Playing its second double-overtime game in five nights, Coach Brian Becker's Wildcats rode some late heroics by 6-foot-8 junior wing/post Austen Yarian, 6-7 junior post Matt Davet and senior guard Jimmy Berger, and held off a resilient Cleveland Central Catholic team in front of the Cats' never say die Student Body at storied Sullivan Gymnasium.

The game, which drew a nice crowd for what was a rare school night Varsity Basketball matchup, saw the area's third-ranked Wildcats take a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter.

Central Catholic, the area's 11th-ranked program, turned to its standout 6-foot-8 senior forward Tervell Beck and his capable supporting cast, and knotted the score at 58 on Beck's coast-to-coast three-point play and smooth one-handed scoop shot in the lane with 2 minutes and 49 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

After Saint Ignatius' gifted senior guard/forward Deven Stover gave the Wildcats a two-point lead by making both ends of a 1-and-1 free-throw situation with 1:57 left in regulation, ice-in-his veins Beck sent a pull-up jumper through the net and the score was tied again with 1:36 to go in the fourth quarter.

The strong and active Davet powered up two points that gave Saint Ignatius a 62-60 lead with 1:07 remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Ironmen tied the score on two free throws by sophomore point guard De Jackson, who grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled with 32.3 seconds left in regulation.

It stayed that way and Coach Becker's Wildcats, who lost an 83-80 double-overtime thriller at St. Edward on Friday night, were headed for Tuesday night's first overtime.

The long and versatile Yarian put the Cats on top, 64-62, on the first possession of the first overtime by grabbing an offensive rebound and laying the ball in the basket.

Central Catholic's 6-7 junior wing Miryne Thomas, who played a solid all-around game, tied the score on two free throws with 2:57 left in the first OT, only to watch Yarian send a 3-pointer home 31 seconds later.

A strong move to the rim by Beck cut the deficit to one point and the young man who again has Central Catholic ranked among the top teams in the state in Division II, gave Head Coach Jordan Duke's Ironmen a 69-67 lead by calmly burying a nothing-but-net 3-pointer with 1:19 left in the first overtime.

A layup by Davet off a picture-perfect assist from Jimmy Berger knotted the score again and, after Central Catholic's 6-4 senior guard Tyler Bybee put his team back on top by two points with 13.8 seconds to go in the first overtime, Yarian stepped up huge again by rebounding a missed shot and beating the buzzer with a put back that forced the second overtime.

With 2:52 remaining in the second OT, Thomas answered two free throws from Stover by delivering a deep 3-pointer and the Ironmen clung to a one-point lead.

Saint Ignatius, ranked 13th in this week's Associated Press Division I state poll, rode big moments from Davet and Jimmy Berger to what was a five-point advantage after Berger hit two clutch free throws with 15.9 seconds left.

On a no lead was safe night, Beck dropped in three free throws and his attempt to win the game with a trey bounced away as time expired. Central Catholic is now 9-5 on the season. Beck's 3-point attempt came after the Wildcats missed two free throws with 6.3 seconds remaining.

Beck finished with a game-high 33 points, including 19 in the second half, and Thomas supported him with 18 points.

Davet led the way for the 11-3 Wildcats with 21 points.

Yarian had a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds, Stover had a 14-point night, and senior forward Tyler Musbach, one of Coach Becker's key rotation players, contributed 12 big points, including two 3-pointers.

Up next for Saint Ignatius is a trip to Benedictine, aka "The Home of Champions," on Saturday night. The area's ninth-ranked Bengals are now 13-2 after their impressive performance versus fifth-ranked Archbishop Hoban on Tuesday night. Saturday's action gets underway with a Junior Varsity Game at 6 bells, followed by the Varsity matchup at 7:30.

BIG RUN BY THE IRONMEN SETS THE STAGE FOR ANOTHER OT-PLUS NIGHT

After two 3-pointers in span of 36 seconds by Tyler Musbach and a layup by senior forward/post Tim Kiefer off a "sweet dish" from 6-6 senior guard Michael Hollis, Saint Ignatius took a 56-43 lead into the fourth quarter.

Then came the 15-2 run by Tervell Beck and Co., and it was game on.

Speaking of Hollis, Mike also hit a key 3-pointer late in the first half that had the Wildcats' outstanding Student Body Section rocking.

OUCH!: The Cats will probably be without standout senior guard Ryan Berger for the Benedictine game as Ryan, Jimmy's twin brother, suffered a sprained ankle in the first half.

FROM COACH BECKER '77: "He's a load," Coach Becker said of Tervell Beck. "He goes inside-outside and he can make threes (3-pointers). You have to respect the 3-ball from him and he's good off the bounce. He's stronger than Austen (Yarian), and I thought Austen, for the most part, did a pretty good job against him.

"We need to clean some things up offensively," Coach Becker continued. "We stopped running, the flow just wasn't there (in the fourth quarter). We need to have that consistent flow, where we're out and running. When we're running we're good. When we're dribbling around and not recognizing double teams, that's where we struggle.

"Those are things we can clean up, and give Central Catholic some credit. They're athletic, they get to the glass and they play really good defense. They're a very good team. "

COACH BECKER ON HIS DEEP AND DEPENDABLE BENCH: "That was a huge part of this game. Michael Hollis, Tyler Musbach, Tim Kiefer, those guys really added to our victory tonight, they really did. They came in and gave us quality minutes, just what they needed to do. That's going to be huge for us."

COACH BECKER ON COACHING IN TWO DOUBLE-OVERTIME GAMES IN FIVE NIGHTS: "It's going to make it tough on the pre-Calc (Calculus) Classes tomorrow (Wednesday) morning," said Coach Becker, a longtime Math Teacher at his alma mater.

WILDCATS JUNIOR VARSITY MAKES IT A SWEET SIX: The JV Cats of Head Coach Chris Salata '94 used a strong inside-outside attack in wearing down the JV Ironmen, 69-43, on Tuesday night in Sullivan Gymnasium.

Now riding a six-game winning streak, Saint Ignatius' promising sophomores are 10-4.

The perimeter damage was done by sophomore guards Neeko Melendez and Charlie Kriak, who combined for eight 3-pointers, including five by Neeko. Charlie now has eight 3-pointers over his last two games combined.

Sophomore post Luke Wiskes, who is having an exceptional season, did his usual damage around the rim and a play that brought a smile to this old-timer's face was the smooth turn-around hook shot in the lane by 6-6 sophomore post Kazmir Dzurec.

Kazmir's effort would have been appreciated by former Middletown High School legend, The Ohio State University All-American and NBA standout Jerry Lucas.

Neeko led the way with 17 points against the Ironmen, Wiskes added 13 points and Charlie finished with 11 points. Eleven players scored for the JV Cats.

FAN FAVORITE: The player who drew the biggest ovation during the JV game was Central Catholic's sophomore guard Tim Shakespeare, whose clever move in the lane for two points even drew the appreciation of Saint Ignatius' Student Body. And those guys are tough critics when it comes to basketball moves. Tim's move to the rim had a sonnet touch to it.

AND, SOMETHING THIS CORNER HAS WANTED TO DO SINCE THE FIRST TIME I SAW THEIR WORK ETHIC IN ACTION, IS TIP MY MANY CAPS TO THE WILDCATS' JUNIOR VARSITY AND VARSITY BASKETBALL TEAM MANAGERS, STATS CREW AND GAME FILM MAN.

TO THE TIRELESS RYAN GRABOWSKI, GABE LIBERATORE, REILLY CASEY AND NOLAN MEEHAN, AND FILM MAN ANI TINGTING, GENTLEMEN TAKE A BOW. YOUR DEDICATION HAS MADE A GREAT PROGRAM EVEN GREATER.

     

    

 

    

               

         

 

 

   

     

         

 

   

        

Saint Ignatius Basketball is ranked 13th in the latest AP Division I State Poll. The Cats, ranked ninth last week, are tied with Mason for the 13th spot.
1/25/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

DIVISION I (first-place votes are in parenthesis)

1. Huber Hts. Wayne (12) 14-0 219

2. Lima Sr. (8) 12-0 217

3. Archbishop Moeller (2) 15-1 186

4. Garfield Heights 13-3 136

5. Gahanna Lincoln 16-1 112

6. Wilmington 14-1 110

7. Westerville S. 13-3 86

8. Cincinnati Elder 14-2 51

9. Warren Harding (2) 12-1 31

10. Columbus Northland 14-1 25

(tie).Dublin Coffman 14-2 25

Others receiving 12 or more points: 12. Columbus St, Charles 21, 13. Saint Ignatius 16, 13. Mason 16.

Here is a look at Tuesday night's basketball headliner between the Cats and the Ironmen from Cleveland Central Catholic
1/25/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Cleveland, Ohio -  A rare weekday night regular season Varsity Basketball game takes place in Sullivan Gym tomorrow night, when the Ironmen from Cleveland Central Catholic make the short trip to Ohio City.

The Junior Varsity Wildcats, winners of their last five games, will get things started with a 6 PM matchup versus Central Catholic's Jayvees and the Varsity game, which matches the area's third (Saint Ignatius) and 11th-ranked teams, is slated to begin at 7:30.

The Cats are tied with Mason for the 13th spot in the Division I State Poll and Central Catholic is 12th in Ohio in Division II.    

The Varsity Ironmen (9-4), who are described by Wildcats outstanding Assistant Coach Jerry Porath as being as quick as any team the 10-3 Cats have played this season, will put a lot of pressure on the ball and use their length to trap early and often.

Coach Porath also said that Central Catholic is one of the best rebounding teams that Saint Ignatius has faced to date. When you look at the Wildcats' schedule, that is an impressive comment.

"They are not real physical, but they are relentless going after it (the rebound)," Coach Porath said.

There is no question who carries the lead role for the Ironmen - celebrated 6-foot-8 senior forward Tervell Beck.

Beck, who accounts for about 25 of Central Catholic's 65 points per game, can post up with his size or hit from long range.

The rest of the Ironmen are adept at attacking with the ball and hurting you with second-chance opportunities.

Beck's supporting cast includes sophomore point guard De Jackson, who pushes the ball at every opportunity, junior guard Tyler Golphin, skilled 6-4 senior wing Tyler Bybee, 6-7 junior post Miryne Thomas and 6-5 junior forward Armond Lillard      

Defensively, Coach Jordan Duke's Ironmen have shown full-court pressure on the ball, both man and diamond. They have been playing mostly a man-to-man defense in the half court, but they will employ a 1-3-1 zone when necessary.

Look for the Cats to possibly double down on Beck if they get caught behind him and, if he puts the ball on the floor, Head Coach Brian Becker '77 can turn to a double team with the Cats' outside players.

Coach Becker and Coach Porath emphasized that Saint Ignatius has to keep Beck off the glass, that all five Wildcats need to rebound.

While very athletic, Central Catholic can be an average shooting team. That might allow the Cats to employ some zone defense. Coach Porath also sees Saint Ignatius as being able to pressure the Ironmen guards.

"They are very, very athletic," Coach Becker said of the Ironmen. "I went and saw them play Garfield Heights (Coach Sonny Johnson's area top-ranked Bulldogs) and they gave Garfield everything for three and a half quarters.

"Beck can flat out play," Coach Becker continued. "He's a big kid who presents mismatch problems because he handles the ball. He presents an issue, but hopefully the confines of Sullivan Gymnasium will be kind to us, and we'll do our end. They're streaky shooters, but once they make one, they'll make three. So we have to make sure we stay connected and not let them get off."

LAST YEAR'S ENCOUNTER: The St. Stan's Social Center gymnasium was rocking as the Wildcats and the Ironmen met in a Saturday night headliner.

Saint Ignatius led, 15-8, after the first eight minutes, but Central Catholic sent five three-pointers through the net in the second quarter and took a 25-23 lead into halftime.

The Cats were on top by three points heading into the fourth quarter, but four clutch free throws by Beck over the final two minutes helped lead the way to a 54-51 victory for the Ironmen. Beck finished with 16 points.

After Tuesday night, Coach Becker has to put the focus on another extremely athletic team, the area's ninth-ranked Benedictine Bengals. Saint Ignatius travels to "The Home of Champions" on Saturday night. The corner will preview the Bengals later this week.

If your schedule prevents you from attending this week's games, Saint Ignatius' outstanding Student Broadcast Network will bring you the Central Catholic and Benedictine games live.

We'll see you at Sullivan Gym tomorrow night.    

  

    

Wildcats Basketball now third in the cleveland.com area poll
1/25/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Garfield Heights and St. Edward are now 1-2, respectively, and the Cats went from No. 1 to the third spot.

Another challenging week awaits Coach Brian Becker's Team, starting with tomorrow night's home game versus the 11th-ranked Ironmen from Cleveland Central Catholic. The JV tipoff is 6 PM, followed by the Varsity game at 7:30.

The corner will preview the Sullivan Gymnasium Saint Ignatius (10-3) versus Central Catholic (9-4) matchup later today.

On Saturday night, the JV and Varsity Wildcats travel to Benedictine's "Home of Champions." The Bengals, who host fifth-ranked Archbishop Hoban (13-1) tomorrow night, are currently 12-2 and ranked ninth in the seven-county area.

Here are this week's top 10 teams in the cleveland.com poll: 1. Garfield Heights, 2. St. Edward, 3. Saint  Ignatius, 4. St. Vincent-St. Mary, 5. Archbishop Hoban, 6. Lorain, 7. Bedford, 8. Beachwood, 9. Benedictine and 10. Medina.    

Coach Jim Viets' Alley Cats continue to prowl the lanes of success
1/25/2016

Presented by Saint Ignatius Head Bowling Coach Jim Viets and Posted By Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH VIETS: Last week versus Westlake, the Varsity continued its hot bowling as the Alley Cats set a new season scratch high of 1115. By taking seven points they stayed in a four-way tie in the OHSAA standings.
 
Last Sunday they finished a very respectable 3rd in a tournament in Wickliffe. 

This week in the scratch championship versus Lutheran West, the Alley Cats turned in another fine performance as they knocked off the Longhorns for the title. Leading the way was Gianni Schaefer, with his highest series
ever, 222,248,237 for a 707. Also chipping in was steady Ralph Deadwyler with a 641. The win puts the Wildcats in a 3-way tie for OHSAA with Padua and Garfield Heights.
 
Sunday the team traveled down South and ran into a very hot team out of Kettering. After matching shots all afternoon, the Wildcats ended up in second place in the tournament. 

Ralph Deadwyler 208, Devin Venczel 196, Cedric Crawford 195, Gianni Schaefer 189, Anthony Doran 187, and Austin Venczel 185 are leading the team.
 
The Junior Varsity continues to lead the league in scratch and OHSAA. In Saturday's match against Benedictine, the junior bowlers were led by Freshman Vinny Doran's 259, 623 series. Nizar Dergham came off the bench in game 3 for his highest game of the year, as he helped the team sweep the Bengals.
 
Congrats to Colin Kruchan on his new 800 indoor mark of 1:57.63 at Youngstown State this past weekend. The OHSAA outdoor track and field season will be upon us soon.
1/24/2016
Just a reminder on Wednesday evening's OHSAA Wrestling Team Tournament in Sullivan Gymnasium
1/24/2016

As the corner reported on Tuesday of this past week, Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats will host Wednesday evening's first round of the OHSAA Team Tournament in Sullivan Gymnasium.

Four teams will be competing in Round 1 - John Adams vs Garfield Heights and Saint Ignatius vs. John Marshall.

The winners will then wrestle to see who advances in the OHSAA Team Tournament.

Weigh-ins begin at 4 PM and the matches follow at 5 PM.

The corner is privileged to be covering this event. 

 - Eddie Dwyer

The Ice Cats extend their winning streak to 15 games by overpowering Holy Name, 8-1
1/23/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Ice Cats of Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 made themselves at home on Holy Name's ice in Parma's Michael A. Ries Ice Rink Saturday night.

In improving its record to 26-2-1 and winning its 15th consecutive game, Saint Ignatius earned some well-deserved rest.

According to the schedule on the Hockey web page, Coach O'Rourke's Cats are now off for a week before wrapping up their regular season with a rematch against Holy Name at 4:30 PM on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, and a 4:45 faceoff with Walsh Jesuit on Feb. 6. Both of those games will be played in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

Then it is the Great Lakes Hockey League Cleveland Cup Playoffs, which begin for the two-time defending Cleveland Cup Champion Ice Cats on Feb. 10th, Ash Wednesday. The GLHL Cleveland Cup playoffs will again be held in the OBM Arena at Strongsville's IceLand USA.

The Ice Cats entered this weekend as the second ranked team in Ohio and continue to hold down the top spot in the Great Lakes Hockey League. Saint Ignatius is undefeated in GLHL play, with one tie.     

 

Wildcats Varsity Basketball, adjusting to Berea-Midpark's methodical style, defeats the Titans, 58-30, in Berea on Saturday night. The JV Cats make it five in a row.
1/23/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Berea, Ohio - Saint Ignatius, leading by eight points at halftime, rode its superior size, strength and depth in the second half.   

Coach Brian Becker's Cats, ranked No. 1 in the seven-county area, moved to an 18-point lead after three quarters.

With senior guard Michael Hollis and junior guard Colin Goodfellow each scoring five points down the stretch, the Cats pushed that margin to 56-30 with just under two minutes remaining to be played.

Saint Ignatius, coming off a tough double-overtime loss at St. Edward on Friday night, finished with 10 players in the scoring column.

Leading the way were 6-foot-7 junior post Matt Davet with 15 points and 6-8 junior wing/post Austen Yarian with 12 points. There were other major early contributions, including two in rhythm 3-pointers by senior forward Tyler Musbach that helped the Cats to their eight-point halftime lead.  

The Wildcats, who improved to 10-3, have little time to savor Saturday night's bounce back, as they host the 10th-ranked Ironmen from Cleveland Central Catholic on Tuesday night in Sullivan Gymnasium. The Junior Varsity tipoff is 6 PM, followed by the Varsity game at 7:30. This old-timer will be on hand for coverage of the games.

Speaking of the Junior Varsity, Head Coach Chris Salata '94 and his basketball savvy Assistants Brian McLaughlin '94 and Andrew Salata '01 guided the sophomore Wildcats to 43-35 triumph over Berea-Midpark's Jayvees in a matchup that preceded the Varsity game.

Holding a one-point lead after the first quarter, the JV Cats rode four 3-pointers by guard Charlie Kriak in the second quarter to a 26-19 advantage by halftime and began to create a little distance from a game bunch of JV Titans in the third and fourth quarters.

Kriak, who totaled five 3-pointers on the night, finished with a game-high 17 points. Versatile 6-foot-4 post Luke Wiskes contributed 11 points and point guard Mark Bobinski had eight points, including two 3-pointers. The Cats finished with eight baskets from beyond the arc.

The coaching firm of Salata, McLaughlin and Salata watched their Jayvees improve to 9-4 and stretch their winning streak to five games heading into Tuesday night's matchup with Cleveland Central Catholic.

THE TITANS ARE SURE TO REMEMBER THE THIRD AND FOURTH QUARTERS

Austen Yarian set the tempo for the Varsity Cats' big second half, as he sent home a 3-pointer that flirted with the ceiling before swishing through the net for an 11-point Saint Ignatius lead.

After a layup by Matt Davet off a picture-perfect assist from Yarian, 3-pointers by gifted senior guard/forward Deven Stover and Yarian, and a breakaway layup by Davet off a turnover, Saint Ignatius was holding a 17-point lead with 3 minutes and 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

The key baskets in the Cats taking a 41-23 lead into the final eight minutes were a breakaway layup by senior guard Ryan Berger and another trey from Yarian, aka Mr. Versatility.

Coach Becker's Cats left no doubt in the early stages of the fourth quarter, as they had the Titans completely out of their deliberate, slow-down game after team-first senior forward/post Tim Kiefer put back a shot and ever-hustling junior forward Quinton Farren converted an on-the-money assist from junior guard Michael Spear into an authoritative layup.

Then it was Michael Hollis and Colin Goodfellow with their above mentioned combined 10 points, which featured three-pointers by each young man and a smooth steal and layup in transition by the 6-6 Hollis.

Berea-Midpark, which slipped to two games under .500, was led by a hard-earned, 12-point night from its multi-skilled senior forward Brett Swinnerton.

"Both Davet and Yarian reaped the benefits of being in the right spot and playing hard," said Coach Becker. "Berea-Midpark wanted to grind it out. Duke (Titans outstanding Head Coach Duke Barther ) plays that way because of the guys that he has. They play hard, they just didn't make shots. I think they'll be a crazy out in the (OHSAA) tournament, because they can play in a one-point game, they can play in a 30-point game. In a tournament when every basket matters, they're used to having every basket matter and limiting possessions.

"Hey, a 28-pont win after an Eds (St. Edward) game," Coach Becker continued. "We had kid of rough start (an early 6-1 Titans lead), but obviously we responded in the middle quarters and our bench played really well. Those guys work hard in practice and deserve some recognition."

THE JV DIFFERENCE MAKERS: Along with Charlie Kriak's superb shooting (see lead paragraphs to this report), the Junior Varsity Wildcats began to create some distance from the Titans' Jayvees on two strong moves down low by Luke Wiskes, a smooth jumper by guard Neeko Melendez and Charlie's fifth 3-pointer.

Leading by 12 points entering the fourth quarter, the Cats created a comfort zone down the stretch thanks to Kriak's jumper and a steal and a layup by Wiskes.

We'll see you in Sullivan Gymnasium on Tuesday night as the Central Catholic Ironmen make the short trip to the campus of Saint Ignatius. Can you say Earl Boykins? Ah, the memories of those nights in the St. Stans Social Center gymnasium.     

 

      

              

 

         

 

 

     

Results from Walsh Jesuit's wrestling site have the Warrriors sweeping Friday night's matches versus Saint Ignatius, 35-28, and St. John's Jesuit, 54-9. The Cats did go 1-1, however, by defeating St. John's Jesuit.
1/23/2016
The JV Basketball Wildcats extend their winning streak to four games by turning back St. Edward's Jayvees, 44-43, on the Eagles' Coach Jim Connors Court Friday night
1/23/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Lakewood, Ohio

The JV Cats, who now stand 8-4 heading into tonight's 6 PM tipoff at Berea-Midpark, took a 36-35 lead on a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Charlie Kriak with 6:01 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Prior to Charlie's trey, the Cats closed to 35-33 on a basket by sophomore forward Aymin Bahhur, two free throws by sophomore forward/wing Joshua Ozanne and a layup by post/forward Luke Wiskes off a "sweet dish" from Bahhur.

After two free throws by Wiskes, Saint Ignatius held a 42-37 lead with 4:34 left in the fourth quarter.

Two more free throws by Wiskes had the Cats clinging to a three-point lead with 33.2 seconds to go, and they hung on after Eagles standout sophomore guard Michael Dowell buried two free throws with 20.4 seconds remaining on the clock.

Wiskes finished with 17 points, including a 7-for-9 effort from the foul line, and Kriak tossed in three 3-pointers in totaling 11 points.

Dowell led all scorers with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and Eagles sophomore guard Elliot Tirbaso contributed nine points.  

      

The Ice Cats extended their winning streak to 14 games with a 6-0 victory over Padua Franciscan at The Brooklyn Ice Arena on Friday night.
1/23/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Cats, now 25-2-1 on the season, ranked second in Ohio and sitting atop their division of the Great Lakes Hockey League, will take on the Green Wave of Holy Name tonight in the Michael A. Ries Ice Rink in Parma, Ohio.

The puck is scheduled to drop at 8:30 PM.  

Trailing by 15 points with less than two minutes left in the first half, St. Edward goes on to defeat the Wildcats, 83-80, in double overtime on Coach Jim Connors Court Friday night
1/22/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2015

Lakewood, Ohio - You can add yet another chapter to what is one of the most storied high school athletic rivalries in Ohio, if not the entire nation.

With almost every inch of St. Edward's gymnasium, aka The Eagles Nest, occupied and both Student Bodies in fine form on Friday night, Coach Brian Becker's Saint Ignatius Wildcats, ranked No. 1 in the seven-county area, and Coach Eric Flannery's fourth-ranked Eagles tested each other's will for 32 minutes of regulation and two 4-minute overtimes.

After Saint Ignatius' gifted senior guard Ryan Berger buried a 3-pointer in rhythm that knotted the score at 77 in the second overtime, the Wildcats turned the ball over and St. Edward's junior guard Jack Sullivan sent home two free throws that put the Eagles back on top, 79-77.

Following a free throw by its gifted senior guard/forward Deven Stover, Saint Ignatius trailed, 79-78, with 1 minute and 15 seconds remaining in the second OT.

With 49.4 seconds on the clock, Eagles big-hearted senior point guard Sean Flannery, a son of St. Edward's veteran Head Coach Eric Flannery, gave his team a three-point lead by hitting two free throws.

After the Eagles missed two free throws with 38.5 seconds left, Coach Becker called a timeout and set up a play that worked like a charm.

Saint Ignatius, which didn't take care of the basketball down the stretch, closed to 81-80 on a smooth jumper in the lane by senior point guard Kyle Kalish off a clever spin move.

St. Edward would miss two free throws with 17 seconds remaining, but the Cats turned the ball over with 3.9 seconds to go.

Eagles senior guard Nicholas Kinzel, the same young man who missed the previous two free throws, calmly redeemed himself by hitting nothing but net on two more free-throw opportunities and Coach Flannery's team, labled as a surprise by the new experts on the block, secured the program's sixth consecutive victory over its longtime West Side basketball rival.

The Cats, now 9-3, and the Eagles, 9-4, will play the second of their annual home-and-home, regular-season series on February 20th in Sullivan Gymnasium.

Don't be surprised if there is a third meeting this winter, as Saint Ignatius and St. Edward are both assigned to the OHSAA Division I Strongsville District.

"That second quarter, you win and lose basketball games at different times," said Coach Becker, who watched his Wildcats go on a 13-0 run and move to a 43-28 lead late in the second quarter. "We let it slip at the end of the second quarter," Coach Becker continued in reference to seven unanswered points by the Eagles that made it a 43-35 game by halftime.

A 3-pointer by St. Edward's gritty and versatile senior forward Daniel Chambers stretched those seven unanswered points just before halftime to a 10-0 run early in the third quarter and now a 15-point lead by the Cats was just five points.

"We didn't make great decisions, that happens with high school kids," Coach Becker said. "But that's the time we really have to toughen up and learn from it. We're up 15 and we have to go to the locker room (at halftime) up at least 12, 14 or 17. Give St. Ed's kids credit, they battled back in the third quarter and we got a little tentative in the third quarter with turnovers that led to easy baskets.

"Then it was nip and tuck down the stretch and we just didn't execute the way we should have," Coach Becker continued. "But that's basketball in a pressure situation. It was a hot atmosphere, but we have to find a way to win that basketball game. We didn't make the plays that we needed to make." 

That "hot atmosphere" in the Eagles Nest on Friday night had players from both teams cramping up, especially in the fourth quarter and the overtimes.

Stover overcame cramps and finished with a game-high 28 points, including two 3-pointers. Ryan Berger, who teams with his twin brother Jimmy in giving Saint Ignatius an exceptional 1-2 punch, had 23 points that included five 3-pointers. Ryan now has 25 treys on the season.

While Saint Ignatius did a solid defensive job on St. Edward's leading scorer, junior guard Tommy Schmock, the Eagles got big nights from Chambers, who scored 24 points off a blend of baskets from the perimeter and inside, and senior forward Matt Gonzalez, who finished with 21 points

A standout wide receiver on St. Edward's Division I State Championship Football Team this past fall, Gonzalez hurt the Cats with a couple of key long-range shots, along with his endless hustle on defense and in attacking the rim.

THE COUNTER PUNCHING THIRD AND FOURTH QUARTERS

After St. Edward, as we reported above, cut a late second-quarter deficit of 15 points to eight points by halftime and five points early in the third quarter, Saint Ignatius pushed its lead to 10 points on a 3-pointer by Stover and a breakaway two-handed slam dunk by 6-8 junior forward Austen Yarian.

Undaunted, the Eagles, behind the play of Chambers, Schmock and Gonzalez, went on to outscore the Wildcats 17-1 and took a six-point lead into the fourth quarter. Among the highlights during that 17-1 run were a reverse layup along the baseline by Gonzalez and consecutive steals and layups by Schmock and Gonzalez.

After Ryan Berger and Chambers exchanged baskets to get the fireworks going in the fourth quarter, Gonzalez turned another steal into a layup and St. Edward held an eight-point advantage.

Saint Ignatius, which will look to respond when it makes the short trip to Berea-Midpark on Saturday night, got back on track behind a 3-pointer by 6-7 junior post Matt Davet and layup by Yarian off his steal.

With Stover showing the way, the Cats forced the first overtime on Deven's 3-pointer.

Trailing by four points with 2:47 remaining in the first OT, Coach Becker's team responded with two free throws by Ryan Berger and, following a turnover by the Eagles, Stover converted a three-point play that put Saint Ignatius in front, 72-71, with 2:29 left in OT No. 1.

St. Edward, trailing, 74-71, was able to send the game into a second overtime behind the free-throw shooting of Flannery and Gonzalez.

Then came the wild final four minutes of the game, or the second OT if you will, that we described in the lead paragraphs of the story.

   

 

  

       

 

 

 

   

      

 

  

   

             

          

 

Wildcats Basketball adds home games versus Glenville to its Varsity and JV schedules
1/22/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copy Credit January 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - The Wildcats will face the Tarblooders on Tuesday, February 9th, in Sullivan Gymnasium.

The Junior Varsity tipoff will be 6 PM, with the Varsity Game to follow at 7:30.

The matchup with Glenville gives Saint Ignatius 21 regular season games.

Congratulations from the corner to Wildcats standout wrestler Kaden Russell on earning Saint Ignatius' Athlete of the Week Award
1/22/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

FROM THE WILDCATS' ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT: This past week's Athlete of the Week is Junior wrestler Kaden Russell.

Last weekend Kaden, who wrestles at 182 pounds, went 4-0 and took 1st place at the Catholic Invitational Tournament.

It marked Kaden's second consecutive title at the prestigious and highly competitive CIT, which this year took place at Elder High School in Cincinnati.

Here is what Head Coach Mark Sullivan had to say about Kaden:

"We are very proud of Kaden's development and leadership on and off the mat. His hard work and dedication are showing on the mat." - Coach Sullivan.

Kaden and the rest of Coach Sullivan's Men of the Mats are back in action tonight at Sullivan Gym, as they compete with their Jesuit brothers from Walsh Jesuit and Toledo St. John's Jesuit. Matches begin at 6 PM.

Again, congrats to Kaden, who this corner also has the pleasure and privilege to cover in Varsity football as a defensive back/running back.

 

Friday night's area headliner on St. Edward's Coach Jim Connors Court and Saturday's game at Berea-Midpark highlight a big weekend in Wildcats Varsity Hoops
1/20/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Brian Becker's 9-2 Wildcats, ranked No. 1 in the seven-county area and ninth in the Division I State Poll, will make the short trip to the Eagles Nest on Friday night to face longtime West Side rival St. Edward.

Action begins with a 6 PM Junior Varsity game, followed by the Varsity tipoff at 7:30.

Saint Ignatius will be looking to snap a five-game losing streak to Coach Eric Flannery's Eagles, who are currently 8-4 and ranked fourth in the area.

In last season's annual home-and-home series, St. Edward defeated Saint Ignatius by 18 points in Sullivan Gymnasium and turned the Wildcats away in the final two minutes to secure a 63-55 victory in the Eagles Nest.

After Saint Ignatius took a 48-42 lead with 7:49 remaining in last year's game at St. Edward, the Eagles went on a 9-0 run and led, 51-48.

The Wildcats knotted the score at 51, but St. Edward hit seven clutch free throws down the stretch and Saint Ignatius missed four crucial free throws in the final 58.2 seconds.

Another key factor in last year's setback at St. Edward was the loss of Wildcats gifted 6-foot-5 guard Deven Stover to an eye injury with 5:42 left in the second quarter. Deven had to sit out the remainder of the game.

If there is a pick to click on Friday night, this old gym rat sees Deven, son of former St, Joseph High School and University of Cincinnati mainstay Reggie Stover, as a major matchup problem for the Eagles. 

The Eagles' five game winning streak over the Cats includes a 3-0 mark in the 2013-14 season that included two victories in the regular season and a triumph in OHSAA Regional play.

In 2012-13, under former Head Coach Sean O'Toole '87, Saint Ignatius swept the season series with St. Edward.

It was the first season series sweep over Eagles Basketball since 2004-05, when current Head Coach Brian Becker '77 was in his first stint as his alma mater's Head Coach.

Coach Becker enters Friday night's game with a career mark versus St. Edward of 23 wins 15 losses.

Three of Coach Becker's losses to St. Edward came in the 1997-98 season, when Coach Flannery guided what was and still is, in this corner's humble opinion, not only the greatest team in Eagles Basketball history, but one of the top five to six high school basketball teams ever to come out of Greater Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

In March of 1998, St. Edward brought home the Division I State Championship by defeating Coach Becker's Wildcats, 70-61, in the state title game at St. John Arena in Columbus. You should have seen the frowns on the faces of those along Press Row that night who were (are) in favor of separate Public and Catholic/Private School Tournaments.

Those frowns, or snickers if you will, returned in the spring of 2008, when St. Edward defeated Saint Ignatius, 6-2, in the Division I State Championship Baseball Game. "Two Catholic Schools are bad enough, but two that are about six miles apart," snarled a disgruntled resident of the Press Box that afternoon.

Oh well, just a little Wildcats-Eagles history for our younger fans.

Here is how Coach Becker sees Friday night's game in Lakewood, followed up by a look at a program you're supposed to never forget - the Titans from Berea-Midpark.

Coach Becker on the 2015-16 St. Edward Eagles: "As you know, it's a great rivalry and something the kids always look forward to. And obviously I look forward to it, to have a big rivalry game that is good for the communities. It's nice to be part of that.

"Eric (Coach Flannery) has them playing hard," continued Coach Becker in reference to a St. Edward team that lost one of its main pieces - 6-10 post/forward and Ohio State recruit Derek Funderburke on a transfer to a Prep school. "He does a great job coaching those guys.

"It's a different team than St. Edward has had in the past," Coach Becker said. "They've always had some really skilled big guys, quality big guys, and now they have three 5-10 kids that are out on the arc shooting 15 to 20 three balls (3-pointers) a game. They're going up and down and playing up tempo, and they're having fun with it. They're very successful at it.

"We have to play smart over there (on Coach Jim Connors Court)," said Coach Becker. "It's going to be a challenge, they shoot the ball really well over there."

Coach Becker didn't hesitate to refer to 5-10 junior guard Tommy Schmock, who is averaging 19.3 points per game with 33 3-pointers, and 5-10 senior point guard Sean Flannery (11.6 points per game), an ever-present player who defends with passion, distributes well and can bury treys. Sean is a two-year mainstay and a son of Coach Flannery. Sean is joined on the team by his 6-4 sophomore brother PJ, who was impressive in last season's Saint Ignatius-St. Edward Freshmen games on Coach Jim Connors Court.

"And Chambers shoots really well from the corner," added Coach Becker in reference to Eagles 6-5 senior forward Daniel Chambers (14.3 points per game). "In 6-7 junior Kelvin Calhoun II, they have a big, strong kid in the middle that can finish around the rim."

Complementing Schmock, Sean Flannery and Chambers is 5-10 junior guard Jack Sullivan (nearly 10 pointer per game), who has above average range and is adept at shooting off the catch.

Coach Becker said he is also impressed with St. Edward's 6-3 senior forward/guard Matt Gonzalez (6.8 points per game), a big-play wide receiver on Coach Tom Lombardo's Division I State Champion Football Team this past fall.

"That kid is an athlete," Coach Becker said. "I really think that he will be Eric's matchup with Stover. Gonzalez is a competitor. He's going to make some plays in the game. He's an emotional player that just thrives on the big game. He's going to come in and have an impact, and how we handle him, quite frankly, will be one of our keys to success. He's strong, can go to the rim and is a tough defender."

Along with Stover (15.5 points, 14 3-pointers and 5 rebounds per game), Coach Becker sees other matchup problems the Eagles will have to deal with, including the savvy and skilled play of the Berger twins, 6-3 senior Jimmy (7.1 points and 6 assists per game) and 6-4 senior Ryan (9.8 points per game and 20 3-pointers). Coach Becker emphasized how Jimmy Berger hurts opponents with his play in the post. Jimmy and Ryan also excel at the defensive end, my friends. Just ask St. Vincent-St. Mary and Walsh Jesuit.

And then there is the endless hustle of senior point guard Kyle Kalish (8.9 points and 4 assists per game), which is complemented by the production of one of the most versatile big men combinations in the area - 6-7 junior post Matt Davet (14.7 points and 7 rebounds per game) and 6-8 junior wing/post Austen Yarian (8 points and 6 rebounds per game).

The Cats can wear you down underneath, as they bring the strength and skill of 6-7 senior post Sharief Irish (now healthy), 6-5 senior post/forward Tim Kiefer and 6-3 senior forward Tyler Musbach off the bench.

"There are a couple of adjustments that they (the Eagles) are going to have to make," said Coach Becker, who has 307 career victories (including two seasons at Fairview High School) and a Division I State Championship with the Wildcats in 2001. Coach Becker needs just seven more victories to reach 300 wins at Saint Ignatius. "If we're fortunate enough to find those adjustments, we should be able to take care of business. Our guards have to be good rebounders in this game, because with missed 3-balls (by St. Edward) there will be long rebounds and opportunities for us to go on run outs."

A look at Coach Duke Barther's 2015-16 Titans of Berea-Midpark. The JV tipoff in Berea on Saturday is 6 PM, followed by the Varsity matchup at 7:30: Saint Ignatius' veteran gym rats are sure to remember the Titans, who two years ago defeated the Wildcats in the regular season at Berea-Midpark and then were eliminated by Saint Ignatius in the District finals that same winter, courtesy of a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Deven Stover.

Last season, the Wildcats survived a strong second-half rally by Duke Barther's Titans and hung on for a victory at Sullivan Gymnasium two nights before Christmas.

No, this isn't the same team Berea-Midpark brought to the floor the past two years. Graduation took a solid bite out the Titans' rotations.The biggest chunk came from the graduation of three-year starting center, 6-11 Nolan Gerrity. Gerrity was among the more skilled big men in Northeast Ohio.  

That said, keep an eye on 6-6 senior forward Bret Swinnerton, a thee-year mainstay who is long and athletic out on the wing. Bret, who is averaging 13 points a game, has a quick release on his shot and draws fouls off the dribble. He is also extremely active on defense.

Among those supporting Swinnerton are 6-0 junior guard Chad Elliott, who has 27 3-pointers and leads the Titans with 14.8 points per game, and 6-1 senior wing Matt Hausler, who, in the words of Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Jerry Porath, "does a little bit of everything."

"Certainly, if you look at their scores this will be a tempo game," said Coach Becker. "If we can get up on them and force the tempo in our favor, good things will happen. If not, it will turn into one of those grind out games where you are going to have rebound, execute and defend. It's good to play different types of teams. It gets you ready for the tournament.

"St. Edward wants to run you off the floor and Berea-Midpark wants to pick and choose its battles."

NOTE: Berea-Midpark will take a record of 5-7 into its game at Amherst Steele on Friday night.

The Titans defeated North Ridgeville, 71-64, on Tuesday night. Chad Elliott had 22 points, five rebounds and four assists, and Bret Swinnerton tossed in 21 points and pulled down nine rebounds.                     

             

        

    

                  

 

                             

Toledo St. Francis de Sales and Saint Ignatius continue at 1-2 in the Ohio High School State Ice Hockey Poll
1/19/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer and courtesy of the Columbus Blue Jackets Joel Siegman

First-place votes are in parenthesis

1. Toledo St. Francis  90 (9) Defending state champion.             

2. Saint Ignatius 79 Enters Friday's GLHL Game versus Padua Franciscan on a 13-game winning streak 

3. Columbus St. Charles  64

4. St. Edward  63
             
5. University School  51    

6. Bowling Green 43

7. Dublin Jerome  25

8-T. Dublin Coffman  15

8-T. Sylvania Northview  15

10. Shaker Heights  14

Others receiving votes: Findlay, Olentangy Liberty, Rocky River, Upper Arlington, Kenston, Walsh Jesuit, Padua Franciscan and Springboro.


Saint Ignatius will be hosting the first round of the OHSAA Wrestling Team Tournament
1/19/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

On Wednesday, January 27th, Saint Ignatius Head Coach Mark Sullivan and his Men of the Mats will be hosting the first round of the OHSAA Team Tournament for wrestling in Sullivan Gymnasium.

Four teams will be competing in Round 1 - John Adams vs Garfield Heights and Saint Ignatius vs. John Marshall. The winners will then wrestle to see who advances in the OHSAA Team Tournament.

Weigh-ins begin at 4 PM and the matches follow at 5 PM.

The corner is looking forward to providing coverage on this event. 

One of the storied basketball rivalries in the state, Saint Ignatius vs. St. Edward, headlines this week's Where The Cats Play
1/19/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Brian Becker's 9-2 Wildcats, coming off a 49-47 overtime victory over Walsh Jesuit last weekend in Sullivan Gymnasium, will take their No. 1 area ranking into Friday night's highly anticipated game at St. Edward on Coach Jim Connors Court.

The night begins with a Junior Varsity matchup at 6 PM, followed by the 7:30 Varsity tipoff with Coach Eric Flannery's Eagles, who are 8-4 and ranked fourth in the area.

Friday night's game in the Eagles Nest is expected to attract a standing-room crowd, so it would be wise to check with St. Edward and/or Saint Ignatius on the availability of tickets. The Athletic Department number at Saint Ignatius is 216-651-0222, ext. 222.

Saint Ignatius JV and Varsity Basketball will close out their two-game weekend slate with a short trip to Berea-Midpark on Saturday night. The JV game will tip off at 6, followed by the Varsity game at 7:30.

As always, the corner will preview Friday night's area game of the week at St. Edward, along with the Berea-Midpark matchup, on Wednesday night.

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats, riding a 13-game winning streak that includes a 4-0 Championship run at last weekend's Saint Ignatius Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational (see the corner's story from Sunday's Championship Game), will return to Great Lakes Hockey League play with an overall record of 24-2-1.

The Ice Cats, ranked second in the state and sitting atop their division in the Great Lakes Hockey League, will face the Padua Franciscan Bruins on Friday in the Brooklyn Ice Arena with the puck scheduled to drop at 8 PM.

On Saturday, Coach O'Rourke will send his Ice Cats against the Green Wave of Holy Name at the Michael A. Ries Rink in Parma. The action is scheduled to begin at 8:30 PM.

After this weekend, the Ice Cats have just two regular-season Great Lakes Hockey League games remaining and then it is on to the GLHL Cleveland Cup playoffs at the OBM Arena in Strongsville's IceLand USA. Saint Ignatius is the two-time defending Cleveland Cup Champion. The corner is tuning up for one of the finest postseason tournaments in the state, if not the entire nation.     

Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats, aka Saint Ignatius' Varsity Gold Wrestling Team, will ride their strong fourth-place finish at last weekend's Catholic Invitational Tournament into two venues this weekend - matches versus Walsh Jesuit/Toledo St. John's Jesuit on Friday night at 6 PM in Sullivan Gym and a trip to the Stuebenville High School Tri-Match on Saturday at 2 PM.

Congrats again to Wildcats standout junior Kaden Russell for bringing home another 182-pound title at the Catholic Invitational Tournament.

In Swimming and Diving, the Wildcats had their meet at Hawken School this evening (Tuesday) wiped out by Mother Nature. Coach Mike Lehto's Wildcats are schedule to be at Shaker Heights High School on Friday for a meet with Raiders at 6 PM, and on Saturday it's off to Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep for a 1 PM competition.

And last, but certainly not least, Coach Jim Viets' Keglers, aka the Alley Cats, as the corner tagged them many years ago, will be competing against the Lutheran West Longhorns in the GCIBL Interdivision Position Round Scratch on Saturday. The pins are set at 9 AM on the Cloverleaf Lanes.

Have a wonderful and safe rest of the week and weekend, and we'll see you at Saint Edward High School on Friday night. As all veteran gym rats know - arrive early.

AND, WHILE I AM ON THE SUBJECT OF ST. EDWARD, CONGRATULATIONS FROM THIS OLD-TIMER TO EAGLES OUTSTANDING ATHLETIC DIRECTOR PAUL MICHALKO, WHO WILL BE RETIRING AT THE END OF THIS SCHOOL YEAR. PAUL AND ST. EDWARD HEAD BASKETBALL COACH ERIC FLANNERY, WHOM I HAD THE PLEASURE AND PRIVILEGE TO COVER AS A PLAYER AND A COACH FOR MANY YEARS, HAVE ALWAYS TREATED THIS CORNER WITH CLASS AND RESPECT.

GOD BLESS, EDDIE DWYER  

    

   

 

Wildcats Varsity Basketball remains No. 1 in the seven-county area basketball poll and remains ninth in the Associated Press Division I State Poll
1/18/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brian Becker's Cats will take their top area ranking into Friday night's first of the annual home-and-home series with St. Edward. The Varsity tipoff from the Eagles' Coach Jim Connors Court will be 7:30 PM. The JV game is slated for 6 bells.

Here are the Top 10 teams in this week's cleveland.com Top 25 area poll: 1. Saint Ignatius, 2. St. Vincent-St. Mary, 3. Garfield Heights, 4. St. Edward, 5. Archbishop Hoban, 6. Lorain, 7. Beachwood, 8. Bedford, 9. Medina and 10. Cleveland Central Catholic.      

Saint Ignatius' Freshmen Blue and Gold Basketball teams experience tough losses to St. Edward's Freshmen Basketball programs
1/18/2016

Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Cleveland, Oho - You can look forward to the Saint Ignatius versus St. Edward basketball rivalry continuing to be something special, and then some, for at least the next three years.

In what was the traditional Martin Luther King Jr. Day Doubleheader in Sullivan Gymnasium on Monday morning/early afternoon, the Freshmen Wildcats and the Freshmen Eagles tested each other's will from the opening tipoffs until the final buzzers.

St. Edward's Freshmen Green and Freshmen Gold programs found a way down the stretch in both games, as the Eagles' Green Team held off a rally by the Wildcats' Blue and survived with a 45-42 victory in the opener.

In what was as intense a freshmen basketball game that you will ever witness, St. Edward's Gold Team, watching double digit leads slip away, withstood outstanding efforts by the Cats' Danny Scelza, Kevin Davet and John Reali, and turned back the Wildcats' Gold in the final minute of overtime, 56-53.

The Eagles' Green Team improved to 6-3 and their Gold Team now stands 7-1.

Saint Ignatius' coaching staff said the Cats' Blue Team was 7-6 heading into their matchup with the Eagles.

The Wildcats' Gold Team, said Wildcats Assistant Coach Kyle Wise '10, is now a game under .500.

"A tough one, we had a lot of kids play really hard today," Coach Wise said of the overtime thriller. "It's a tough one to swallow. But I mean we battled. So it's hard to hang your head too much.

"We never have to try to get effort from these guys," continued Coach Wise. "For the most part, their attitude has been very good. They've been a pleasure so far. We've lost a lot of close games, that's what I think we need to work on. I think going forward, as these kids get older, they're going to be something special."

St. Edward Green 45, Saint Ignatius Blue 42: The Eagles, behind a steal by guard/forward Brady Foutz and his driving one-hander in transition, two free throws by guard Jack Kurz, a 3-pointer by Foutz, a basket by Kurz off an assist from Foutz, and two free throws by Foutz, led, 11-2, with 3:53 remaining in the first quarter.

Saint Ignatius, fueled by the defensive hustle and scoring of guards Owen Adler, Michael Sarko and Patrick Russell, and post Darius Moss Jr., cut the deficit to 11-8.

A 3-pointer by guard Matt Ferritto kept the Blue Cats in striking distance in the early stages of the second quarter, but the Eagles' Green outscored the Blue Cats, 9-4, over the remainder of the quarter and held a 24-15 lead at halftime.

Saint Ignatius closed to seven points on a strong move down low by post/forward Aidan Wells early in the third quarter.

St. Edward, with Foutz showing the way again, moved to its third double digit lead of the third quarter before taking an eight-point advantage into the fourth quarter.

Trailing by 10 points after two more points from Foutz, the Blue Cats, sparked by a 3-pointer from Adler and another authoritative move down low by Wells, went on a 9-0 run and closed to 38-37 with 2:54 left in the fourth quarter.

The Eagles' Green answered with baskets by Foutz and point guard Jordan Castleberry, but the Blue Cats refused to be discouraged as they closed to 43-40 on two free throws by Wells with 27.4 seconds remaining.

St. Edward hung on, however, and the faithful from both schools applauded the efforts.

St. Edward Gold 56, Saint Ignatius Gold 53 (Overtime): St. Edward started fast and built leads of 11 points and 10 points before taking a 27-19 lead into the halftime break.

The Eagles' Gold led by 10 points early in the third quarter thanks to two free throws by its gifted forward Spencer Crane.

Saint Ignatius' Gold, with the 6-foot-8 Davet and Reali showing the way, closed to 29-27 with 4:07 let in the third quarter.

St. Edward stretched its lead to five points with three minutes remaining in the third quarter, but Saint Ignatius, off a basket by the ever-present Scelza and two post moves by Davet that had his brother, Wildcats standout 6-7 Varsity junior post Matt Davet, smiling, took a 33-32 lead.

After two free throws by Dante Frabotta, the Cats' Gold entered the fourth quarter with a two-point lead and stretched that to seven points before the Eagles' Gold Coaches were on their feet yelling for a timeout with 5:06 to go in regulation.

Whatever Eagles Head Coach Tom Bodle said during the timeout definitely worked, as St. Edward cut the deficit to one point with 4:02 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Saint Ignatius, sparked by the play of post/forward Amaldo Valenzuela, Scelza and Reali, clung to a three-point lead before the Eagles were able to tie the score in the final 1:40 of regulation and force overtime. St. Edward guard Josh Ogle, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, provided the tying basket.

Two free throws by Davet put the Cats on top by two points in OT, but Crane nailed two free throws and it was all tied up again with 1:26 left in the three-minute overtime.

Trailing, 54-53, in the final 34.2 seconds, Saint Ignatius turned the ball over and with 18.6 ticks on the clock, St. Edward forward/post Octavius Hardy sent home what turned out to be the final points of the game by calmly dropping in two free throws.

The Cats misfired on a 3-point shot and the Eagles took the oh so challenging sweep back home to Lakewood.

Crane and Scelza shared game scoring honors with 17-point performances and Davet and Reali finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Wildcats and Eagles fans can now rest their lungs for a few days and get ready for Friday night's Junior Varsity and Varsity versions of the Saint Ignatius-St. Edward basketball rivalry. The JV tipoff on Coach Jim Connors Court in the Eagles Nest is 6 PM, followed by the always highly anticipated Varsity Game at 7:30.

The corner will preview Friday's Varsity matchup on Wednesday night.         

          

    

     

  

    

  

 

   

 

 

   

   

Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats place eight wrestlers on their way to a fourth-place finish at the storied Catholic Invitational Tournament. Junior Kaden Russell repeats as the CIT's 182-pound Champion.
1/17/2016

Posted By Eddie  Dwyer

From Cincinnati Elder High School

Along with Kaden's second consecutive first-place performance at the talent-laden CIT, the Wildcats got a second-place effort from senior Kyle Vilsack at 195 and third-place finishes from junior Quade Rasmussen at 132, junior Cal Miller at 160 and freshman DJ Huff at 120.

Senior Tito Vazquez took fifth place at 285, as did sophomore Anthony Delsanter at 106.

After losing a tough 5-3 overtime match, freshman Patrick McGraw placed sixth at 113.

A tip of the corner's cap goes out to Kaden, Kyle and the rest of Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats for again representing Saint Ignatius with grit and class.  

The Ice Cats score three first-period goals and go on to defeat St. Francis from Athol Springs, N.Y., 4-0, in the Championship Game of the Saint Ignatius Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational. Tournament MVP honors go to Jared Stepka!
1/17/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

CONGRATULATIONS FROM THE CORNER ALSO GO OUT TO COACH DREW VILINSKY'S JUNIOR VARSITY SELECTS TEAM, WHICH WENT 3-0-1 IN MICHIGAN THIS WEEKEND, INCLUDING A 4-3 VICTORY OVER DETROIT CATHOLIC CENTRAL ON SUNDAY THAT SAW MIKE EPPICH SCORE THE WINNING GOAL WITH THREE SECONDS REMAINING. THE JV SELECT ICE CATS ALSO TIED BROTHER RICE, 1-1, DEFEATED DETROIT CATHOLIC CENTRAL'S OTHER TEAM, 3-2, AND SHUTOUT BRIGHTON MICHIGAN, 5-0.  

FROM THE BROOKLYN ICE ARENA IN THE JOHN M. COYNE RECREATION CENTER, SUNDAY 1-17-16

In bringing home another tournament trophy, extending its winning streak to 13 games and improving to 24-2-1, Coach Pat O'Rourke's hockey savvy team set the tempo on goals by junior forwards Connor Koehnke and Cullen Frebes, and senor forward/Captain Aidan Spellacy.

Koehnke's lamplighter, which came with the game not two minutes old, was assisted by junior defenseman/forward Seth Whitney.

The Ice Cats, ranked second in Ohio and sitting atop their division in the Great Lakes Hockey League, made it 2-0 on Frebes' power play goal with 10:09 remaining in the first period. Assisting was senior center and tournament MVP Jared Stepka.

In what was a display of excellent stick work off a smooth move, Spellacy went unassisted with 1:54 left in the opening period, as Aidan actually sent the puck home as his knees were touching the ice.

Saint Ignatius, which advanced to the championship game by defeating Gonzaga (Washington D.C.), New Lenox (IL) Providence Catholic and Pittsburgh Central Catholic, wrapped up the scoring on an authoritative goal by senior Captain Brian Russell. Senior forward/Captain Cam Gerard and Koehnke assisted, as Russell went power play with 10:15 remaining in the third period.

The Ice Cats, now winners of three major tournaments this season (including the Cornfield Cup in Indiana and the Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic), got another solid effort between the pipes from senior goalie/Alternate Captain Dylan McKeon. Saint Ignatius outshot the Red Raiders from St. Francis, 24-14.

The Red Raiders, who compete in a Prep Hockey League, slipped to 19-13-2 on the season. St. Francis is located in Athol Springs, New York and has also competed against Saint Ignatius in Varsity Football.

Coach Chuck Kyle's Football Cats are 9-1 all-time versus St. Francis, including the storied 21-20 overtime victory on Oct. 15, 2011, when the gales of November truly came early to Athol Springs.

OFFENSE AND DEFENSE: The Ice Cats outscored their four opponents at the Saint Ignatius Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational by a combined score of 21-3. They recorded two shutouts and defeated Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 8-1.

UP NEXT: Coach O'Rourke's Cats will host the Padua Franciscan Bruins on Friday night in the Brooklyn Ice Arena. The puck is scheduled to drop at 8 PM.

FROM TOURNAMENT MVP JARED STEPKA ON THE ICE CATS' CURRENT RUN: "That loss (to Ohio's top-ranked Toledo St. Francis de Sales in December) made us all mad. We knew we had to get better. Besides that, we love playing together. We always have fun and stay hungry. We don't want to come up short of our goal (an OHSAA State-Semifinal rematch with Toledo St. Francis and a fourth State Championship).

"Coach O'Rourke changed the lines up before this tournament," Jared continued. "I got switched to more of a shutdown line, preventing the opponents from goals. But we (the shutdown line) did pretty well (offensively). I think we had the most goals in the tournament. I also switched positions, I'm now playing center. I think at center I can get a lot more speed built up. It's awesome. I've never been an MVP of tournament before.

"They came out physical and took some really good hits," Jared said of the Red Raiders' Prep Team. "We knew they were ready to play. Connor Koehnke got us started. He gave us momentum by popping the first shot of the game."

FROM COACH O'ROURKE '90: "I was hoping to get four good games out of this weekend. We had teams from all over the Midwest and even the East Coast. I think everybody was happy with the quality of the tournament and the competition. This team today (the St. Francis Red Raiders), we were leery of them. We had seen them play all weekend. They came out strong and put us back on our heels a little bit, but then we scored those three goals in the first period.

"The second period wasn't as good. We had a couple of penalty kills. The third period I thought was good. We still have some things to fix, but we have some good line combinations going and a hot goalie (Dylan McKeon). We have four more games and then it's tournament time, cities (the GLHL Cleveland Cup Postseason Tournament) and states. I was happy with most of the players today. We had a lot of guys who chipped in, a total team effort."

COACH O'ROURKE ON JARED STEPKA: "He deserved it (MVP). Jared was asked to move from our top scoring line to more of a checking line, which is not easy to do and not easy to accept. But as a team player, Jared understands what is best for our team. And they (the check line) having been scoring a lot of goals lately. We've joked in practice that they are our new top line.

"You have to have people like Jared, who is willing to sacrifice for the good of the team," Coach O'Rourke continued. "Now we can have a shot at wearing rings at the end of the season. If everybody was selfish, that wouldn't happen and we wouldn't be as good of a team as we are, and seem to be right now. Part of the reason Jared won the MVP was because of his performance on the ice, and the other part was his acceptance of that new role. He is really excelling at that role. You're looking at a kid who is a four-year Varsity player, which is a rarity. We've enjoyed every minute with him. We don't have much time left with some of these guys, but hopefully we can create some more memories along the way."

  

                      

 

     

   

  

    

Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats enjoy a big first day at the annual Catholic Invitational Tournament
1/17/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Cincinnati Elder High School

The Wildcats stand in third place after Day 1 of one of the most tradition-rich and talent-laden events in the Buckeye State.

Seven Cats have reached the championship bracket and six more are still alive in the consolation bracket.

Showing the way for the Wildcats are sophomore Anthony Delsanter at 106 pounds, freshman Patrick McGraw at 113, freshman DJ Huff at 120, junior Quade Rasmussen at 132, defending 182 pound CIT Champion, junior Kaden Russell, senior Kyle Vilsack at 195 and senior Tito Vazquez at 285.

Sunday, Day 2, which determines the champions and the final team standings, is scheduled to get underway at 10 AM.  

The Junior Varsity Cats improve to 7-4 by defeating the previously undefated JV Walsh Warriors, 45-38, on Saturday night
1/17/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

In handing Walsh Jesuit's Junior Varsity its first loss in 11 games, the JV Cats got 12 and 10 points, respectively, from sophomore wing Joshua Ozanne and sophomore guard Neeko Melendez.

Sophomore guard Charlie Kriak contributed 9 points and sophomore post Luke Wiskes finished with seven points.

Trailing by five points at halftime, the Cats came clawing back behind a 3-pointer by Kriak, the rebounding, defensive hustle, passing and scoring of sophomore post/forward Aymin Bahhur, and the perimeter shooting of Kriak and Ozanne.

Leading, 28-26, entering the final seven minutes, Saint Ignatius was able to keep some distance between itself and Walsh Jesuit thanks to key baskets by Wiskes, Bahhur and Melendez, a 3-pointer by Ozanne and the clutch free-throw shooting of Melendez and Kriak.

Up next for the JV Cats is Friday night's 6 PM matchup with St. Edward on the Eagles' Coach Jim Connors Court.  

     

 

 

Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball turns back Walsh Jesuit, 49-47, in overtime in front of a packed house at Sullivan Gymnasium. The Cats find a way despite the Warriors' ability to control the tempo.
1/16/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Saint Ignatius Head Basketball Coach Brian Becker '77 didn't hedge in describing what was a game of survival on Saturday night.

"Walsh Jesuit is a well-coached, disciplined team and tonight they imposed their will on us," Coach Becker said after Saint Ignatius, the top-ranked team in the seven-county area and ninth-ranked Division I program in the state, defeated the area's 12th-ranked Warriors, 49-47, in overtime.

"They forced us into a slower game," said Coach Becker. "It's good to know that we can win a game in the 40's. Down the road that will pay dividends. In a District semi or final, if you get a slower-tempo team, well, we've played that type of team and hopefully we've learned from it. I would rather not have the slower pace, I would like to win the game a little easier.

"That said, our kids found a way without shooting the ball very well," Coach Becker continued after his Cats  improved to 9-2 heading into Friday's annual rivalry game with St. Edward on the Eagles' Coach Jim Connors Court. "I thought we defended pretty well and Austen Yarian (the Cats' limitless potential 6-foot-8 junior wing/post) did a real good job on Peterson (Walsh's standout 6-5 senior guard/forward Mitch Peterson). Even though Peterson had 18 points, he had to work for them."

No one in attendance in a full to capacity, and then some, Sullivan Gym could question the heart and work-ethic the respective Jesuit Schools brought to the floor on Saturday night. The living on every dribble, drive, rebound, pass and shot game that the Warriors and the Wildcats put together will go down as one of the most memorable in the storied history of the grand gymnasium that sits proudly on Lorain Avenue.

Walsh Jesuit's faithful will not only recall it months and years from now for the superb effort their Warriors put forth away from home, but for the unique occurrence that saw Walsh Jesuit go 0-for-0 from the free-throw line. That statement is not meant in any way to criticize the officiating crew. This veteran reporter thought the officials did a solid job in what was pressure-packed atmosphere, especially down the stretch.    

Coach Becker and his outstanding Assistant Coaches had fouls to give and they wisely employed that advantage with the game on the line. Saint Ignatius was 16-of-25 from the charity stripe.  

Here is what the corner sees as the most pivotal parts of the game before Walsh Jesuit shook hands and headed to the visitor's locker room with what is now a 9-3 record.

Following a strong baseline move by Yarian, Saint Ignatius held a 17-8 lead midway through the second quarter.

Walsh Jesuit, which defeated the Wildcats by 13 points at Walsh last season, got its offense in gear and, sparked by a floating one-hander by Peterson, an authoritative drive to the rim by 6-2 senior guard Joe Iacobacci and 3-pointers from Peterson and senior forward Ben Kanieski, went on a 12-2 run and took a 20-19 lead into the third quarter.

Saint Ignatius, which played and defeated some of the best teams the state has to offer during the early stages of the season, responded in a manner one would expect from the area's No. 1-ranked team.

Following an offensive rebound and a put back by multi-skilled 6-7 junior post Matt Davet, a tip-in by Yarian, and two free throws and a 3-pointer by Davet, the Wildcats held an eight-point lead with 3 minutes and 22 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

In what was a see-saw finish to the third quarter, Peterson dropped in another 3-pointer that cut Saint Ignatius' lead to five points.

The Cats responded with a two-handed slam by Yarian, but the Warriors answered with a driving one-hander from senior guard Dominic Canzone, a follow by Peterson and another 3-pointer from Kanieski that knotted the score at 32.

Saint Ignatius, on the strength of a free throw by its standout 6-5 senior forward/guard Deven Stover, clung to a one-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was another test of wills that saw the Cats take a 3-point advantage on a lay in by Davet off an assist from Yarian.

Walsh Jesuit would twice take one-point leads down the stretch run of the fourth quarter, but another tip in by Yarian and a free throw by Stover had Saint Ignatius holding a 42-40 lead with 34.7 seconds left in regulation.

Coach John Norris' Warriors tied the score at 42 on a basket by senior guard Nate Reich off an assist from Iacobacci with 3.8 second to go in the fourth quarter and, after the Cats committed a turnover while inbounding the ball, Iacobacci nearly won the game in regulation with a shot from near midcourt that spun off the rim.

In overtime, with Saint Ignatius' tremendous Student Body support ringing throughout Sullivan Gym, Reich and Cats senior guard Ryan Berger exchanged big-time 3-pointers that had the scored tied at 47, Coach Becker employed his fouls to give strategy, and the decisive two points came from a free throw by senior guard Jim Berger, Ryan's twin brother, and Davet's offensive rebound and free throw.

Yarian also made a crucial play when he blocked a shot by Peterson that would have tied the score with 13.7 ticks on the clock in overtime.   

"It was a good win," said Yarian. "Coach Becker told us that they were going to try to slow the ball down a lot and we learned how to play with that pace.

"I didn't know what was going through my head, honestly," Yarian continued in reference to his timely block on Peterson. "But after I blocked it, it was just a great feeling. I was a little too long for him, I guess. I think we've really matured on defense, and that's going to help us go far in the tournament."

Peterson's 18 points led all scorers, as Davet was the high man for the Cats with 14 points. Stover and Yarian chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Stover and Davet were a combined 12-of-16 from the foul line and Jimmy Berger made four of his five free throws. Jimmy also had a crowd-pleasing, athletic-effort block at the Lorain Avenue end of Sullivan Gymnasium.    

Saint Ignatius hit on nine 3-pointers and Walsh Jesuit made five shots from beyond the arc.

 

                             

      

         

 

         

A short-handed goal by senior Captain Aidan Spellacy wraps it up - the Ice Cats 8, Pittsburgh Central Catholic 1
1/16/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats (23-2-1), ranked second in Ohio and in first place of their division in the Great Lakes Hockey League, will carry a 12-game winning streak into Sunday's finale of the Saint Ignatius Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

The corner will be on hand for game coverage.

 

Ice Cats appear to have too much for Dan Marino's alma mater, as they are all over Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 5-0, with less than a minute gone in the third period of Saturday's enounter with the Vikings
1/16/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

THE THIRD ROUND OF THE SAINT IGNATIUS MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. INVITATIONAL AT THE BROOKLYN ICE ARENA

Senior forward/Alternate Captain Jared Stepka is making his presence felt with a coast-to-coast lamplighter and a goal off an assist from senior forward Zack Kisel. Stepka has also assisted on a goal by Kisel, a top-shelf effort by Zack.

The Ice Cats led, 3-0, after the first period and senior Captain/forward/defenseman Brian Russell sent home the fourth lamplighter on the afternoon.

Pittsburgh Central Catholic, the alma mater of NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Marino, competes in the WPIAL.  

 

The Ice Cats ride two third-period goals past a solid Providence Catholic (IL) team, 4-2, in Saturday's second round of the Saint Ignatius Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational
1/16/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Ice Cats and the Celtics went toe-to-toe for two periods in the Brooklyn Ice Arena Saturday morning before Saint Ignatius prevailed with third-period lamplighters from junior forwards John von Keyserling (assist senior forward Jared Stepka) and Cullen Frebes (assist junior forward Benji Rechin) that came just 30 seconds apart. John's go-ahead goal was a short-handed effort.  

Junior defenseman Seth Whitney knotted the score at 1 in the final seconds of the first period and Coach Pat O'Rourke's  hockey savvy team took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Rechin off an assist from junior forward Connor Koehnke with just under 11 minutes remaining in the second period.

Providence Catholic, which also experienced a 3-1 loss to Saint Ignatius in the Championship Game of last month's Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic at the Edge Ice Arena, answered the Koehnke to Rechin hookup and the stage was set for the decisive and dramatic third period.

Saint Ignatius also benefitted from a 31-save performance by standout senior goalie Dylan McKeon.

The Ice Cats, who improved their record to 22-2-1 and extended their winning streak to 11 games, resume play in the Saint Ignatius Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational today at 3 PM versus Pittsburgh Central Catholic. Saint Ignatius opened the prestigious and talent-rich tournament with a 5-0 victory over Gonzaga on Friday afternoon (see the post from Friday night).  

Taking ownership behind a relentless defense and the play of Deven Stover and Austen Yarian, the Varsity Basketball Cats wear down Cardinal Mooney, 73-45
1/16/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Youngstown, Ohio, Friday, January 15th

The Junior Varsity Cats were also too much for Cardinal Mooney, as Coaches Chris Salata '94, Brian McLaughlin '94 and Andrew Salata '01 guided their promising sophomores to a 56-38 triumph over the Cardinals' Jayvees.

Sophomore post Luke Wiskes, coming off a dominant game-high, 31-point night in Monday's four-point victory over Mentor at Sullivan Gymnasium, led the way against Cardinal Mooney with a game-high 17 points.

Luke was 11-for-12 from the free-throw line.

Sophomore wing/forward Joshua Ozanne and sophomore forward Aymin Bahhur contributed 11 and 9 points, respectively.

Eleven players hit the scoring column for the JV Cats, who were 19-of-27 from the foul line. The other day in practice the JV Cats, as a team, shot 336 free throws and hit on 81 percent of them.

The coaching firm of Salata, McLaughlin and Salata will send their now 6-4 Cats against a Walsh Jesuit JV team that was undefeated heading into this weekend. The tipoff on Saturday night in Sullivan Gymnasium is 6 bells.

COACH BRIAN BECKER'S VARSITY WILDCATS BEGAN TO TAKE "OWNERSHIP" OF THEIR GAME BY STRETCHING A ONE-POINT LEAD AFTER THE FIRST EIGHT MINUTES TO 39-24 BY HALFTIME.

After Cardinal Mooney led, 14-13, off a layup by guard Trell Thomas in the opening minute of the second quarter, the Cats unleashed a relentless defense that was fueled by 6-foot-8 junior forward/post Austen Yarian and senior guards Kyle Kalish and Ryan Berger, among others.

That defensive effort fueled the offense and gifted 6-foot-5 senior forward/guard Deven Stover showed why he is one of the state' best by unleashing a 10-point spurt that had the Cardinals on their heels.

Stover's onslaught included and authoritative drive to the rim, a 3-pointer, a coast-to-coast layup and another trey.

A 3-pointer by versatile senior forward Tyler Musbach, a free throw by Stover, a 3-pointer by Kalish that almost brought rain, and two more free throws from Stover had Coach Becker's team in front by 13 points.

The Cats took a 15-point lead into the visitor's locker room at halftime after Ryan Berger offset a free throw from Thomas by dialing long distance from the arc.

Saint Ignatius, ranked No. 1 in the seven-county area and ninth in the Associated Press Division I State Poll, came out for the second half and settled the issue, big time.

Kalish wasted no time as he read the Cardinal Mooney defense like his favorite book and drove down the lane for a teardrop.

Junior post Matt Davet, who experienced some early foul trouble off calls that saw Saint Ignatius with 9 fouls and the Cardinals with just 2 with 3:44 to go in the first half, made his presence felt in a hurry in the third quarter.

A strong and active 6-7 presence in the middle, Davet dropped in two of his trademark turn-around jumpers with the second one resulting in a three-point play and a 20-point lead for the Wildcats.

A smooth drive to the rim by Stover that resulted from a strong rebound and outlet by Yarian and Kalish's assist, two free throws, a two-handed slam and a 3-pointer by Yarian, baskets by versatile senior post/forward Tim Kiefer and Yarian, and a powerful post-up move by 6-7 senior center Sharief Irish that produced a three-point play had the Cats purring to a 30-point advantage with 1:47 remaining in the third quarter.

Adding some topping to the victory cake were a smooth assist by junior guard Devin Jackson, a 3-pointer by Jackson and a strong one-handed lay in by junior guard Michael Spear off a drive to the front of the rim.

Thirteen players scored for Saint Ignatius. Stover and Yarian led the way with 15 and 13 points, respectively, and Kalish complemented his solid floor game with 10 points.

Cardinal Mooney senior forward Andrew Armstrong, who leaves everything he has on the floor, finished with 21 points and Thomas scored 19 points. That's all but five of the Cardinals' points.

Mooney slipped to 7-3 heading into its home game versus Brecksville-Broadview Heights on Tuesday night and Saint Ignatius will take an 8-2 record into Saturday night's matchup with 9-2 Walsh Jesuit, the area's 12-ranked team. The tipoff in what is expected to be a packed Sullivan Gymnasium is 7:30 PM.

As part of Saturday night's Jesuit School matchup, Saint Ignatius will pay tribute to the outstanding men and women who serve this great area as the city's Safety Forces.

"I challenged the kids before the game to take ownership at the defensive end and we came out and did that," said Coach Becker. "With Davet and Yarian on the bench (fouls), we got some good minutes from other guys and then, when we got the full squad back in the third quarter, we went inside and did what we needed to do.

"Austen was very active tonight," Coach Becker continued. "That's the Austen Yarian we hope shows up each and every day. He's extremely capable every night. Tonight, he blocked shots, he rebounded, hit some big shots, went inside and made some free throws. We got a complete game, which is good to see from a junior. We're in the middle of the season now, so he's seasoned enough."     

              

           

 

         

  

 

 

 

   

              

           

 

         

  

   

              

           

 

         

  

   

     

Two goals by Aidan Spellacy and two assists from Cam Gerard help the Ice Cats to a 5-0 victory over Gonzaga in the opening game of the Saint Ignatius Martin Luther King Jr. High School Hockey Invitational at the Brooklyn Ice Arena
1/15/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Senior forward Zack Kisel got Saint Ignatius started with a goal off an assist from junior forward John von Keyserling.

Then it was senior forward/Captain Aidan Spellacy following with the first of his two lamplighters. Senior forward/Captain Cam Gerard and senior forward/defenseman/Captain Brian Russell assisted.

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats (21-2-1), ranked second in the state, made it a 3-0 game behind a goal by senior defenseman Cam Cook that was courtesy of assists from senior forward/Alternate Captain Jared Stepka and junior defenseman Seth Whitney.

Saint Ignatius, now riding a 10-game winning streak and holding down first place in its division of the Great Lakes Hockey League, closed out the late afternoon on goals by junior forward Connor Koehnke and Spellacy.

Junior forward Benji Rechin was the assist man on Koehnke's lamplighter and Gerad's second assist led to Spellacy's second goal on the afternoon.

The Ice Cats continue play in the talent-rich Saint Ignatius Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational on Saturday. They return to the Brooklyn Ice Arena to face New Lenox (IL) Providence Catholic. The puck will drop at 9:45 AM.

Coach O'Rourke's Cats defeated Providence Catholic, 3-1, in the Championship Game of last month's Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic at the Edge Ice Arena in Illinois.        

And congrats to Ralph Deadwyler and the Ice Cats' outstanding goalie Dylan McKeon on garnering cleveland.com Player of the Week honors
1/14/2016
Congrats to Alley Cat Ralph Deadwyler on becoming the first Athlete of the Week, as selected by Saint Ignatius High School
1/14/2016

Presented by Wildcats Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick and Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Rory: The Athletic Department (working off of a great idea by Mr.Nick Restifo) will be starting a new tradition of recognizing an athlete of the week.

Coaches will nominate players and the Athlete of the Week will be recognized at school via e-mail, the website, social media and announcements.

Please join me in congratulating our first winner of the year, Senior Bowler Ralph Deadwyler.

Here is what Coach Jim Viets had to say about Ralph:

"Ralph is a senior on the bowling team and has been having a very good year.

"On Tuesday, January 5th versus Olmsted Falls, he bowled 234, 235, 183 for a 652 series. In a rematch with Benedictine on January 9th Ralph bowled 236, 211, 202 for a 649 series. His average for the week of 216 increased his season average to 208, which is good for second place in the league.

"Part of our matches include something called Baker games. This is where all 5 bowlers combine to bowl 2 games together.

"As the 5th bowler in our line-up, Ralph threw 14 strikes in 6 baker games."

Congratulations Ralph.

Rory Fitzpatrick '88, C.A.A
Athletic Director


 
S-I-B-N! If the winter's chill has you sidelined, the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network will provide live coverage on basketball and hockey this weekend
1/14/2016

Carter Spearry and Owen Miklos will camp out at the Brooklyn Ice Arena starting Friday afternoon and Matt MacKenzie, Brendan DeVenney and Louis Williams will lend their golden tones to the Wildcats' basketball games at Youngstown Cardinal Mooney on Friday night and versus Walsh Jesuit in Sullivan Gymnasium on Saturday night.

For a complete schedule and breakdown on the Ice Cats' talent-rich tournament this weekend, see the corner's "Where The Cats Play" that was posted Tuesday and for a preview on Saint Ignatius' basketball games with Cardinal Mooney and Walsh Jesuit see the corner's story from Wednesday night.

- Mr. Eddie Dwyer    

Here is a corner's view on Cardinal Mooney and Walsh Jesuit, this week's opponents in Wildcats Varsity Basketball. Saint Ignatius will pay tribute to the area's Special Forces as part of Saturday night's matchup with the Walsh Warriors.
1/13/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Brian Becker's Varsity Basketball Wildcats, ranked No. 1 in the seven-county area and ninth in the Division I state poll, continue their road to March, which comes in like a lion in Ohio accompanied by what every team in the Buckeye State is ultimately playing for - the annual OHSAA postseason tournament.

The Wildcats (7-2) will resume their demanding stretch of December-January games this weekend when they travel to Youngstown Cardinal Mooney High School on Friday night and then return home to face the area's 12-ranked Walsh Jesuit Warriors in what will be a packed Sullivan Gymnasium on Saturday night.

In what has become a Wildcats Basketball tradition, Saint Ignatius will pay tribute to the outstanding men and women who serve our great city as its Special Forces during Saturday's headliner with Walsh Jesuit.    

Area gym rats will recall last season's Wildcats-Warriors matchup under the dome at Walsh Jesuit, when the Warriors started the second half with an 8-0 run and outscored the Wildcats, 19-8, in the third quarter en route to a 64-51 victory over Saint Ignatius.

The 2015-16 Wildcats are well aware of what Walsh Jesuit brings to the table this winter, but Coach Becker's deep and gifted team is also savvy enough to know that their immediate focus has to be on what could be a trap game - Friday's visit to the lively atmosphere of Youngstown Cardinal Mooney.

Friday's and Saturday's matchups will include a 6 PM Junior Varsity Game, followed by the Varsity tip at 7:30.     

HERE IS A LOOK AT CARDINAL MOONEY AND WALSH JESUIT, WITH COMMENTS FROM COACH BECKER.
CARDINAL MOONEY (7-2): The Division II Basketball Cardinals, who like Saint Ignatius have a rich football history that included a 31-7 loss to the Wildcats in a 2012 season opener at the home of the Cleveland Browns, play what Coach Becker describes as a gritty and determined brand of basketball.
"They play really hard, we have to come with our A game when we go over there," Coach Becker said after he ran his Wildcats through Wednesday's spirited practice. "It's (Mooney basketball) a bunch of kids that put their nose to the grindstone. They do a real nice job of rebounding and they have some kids who are very capable. They don't back away from anybody and we have to respect that."
One of those capable kids for the Cardinals is 6-foot senior guard Trell Thomas, a young man who Saint Ignatius' outstanding Assistant Coach Jerry Porath describes as Cardinal Mooney's best player. Coach Porath said Thomas, who is averaging nearly 17 points per game, has range, can beat you off the bounce and uses his six-foot frame to its fullest as a good rebounder.
Among Coach Brian Danilov's other key contributors is 6-2 senior forward Andrew Armstrong, who checks in at 14.8 points per game. Coach Porath said Armstrong is very physical, always attacking the basket, spinning and drawing fouls.
Armstrong, a consistent double-double man, is a relentless rebounder who is pulling down 12 caroms per game. He is a capable outside shooter with a nice touch, but true to his last man, he does a lot of damage with stick backs.
Lending Thomas and Armstrong solid support are 6-1 junior guard Patrick Pelini and 5-11 senior guard Nick Koken, who are both flirting with 10 points per game.
Cardinal Mooney's losses were by two points to the always capable Benedictine Bengals and, in what is Youngstown's version of "The Holy War," the Cardinals were defeated by their longtime rival, the Fighting Irish of Ursuline, 67-58. Mooney played without Trell Thomas versus Ursuline, but Coach Danilov offered no excuses.
WALSH JESUIT (8-2 heading into Friday's game versus Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin): Okay, if the Wildcats need any extra incentive going into Saturday night's encounter with their Jesuit brothers, all they have to do is look at the statistics from last season's game at Walsh Jesuit.
The Warriors won the battle of the 50-50 balls and outrebounded the Cats, 35-21.
With the size and athleticism Coach Becker's team brings to the floor in red-hot 6-foot-7 junior post Matt Davet, 6-8 junior wing/forward Austen Yarian, gifted 6-5 senior forward/guard Deven Stover, the Berger twins - 6-4 senior guard Ryan and 6-3 senior guard Jimmy, the return to health of 6-7 senior post Sharief Irish, and two players who smell rebounds coming off the bench, 6-3 senior forward Tyler Musbach and 6-4 senior post/forward Tim Kiefer, that rebounding edge will be cleaned up.
And reminding his teammates of the importance of the 50-50 balls will be endless-energy senior point guard Kyle Kalish.
"Mooney and Walsh both have real good toughness and they both have some skilled players," Coach Becker said, "If we control their skilled guys and control the tempo, we should be okay. But we have to be sharp with the basketball. If we're lazy with the ball, they're (Mooney and Walsh) both determined and aggressive, and they will snatch it. Teams that play Saint Ignatius have it circled on the schedule. And that's a good thing because our kids have to come prepared each and every night."
Showing the way for the Walsh Warriors are two players who hurt the Cats last season, 6-5 guard/wing Mitch Peterson and 6-2 guard Joe Iacobacci. Peterson and Iacobacci scored 15 and 13 points, respectively, in the Warriors' victory over Saint Ignatius last winter.
Peterson, who is averaging more than 20 points an outing this season and has 27 3-pointers, is one of the area's top players and a Kent State University recruit. He is long and lean with good range, can put the ball on the floor and is an uncanny offensive rebounder who follows his shot like a flea after a hound dog.
Peterson left this seasoned gym rat with a lasting impression when he came into storied Sullivan Gymnasium as a young player two years ago.
Iacobacci is the Warriors' primary ball handler who, said Coach Porath, makes good plays for others. This old-timer was impressed with the passion Iacobacci brought to the defensive end of the floor against the Cats last season and his nose for the ball as a rebounder.
Among the other Warriors to watch are 5-11 guard Nate Reich, who plays bigger than his size and is a capable catch and shoot offensive weapon, and 6-3 forward Noah Donald, who is physical off the glass.
After this weekend, the focus will be centered on next Friday's (Jan. 22) game at St. Edward on Coach Jim Connors Court in the Eagles Nest. Coach Eric Flannery's Eagles came up with an impressive victory over previously undefeated Lorain this week. As always, it will be this corner's privilege and pleasure to provide a preview and game coverage next week on what is sure to be another memorable chapter in the storied rivalry that is Saint Ignatius versus St. Edward.
And while we're on the subject of the Wildcats versus the Eagles, it will also be the corner's pleasure and privilege to once again cover and report on the annual Wildcats vs. Eagles Freshmen Basketball Doubleheader on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this coming Monday, in Sullivan Gymnasium. The games are slated for 10 AM and 11:15 AM, respectively. I now take my coffee without any cream.
Have a safe and wonderful rest of the week and weekend, and please note that you can read a complete breakdown on the Ice Cats' prestigious Saint Ignatius High School Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Invitational Tournament and what all of the Cats' winter sports teams are up to this weekend in the corner's weekly "Where The Cats Play" that was posted on Tuesday. The corner will have recaps on the Ice Cats Friday and Saturday, and will provide game coverage on Sunday's finals from the Brooklyn Ice Arena in the John M. Coyne Recreation Center.       
                  
               
 
 
 
Toledo St. Francis de Sales and Saint Ignatius remain 1-2 in this week's State Ice Hockey Poll
1/12/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer and courtesy of the Columbus Blue Jackets' Joel Siegman

First-place votes are in parenthesis

1. Toledo St. Francis de Sales 80 (8)             

2. Saint Ignatius 70

3. Columbus St. Charles 55

4. St. Edward 50
             
5. University School 49

6. Bowling Green 44

7-T.  Dublin Jerome 24

7-T.  Shaker Heights 24

9. Sylvania Northview 14

10. Dublin Coffman 8

 Others receiving votes: Findlay, Upper Arlington, Walsh Jesuit, Olentangy Liberty, Rocky River and Springboro.

The Saint Ignatius Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Invitational in ice hockey, the CIT for the Cats' Men of the Mats and Saturday night's area Varsity Basketball headliner between the Wildcats and Walsh Jesuit highlight Where The Cats Play
1/12/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Fairview Park, Ohio - Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats, ranked second in the state, carrying a 20-2-1 record and a nine game winning streak, will host what Coach O'Rourke describes as one of the finest tournament fields in America this weekend at the Brooklyn Ice Arena in the John M. Coyne Recreation Center.

You might recognize some of the gifted teams who will be competing in "The Big Barn on Memphis,"  including New Lenox Providence Catholic, whom the Ice Cats defeated, 3-1, in last month's Championship Game of the prestigious Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic in the Edge Ice Arena.

Here is the schedule for this weekend at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.   

(Home Team is listed first and should wear light-colored jerseys)

Friday, January 15th 

3:00 PM – Saint Ignatius vs. Gonzaga

5:00 PM – Buffalo St. Francis vs. Shattuck St. Mary’s
7:00 PM – Providence Catholic vs. Pittsburgh Central Catholic
9:00 PM – Culver Military Academy vs. New Trier Green
----------------------------
Saturday, January 16th  
8:00 AM – Pittsburgh Central Catholic vs. Gonzaga
9:45 AM – Providence Catholic vs. Saint Ignatius
11:30 AM – Culver Military Academy vs. Shattuck St. Mary’s
1:15 PM – New Trier Green vs. Buffalo St. Francis
Saturday, January 16th  
3:00 PM – Saint Ignatius vs. Pittsburgh Central Catholic
4:45 PM – Gonzaga vs. Providence Catholic
6:30 PM – Shattuck St. Mary’s vs. New Trier Green
8:15 PM – Buffalo St. Francis vs. Culver Military Academy
-----------------------------
Sunday, January 17th  
8:00 AM – Blue Seed #4 vs. Gold Seed #4
10:00 AM – Blue Seed #3 vs. Gold Seed #3
12:00 PM – Blue Seed #2 vs. Gold Seed #2
2:00 PM – Blue Seed #1 vs. Gold Seed #1
 
BLUE DIVISION                      GOLD DIVISION
Saint Ignatius                           Buffalo St. Francis Prep (NY)
Providence Catholic (IL)          Culver Military Academy (IN)
Gonzaga (DC)                          New Trier Green (IL)
Pittsburgh Central Catholic      Shattuck St. Mary’s (MN)
 
Note: Admission is $3 per game or $10 for a weekend pass.
 
VARSITY BOWLING, AKA THE ALLEY CATS: Coach Jim Viets' red-hot keglers take on the Westlake Demons at Buckeye Lanes on Saturday at 9 AM and on Sunday they travel to Wickliffe for Brush High School's Tournament.
For an update on the Alley Cats' accomplishments, see the story by Brendan DeVenney '17 on the Saint Ignatius Bowling web page.
 
SWIMMING AND DIVING: The Wildcats, as per the Swimming and Diving web page, will be at the annual NE Classic in Akron/Canton on Saturday. Check with the Wildcats' Athletic Department, 216-651-0222, ext. 222, for starting times. 
 
VARSITY BASKETBALL: Coach Brian Becker's 7-2 Wildcats, ranked No. 1 in the seven-county area and ninth in the Associated Press Division I State Poll, will travel to the friendly confines of Youngstown Cardinal Mooney on Friday night. A 6 PM Junior Varsity game will precede the 7:30 Varsity matchup. The JV Cats, behind 31 points by gifted 6-4 sophomore post/forward Luke Wiskes, got back on the winning track Monday evening with a four-point victory over the Mentor Cardinals in Sullivan Gymnasium (see the corner's story from Monday night).
 
On Saturday night, the hot and cold Walsh Jesuit Warriors, who turned the Cats away, 64-51, at Walsh last season, will pay a call to Sullivan Gym. Again, the show opens in Ohio City with a 6 PM JV tip and is followed by a 7:30 Varsity game that could be, and we emphasize could, very intriguing. The corner will preview Cardinal Mooney and Walsh Jesuit on Wednesday night.
 
WRESTLING: Coach Mark Sullivan's Cats, coming off impressive tri-match victories over Lorain, Strongsville, Archbishop Hoban and Padua Franciscan, are gearing up for the annual Catholic Invitational Tournament, which will be held at Cincinnati Elder High School on Saturday and Sunday. The starting times are listed as 10 AM for each day.
 
At last season's CIT, which was held at Toledo Central Catholic High School, Coach Sullivan's Men of the Mats went 6-1 on the second day and finished fifth overall. Kaden Russell had an outstanding CIT last winter, bringing home the 182-pound Championship.
 
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A 31-point performance by Luke Wiskes leads the Junior Varsity Basketball Wildcats past Mentor, 55-51, in Sullivan Gymnasium on Monday night
1/11/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Remember the name Luke Wiskes, my friends.

Wiskes, Saint Ignatius' gifted and basketball savvy 6-foot-4 sophomore post, put his endless potential on display Monday in storied Sullivan Gymnasium and led the Junior Varsity Wildcats to a down-to-the-wire 55-51 victory over a talented JV team from Mentor.

With sub-freezing temperatures hovering outside, the mutli-skilled Wiskes cooled off the Cats' three-game losing streak with a variety of scoring shots from the get-go and seven consecutive clutch free throws when the game was on the line in the fourth quarter.

Saint Ignatius' sophomores are now 5-4 heading into Friday's road matchup with the Junior Varsity Team from Youngstown Cardinal Mooney.   

Cool Hand Luke scored 12 points in the first seven minutes, leading the Cats to a 10-point lead. His strong move down low on the first possession of the second quarter pushed Saint Ignatius' lead to 19-7.

Mentor, which slipped to 6-4 this young season, responded with an 8-0 run that ended when Wiskes completed a three-point play with 4 minutes and 28 seconds remaining in the first half.

The Cardinals, born and bread in a basketball program that thrives off a perimeter offense, continued to put the pressure on Saint Ignatius with back-to-back 3-pointers that made it a three-point game with 3:23  left in the first 14 minutes.

Coach Chris Salata's Cats kept their composure, however, and rode a Wiskes put back and the long-range shooting of sophomore guard Neeko Melendez to a 34-27 lead at halftime.

After an authoritative drive down the lane by Wiskes increased Saint Ignatius' lead to nine points early in the third quarter, Mentor came storming back behind 3-pointers and clutch free-throw shooting.

The Cardinals trailed by only two points with 2:14 to go in the third quarter and led, 40-39, after another trey found its mark with 59 seconds remaining in the quarter.

Up stepped Wiskes again with an ice-in-his-veins 3-pointer that put the Cats back on top by two points, but Mentor ran a nice play that resulted in a layup and we were all knotted up at 42 entering the final seven minutes.

The Cardinals and the Wildcats, who have a classy Varsity Football rivalry that has reached legendary status, continued to fight for a spot alongside Mr. Momentum.

Mentor appeared to be flirting with victory when it took a late 48-45 lead. But hold on.

Saint Ignatius' defensive pressure in the half court forced a turnover with 1:54 left and the Cats trailed by just one point after active 6-3 forward Aymin Bahhur sent home two points off his second-effort rebounding.

With the Cardinals clinging to a two-point advantage with 1:10 remaining, Wiskes, who was 7-of-8 from the foul line over the final seven minutes, came up with four pressure packed free throws that put the Cats on top, 51-49, with 32.9 ticks left on the clock.

Mentor came up short on a drive to the rim and Saint Ignatius finally turned the Cardinals away behind the clutch free-throw shooting of sophomore wing Joshua Ozanne and Wiskes. Luke's final two free throws resulted from his heads-up timely offensive rebound that came off a missed free throw by one of his teammates with 3.3 seconds left.

"His (Wiskes) baskets were huge for us in the first half, but I thought him going to the line in very high pressure situations and responding the way he did was just great," said Coach Salata '94. "We run a lot through him. He can do a lot of different things, inside and outside. He's such a talented kid. And I thought his supporting cast was perfect tonight, too. Cameron Toppin played one of his best games."

Toppin, a sophomore guard, was a mainstay in the defensive secondary this past fall for Saint Ignatius' gritty and talented Junior Varsity Football Team.

Wiskes' line on the night was eight 2-point shots, two 3-pointers and 9-of-10 from the free-throw line.

Saint Ignatius hit four 3-ponters and was 13-of-15 from the foul line. Mentor was 12-of-16 from the charity stripe and sent home seven 3-pointers. The Cardinals made just two baskets in the decisive fourth quarter.             

      

                  

   

 

     

Saint Ignatius Basketball remains No. 1 in the cleveland.com Top 25 area poll and Coach Brian Becker's Cats are ninth in the first Associated Press State Poll for 2015-16
1/11/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Here are the top 10 teams in the cleveland.com seven-county area poll: 1. Saint Ignatius, 2. St. Vincent-St, Mary, 3. Garfield Heights, 4. Lorain, 5. St. Edward, 6. Archbishop Hoban, 7. Beachwood, 8. Medina, 9. Bedford and 10. Cleveland Central Catholic.

HERE IS THE ASSOCIATED PESS DIVISION I STATE POLL. FIRST-PLACE VOTES ARE IN PARENTHESIS.

1. Huber Hts. Wayne (10) 11-0 54

2. Lima Sr. (5) 8-0 148

3. Garfield Hts. 11-1 99

4.  Archbishop Moeller (2) 9-1 94

5. Westerville S. 10-2 63

6. Wilmington 10-0 62

7. Gahanna Lincoln 12-1 59

8. Dublin Coffman 10-1 57

9. Saint Ignatius (1) 7-2 50

10. Cincinnati Elder 10-0 48

Others receiving 12 or more points: 11. Lorain 36, 12. Cols. St. Charles (1) 32, 13. Dublin Jerome 21, 13. Cincinnati La Salle 21, 13. Massillon Jackson 21, 16. Canton McKinley 19, 17. Warren Harding 15 and 18. Mason 12.

SAINT IGNATIUS FOOTBALL COMPLETES ITS REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE FOR 2016 WITH A TWO-YEAR AGREEMENT VERSUS THE GOLDEN EAGLES OF CANTON GLENOAK
1/11/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 11, 2016

Cleveland, Ohio - Coach Chuck Kyle's Wildcats will travel to Canton in Week 7 of 2016 and the Golden Eagles will come to Cleveland in 2017 to play the Cats.

The Oct. 7th, Week 7 matchup this coming fall will be a Friday night game.

GlenOak earned a share of the Federal League Championship in 2015. The Golden Eagles advanced to the first round of the OHSAA Division I playoffs, losing to Mentor, 41-13, at Jerome T. Osborne Sr. Stadium.

The Golden Eagles have made 10 appearances in the OHSAA football playoffs, including nine since 2000.

With the agreement with GlenOak, Saint Ignatius has now filled its schedule for 2016.

As the corner reported last month, the Wildcats will be traveling to 11-time state champion Detroit Catholic Central in Week 4 (Friday, Sept. 16th), which was the other open date.

Saint Ignatius' schedule for 2016 also includes Mentor (at Byers Field Week 2), the three Parma Schools (Normandy, Valley Forge an Parma Senior), an away game at Walsh Jesuit, versus Archbishop Moeller (possibly at Otterbein University), at Cincinnati St. Xavier and versus two-time defending Division I State Champion St. Edward at Byers Field.      

Th Cats' Junior Varsity Basketball Team will be action this evening, as the JV Cats tip off with Mentor at 5:15 PM in Sullivan Gym. We will have game coverage from the corner.
1/11/2016
The Ice Cats ride goals from junior Cullen Frebes, senior Captains Brian Russell and Cam Gerard, and junior Chris Revnew to a 4-0 victory over University School at The Pond
1/10/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Tough, savvy and gifted senior goalie Dylan McKeon, coming off his outstanding performance versus St. Edward on Saturday evening (see the story posted Saturday evening), had 23 saves against an always sound University School program.

The Ice Cats and the Preppers entered the game as the second and fifth-ranked teams in the state, respectively. 

With the victory, Saint Ignatius improved to 20-2-1 overall and remained in first place in its division of the Great Lakes Hockey League with a league mark of 5-0-1.

Sunday evening's triumph on University School's home ice was the Ice Cats' second over the Preppers in nine days. On January 2 in the Brooklyn Ice Arena, Coach Pat O'Rourke's Cats defeated University School, 3-1.

Up next for the Ice Cats, who are on a nine-game winning streak, is the Saint Ignatius/Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational at the Brooklyn Ice Arena, which is scheduled to begin on Jan. 15 at 3 PM.

Go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on hockey to see the Cats' tournament schedule.   

A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS GOES OUT TO THE SPECIAL AWARD WINNERS FOR THE 2015 SAINT IGNATIUS VARSITY FOOTBALL TEAM
1/10/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Honored during Sunday's annual Varsity Football Banquet in the Breen Center For The Performing Arts were the following outstanding student athletes.

MOST VALUABLE DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: Senior Nate Keirn.

MOST VALUABLE LINEBACKER: Senior Alex Maruna.

MOST VALUABLE DEFENSIVE BACK: Senior Quinn Lawless.

MOST VALUABLE OFFENSIVE LINEMAN: First-team All-Ohio senior tackle, All-American and University of Notre Dame recruit Liam Eichenberg. 

MOST VALUABLE OFFENSIVE BACK: First-team All-Ohio senior quarterback Dennis Grosel.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Record-setting Field General Dennis Grosel.

MOST VALUABLE WIDE RECEIVER: Senior Cal Grbac.

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: Senior wide receiver Tyler Musbach.

MOST VALUABLE SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER: Senior Jimmy Berger.

MOST VALUABLE OFFENSIVE SCOUT TEAM PLAYER: Senior wide receiver Nick Freund.

MOST VALUABLE DEFENSIVE SCOUT TEAM PLAYER: Junior defensive back Anthony Casola.

BIGGER, FASTER, STRONGER AWARD: Junior linebacker Johnny Velotta.

AND THE COACHES' CUP GOES TO All-Ohio Special Mention wide receiver/defensive back/punt returner and Harvard University bound Jack Cook.

The corner would like to again congratulate these outstanding young men and thank them for the kindness and respect they always expressed to this old-timer. To the seniors, May God Bless You in all of your future endeavors. 

 - Mr. Eddie Dwyer  

  

 

Lamplighters from junior forward Cullen Frebes and senior Captain Brian Russell have the Ice Cats leading University School, 2-0, after the first period at The Pond
1/10/2016
It's more Alley Cats Fever! Coach Viets' Keglers continue to knock 'em down in style.
1/10/2016

FROM SAINT IGNATIUS HEAD BOLWING COACH JIM VIETS

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

COACH VIETS:

Tuesday Jan 5th in a make up with Olmsted Falls, the Varsity went out and won 5-2, and also won the OHSAA point. Ralph Deadwyler 652 and Austin Venczel 651 led the Alley Cats to victory.

Saturday January 9th in a rematch with Benedictine, the Alley Cats entered the match down 3 points in the scratch division. After defeating Benedictine 5-2 a tie in the standings was to be determined by a best of 3 baker match.

It only took Saint Ignatius 2 games to dismantle the Bengals as they won each of the baker games by 30 pins. Cedric Crawford's 247 game, 659 series and Ralph Deadwyler's 236, 649 series led the way.

The win made Saint Ignatius the scratch Division 1 winner and sets the Alley Cats up for a match with Lutheran West on 1/23 for the GCIBL Scratch Championship.

Next week, the Keglers face off at Buckeye Lanes against Westlake for the handicap Div. 1 title on Saturday and travel to Wickliffe on Sunday 1/17 for Brush High School's Tournament.

The JV's were off this week as there was a bye in the schedule. They continue to lead the league in the scratch standings. Vinny Doran 180 and Nick Frank 180 are leading the team. Devin Venczel has seen action at both JV and Varsity, as his average has climbed to 194.

 

Here is Head Coach Brian Becker's look at Saturday night's tough loss at Huber Heights Wayne
1/9/2016

FROM COACH BECKER and Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Becker: The Wildcats battled to overcome poor shooting and a swarming
Huber Heights Wayne defense to pull within three points with 2:20 to go in
the game, but fell to Wayne by a final score of 65-58.

The loss moves the team to 7-2 and looking ahead to next week, when we will play at
Youngstown Cardinal Mooney on Friday, followed by a home game versus
Walsh Jesuit on Saturday.

The Cats were led by junior Matt Davet, who had 18 points and 8 rebounds. Senior Deven Stover chipped in 13
points in the losing effort.

Defending state champion Wayne was paced by seniors Rodrick Caldwell, Trey Landers and L' Christian Smith, who scored 14, 12 and 12, respectively. Wayne moves to 11-0 on the season.

The Warriors were 24-for-30 from the foul line and the Wildcats went just 12-of-17 from the line.

The Varsity Basketball Cats cut a 15-point defict after three quarters to three points with 2 minutes and 20 seconds left, but fall to Wayne, 65-58, in Huber Heights on Saturday night
1/9/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Brian Becker's Wildcats now stand 7-2 heading into Friday night's game at Youngstown Cardinal Mooney.

The Cats, who entered Saturday's 6 PM tipoff as the top-ranked team in the seven-county area, put together a strong fourth quarter that saw them outscore the Wayne Warriors, 21-13.

Wayne, which was coming off a dominant home court victory over Springfield on Friday night, was able to close it out against the Cats in the final two minutes. The Warriors, the defending Division I State Champions, improved to 11-0.

We will post Coach Becker's look at Saturday's tough loss on the road either tonight or on Sunday.

NOTE: The Junior Varsity Wildcats experienced a shaky fourth quarter and were defeated by Wayne's Jayvees, 55-39. Saint Ignatius' Jayvees will take a record of 4-4 into Monday's 5:15 PM game versus Mentor in Sullivan Gymnasium.      

The Ice Cats take over first place in the GLHL with a 1-0 victory over rival St. Edward on Saturday in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst
1/9/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Lakewood Heights Boulevard - A goal by junior forward Chris Revnew off assists from junior defenseman Seth Whitney and senior defenseman Geoff Allman with 58.2 seconds remaining in the first period held up in what was one of the more entertaining defensive battles you will ever witness in area high school hockey, one that earned its own chapter in the storied athletic rivalry that is Saint Ignatius versus St. Edward.

Both goalies, the Ice Cats' Dylan McKeon and the Eagles' Warren Hill, were outstanding, as was the defensive passion both teams brought to the ice.

Simply put, it was an effort that showed a standing-room crowd in Serpentini Arena why Saint Ignatius and St. Edward are ranked second and third, respectively, in the state poll.

With the victory on the Eagles' home ice, Coach Pat O'Rourke's team improved to 19-2-1 and regained first place in the Great Lakes Hockey League with a mark of 4-0-1.

The Ice Cats will take an eight-game winning streak into Sunday evening's GLHL faceoff with University School at The Pond. Saint Ignatius defeated the state's fifth-ranked Preppers, 3-1, in what was a hard-fought game at the Brooklyn Ice Arena on January 2. The puck will drop in The Pond at 5:30.   

St. Edward, which was coming off Friday night's 3-1 GLHL victory over Padua at the OBM Arena, is now 10-9-1, 4-1 in GLHL play.

"We had to find that out about ourselves, we had to find out if we could win a defensive struggle," said Coach O'Rourke. "You know what, it is up to one's taste, but I thought it was a very exciting 1-0 game.

"Some people like to see 6-5, but it's not going to be like that in the playoffs," Coach O'Rourke continued. "So we have to get ourselves in playoff mode and test ourselves in a game like this.

"It was a good challenge and we responded well,"  said Coach O'Rourke. "They (the Eagles) played well, it could have gone either way. In trying to win the (GLHL) division, it was a big two points picked up on the road. But more importantly, to commit to a defensive style of play and not lose faith in it, I thought we did a great job of that today." 

As for the goalies, the rock steady and always ready for a challenge McKeon helped turn away 26 shots on goal and Hill, the reliable man between the pipes for St. Edward, faced 19 shots.

Here are some sidebars to sip on from Saturday's Will Tester at Winterhurst.

AN ICE CATS TRADEMARK: Fore-checking! It came to the fore throughout a first period that saw Saint Ignatius outshoot St. Edward, 9-5.

PLAYS THAT DON'T SHOW UP ON AN OFFICAL SCORING SHEET: Were turned in by Ice Cats standout senior Captain/Forward Aidan Spellacy. Aidan, who is part of a long and successful hockey lineage at Saint Ignatius, made an exceptional hockey-savvy block of an Eagles shot and also came up with an all-out hustle dive on the ice, reached out and slapped the puck away from an on-charging St. Edward player, when the Eagles appeared to be set up for a scoring advantage. These plays came in the early stages of the third period, when Coach Troy Gray's Eagles had two power play opportunities - a two-man advantage for seven seconds and then a man advantage.      

FROM CHRIS REVNEW, WHO PROVIDED THE GAME'S ONLY GOAL: "Brian Russell (senior Captain/Defenseman/Forward) came around the boards and shot the puck and I picked up a rebound, which our line likes to do," said Revnew, whose lamplighter came off a battle for the puck in front of the net. "We have Kisel (senior forward Zack Kisel) and Whitney (junior defenseman Seth Whiney) with me on our line and that's what we like to do, just bang pucks in front of the net until one goes in. And that's what happened today."

Chris added what a great feeling it is to put his team ahead, 1-0, and then have that goal hold up. He also referred to the great crowd in Serpentini Arena and how much energy the Ice Cats drew from their outstanding Student Body Support.        

MORE FROM COACH O'ROURKE: 1. "It probably could have been 4-3, or something like that, if it weren't for the goalies."

2. "It doesn't matter who scored, we just like to have guys fighting (for the puck) like that," Coach O'Rourke on Chris Revnew's goal.

3. "I'm happy for Chris (Revnew). He's had a good year and he's come a long way. He's more of a defensive center, but heck, those guys can score too."

4. "Two of the best teams in the state (Saint Ignatius and St. Edward), there is no doubt about that. Everyone knows about St. Francis (top ranked and defending state champion Toledo St. Francis de Sales), they're a different beast. But you know what, one of us is going to get a crack at them. It might be us, St. Edward, Holy Name or Rocky River. Whoever it is, they're not going to go into that game afraid. If it is us, we'll give it our best shot."

FROM THE CORNER: If the Ice Cats are to have an opportunity to avenge their 5-1 loss to St. Francis de Sales, which took place in the Championship Game of the annual Padua Franciscan Christmas Tournament, it would have to come in the State Semifinals. That is how the brackets work out this year.

Saint Ignatius and St. Edward could meet two more times this season, in the Great Lakes Hockey League's Cleveland Cup Postseason Tournament and, of course, the OHSAA Brooklyn District.                             

           

     

 

Wildcats Varsity Gold Wresting stays on a hot track with victories over Archbishop Hoban, 67-9, and host Padua Franciscan, 43-23
1/9/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

 Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats, who were coming off Thursday's road victories over Lorain and Strongsville, were more than the Knights of Hoban could handle on the mats at Padua.

 The Cats closed out four consecutive victories in their last two tri-matches by defeating the always solid Padua Bruins, 43-23.

A Super Saturday, Gentlemen.

  

Updates on the Wildcats' Saturday opponents in basketball and hockey
1/9/2016

Posted By Edward Dwyer

 Defending Division I State Champion Huber Heights Wayne, which hosts Saint Ignatius this evening at 6 PM in what is the state's marquee game, improved to 10-0 by running a dunk fest on visiting Springfield, 85-50, on Friday night.

 Coach Brian Becker's Wildcats enter the game at 7-1 and ranked No. 1 in the seven-county area.

 For a preview on the game, see the corner's story from Wednesday night.

 St. Edward, which faces off with the Ice Cats in the area's hockey headliner today at 3:30 PM in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst, improved to 10-8-1 by defeating the Padua Bruins, 3-1, on Friday night at the OBM Arena in Strongsville.

 Saint Ignatius (18-2-1) and St. Edward enter Saturday's game as Ohio's second and third-ranked teams, respectively.

 The Ice Cats and the Eagles are unbeaten in Great Lakes Hockey League play.

 See you off Lakewood Heights Boulevard, where a two-rows-deep around the ice crowd is expected to be on hand.

 

         

For progress reports on the Cats' swimming and diving, and bowling teams, see the corner's posts from Monday and Tuesday
1/8/2016
For those who inquired, University School's website shows the Preppers winning their swimming meet versus the Wildcats this week, 106-80
1/8/2016
The question we asked in this week's Basketball Preview was answered. Matt Davet earns cleveland.com Player of the Week honors.
1/8/2016
Congratulations to Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats, who traveled to Strongsville tonight and came away with victories over Lorain and the host Mustangs
1/7/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

 The Varsity Gold wrestlers won their match with Lorain, 55-19, and then took care of business versus Strongsville, 53-21.

 Up next for the Cats is Saturday's tri-match with the Padua Bruins and the Archbishop Hoban Knights at Padua Franciscan High School. Action gets underway at 10 AM. 

 NOTE: Through Thursday, the schedule on the Wildcats' wrestling page showed the Cats wrestling Padua and Medina Highland at Padua on Saturday at 11 AM. THAT HAS NOW BEEN CHANGED TO PADUA AND ARCHBISHOP HOBAN AND THE TIME IS NOW 10 AM, AS THE CORNER REPORTED ABOVE.    

If the Varsity Basketball Cats come out of the Strongsville District, they will be headed to CSU for Regional play
1/7/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

 As we reported on the corner in November, the Varsity Basketball Cats are assigned to the Strongsville District this year.

 We also reported that longtime rival St. Edward is among the teams also assigned to Strongsville.

 Hey, three meetings with the Eagles in the same season would be nothing new.

 If the Cats take the honors at Strongsville, they advance to play the Euclid District champ in a March 9 Regional Semifinal at The Wolstein Center on the campus of Cleveland State University. The tipoff is 8 PM.

 The CSU Regional Championship game will be played on March 12 at 7 PM in The Wolstein Center.

 First things first, my friends.  

 

Wildcats Wrestlers are back in action tonight and on Saturday
1/7/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

 So far this week we gave you breakdown reports on swimming and diving, bowling, ice hockey and of course basketball with this morning's preview and the last, but certainly not least slot in Where The Cats Play has Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats heading to Strongsville High School tonight (Thursday) for matchups with the host Mustangs and Lorain High School. Matches are slated to begin at 6 PM.  

 Saturday, Saint Ignatius will head to Padua Franciscan High School for a tri-match with the host Bruins and the Archbishop Hoban Knights. The action is scheduled to begin at 10 AM.

 All of the Best to Coach Sullivan and his team as they start gearing up for the stretch run to the all-important OHSAA postseason tournaments.     

In what is one of the state's premier basketball headliners this weekend, Saint Ignatius travels to defending Division I State Champion Huber Heights Wayne for a 6 PM tipoff on Saturday
1/6/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Ohio City - Coach Brian Becker's Varsity Basketball Wildcats, coming off three victories in five nights last week, including a dominant 85-68 triumph over tradition-rich Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in a New Year's Eve showdown at The LeBron James Arena, will take a 7-1 record and the top ranking in the seven-county area into Saturday's 6 bells encounter with the Wayne Warriors from Huber Heights. Wayne is currently 9-0.

A 4:30 PM Junior Varsity game will precede what is the most intriguing matchup in the entire state this weekend.

While the Wildcats are spending their Friday afternoon traveling to Huber Heights for an overnight stay, the Warriors will be gearing up to host Springfield on Friday night. Wayne is located in the Southwest District's Montgomery County.

Better known for its prowess on the gridiron, Wayne won its first state basketball title last year in what was its first trip to the Final Four. As for football, the Warriors were defeated by Saint Ignatius in the 1999 State Championship Game and have recently lost three State Title Games to St. Edward (2010, 2014 and 2015). 

The Warriors brought home the Division I gold basketball trophy by defeating St. Edward, 57-51, in an overtime state semifinal matchup, and Westerville South, 65-57, in the championship game. Wayne was ranked eighth in the final Associated Press State Poll of the 2014-15 season, which was based on the regular season. The Warriors began their postseason tournament state-title run with a regular season mark of 18-4.   

Riding the momentum from their history-making winter of 2014-15, the Warriors haven't missed a beat through nine games this season. In fact, in the words of Coach Becker, Wayne has yet to be challenged into the fourth quarter this young winter.

That was evident in the Warriors' last outing, when they controlled the meat of the action in the 33rd Arby's Classic Championship Game and schooled Tift County, 72-47, at Bristol Tennessee High School. Tift County is one of the more highly regarded teams in the state of Georgia.

Tift County, which suffered its first loss in 13 games this season, held a one-point lead after the first eight minutes of its New Year's Eve encounter with Wayne. Then it was Katy Bar the Door, as the Warriors won the second quarter, 20-9, and the third quarter, 21-4. Wayne was up by more than 30 points in the early stages of the fourth quarter.

Coach Becker pointed out that the Warriors, as evident by their score against Tift County, like to push the envelope on defense. Pressure City, if you will.

Although it did graduate a few mainstays from last season's state-title team, Wayne still features a nice blend of big-game tested players. Among those veterans is Rodrick Caldwell, who tossed in 15 points in the state-semifinal victory over St. Edward last winter and came back with a 14-point effort in the state-championship triumph over Westerville South.

Caldwell, who had a game-high 17 points in the victory over Tift County, was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Arby's Classic. He is currently averaging 15.1 points per game.

Other Warriors on a mission to repeat are Trey Landers, a 20-points per game scorer who finished with 16 points versus Tift County and was selected as the Arby's Classic Tournament MVP, L' Christian Smith, who checks in at 13.1 points a game, Chazz George, who carries a 10 points per game average and also earned a place on the Arby's Classic All-Tournament Team, and Demond Parker, who has 18 3-pointers and can lay down some nasty defense.

Parker was the key man in Wayne's ability to control Tift County standout Tyrie Jackson, a Georgia Tech recruit who finished well below his average with 12 points. Even some of those 12 points came after the game was well in hand for the Buckeye State's defending big-school champs.

"It's imperative that we have a good floor game against Wayne and rebound the basketball," said Coach Becker, who will look for senior guards Kyle Kalish and Jimmy Berger to continue their exceptional passing, both in the full court and half court. Kyle's and Jimmy's efforts are bringing back memories of the backcourt of Sonny Benton and Jon Gannon, a brilliant passing and scoring tandem that helped lead Coach Becker's 2000-2001 Wildcats to the Division I State Championship. Jon is currently on the coaching staff of the playoff bound Minnesota Vikings.  

Saint Ignatius is also getting outstanding play from gifted senior forward/guard Deven Stover, who is one of the area's and state's best, senior guard Ryan Berger, Jimmy's twin brother, and the man in the middle, 6-foot-7 junior post Matt Davet. Matt is coming off performances of 26 points at St. Vincent-St. Mary and 25 points at Canton GlenOak. The Fighting Irish of St. Vincent-St. Mary had no answer for Matt. Can you say Player of the Week?

Multi-skilled 6-8 junior wing/post Austen Yarian rounds out Coach Becker's top six and the Wildcats are blessed to have two of the most team first and whatever it takes players adding to the exceptional depth - senior forward/post Tim Kiefer and senior forward Tyler Musbach. The double T's would start for several other teams in Northeast Ohio in a heartbeat.

THE AIR WAVES: THE THRILL-SOME THREESOME OF MATT MACKENZIE, BRENDAN DEVENNEY AND LOUIS WILLIAMS ARE SCHEDULED TO BRING YOU SATURDAY EVENING'S ACTION FROM HUBER HEIGHTS WAYNE LIVE OVER THE SAINT IGNATIUS BROADCAST NETWORK.   

Have a safe and wonderful rest of the week and weekend. And if I may, congrats to Ken Griffey Jr. (the pride of Archbishop Moeller) and Mike Piazza (class personified) on their selections into Baseball's Hall of Fame.

And All of the Best to former Wildcats Baseball and Football standout Brian Hoyer '04, who will help lead the Houston Texans into Saturday's home playoff matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. The kickoff is scheduled for 4:20 PM. Yes, as my late mom Marie always said: "God's ways are strange, but sure."     

- the old-timer on the corner.         

 

             

                  

    

 

                    

 

      

The Ice Cats and the Eagles faceoff on Saturday ranked second and third, respectively, in this week's State Hockey Poll
1/5/2016
   
   

POSTED EDDIE DWYER AND COURTESY OF THE COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS' JOEL SIEGMAN

   
   

1. Toledo St. Francis de Sales 90 (9). The Knights are the defending OHSAA State Champions.           

   
   

2. Saint Ignatius 79. The two-time defending Cleveland Cup Champion Ice Cats, currently 18-2-1, are in first place in the Great Lakes Hockey League at 3-0-1.

3.St. Edward 64. The 9-8-1 Eagles, coming off a 9-1 victory over Lake Catholic, are currently tied for second place with Holy Name in the GLHL

St. Edward will travel to the OBM Arena at Strongsville's IceLand USA on Friday evening for a 6 bells GLHL matchup with the Padua Franciscan Bruins, and then return to its home ice in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst on Saturday afternoon for the always highly anticipated faceoff with the Ice Cats.

The puck is scheduled to drop on Saturday at 3:30 PM and the smooth hockey savvy tones of seniors Carter Spearry and Owen Miklos will bring you the game live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.      

4. Columbus St. Charles 56

5. University School 48. The Preppers proved worthy of their ranking, and then some, in a 3-1 loss to the Ice Cats. See the corner's game story from Saturday evening. 

6. Bowling Green 47

7. Sylvania Northview 27

8.  Dublin Jerome 20

9. Shaker Heights 16

10. Walsh Jesuit 14

Others receiving votes: Olentangy Liberty, Upper Arlington, Findlay, Rocky River, Dublin Coffman, Olentangy Orange and Springboro.


Saint Ignatius' Swimming and Diving Team is rounding into form
1/5/2016

Courtesy of Saint Ignatius Coach James Hlavaty and Posted By Eddie Dwyer

FROM COACH HLAVATY: Here is an update for the St. Ignatius Wildcats' Varsity Swim Team in this 2015-2016 season.

We had multiple 1st Place finishers in individual events at the Saint Ignatius/St. Edward meet, including co-captain Joey Libertin, Marcus Hong, Rayon Artis, Dimitri Simcox, and Alex Claus (diver).

Our overall dual meet record (up to this point) is 3 wins, 1 loss.

 

Date

 Opponent/Meet                   Results

12/5/2015

     Solon Relays                     2nd Overall

12/11/2015

     Upper Arlington                Lost 86-84

12/12/2015

 

Ned Reeb Invitational    7th place overall

   

12/29/2015

Solon/Strongsville: Saint Ignatius wins over Solon, 125-61

Saint Ignatius wins over Strongsville, 118-67

12/30/2015

G. Morton Relays: 2nd place out of 9 teams

1/2/2016

St. Edward: Saint Ignatius wins over the Eagles, 108-72

This week’s meets include multiple Division 2 state champion, University School, and top 5 Division 1 finisher from last year, Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

We, as a team, look forward to these challenges at this point in the season. Our team is really starting to come together and I see much improved swims in the weeks to come.

Thanks, Coach James Hlavaty

 

  
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
SAINT IGNATIUS BASKETBALL JUMPS FROM FIFTH TO THE NO. 1 SPOT IN THIS WEEK'S CLEVELAND.COM TOP 25 AREA BASKETBALL POLL
1/4/2016

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

On the strength of their impressive victories over previously undefeated Warren Harding in Sullivan Gymnasium and highly touted St. Vincent-St. Mary at The LeBron James Arena, the Wildcats jumped from fifth to first in the seven-county area's Top 25 poll.

Coach Brian Becker's Cats, who stand 7-1 after Saturday night's solid comeback at Canton GlenOak (Saint Ignatius' third game in five nights), will travel to Huber Heights Wayne on Saturday night for a matchup with the defending Division I State Champion Warriors.

THE CORNER WILL PREVIEW THE HUBER HEIGHTS MATCHUP ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

Here are this week's Top 10 teams in the seven-county area poll: 1. Saint Ignatius, 2. St. Vincent-St. Mary, 3. Garfield Heights, 4. Lorain, 5. St. Edward, 6. Archbishop Hoban, 7. Beachwood, 8. Central Catholic, 9. Medina and 10. Brunswick.

Alley Cat Fever! Saint Ignatius' Keglers are on a roll.
1/4/2016
FROM WILDCATS HEAD COACH JIM VIETS AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER
 
COACH VIETS: Here are some of the results from our recent schedule. The team has been bowling very good and is in position for a very exciting month of January.
 
Ralph Deadwyler (205), Gianni Schaefer (199), Devin Venczel (193), Cedric Crawford (191) and Anthony Doran (190) are the top five bowlers on the team. Austin Venczel (184), Nick Frank (182), Vinny Doran (180), Tom Kmet (160),
Alex Gehrlein (115), and Nizar Dergham (113) round out the roster.
 
Varsity 12/12 vs Brecksville 7 - 0
            12/19 vs Westlake   7 - 0
            12/26 vs Olmsted Falls: To be made up on Tuesday January 5th @ Cloverleaf Lanes at 5:00p.m.
            01/02 vs Benedictine  3 - 4
            01/09 vs Benedictine: This will be a rematch to determine the scratch winner for Division 1.
Varsity bowled in the North Olmsted Eagle Classic on Dec. 13th and finished 5th out of 26 teams. They came up 55 pins shy of first place as several teams were bunched together at the top of the leader board.

         January 17th Varsity Tournament in Wickliffe as Brush High School will be hosting the tournament.
        January 24th  Varsity Tournament in Mt Vernon, Ohio as Highland High School hosts this one.
        January 31st  Varsity Tournament at Cloverleaf Lanes for the Cleveland Heights tournament.

OHSAA Sectionals will start the 2nd week of February.

NOTE: The Alley Cats' Junior Varsity is at the top or near the top in all of the important league categories and the Varsity is leading most or all of the important scratch and OHSAA standings.

 
Here is Coach Brian Becker's look at Saturday night's victory at Canton GlenOak
1/3/2016

FROM HEAD COACH BRIAN BECKER '77 AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

COACH BECKER: The Wildcats played their third game in five days and came out sluggish to a hot shooting Canton GlenOak team.

GlenOak was 8 for 16 from behind the arc in the first half and shot a blistering 63% overall from the field to a three point lead at halftime.

The Cats got progressively better each quarter, scoring 16-17-17-25, and tightened up the defense in the second half to silence the GlenOak faithful. GlenOak had quarters of 21-15-15-and 11 for the final score of 75-62.

The team was led by (junior post) Matt Davet with an efficient 25 points, (senior guard/forward) Deven Stover with 20 points and 9 points from (senior guard) Ryan Berger off the bench.

(Senior guards) Kyle Kalish and Jim Berger played excellent floor games with 9 and 7 assists, respectively, and (junior post/wing) Austen Yarian sparked the team with a steal and a lay in at the close of the first half to give the Cats a much needed shot of energy.

The Cats improve to 7-1 overall and will face last year's Division I state champion and currently undefeated Huber Heights Wayne on Saturday night in Dayton.

The Varsity Basketball Wildcats shake off a slow start and go on to defeat Canton GlenOak, 75-62, on the home floor of the Golden Eagles Saturday night
1/2/2016

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The corner was at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center on Saturday night covering the Ice Cats' 3-1 triumph over University School in a Great Lakes Hockey League headliner (see the story below).

That said, we can tell you that Coach Brian Becker's Wildcats, trailing 21-16 after the first quarter, went on to defeat host Canton GlenOak, 75-62, in Stark County on Saturday night.

Coming off their impressive victories over Warren Harding and St. Vincent-St. Mary (see the corner's stories from this week), the Cats extended their winning streak to three games and now stand 7-1 heading into next Saturday's game at nationally recognized Huber Heights Wayne.

The Junior Varsity Cats lost their second game in three days and now carry a record of 4-3.

As for the Varsity Cats, they took command by outscoring GlenOak, 25-11, over the final eight minutes. Junior post Matt Davet, who was coming an outstanding game-high, 26-point performance in the 17-point victory over SVSM at The LeBron James Arena on New Year's Eve, tossed in a game-high 25 points in helping ground the Golden Eagles.

Gifted senior forward/guard Deven Stover supported big Matt with a 20-point night.  

  

The Ice Cats turn back University School, 3-1, on Saturday evening in a key Great Lakes Hockey League matchup at the Brooklyn Ice Arena. Zack Kisel, Seth Whitney and Brian Russell provide the lamplighters for Saint Ignatius.
1/2/2016

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

Brooklyn, Ohio - In what was Saint Ignatius' first home game of the season and a matchup of the state's second (Saint Ignatius) - and fifth-ranked teams, University School knotted the score at 1-1 with 9:27 remaining in the second period on a goal by Robby Engoglia.

However, just 24 seconds later junior defenseman Seth Whitney put the Ice Cats back on top by sending a shot past the Preppers' gifted goalie Alec Silver off an assist from junior forward Chris Revnew.

As Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 emphasized, a win over an always sound University School program is significant. Coach O'Rourke was right on the money, however, in adding that the flow of a game matching two of the state's best was interrupted by penalty calls.

"No flow," Coach O'Rourke said. "It's too bad because it was two teams who are among the best in the state and you want to see a good game. It was just all herky-jerky because of the penalties. The whole crowd should have been refunded in my opinion. We got a good crowd and they were treated to a rotten egg. I hope they come back some day.

"It's okay to win ugly and it's good to get two points (in the GLHL standings)," Coach O'Rourke continued. "Our special teams showed up today, killing off penalties and then a power-play goal to seal it. Our goaltender (standout senior Dylan McKeon) was fighting the puck early, but then he really picked it up in the second and third periods. And our third line scored our first two goals, so that's always a bonus."

The Ice Cats, who improved to 18-2-1 and extend their winning streak to seven games, led, 1-0, after senior forward Zack Kisel fired home a lamplighter off assists from junior defenseman Matt Wiegandt and Whitney with 3:36 left in the opening period.

After the second-period goals that were described in the lead paragraphs above, Coach O'Rourke's team, which overcame a deficit of 6-2 in penalties, survived a two-man advantage for University School in the final minute of the second period then had to kill off the final minute of the second of those two penalties to start the third period.

With McKeon standing tall and turning away a good number of possible game-tying shots by the Preppers, the Ice Cats took advantage of their power play opportunity - a rip city shot by senior captain/forward/defenseman Brian Russell with 3:59 remaining to be played. Assisting were senior forward/captain Aidan Spellacy and multi-skilled junior forward Connor Koehnke.

In what was also a matchup between two of the premier goalies in the area - McKeon and Silver - Dylan had 28 saves and Alec turned away 23 shots.  

University School (9-7-2) was coming off an impressive performance at the St. Edward Eagle Classic in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst. Coach Andre Lacroix's Preppers won the tournament with a 3-0-1 record, including a 1-0 victory over Shaker Heights and a 2-2 tie with St. Edward.

REMATCH WITH UNIVERSITY SCHOOL JUST AROUND THE CORNER: The Preppers and the Ice Cats will face off again on Sunday, January 10th at "The Pond." It is scheduled as a 5:30 PM drop of the puck.

Up next for the Ice Cats is their regular season matchup with West Side rival St. Edward on Saturday, Jan. 9 at 3:30 PM in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst.

MORE FROM COACH O'ROURKE: "There were a lot of little things combined that helped us tonight," said the man who guided his team to a 6-0 Championship Trophy performance at this past week's prestigious Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic in the Edge Ice Arena. "But we were the better team for only about fives minutes of this game. It's good to win when everything is going against you. It says a lot about your character."        

           

         

   

DON'T FORGET. THE STATE'S SECOND (THE ICE CATS) AND FIFTH-RANKED (US PREPPERS) TEAMS WILL FACEOFF IN A BIG GLHL MATCHUP AT 4:45 TODAY IN THE BROOKLYN ICE ARENA, THE CATS' FIRST HOME GAME OF THE SEASON. SEE THE CORNER'S STORY FROM EARLIER IN THE WEEK!
1/2/2016
Matt Davet, Ryan and Jimmy Berger, Kyle Kalish, Deven Stover and Austen Yarian help fuel one of the most impressive both-ends-of-the-floor performances in Wildcats Varsity Basketball history - an 85-68 New Year's Eve victory over St. Vincent-St. Mary
12/31/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit January 2016

The JV Cats are turned back by St. Vincent-St. Mary's Jayvees, 56-49. See the JV recap that follows the Varsity Game Story.

From the atmosphere-rich LeBron James Arena on the campus of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School

Saint Ignatius' talented, tough and amiable 6-foot-7 junior post Matt Davet never even referred to his game-high 26 points when discussing the outstanding "team basketball" that Coach Brian Becker's Wildcats put on display while talking apart a very highly regarded St. Vincent-St. Mary basketball program late Thursday afternoon.

The basketball-savvy Davet realized that the dominant triumph over the area's second-ranked team, which took place in the basketball-rich LeBron James Arena, was, for the most part, a clinic on how the game should be played - at both ends of the floor.

St. Vincent-St. Mary's ranking was well deserved, especially after the Fighting Irish defeated top-ranked Garfield Heights by 19 points in LeBron James Arena on Monday night, just a few hours after this week's cleveland.com seven-county Top 25 poll was released.

We can only hope that those same poll voters will take notice of just how overwhelming, if not perfect, the fifth-ranked Wildcats' effort was on this Year's Eve. Many St. Vincent-St. Mary players, along with a good portion of their faithful, acknowledged just that seconds after Saint Ignatius' 85-68 triumph.

Excuse this corner, but as I wrote after the Wildcats' 13 point-victory over a talent-rich and previously undefeated Warren G. Harding team in Sullivan Gymnasium on Tuesday night, the final score from The LeBron James Arena is not indicative of just how significantly the Cats outplayed the Irish.

Sharing the wealth with a precisioned half-court offense and a transition attack that wore on an athletic St. Vincent-St. Mary team, rebounding the ball with a passion and out-letting it so crisp and sharp that I was seeing visions of Magic to Worthy in these old eyes, and playing defense with an effort that now only had Coach Becker grinning from ear to ear, but would have drawn that familiar smile of approval from the late UCLA coaching legend John Wooden, Saint Ignatius stormed to 20- and 20-plus point leads throughout the game.

"When we first started moving to that big lead, everybody would box out, we would get the ball and we were gone," said Davet, who was a force in the middle that SVSM couldn't deal with. "We would get down the floor right away, we were sharing the ball and getting nice shots. Our defense was spectacular. In the first half, it was one shot and done (for the Fighting Irish). We were off to the races."

And crossing the finish line in style alongside Davet were senior twin guards Ryan and Jimmy Berger, multi-skilled senior guard/forward Deven Stover, who is one of the premier players in the area, 6-8 junior post/wing Austen Yarian, aka Mr. Inside and Outside, and the court general, endless energy senior guard Kyle Kalish.

The 6-4 Ryan Berger constantly silenced St. Vincent-St. Mary runs with 18 points and four of the Wildcats' nine 3-pointers, and his twin brother Jimmy scored 10 points, dished out 7 assists and was a big-time factor defensively. Stover, despite battling foul trouble, finished with 13 points, and Kalish dropped in a couple home-crowd silencing hoops and had eight picture-perfect assists, including two off inbounds plays that would have drawn a roar of approval from Hall Fame boys and girls basketball coach Larry Chernauskas. The old West Tech gym rats would have loved Kyle's dishes to Davet.

SETTING THE TONE: Davet scored 16 of his game-high 26 points in the first half. "My teammates are the reason anybody scores," Davet said. "They get the ball to the right person. It could be anybody any night, and it just happened to be me tonight."  

THE HOT HAND: Coach Becker's Cats shot 61 percent from the field.

FROM THE CHARITY STRIPE: Saint Ignatius was 12-of-18 and SVSM was 11-of-19.

THE RUNS AND THE ANSWERS: After SVSM cut a 16-point deficit to 12 points late in the first quarter, Saint Ignatius rode a 3-pointer by Davet, consecutive 3-pointers by Ryan Berger, a basket by Davet off a Jimmy Berger assist and a 3-pointer by Kalish to 35-13 lead with 5 minutes and 45 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

Coach Dru Joyce's Irish, who are now 6-2 on the young season, cut the deficit to 11 points by halftime. Saint Ignatius which improved to 6-1, stayed calm and confident, however, as Coach Becker's Cats responded with a three-point play by Jimmy Berger on the first possession of the second half, one of Davet's trademark turn-around jumpers down low and a strong drive to the rim by Davet that extended Saint Ignatius' advantage to 48-32.

Sparked by two 3-pointers from their standout junior guard Jon Williams , the Irish closed to 10 points. Yarian dropped in two points off a Jimmy Berger assist, but SVSM stayed in striking distance courtesy of five consecutive points by versatile senior post/forward Henry Baddley. Williams and Baddley led SVSM with 22 and 20 points, respectively.  

Then came the decisive final 3 minutes and 58 seconds of the third quarter.

It was Katy Bar the Door, as Kalish dialed long distance again and Ryan Berger dropped in another trey off a Kalish assist. Following two free throws and another trip to trey city by Ryan Berger, two more points down low by Davet and a layup by Ryan Berger courtesy of an assist from the endless hustle of 6-5 senior forward Tim Kiefer, Saint Ignatius carried a 65-45 lead into the final eight minutes.

FROM COACH BECKER '77: "I thought we ran really well and rebounded better in the second half," said Coach Becker, who won his 300th career game versus Cleveland Heights on December 12th (including two seasons at Fairview High School) and is now just 10 wins shy of having 300 victories at his alma mater Saint Ignatius.

"Some of our possessions we took some quick shots," Coach Becker continued. "With leads of 18 and 19 points you want to extend it to 25. When you get 15 assists combined out of Kyle Kalish and Jim Berger, that's good basketball. It was about finding mismatches every time down the floor. Matt Davet just goes about his business and that's a good thing That's why we're going to be pretty good, making the extra passes and sharing the basketball."

UP NEXT: The Wildcats travel to Canton GlenOak on Saturday night. The Jayvee game will begin at 6 bells, followed by the Varsity tip at 7:30.

THE JV CATS START SLOW, MAKE A COUPLE OF SIGNIFICANT RUNS, BUT ARE TURNED BACK BY THE UNBEATEN ST. VINCENT-ST. MARY JAYVEES, 56-49.

After Wildcats sophomore guard/wing Joshua Ozanne buried a 3-pointer, Saint Ignatius' Junior Varsity trailed, 16-8, entering the second quarter.

Ozanne's trey go the Cats' offense unleashed and fueled a 16-0 run that included a 3-pointer by sophomore guard/wing Charlie Kriak, a reverse layup by sophomore post Luke Wiskes, a basket in transition by Wiskes off a picture-perfect assist from sophomore guard Mark Bobinski, a running one-hander by sophomore guard Neeko Melendez and two more authoritative moves down low by Wiskes.

St. Vincent-St. Mary, trailing 21-16, scored six unanswered points and led by one point with 5 minutes and 41 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Saint Ignatius responded with a 9-0 run and held a 30-22 lead after Melendez hit a 3-pointer 

The JV Irish answered with a 7-0 run, but the Wildcats, on the strength of another 3-pointer by Melendez and Neeko's three-point play, clung to a 36-35 lead entering the final seven minutes.

In what was a punch-counter punch fourth quarter, a basket by Wiskes knotted the score at 39 and two more points by Luke enabled Saint Ignatius to close to one point down the stretch.

The Cats got within four points twice in the final two minutes, but were turned away on a 3-point play by Irish freshman guard Vann Aubrey Thomas and two free throws off a 1-and-1 by SVSM sophomore guard Tyrus Toney.

SVSM now stands 6-0 on the JV level and the JV Cats, who were led by Wiskes' 19 points and a 17-point afternoon from Melendez, are 4-2. 

 

 

                 

 

                

   

 

 

          

                

 

    

         

    

     

Wildcats talented 182-pound junior Kaden Russell is defeated by Waueson's standout wrestler Tre Campbell in the third-place match during Wednesday night's final session of the 55th annual Brecksville Invitational Holiday Tournament
12/30/2015

Tre Campbell was the second seed at 182 pounds and was a third-place finisher at the State Tournament last season and placed second in the Districts. He recorded a pin over Kaden in 4:06.

Brecksville-Broadview Heights, which last won its tournament in 2013, finished with eight placers and edged Delta, last year's Brecksville Holiday Tournament champion, 194.5-194, for the team championship. Delta had six placers and went 3-1 in the finals.

Elyria had seven placers and earned the third spot in the team standings with 176.5 points.

- Eddie Dwyer

Matt MacKenzie, Brendan DeVenney and Matt Harsar of the SIBN will bring you tomorrow's Wildcats versus St. Vincent-St. Mary Varsity Basketball Headliner from The LeBron James Arena, not the King James Arena as you might have seen tweeted elsewhere
12/30/2015

Posted by the soon to be a year older (and wiser) Edward Hannon Patrick Dwyer.

The New Year's Eve afternoon action in The LeBron James Arena begins with a 1:30 PM Junior Varsity Game, followed by the highly anticipated Varsity Game at 3 PM.

SVSM (6-1) and Saint Ignatius (5-1) are both coming off impressive victories this week. The area's second-ranked Fighting Irish defeated top-ranked Garfield Heights by 19 points on Monday night in The LeBron James Arena (see the corner's Where the Cats Play from Monday evening) and Coach Brian Becker's fifth-ranked Wildcats were impressive at both ends of the Sullivan Gymnasium floor in defeating previously unbeaten Warren G. Harding, 75-62, on Tuesday night. It wasn't that close my friends. See the corner's game story from Tuesday night.

The Cats and the Fighting Irish are 1-1 in their two previous New Year's Eve encounters, with Saint Ignatius closing in style in The LeBron James Arena on Dec. 31st of 2013 and SVSM winning a 72-71 thriller in Sullivan Gymnasium on Dec. 31st of 2014.

Again, if you can't make it down to The Rubber City, tune in to Matt, Brendan and Matt (two Matts are always better than one) over the SIBN.

And, if you have big plans for New Year's Eve and can't read the corner's game story from The LeBron James Arena tomorrow night, enjoy it with your morning coffee on New Year's Day as you gear up for the 1 PM gridiron showdown between The Ohio State University Buckeyes and The Fighting Irish from the University of Notre Dame. I already know who Brendan is rooting for.

Have a Safe and Blessed New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.         

THE CORNER SENDS OUT ALL OF THE BEST TO STANDOUT JUNIOR KADEN RUSSELL, WHO WILL BE WRESTLING FOR THIRD PLACE AT 182 POUNDS THIS EVENING IN THE TRADITION-RICH BRECKSVILLE INVITATIONAL HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT
12/30/2015

POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

The corner also tips its cap to junior Quade Rasmussen, who finished in eighth place at 132 pounds.

This year marks the 55th edition of the Brecksville Holiday Tournament, which is held at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School. It is the longest continuous running Holiday wrestling event in the nation.

In appreciating what an accomplishment it is to be wrestling for third place, the field at the Brecksville Holiday Tournament includes 20 programs from Northeast Ohio, along with other teams from across the Buckeye State, two teams from the state of Michigan and one from Pennsylvania.

The competition, which began on Tuesday, included 125 wrestlers that had previously appeared in a state wrestling tournament. That number includes 15 wrestlers who were state champions in 2015.

To the outstanding Student Body at Saint Ignatius regarding Saturday's key GLHL matchup between the Ice Cats and the Preppers from University School
12/30/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December/January 2015-2016

Ohio City - Coach Pat O'Rourke's gifted and savvy Varsity Hockey Team, fresh off its awesome Championship performance at the prestigious Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic, will play its first home game of the season this Saturday, January 2, versus the always sound Preppers from University School. The puck will drop at 4:45 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center.
 
Saturday's Great Lakes Hockey League matchup will feature the second (Saint Ignatius) and fifth-ranked teams in the state. The 18-2-1 Ice Cats are riding a six-game winning streak, as they went 6-0 in bringing home the Championship Trophy from the Windy City.
 
As they have done for the past few years, the good folks at the Brooklyn Ice Rink will be selling $1 hot dogs and pretzels to celebrate Saint Ignatius' first home game of the season.
 
Coach O'Rourke '90 and his outstanding staff are hoping to have a good crowd to welcome back our road warriors and kick off the New Year and the stretch run in a big way.
 
And you know how much this old Capricorn loves to write about the Student Body and its undying support at athletic events. I hope to see some great hockey jerseys on Saturday in "The Big Barn on Memphis."
 
Please note that as part of Saturday's festivities Saint Ignatius will be honoring former Wildcat hockey and soccer standout Jack Wiegandt '15. Jack will be presented with the prestigious John J. Wirtz Athlete of the Year Award. A great athlete and a Class Act!
 
   
  
 

 
The JV Basketball Cats add a game with the Mentor Cardinals to their schedule
12/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Saint Ignatius' talented and well-schooled Junior Varsity Basketball Team will play Mentor on Monday, January 11th at 5:15 PM in Sullivan Gymnasium.

It's great to see the Cardinals back on the JV Basketball schedule. There is certainly no better Public School versus Catholic School football rivalry in the nation than the Cats vs. the Cardinals.  

After a nine-day layoff, the Saint Ignatius Junior Varsity Basketball Team returns to its winning ways with a 63-48 victory over Warren Harding's Jayvees
12/30/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright December 2015 and January 2016.

Ohio City - Saint Ignatius' outstanding Junior Varsity Coaches, Head Coach Chris Salata '94 and his Assistant Coaches Andrew Salata '01 and Brian McLaughlin '94, couldn't wait to get their Wildcats back into a competitive situation after the JV Cats experienced a tough 13-point loss to Canton McKinley at Sullivan Gymnasium on December 19th.

The Cats' talented and tough-minded sophomores responded with a 63-48 victory over Warren G. Harding's Junior Varsity at Sullivan Gym on Saturday night and now stand 4-1 heading into Thursday's 1:30 PM matchup with St. Vincent-St. Mary in LeBron James Arena. Warren Harding's Jayvees slipped to 4-3.

After a put back by 6-foot-3 post/forward Bradley Andrich, some strong work inside by 6-4 post Luke Wiskes and a 3-pointer by 6-1 wing Joshua Ozanne, the Wildcats took a 13-3 lead into the second quarter.

After Warren Harding closed to 13-8, Saint Ignatius began to create some significant distance between itself and the Raiders.

On the strength of a strong offensive rebound by 6-3 forward Aymin Bahhur that Aymin converted into a three-point play, a breakaway layup by Wiskes, two free throws from guard Mark Bobinski, a basket by guard Neeko Melendez and 3-pointers from sharp-shooting wing Charlie Kriak and Melendez, the Cats led, 28-13.

Saint Ignatius' defensive hustle and unselfish play on offense continued to take their toll, as after two free throws by Wiskes, a picture-perfect play that saw Ozanne pass to Wiskes on the break and Wiskes, without breaking stride, give the ball right back to Ozanne for a layup, and a strong drive to the rim by guard Cameron Toppin, the Wildcats took a 34-15 lead into the halftime break.

Kriak dialed long distance again in the early stages of the second half and the Cats steadily built a 20-point advantage. Kriak finished with 14 points, including three 3-pointers, and Melendez and Wiskes totaled 13 and 12 points, respectively.

A TIP OF THE CORNER'S CAP GOES OUT TO COACH TOM PARKER '10 AND COACH KYLE WISE '10 FOR GUIDING THE WILDCATS' FRESHMEN GOLD TEAM TO A DOMINANT TRIUMPH OVER WARREN HARDING ON SATURDAY EVENING.

SHOWING THE WAY FOR THE FRESHEMN GOLD WERE DANIEL SCELZA WITH 18 POINTS AND JOHN REALI WITH 12 POINTS. VINCENT RILEY CHIPPED IN WITH  8 POINTS AND COACH PARKER POINTED TO THE ALL-OUT DEFENSIVE HUSTLE OF DANTE FRABOTTA.  

 

     

 

 

The Ice Cats remain in the second spot in this week's State Poll
12/30/2015

Courtesy of Joel Siegman from the Columbus Blue Jackets and Posted by Eddie Dwyer

STATE POLL


    1. Toledo St. Francis de Sales (defending state champ) 90 (9)            

    2. Saint Ignatius (went 6-0 in the prestigious Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday Classic) 80

    3. St. Edward 62

    4. Columbus St. Charles 53
                
    5. University School (faces off with Saint Ignatius on Saturday at 4:45 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena) 48

    6-T. Bowling Green 28

    6-T. Dublin Jerome 28

    8. Sylvania Northview 27

    9. Shaker Heights 19

    10. Olentangy Liberty 17

   
Others receiving votes: Walsh Jesuit, Rocky River, Toledo St. John's Jesuit, Padua Franciscan, Upper Arlington, Dublin Coffman, Findlay, Olentangy Orange and Springboro.



Coach Brian Becker's Varsity Basketball Wildcats, controlling every major facet of the game, go on to defeat Warren G. Harding and its high-powered offense, 75-62, in Sullivan Gymnasium on Tuesday night
12/29/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December/January 2015-2016

Ohio City - And it wasn't that close.

Those are the words this old gym rat scribbled in my notebook as the final seconds of Tuesday night's area basketball headliner between Saint Ignatius and Warren G. Harding were ticking off the scoreboard in storied Sullivan Gymnasium.

After a competitive first half that saw the Wildcats take a 36-29 lead to their meeting room, Saint Ignatius displayed the skill, versatility, depth and athleticism that can only lead to bigger things come March.

Coming off a last-second, two-point loss to Louisville in the Alliance Christmas Classic at the University of Mount Union, Coach Brian Becker's Cats played with a pride and a passion that were more than the talented Harding Raiders could deal with, especially over the final 16 minutes.

Controlling the boards, running its half-court offense to near perfection and beating the Raiders at their own game of transition points, Saint Ignatius was, for most of the second half, simply awesome.

And adding to that dominance was an aggressive defense that frustrated Harding all night.

The Raiders, who walked into Sullivan Gymnasium with a 6-0 record and averaging 90 points a game, walked out the grand facility with 62 points. And a nice chunk of that 62 came near the end of the game with Saint Ignatius in total control.

In soundly defeating a team that had scored more than 100 points twice this young season and more than 80 points two times, the Wildcats improved to 5-1.

The heroes were many for Coach Becker, but none was bigger than multi-skilled 6-foot-5 senior guard/forward Deven Stover, who led his team with 21 points by scoring inside, outside and going to the rim with crowd-pleasing authority. That authoritative play included a par of rim-rattling dunks by Stover that had Saint Ignatius' outstanding Student Body support raising the roof. The most impressive and athletic dunk by Deven was a one-handed tip slam off a missed shot that even drew some significant appreciation from the basketball savvy Harding fans.   

Coach Becker's young men in the post area, 6-7 junior Matt Davet and 6-8 junior Austen Yarian, took on Harding's 6-10 major college recruit, junior Derek Culver, without blinking an eye. Davet, who was aggressive at both ends of the floor from the get-go, scored 13 points and the Mr. Inside and Outside Yarian dropped in 10 key points.

The Berger twins, senior guards Jimmy and Ryan, showed why they are one of the area's most versatile tandems, offensively and defensively, and senior point guard Kyle Kalish took what the Raiders gave him and came up with a couple of huge baskets as Saint Ignatius was taking command in the second half.

And once again, this old-timer can't say enough about the endless hustle and hard-nosed contributions off the bench by 6-4 senior forward Tyler Musbach and 6-5 senior post/forward Tim Kiefer.

Leading, 57-45, entering the fourth quarter after Stover buried one of his deep, in rhythm 3-pointers, the Wildcats began a fourth-quarter onslaught that settled the issue.

Stover continued to hold the hot hand as he started the big run of the night with another kiss-the-sky 3-pointer, the 6-4 Ryan Berger then scored off a steal and an assist by Kalish, and Ryan followed with a strong offensive rebound that he turned into two free throws.

After Stover split a pair from the charity stripe Saint Ignatius was on top by 20 points, and two more free throws by Stover, a strong wouldn't be denied drive to the rim by Kalish and two free throws by the ever-present Davet pushed the Cats' lead to 71-48 with 3:05 left.

Coach Becker then went to his bench down the stretch.

Saint Ignatius was 11 of 13 from the foul line and the Raiders hit on 15 of their 22 free throws. Harding's gifted senior point guard Gabe Simpson led all scorers with 24 points and Culver finished with 20 points, 12 of those coming in the first half.

FROM COACH BECKER '77: "We did what we needed to do. We outrebounded them, I think we controlled the tempo and we limited our turnovers. We basically dictated the game.

"The important thing tonight is that we finished," Coach Becker continued. "We didn't allow that second half run, where we're up by 14 and all of sudden they cut it down to five or four. I think it stayed at eight to 10 points and then we stretched it out. I thought Matt Davet did a great job. He either deflected balls, got his hand on balls or grabbed a big rebound. And Deven Stover, he is so capable all of the time. Certainly his tip dunk, that's something special. You get to the offensive glass and be able to do that, well, that's pretty good.

"There were still a couple of possessions where I thought we took some quick shots, so not a perfect game," Coach Becker said. "But against a 6-0 Warren Harding team that is averaging 90 points a game, we hold them to nearly 30 points below their average. So I think that's a tip of the cap to the Saint Ignatius Wildcats That was a solid, solid game, tip to buzzer."

FROM DEVEN STOVER: "The first drive I got an easy layup and that really got me going. And then, when they were sagging off, I was able to hit the threes (3-pointers). Either way, I was able to create shots or get open looks for my teammates. And we got the W.

"We played a hard man-to-man, we double teamed when we had to and we were able to stay on our feet," Deven continued in reference to the Cats' outstanding effort on defense. "We contested threes and we were able to get tips that led to fast breaks, which changed the momentum throughout the game."

THE FOCUS IS NOW ON THE NEW YEAR'S EVE AFTERNOON ENCOUNTER WITH THE RICH IN TALENT AND WELL-SCHOOLED FIGHTING IRISH FROM TRADITON-RICH ST. VINCENT-ST. MARY. THE JV TIPOFF FROM LEBRON JAMES ARENA WILL BE 1:30, FOLLOWED BY THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED VARSITY GAME AT 3 PM. SVSM IS RANKED SECOND IN THE AREA AND SAINT IGNATIUS IS RANKED FIFTH. COACH DRU JOYCE GUIDED HIS FIGHTING IRISH TO A 19-POINT VICTORY OVER THE AREA'S TOP-RANKED GARFIELD HEGHTS BULLDOGS ON MONDAY NIGHT IN LEBRON JAMES ARENA.

"A great arena, a great team and a great coaching staff," Deven Stover said of St. Vincent-St. Mary. "It should be a great game. I am really looking forward to it."      

                  

    

           

Congrats from the corner also go out to Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats, as Saint Ignatius, led by Kaden Russell, advanced seven wrestlers to the second day of the prestigious Brecksville Invitational Holiday Tournament
12/29/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Matches resume at 10 AM on Wednesday at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School, the final day of the 55th edition in what is the nation's longest continuous holiday wrestling event.

Advancing for Day 2 from the Saint Ignatius Varsity Gold Team are freshman Patrick McGraw at 113 pounds, junior Quade Rasmussen at 132, senior Hunter Toth at 145, junior Cal Miller at 160, junior Kaden Russell at 182, senior Kyle Vilsack at 195 and senior Tito Vazquez at 285. Kaden has advanced to the semifinals.

Good Luck to the Wildcats' seven determined young men, as they are looking to make their mark in one of the nation's premier events.    

Congratulations from the corner go out to Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats, who completed a 6-0 run by defeating New Lenox (IL) Providence Catholic, 3-1, in Tuesday's Championship Game at the Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic
12/29/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

In defeating the Celtics from Providence Catholic, the Ice Cats took a 1-0 lead in the first period off a lamplighter by junior forward Cullen Frebes and made it 3-0 on second- period goals by senior Captain/forward Aidan Spellacy and senior Alternate Captain/forward Jared Stepka.

Providence Catholic, whose resume includes a 2014 Kennedy Cup Championship, a State Final Four appearance and a U.S. National runner-up, made it a 3-1 game off a power play goal late in the second period.

Saint Ignatius' defense took it from there in the Edge Ice Arena, as the Ice Cats celebrated a Championship performance that saw them go 6-0 in the prestigious Windy City tournament. The Cats outscored those six opponents by a combined score of 44-3.

Cats senior goalie Dylan McKeon came up with 23 saves in supporting Coach O'Rourke's defense.

Coach O'Rourke's gifted team, which now stands 18-2-1, will take that six-game winning streak into Saturday's Great Lakes Hockey League matchup with the always savvy Preppers from University School. The puck will drop at 4:45 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center. The corner will be on hand for game coverage in The Big Barn on Memphis.

Again, Congrats to Coach O'Rourke '90, his entire staff and the gifted and resilient team that this old-timer likes to refer to as THE ICE CATS!   

 

With less than 2 minutes remaining in the third period, the Ice Cats are still on top, 3-1
12/29/2015
Ice Cats lead, 3-1, after two periods. Providence Catholic scores off a power play
12/29/2015
Goals by Aidan Spellacy and Jared Stepka extended the Ice Cats' lead over New Lenox Providence Catholic to 3-0 in the second period of Tuesday's Championship Game in the Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic
12/29/2015
BE SURE TO NOTE THE UPDATE ON ST. VINCENT-ST. MARY BASKETBALL IN THE CORNER'S WHERE THE CATS PLAY THAT IS POSTED BELOW
12/29/2015
Here is how Saint Ignatius stands in this week's top area swimming and diving numbers
12/28/2015

200 YARD MEDLEY RELAY
Brecksville 1:34.61
Hawken 1:37.60
University 1:37.92
Saint Edward 1:39.11
Saint Ignatius 1:39.39
Wadsworth 1:39.51
Strongsville 1:39.85
Green 1:40.84
Shaker Heights 1:42.47
Walsh Jesuit 1:42.60

200 YARD FREESTYLE
Max Gustafson, Shaker Heights 1:43.91
Mark Krusinski, Brecksville 1:44.01
Tyler Doerrer, Green 1:44.09
Charlie Stewart-Bates, University 1:44.28
Eric Chimes, Brecksville 1:47.18
David Bates, Hawken 1:47.74
Ethan Banks, University 1:47.82
Justin Flores, Hawken 1:47.97
Cole Clampffer, Hudson 1:48.56
Dimitri Simcox, Saint Ignatius 1:48.69

200 YARD INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY
Jason Quinn, Chagrin Falls 1:52.38
Ben Brooks, Avon 1:53.57
David Bates, Hawken 1:58.06
Matthew Rakovec, Hawken 1:58.08
Max Gustafson, Shaker Heights 1:58.45
Jack Saum, Firestone 1:59.78
Colton Phelps, North Royalton 2:00.62
Conor Milroy, Mayfield 2:01.54
Charles Marshall, Riverside 2:01.55
Richard Kurlich, Walsh Jesuit 2:01.97

50 YARD FREESTYLE
David Madej, Brecksville 20.62
Dominic Poletta, Green 20.86
Dimitri Simcox, Saint Ignatius 21.38
Mike Lynch, Brecksville 21.45
Joseph Pavlak, Wadsworth 21.74
Matthew Martin, Brecksville 22.04
Rayon Artis, Saint Ignatius 22.08
Colin MacMillan, Bay 22.19
Zach Halawa, University 22.38
Anthony Savena, Brecksville 22.41

ONE METER DIVING (6 DIVES)
Lyle Yost, Shaker Heights 366.97
Peter Nachtwey, Chagrin Falls 337.42
Matt Akers, Westlake 312.67
Spencer Bystrom, Beachwood 298.87
Antony Styrt , Solon 297.38
Jacob Smrdel Solon 292.27
Dalton Shevlin, Solon 222.45
Isaac Cooper, Kenston 213.90
Jake Lowe, Brunswick 213.59
Zach Ashbrook, Bay 195.60

100 YARD BUTTERFLY
Mark Krusinski, Brecksville 48.87
Dominic Poletta, Green 50.95
Matthew Martin, Brecksville 51.16
DJ Arslanian, Strongsvlle 51.53
Marcus Hong, Saint Ignatius 52.06
Scott Bowman, University 52.46
Jacob Brumbaugh, Wadsworth 52.77
Colin MacMillan, Bay 53.06
Emilio Bloch, Copley 53.31
Zeb Hart, Hawken 53.43

100 YARD FREESTYLE
David Madej, Brecksville 44.30
Mark Krusinski, Brecksville 45.64
Max Gustafson, Shaker Heights 47.17
Mike Lynch, Brecksville 47.68
Dimitri Simcox, Saint Ignatius 47.78
Tyler Doerrer, Green 48.03
DJ Arslaniajn, Strongsville 48.38
Isaac Lumley, Stow 48.48
Cole Clampffer, Hudson 48.78
Zach Halawa, University 49.01

500 YARD FREESTYLE
Matthew Rakovec, Hawken 4:37.02
David Bates, Hawken 4:37.16
Max Gustafson, Shaker Heights 4:43.12
Ethan Banks, University 4:44.56
Conor Milroy, Mayfield 4:47.67
Charlie Stewart-Bates, University 4:48.27
Eric Chimes, Brecksville 4:50.20
Max Steffey, University 4:54.83
DJ Arslanian, Strongsville 4:55.77
Anthont Petruzzi, Medina 4:58.33

200 YARD FREESTYLE RELAY
Brecksville 1:25.81
Saint Ignatius 1:27.31
University 1:29.22
Brecksville 1:29.49
Hawken 1:31.23
Riverside 1:31.29
Medina 1:31.37
Bay 1:32.09
Hudson 1:32.67
Solon 1:33.05

100 YARD BACKSTROKE
Scott Bowman, University 51.94
Jason Quinn, Chagrin Falls 52.27
Marcus Hong, Saint Ignatius 52.89
Cole Clampffer, Hudson 53.88
Nick Babson, Saint Edward 53.91
Eric Widenhofer, Brecksville 54.54
Max Gustafson, Shaker Heights 55.09
Anthony Savena, Brecksville 55.38
Graham Lane, University 56.05
Charles Marshall, Riverside 56.09

100 YARD BREASTSTROKE
Joseph Pavlak, Wadsworth 59.39
Emilio Bloch, Copley 59.51
Sami Fares, Hawken 59.80
Owen LaFramboise, Shaker Heights 1:00.34
Mason Beck, Saint Edward 1:01.34
Drew Grespin, Saint Edward 1:01.69
Anthony Rohweder, Green 1:01.69
Richard Kurlich, Walsh Jesuit 1:01.84
Jack Krusinski, Brecksville 1:01.98
Nicholas Hong, Saint Ignatius 1:02.51

400 YARD FREESTYLE RELAY
Brecksville 3:03.40
University 3:15.55
Saint Ignatius 3:16.90
Green 3:17.60
Saint Edward 3:20.04
Hawken 3:20.42
Wadsworth 3:21.10
Medina 3:21.27
Bay 3:21.87
Hudson 3:22.52

The Ice Cats shut down the Icemen from Rockford, Illinois, 6-0, on Monday night and advance to Tuesday's Championship Game of the Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic at the Edge Ice Arena. Brian Russell's Hat Trick helps show the way.
12/28/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Junior forward Cullen Frebes continued his outstanding play in the Windy City by scoring with less than a minute gone in the first period.

Senior forward Zack Kisel made it 2-0 with 1:37 left in the opening period.

Then came the dominating point of the game, as senior forward/Captain Brian Russell scored with 10:50 remaining in the second period and came back with a power play goal with 8:27 to play in the second period.

The Rockford Icemen, like Saint Ignatius' first four opponents in the tournament, couldn't deal with the Ice Cats' offensive firepower, as senior forward/Captain Aidan Spellacy and Russell each produced goals within 30 seconds of each other in the third period. Russell went Hat Trick City.

With the victory tonight, Saint Ignatius improves to 17-2-1, has now outscored its five tournament foes by a combined score of 41-2 and will advance to Tuesday's high noon (Central Standard Time) Championship Game of the Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic at the Edge Ice Arena.    

The corner's New Year's Edition of Where the Cats Play features a look at the Varsity Basketball Cats' three games in five days slate. Saint Ignatius' Men of the Mats are gearing up for the Brecksville Holiday Tournament.
12/28/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December/January 2015-2016

Ohio City - Before we start, just a note telling you that Saint Ignatius slipped one spot to fifth place in this week's cleveland.com Top 25 seven-county area Basketball Poll.

Unlike Christmas week, Saint Ignatius' winter sports teams will ring in the New Year with a heavy schedule.

Here is a view from the corner at all five winter sports, starting with a preview glance at Varsity Basketball and its three opponents in five days this week. Coach Brian Becker's Cats stand 4-1.

Versus Warren G. Harding tomorrow (Tuesday) night at 7:30 in Sullivan Gymnasium: The high flying Raiders entered this week sporting a 6-0 record.

Led by the young man who fuels the offensive firepower, 5-foot-10 point guard Gabe Simpson, Harding has scored more than 100 points twice and has surpassed 80 points twice.

Simpson, described by Wildcats veteran Assistant Coach Jerry Porath as having very quick hands, a great first step and deep range, is averaging 22.5 points per game. Coach Porath is also impressed with Simpson's body of work on defense.

The man in the middle for Raiders Head Coach Andy Vlajkovich is 6-10 post Derek Culver. A left-hander, Culver is a wide body with athletic skill. However, despite his 18.6 points per game, Culver can struggle from the foul line and is foul prone at times.

Among the other Raiders to watch is 6-7 Shakem Johnson. Johnson, who averages 16 points an outing, is a long left-hander with quick post moves. He is an active rebounder and shot blocker who brings endless energy to the floor.

Keep an eye on 6-2 wing Mark Herron (10.2 points per game). Herron is a strong athletic player who can run, is a quick leaper and has range that must be respected.

Complementing Simpson in the backcourt is 5-10 Tiryn Frank, a young man whose game centers around his quickness, range and ability to defend. Frank is averaging just over 9 points.

In late December of last season, the Wildcats traveled to Warren G. Harding and defeated the then unbeaten Raiders, 61-55.

Versus St. Vincent-St. Mary, Thursday at 3 PM in LeBron James Arena on the campus of SVSM: In what has become a New Year's Eve afternoon tradition, it is an honor for this old gym rat to be at LeBron James Arena. The memories still flow from that evening in Columbus, when I was privileged to interview a remarkable 14-year-old freshman named LeBron James after he helped lead St. Vincent-St. Mary to a State Championship. Believe me my friends when I tell you that the poise, talent, knowledge and appreciation of the game were evident from the first time I ever had the pleasure to watch LeBron play.

As for Coach Dru Joyce's 2015-16 version of St. Vincent-St. Mary basketball, the Fighting Irish now stand 6-1 after Monday night's 19-point victory over the area's top-ranked Garfield Heights Bulldogs in LeBron James Arena. St. Vincent-St. Mary entered Monday's game as the seven-county area's second-ranked team.

SVSM, which won a 72-71 thriller over Saint Ignatius at Sullivan Gymnasium in last season's New Year's Eve afternoon encounter, is led by a gifted big-game threesome of Henry Baddley, Jayvon Graves and Jon Williams. All three were superb versus Garfield Heights. Coach Joyce's always strong defense forced the Bulldogs into 22 turnovers.  

At Canton GlenOak (no space is correct), Saturday at 7:30 PM: If you are into looking at common opponents, the Golden Eagles gave Canton McKinley all it wanted before losing to the Bulldogs, 60-56, at GlenOak this month. Saint Ignatius, trailing by two points with 3 minutes and 38 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, closed the show in style and defeated McKinley, 68-59, on December 19th in Sullivan Gymnasium.

Keeping the Golden Eagles in range of McKinley were Cross Mason with 17 points, Rashaad Gibbons with 15 points and Brennon Tibbs, who had a 14-point night. GlenOak buried 8 3-pointers. The Golden Eagles also got a solid effort from sophomore post Jordan Greynolds, who pulled down 9 rebounds while battling a veteran McKinley frontcourt.

From Coach Becker: "You've got a team that is averaging around 90 points a game," Coach Becker said in reference to Warren Harding. "They are probably the most athletic team that we've played. They like to push the ball up the floor and they contest a lot of shots.

"It's a game where we have to be fundamentally strong," Coach Becker continued in reference to the Harding Raiders. "We have to box out, ball fake and take care of transition. If we take care of their transition and slow them down, and be opportunistic in our (fast) break, I think we'll be okay. But if we let them play at their tempo and get offensive rebounds, it could be a long night.

"A lot of things go through him," said Coach Becker of Harding's multi-skilled point guard Gabe Simpson. "So it could be a night where Jimmy Berger (Cats senior guard), Kyle Kalish (Cats senior point guard) or Tyler Musbach (Cats senior forward) have to get out and defend him, and make sure that he is not orchestrating their offense."                          

As for St. Vincent-St. Mary, Coach Becker didn't hesitate for a second in describing Coach Dru Joyce's team as being extremely skilled.

"They're not as big physically as Warren Harding, but they're as big athletically," Coach Becker said. "This will be another quick, up-tempo game. We're going to have to rebound and defend the seams really well."

WRESTLING: Coach Mark Sullivan and his Wildcats will make their annual short trip to Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School tomorrow and Wednesday for the annual and tradition-rich Brecksville Holiday Tournament. The starting times are 11 AM and 10 PM, respectively.

When we say tradition rich, tomorrow marks the 55th edition of the nation's oldest continuous running holiday tournament. A record 49 schools will be competing. The field includes 20 programs from Northeast Ohio, along with other teams from across the Buckeye State, two teams from the state of Michigan and one from Pennsylvania.

Competing will be 125 wrestlers that have previously appeared in a state wrestling tournament. That number includes 15 wrestlers who were state champions in 2015.

HOCKEY: The Ice Cats, who are doing the area proud at the Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic (see the corner's posts above and below), will host University School on Saturday at 4:45 PM in the Brooklyn Ice Arena. As part of the game's festivities, Saint Ignatius will honor former Wildcats Soccer and Hockey standout Jack Wiegandt '15, the 2014-15 recipient of the prestigious John J. Wirtz Athlete of the Year Award. The corner will be on hand for game coverage.

BOWLING: The Alley Cats will be at Buckeye Lanes on Saturday for a 9 AM encounter with the Bengal keglers from Benedictine High School. Cat lane fever.

SWIMMING AND DIVING: Saint Ignatius will be at the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium on the campus of Cleveland State University tomorrow (Tuesday, Solon and Strongsville, 5:30 PM), Wednesday (the G. Morton Relays, 4:30 PM) and Saturday (St. Edward, noon). Please double check the times for these events by going to ignatius.edu, clicking on athletics and clicking on swimming.

HAVE A GREAT AND BLESSED NEW YEAR, ONE FILLED WITH HAPPINESS AND PEACE ON EARTH.              

Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School runs a hockey clinic on Chicago Saint Ignatius College Prep at this morning's quarterfinals of the Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic
12/28/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Pat O' Rourke's Ice Cats are continuing to show the state of Illinois just how strong Ohio high school hockey is.

After outscoring three of Illinois' higher ranked teams - Notre Dame College Prep, New Trier Green and Waubonsie Valley - by a combined score of 26-1 (see the corner's posts below), the Ice Cats skated and shot their way to a 9-1 victory over their Jesuit brothers from Chicago Saint Ignatius College Prep during Monday morning's quarterfinals of the Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic in the Edge Ice Arena.

Ohio City's Saint Ignatius, which has now scored 35 goals and has yielded just 2 during its four games in the Windy City, will take a record of 16-2-1 into tonight's semifinal matchup with the highly regarded Rockford Icemen. The puck will drop in the Edge Ice Arena at 6:30 CST.

As for Monday's domination over Saint Ignatius College Prep, the Ice Cats were fueled by gifted junior forward Connor Koehnke, who finished with a hat trick. Junior forward Cullen Frebes and senior forward/alternate captain Jared Stepka each had two lamplighters.

It was Katy Bar the Door from the get-go, as Saint Ignatius stormed to a 9-0 lead after two periods.

 

In a matchup of Jesuit Schools, the Ice Cats will face Chicago Saint Ignatius College Prep in Monday's quarterfinals of the Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic. The puck will drop at 8 AM in the Edge Ice Arena.
12/27/2015
It was more of the same from the Ice Cats as they dominated Aurora (IL) Waubonsie Valley, 11-0, during the second night of the Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic in the Edge Ice Arena
12/27/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Bear with me, I am having a little difficulty reading the score sheet sent from the Windy City, but from what I can make out the 11-goal barrage was provided by senior captain/forward Cam Gerard, junior forward Chris Revnew (two goals), junior forward Cullen Frebes (2 goals), junior forward Connor Koehnke, senior captain/forward Aidan Spellacy, senior forward Zack Kisel, junior defenseman Andrew Zedella, the young and talented Mr. Kurtz, and senior forward/alternate captain Jared Stepka.

Senior Mark Mastroianni, the other half of the Cats' gifted goalie combo, was between the pipes for the shutout. Saint Ignatius scored five goals in each of the first two periods.

In advancing to Monday morning's quarterfinals, which are listed on the Saint Ignatius Hockey web page as 8 AM (others are tweeting 7 AM), Coach Pat O'Rourke's gifted team has outscored three highly regarded teams from Illinois - Notre Dame College Prep, New Trier Green and Waubonsie Valley - by a combined score of 26-1 (see the corner's post from Saturday night).

The Ice Cats, ranked second to defending state champion Toledo St. Francis de Sales in the Ohio State Poll, will take a record of 15-2-1 into Monday's quarterfinals.         

The Ice Cats make an awesome debut in the Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic at the Edge Ice Arena
12/26/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

After dominating Niles (IL) Notre Dame College Prep, 9-1, on Saturday afternoon, Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats gave the Windy City fans in the Edge Ice Arena another taste of Greater Cleveland/Ohio High School Hockey by shutting down the No. 1 Team in Illinois, New Trier Green, 6-0 on Saturday evening.

Supplying the offense versus New Trier Green were Cullen Frebes, Connor Koehnke, Alternate Captain Jared Stepka, Seth Whitney, Matt Wiegandt and Stepka again.

Savvy senior goalie Dylan McKeon provided the shutout.

The Ice Cats (14-2-1) return to the Edge Ice Arena on Sunday for a 5:35 PM faceoff with Aurora Waubonsie Valley, the ninth-ranked team in Illinois.     

Coming up on the corner Monday. A preview of the Wildcats' Varsity Basketball Games versus Warren Harding on Tuesday night in Sullivan Gym, versus St. Vincent-St. Mary on New Year's Eve afternoon at LeBron James Arena and Saturday night at Canton GlenOak.
12/26/2015
Wildcats Varsity Basketball sees double-digit leads slip away, as Louisville stuns Saint Ignatius, 67-65, on a 3-pointer by guard Jake Adams in the final seconds of Wednesday's nightcap at the Alliance Christmas Classic
12/23/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2015

From the campus of Mount Union University in Alliance, Ohio

Saint Ignatius, which experienced its first loss in five games this season, had leads of 16 points in the early stages of the second quarter and 13 points late in the third quarter.

The Leopards from Louisville, who are now 5-2, refused to call it a night as they constantly fought their way back into the game behind the strong and fluid play of gifted 6-foot-8 senior post Drew Noble.

On the strength of a three-point play by Noble, a driving one-hander by Louisville junior guard Brody Hahn and a put back by Leopards senior post/forward Jarett Heater, Coach Tom Siegfried's team closed to 55-47 entering the final eight minutes.

It what was an entertaining punch-counter punch fourth quarter, Louisville cut the deficit to 55-49 on a follow by Noble and Saint Ignatius' talented and hardnosed senior point guard Kyle Kalish responded with an authoritative drive to the rim that he converted into a scoop shot.

Then came one of the more defining points of the game, as the Leopards, again trailing by eight points, ran off nine consecutive points courtesy of 3-pointers by senior guard Jake Adams, junior guard Chris Libertore and another trey from Adams, who was 5-for-7 on the night from beyond the arc.

A basket by Saint Ignatius' multi-skilled senior guard Jimmy Berger put the Wildcats back on top, 59-58, but Noble, who finished with a game-high 25 points, made another of his many smooth post moves and dropped in two more points that vaulted Louisville back in the lead by one point with 1 minute and 52 seconds remaining.

Leopards senior guard Jared Holland extended his team's advantage to three points by hitting two free throws with 1:29 left.

Following a timeout by Saint Ignatius at 1:27, senior guard Ryan Berger, Jimmy's twin brother, knotted the score on a 3-pointer with 1:12 to go.

In the heart-pounding, nail-biting (take your pick) final minute, Noble, who was battling foul trouble down the stretch, calmly sent home two free throws that had Louisville clinging to a 64-62 lead with 51.2 seconds remaining.

Saint Ignatius, keeping its composure, turned to its standout senior guard/wing Deven Stover and, in an exceptional display of body control, Deven put the Wildcats back in front, 65-64, off an authoritative, wouldn't-be-denied three-point play with 37.1 seconds left.

Saint Ignatius appeared to be in a solid postion after 6-7 junior post Matt Davet came up with a steal.

However, the Wildcats missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw situation, setting the stage for Adams' big-time 3-pointer, which saw the Leopards reset their offense after Saint Ignatius denied their previous play.

With the seconds ticking down, Hahn got the ball in Adams' hands deep on the left side and Louisville's 10th 3-pointer was true without hardly disturbing the rim as the clock was ticking down to 1.3 seconds. The Leopards were 10-of-20 from beyond the arc and Saint Ignatius hit 7 of the 15 treys it attempted.

NOTE: After Adams' game-winner went through the basket, two of the Wildcats said they immediately called for a timeout, but were not granted one. The officials hustled off the court after the final second ticked away.

BY THE NUMBERS: Davet led Saint Ignatius with 19 points, including a 5-for-5 night from 3-point land. All 19 of those points came in the first 16 minutes. Stover finished with 14 points and 4 assists, and Jimmy Berger and Kalish turned in 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Noble, a double-double machine, made 10 of his 14 shots from the field and 5 of his 6 free throws. He also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds, including 7 off the defensive glass. Adams' money trey capped off his 17-point night.

FROM THE FIELD: Saint Ignatius was 25 of 45 and Louisville was 23 of 46.

FROM THE CHARITY STRIPE: The Leopards were 11 of 14 and the Wildcats hit on 8 of their 12 free throws.

TURNOVERS  Louisville turned it over 17 times and Saint Ignatius had just 6 turnovers.

A VERY TELLING STAT:  According to the official box score from Mount Union, the Leopards owned the glass, 34-13, including 13-3 on the offensive boards.

FROM WILDCATS HEAD COACH BRIAN BECKER '77: "The season's a long season and this is another learning experience. It was an extremely winnable game, even with them shooting the lights out. We didn't get to the line as much as we normally do. We got to the line about 20 times in each of our first four games, and we got to the line 12 times tonight.

"We have to be more aggressive going to the glass," Coach Becker continued. "We have two young post players, and that is something they have to learn. I would rather they learn early than late. They out-rebounded us 34-13. That's inexcusable. They've got to do a better job, and that's just not the post guys. Everybody on the team has to help out in that department.

"It's a little disheartening, but well take a break for Christmas and get ready for Warren Harding," said Coach Becker, who was very impressed with Louisville's Drew Noble. The Leopards' man in the middle also earned this old gym rat's respect.    

UP NEXT: The Cats host Warren Harding on December 29th in what will be a tripleheader at Sullivan Gymnasium - the Freshmen game at 4:15 PM, the Junior Varsity game at 6 bells and the Varsity tip at 7:30.

On New Year's Eve afternoon it is off to LeBron James Arena for a matchup with talent-rich St. Vincent-St. Mary. The JV game is slated for 1:30 PM and the Varsity game for 3 PM.

Have a Blessed Christmas and a Wonderful New Year. Peace on Earth.                               

   

    

     

       

      

Congrats go out to Wildcats Men of the Links Harrison Vonderau and Andrew Zawie for earning Honorable Mention on the 2015 cleveland.com All-Star Golf Team for the seven county coverage area
12/23/2015
St. Francis and Saint Ignatius remain 1-2 in this week's State Ice Hockey poll
12/22/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer and Courtesy of the Columbus Blue Jackets' Joel Siegman.

The 12-0 St. Francis Knights, Ohio's defending state champion, received all nine first place votes. Cleveland area teams are in bold face.

1. Toledo St. Francis de Sales  90 (9)             

2. Saint Ignatius  80

3. St. Edward  72

4. Columbus St. Charles  40
                 
5. University School 39

6. Sylvania Northview  34

7. Dublin Jerome  31

8. Bowling Green  21

9. Walsh Jesuit  15

10. Olentangy Orange  13

   
Others receiving votes: Toledo St. John's Jesuit, Olentangy Liberty, Padua Franciscan , Dublin Coffman, Shaker Heights, Upper Arlington, Findlay, Holy Name, Gahanna Lincoln, Gilmour Academy and Springboro.






Congratulations go out to Wildcats Nationally Acclaimed Head Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin and All-American Junior Forward Steve Milhoan for earning the top area honors on the cleveland.com 2015 All-Star Soccer Team
12/22/2015

The corner also congratulates All-American senior forward and University of Pittsburgh recruit Lawrence Karpeh, who received Honorable Mention from cleveland.com.

As you know by now, Coach McLaughlin guided the Soccer Cats to their second consecutive State Championship this fall and the program's third National Championship. This year's state title was Coach McLaughlin's seventh, adding to the record sixth the Wildcats brought home in 2014.

One of the most prolific offensive players in Saint Ignatius' rich soccer history, Steve Milhoan, a junior forward and an Xavier University recruit, was also the OHSAA Player of the Year and an NSCAA All-American.

- Eddie Dwyer    

Here are how some the Wildcats' Swimmers stand in the latest release of the area's top times
12/21/2015

200 YARD MEDLEY RELAY
Brecksville 1:34.61
Hawken 1:37.60
University School 1:37.92
Saint Edward 1:39.11
Saint Ignatius 1:39.39
Wadsworth 1:39.51
Strongsville 1:39.85
Green 1:40.84
Shaker Heights 1:42.47
Walsh Jesuit 1:42.60

200 YARD FREESTYLE
Max Gustavson, Shaker Heights 1:43.91
Mark Krusinski, Brecksville 1:44.01
Tyler Doerrer, Green 1:44.09
Charlie Stewart-Bates, University School 1:44.28
Eric Chimes, Brecksville 1:47.18
David Bates, Hawken 1:47.74
Ethan Banks, University School 1:47.82
Justin Flores, Hawken 1:47.97
Cole Clampffer, Hudson 1:48.56
Dmitri Simcox, Saint Ignatius 1:48.69

200 YARD INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY
Jason Quinn, Chagrin Falls 1:52.38
Ben Brooks, Avon 1:53.57
David Bates, Hawken 1:58.06
Matthew Rakovec, Hawken 1:58.08
Jack Saum, Firestone 1:59.78
Max Gustavson, Shaker Heights 2:00.49
Colton Phelps, North Royalton 2:00.62
Conor Milroy, Mayfield 2:01,54
Charles Marshall, Riverside 2:01.55
Richard Kurlich, Walsh Jesuit 2:01.97

50 YARD FREESTYLE
David Madej, Brecksville 20.62
Dominic Poletta, Green 20.86
Dmitri Simcox, Saint Ignatius 21.38
Mike Lynch, Brecksville 21.45
Joseph Pavlak, Wadsworth 21.74
Matthew Martin, Brecksville 22.04
Rayon Artis, Saint Ignatius 22.08
Colin MacMillan, Bay 22.19
Zach Halawa, University School 22.38
Anthony Savena, Brecksville 22.41

ONE METER DIVING (6 DIVES)
Lyle Yost, Shaker Heights 354.95
Pater Nachtwey, Chagrin Falls 337.42
Matt Akers, Westlake 312.67
Spencer Bystrom, Beachwood 298.87
Antony Styrt , Solon 297.38
Jacob Smrdel Solon 292.27
Dalton Shevlin, Solon 222.45
Isaac Cooper, Kenston 213.90

100 YARD BUTTERFLY
Mark Krusinski, Brecksville 48.87
Dominic Poletta, Green 50.95
Matthew Martin, Brecksville 51.16
DJ Arslanian, Strongsvlle 51.53
Marcus Hong, Saint Ignatius 52.06
Scott Bowman, University School 52.46
Jacob Brumbaugh, Wadsworth 52.77
Colin MacMillan, Bay 53.06
Emilio Bloch, Copley 53.31
Zeb Hart, Hawken 53.43

100 YARD FREESTYLE
David Madej, Brecksville 44.30
Mark Krusinski, Brecksville 45.64
Max Gustavson, Shaker Heights 47.66
Mike Lynch, Brecksville 47.68
Dmitri Simcox, Saint Ignatius 47.78
Tyler Doerrer, Green 48.03
DJ Arslaniajn, Strongsville 48.38
Isaac Lumley, Stow 48.48
Cole Clampffer, Hudson 48.78
Zach Halawa, University School 49.01

500 YARD FREESTYLE
Matthew Rakovec, Hawken 4:37.02
David Bates, Hawken 4:37.16
Max Gustavson, Shaker Heights 4:43.12
Ethan Banks, University School 4:44.56
Conor Milroy, Mayfield 4:47.67
Charlie Stewart-Bates, University School 4:48.27
Eric Chimes, Brecksville 4:50.20
Max Steffey, University School  4:54.83
DJ Arslanian, Strongsville 4:55.77
Anthont Petruzzi, Medina 4:58.33

200 YARD FREESTYLE RELAY
Brecksville 1:25.81
Saint Ignatius 1:27.31
University School 1:29.22
Brecksville 1:29.49
Hawken 1:31.23
Riverside 1:31.29
Medina 1:31.37
Bay 1:32.09
Hudson 1:32.67
Solon 1:33.05

100 YARD BACKSTROKE
Scott Bowman, University School 51.94
Jason Quinn, Chagrin Falls 52.27
Marcus Hong, Saint Ignatius 52.89
Cole Clampffer, Hudson 53.88
Nick Babson, Saint Edward 53.91
Eric Widenhofer, Brecksville 54.54
Max Gustavson, Shaker Heights 55.09
Anthony Savena, Brecksville 55.38
Graham Lane, University School 56.05
Charles Marshall, Riverside 56.09

100 YARD BREASTSTROKE
Joseph Pavlak, Wadsworth 59.39
Emilio Bloch, Copley 59.51
Sami Fares, Hawken 59.80
Owen LaFramboise, Shaker Heights 1:00.34
Mason Beck, Saint Edward 1:01.34
Drew Grespin, Saint Edward 1:01.69
Anthony Rohweder, Green 1:01.69
Richard Kurlich, Walsh Jesuit 1:01.84
Jack Krusinski, Brecksville 1:01.98
Nicholas Hong, Saint Ignatius 1:02.51

400 YARD FREESTYLE RELAY
Brecksville 3:03.40
University School 3:15.55
Saint Ignatius 3:16.90
Green 3:17.60
Saint Edward 3:20.04
Hawken 3:20.42
Wadsworth 3:21.10
Medina 3:21.27
Bay 3:21.87
Hudson 3:22.52

The Basketball Cats remain at No. 4 in the cleveland.com Top 25 seven-county area basketball poll
12/21/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The top 10 teams for this week are:

1. Garfield Heights, 2. St. Vincent-St. Mary, 3. Lorain, 4. Saint Ignatius, 5. East Tech (the legendary Scarabs teams of the late 1950s, the 1960s and early 1970s are smiling), 6. Beachwood, 7. Medina, 8. St. Edward, 9. Brunswick and in the 10th spot are the Bedford Bearcats. There could be a little movement in next Monday's poll, as St. Edward travels to Beachwood tomorrow (Tuesday) night.    

It is the Christmas Holiday version of Where the Cats Play
12/21/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, whose never-ending sports sleigh ride is fresh off the ice at the OBM Arena. Even Las Vegas odds makers have Santa Claus getting more sleep than the corner.

From my palatial estate on Lorain Road - The 4-0 Varsity Basketball Wildcats, who continue to share the wealth to the tune of multiple double-figure scorers, will ride the emotion of Saturday's impressive nine-point home victory over a gifted Canton McKinley team into Wednesday night's matchup with the Louisville Leopards. The Leopards are 3-2 heading into their Tuesday night game at Marlington.

Wednesday's tipoff with the Leopards is scheduled for 7:30 PM and is part of the Alliance Christmas Classic at Mount Union University. Mount Union is an atmosphere-rich venue. The hoops savvy tones of Matt MacKenzie, Brendan DeVenney and Louis Williams will bring you the game live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network.

Keep in mind that Wednesday's game at Mount Union is a Varsity only venue. The 3-1 JV Cats are slated to return to the court on Dec. 29 versus Warren Harding at Sullivan Gymnasium.

Louisville was upset by Alliance at home on Friday night, 65-62. Despite having a significant size advantage, the Leopards lost the battle of the boards to the Alliance Aviators. Of course any team nicknamed the Aviators should know how to fly to the glass.  

Two of Louisville's mainstays are 6-foot-1 senior guard Jake Pukys, who produced 18 points and five of the Leopards' 8 3-pointers in the loss to Alliance, and 6-8 senior post Drew Noble, who came up with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.

One of the Leopards' setbacks during this young season was a 75-60 loss to the McKinley Bulldogs on Dec. 5 in the storied Memorial Fieldhouse.

After the Wednesday encounter with the Leopards, Coach Brian Becker's Cats will host Warren Harding on Dec. 29th in Sullivan Gym and then it's on to LeBron James Arena for the traditional New Years Eve afternoon matchup with Coach Dru Joyce's always well-schooled and talent-rich St. Vincent-St. Mary program. The JV game with SVSM is scheduled for 1:30 PM, followed by the Varsity tip at 3.

Just a point of interest on how good the Varsity Basketball Cats are, and how much better they will become. I hope everyone noticed that Canton McKinley, about 15 hours after losing to Saint Ignatius in Sullivan Gymnasium, took the floor in the prestigious LeBron James Classic and sent Lafayette from Lexington, Kentucky home without its supper, 83-62.

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats, looking to rebound from Sunday's tough loss to top-ranked Toledo St. Francis de Sales (see the corner's story from Sunday), are headed to the Windy City for the Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic in the Edge Ice Arena, December 26th through the 29th. The Ice Cats open play in the Round Robin tournament on Dec. 26th at 2:15 PM versus Notre Dame College Prep from Niles (IL).

The Alley Cats, who we haven't heard from the past few weeks, are scheduled to bowl against Olmsted Falls this Saturday (Dec. 26th ) at 9 AM on the Cloverleaf Lanes.

Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats, aka the Cats' Varsity Gold Wrestling Team, are gearing up for the storied Brecksville Holiday Tournament, which takes place on Dec. 29th and 30th at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School. Matches are scheduled to begin at 11 AM on the 29th and at 10 AM on the 30th.

And last, but certainly not least, Coach Mike Lehto's Swimming and Diving Team is slated to compete against Strongsville and Solon on Dec. 29th at the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium (5:30 PM), and return to the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium on Dec. 30th for the Morton Relays at 4:30 PM. Again, those are the dates and times posted on the swimming and diving web page.

In case you missed it, the corner was able to relay to you the results of the prestigious Ned Reeb Invitational as part of last Monday's Where the Cats Play. No team scores were kept at this past weekend's Viking Invitational.

If we don't cross paths at Mount Union College on Wednesday night, have a Blessed Christmas. Peace on Earth.                

 

Former Lakewood Director of Athletics and current Hudson Athletic Director Ray Ebersole receives Distinguished Service Award
12/21/2015

FROM TIM STRIED, DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION SERVICES FOR THE OHIO HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION, AND POSTED BY EDDIE DWYER

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohioans Bruce Brown of Strasburg and Ray Ebersole of Hudson recently received award recognition from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) during festivities at the 46th annual National Athletic Directors Conference sponsored jointly by the NFHS and the NIAAA.

 

Brown, Executive Director of the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA), was one of eight individuals to receive a 2015 NFHS Citations Award on Dec. 14 for demonstrating outstanding service to interscholastic athletics at the local, state and national levels. State associations nominate athletic directors for NFHS Citations and the NFHS Board of Directors approves recipients.

 

Brown began his administrative career at Lake High School in 1998 as director of athletics, where he oversaw the development of five major facility projects, including new softball and baseball field enhancements and dugouts, artificial turf for the school’s multi-use stadium and a new press box. In addition, Brown won more than 220 games as a high school basketball coach, which included several league championships and coach-of-the-year awards.

 

Among his many awards, Brown was selected OIAAA Athletic Director of the Year in 2007, Ohio Association of Secondary Schools Principals’ Athletic Director of the Year in 2009 and the NFHS National Coach Educator of the Year in 2011. In addition to earning his CMAA designation as an athletic director, Brown has earned his Accredited Interscholastic Coach (AIC) and Certified Interscholastic Coach (CIC) through the NFHS.

 

In 1999, Brown helped create Hoops 4 Healing, Inc., a non-profit foundation that has generated more than $250,000 to support liver disease research, organ donor education and individual assistance to stricken families.

 

Ebersole is the Athletic Director at Hudson High School. He is one of nine individuals to receive a 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the NIAAA on Dec. 15 in recognition of his length of service, special accomplishments and contributions to interscholastic athletics at the local, state and national levels. Nominations are submitted by state athletic directors associations, screened by the NIAAA Awards Committee and selected by the NIAAA Board of Directors.

 

In 1991, Ebersole was named athletic coordinator of Lakewood City Schools. From there, he worked as an athletic administrator at Fairview Park and Lorain High Schools before taking his current position at Hudson in 2004. At each school, Ebersole has successfully overseen major facility improvements using private funds or corporate sponsorships. Under Ebersole’s direction, Hudson High School completed four major renovations or construction projects, including a $5 million campaign to build a new stadium and $2 million to establish an athletic center.

 

Throughout his career, Ebersole has been active at the local, state and national levels. He has managed numerous OHSAA sectional, district and regional tournaments in boys basketball, field hockey, football, boys and girls soccer, volleyball and baseball, and most recently served on the OHSAA Division I Evaluation Committee. This year, Ebersole was named athletic director of the year by both the Northeast Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NEOIAAA) and the OIAAA. The NEOIAAA also honored him with its Citation in 2012 and its Meritorious Service Award in 2014.

 

NOTE: This old-timer would like to congratulate Ray Ebersole, a man I had the privilege to work with during my 37 years at The Plain Dealer, especially during his time with the Lakewood Schools.  

 

 

 

 

As Advertised. Defending State Champion Toledo St. Francis de Sales takes control early and goes on to defeat Saint Ignatius, 5-1, on late Sunday afternoon in the Championship Game of the annual Padua Franciscan Christmas Hockey Tournament
12/20/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2015

From the OBM Arena in Strongsville, Ohio's IceLand USA

In a game that matched the No. 1 (St. Francis) and No. 2 teams in the state, the now 12-0 Knights scored two goals in each of the first two periods, including a hat trick by their gifted senior forward/wing Kyle Bloom.

Bloom accounted for the first three goals of the game, including both lamplighters in the first period and the hat trick goal at 2:42 of the second period.

After St. Francis senior left wing Mike White made it a 4-0 game off a power play goal at 10:07 of the second period, Saint Ignatius, now 12-2-1, got on the board 2 minutes and 10 seconds into the third period off a power play effort by senior forward Zack Kisel.

The late afternoon and most of the early evening belonged to the Knights, however, as they displayed the ability to kill off penalties, among other things, and tagged on a short-handed, unassisted empty-net goal by senior forward Jay Denman 11 minutes and 3 seconds into the third period.

St. Francis senior Kade Phipps showed why he is one of the premier goalies in Ohio, as he came up with 23 of his 36 stops in the third period.

Wildcats Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 emphasized that, despite the final score, Saint Ignatius' savvy and skilled senior goalie/alternate captain Dylan McKeon played well. Dylan had 26 saves, including 10 in the first period and 14 in the second period, and turned away two clear one-on-one opportunities by St. Francis, including one by the hockey-rich Bloom.

AND ASSISTING WERE: Providing the assists on Kyle Bloom's hat trick were Jay Denman, Matt Barrow and Angelo Procaccini, and assisting on Mike White's lamplighter were Bloom and Brendan Furry.

Zack Kisel's goal came off assists from junior forward Benji Rechin and senior forward/captain Brian Russell.

THE PENALTY BOX: St. Francis was penalized seven times and Saint Ignatius drew three penalties.

UP NEXT: The St. Francis Knights are competing in the Bowling Green/Findlay Holiday Tournament on December 26th through the 28th.

Saint Ignatius is headed to the Windy City for the Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic in the Edge Ice Arena, December 26th through the 29th. The Ice Cats open play in the Round Robin tournament on Dec. 26th at 2:15 PM versus Notre Dame College Prep from Niles (IL).

FIVE STATE TITLES: That is how many Saint Ignatius and St. Francis have combined for, with the Ice Cats bringing home OHSAA gold trophies in 2000, 2010 and 2014, and the Knights doing the honors last season and in 2011.

FROM COACH O'ROURKE ON SUNDAY'S 1-2 IN OHIO MATCHUP: "We waited too long to start," said Coach O'Rourke on the Ice Cats going scoreless in the first two periods and finally getting their offense in gear in the third period.

"They're super, they're an awesome team," Coach O'Rourke continued in reference to St. Francis. "They are the team to beat in the state and everybody knows it. I hope we get another crack at them, maybe later on in the season.

"We didn't play terrible, but every mistake we made they jammed right down our throats for a goal," Coach O'Rourke said. "I don't think people realize it, but our goalie (Dylan McKeon) played well. He had no chance.

"St. Francis is excellent, they're well coached and their kids played hard. We played hard in the third period, but before that we didn't play hard. I don't question our heart, but you can't stand around and hope something is going to happen. Some of that is on us as coaches. We need to sit them down if they're doing that.

"I still think we're a contender (for the state title), but now we see how much work we have to do. We knew this game would be a barometer. There are other good teams around, but it was 1 versus 2 and we kind of spit the bit  We didn't give up, we kept trying. I don't care if it's 8-0, we're going to try to win the game. They scored off a faceoff, which is a cardinal sin, and we made a couple of other key mistakes.

"They're (the Knights) a veteran team, they're talented and they work hard. That's a good combination to have. If you make a mistake, they're going to make you pay for it, which they did. If we learn from it, it will be good. But if we don't learn from it, then shame on us."       

     

 

             

  

PLEASE NOTE THAT TODAY'S (SUNDAY) CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN THE PADUA CHRISTMAS TOURNAMENT BETWEEN THE ICE CATS AND DEFENDING STATE CHAMPION TOLEDO ST. FRANCIS DE SALES WILL BEGIN AT 3:30 PM IN THE OBM ARENA AT STRONGSVILLE'S ICELAND USA
12/20/2015
The Ice Cats defeat Olentangy Liberty, 5-1, in Saturday's nightcap of the annual Padua Franciscan Christmas Tournament at the OBM Arena, and will now face defending State Champion Toledo St. Francis in Sunday's 3:30 PM Championship Game
12/19/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Ice Cats, who have outscored their first three opponents in the Padua Christmas Tournament - Toledo St. John's Jesuit, Sylvania Northview and Olentangy Liberty - by a combined score of 15-1 (see the corner's post from Saturday afternoon), advanced to Sunday's Championship Game at the OBM Arena in Strongsville's IceLand USA with a record of 12-1-1.

Helping fuel Saint Ignatius' offense against Liberty were junior forward Benji Rechin, senior forward Zack Kisel, senior forward/Captain Aidan Spellacy and senior forward/Assistant Captain Jared Stepka.

Sunday's matchup will feature the programs ranked 1-2 in the state by various .com polls, the St. Francis de Sales Knights and Saint Ignatius. The first weekly State Poll is scheduled to be released on Monday.

It seems like just yesterday that the corner spent an 85-degree Saturday afternoon this past summer watching Saint Ignatius and St. Francis scrimmage in the cool and comfortable Brooklyn Ice Arena at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center.

See you at the OBM Arena tomorrow (Sunday). It should be a dandy.         

In what Head Coach Brian Becker described as "a great team victory," the Varsity Basketball Wildcats respond big time over the final 3 minutes and 38 seconds and go on to defeat a talented Canton McKinley team, 68-59, in a packed Sullivan Gym
12/19/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2015

Ohio City - Now that's the way to officially start the Christmas Break.

The Wildcats, trailing, 55-53, with 3:38 remaining in the fourth quarter after McKinley junior guard Darryl Straughter buried an NBA-range 3-pointer, turned to the savvy leadership and skills of senior guards Kyle Kalish and Jimmy and Ryan Berger, aka the Berger twins, and outscored the Bulldogs, 15-4, down the stretch en route to the nine-point victory.

The unbeaten Cats then celebrated what was their home opener after three road games by joining their faithful Student Body in singing the Alma Mater. The colorful Student Body support included a visit by Santa Claus, who thought the Cats' impressive closing act in the fourth quarter was nice, and certainly not naughty.

Saint Ignatius, which also got some outstanding defensive play from senior guard/forward Deven Stover, will take its 4-0 record to Mount Union University on Wednesday night, where Coach Becker's team in every sense of the word will face the Louisville Leopards from Stark County in what is scheduled as a 7:30 tipoff. Wednesday's game, which is part of the Alliance Christmas Classic, is a Varsity only venue.

Canton McKinley, which has been bolstered by its merger with Canton Timken, now stands 5-2 on the young season. The Bulldogs' program walked off the Sullivan Gymnasium floor on Saturday night with a much better feeling than it did two seasons ago, when McKinley was handed a 51-point setback in Ohio City.

The Bulldogs, who have now lost to Saint Ignatius on the hardwood seven consecutive times, still lead the all-time series with the Cats, 28-14.   

THE DECISIVE SURGE: McKinley, trailing 53-49 after Kalish scored two of his 10 points with 4 minutes and 10 seconds remaining, rode six consecutive points by Straughter (a three-point play and a 3-pointer) to a 55-53 lead with 3:38 left in the fourth quarter.

While the Bulldogs' fans were still cheering, Saint Ignatius responded with a layup by Jim Berger off one of Kalish's many sweet assists on the night and Kalish followed with a picture-perfect running one-hander high off the glass.

After Ryan Berger split a pair of free throws, the Cats led, 58-55, with 2:40 left.

McKinley's standout 6-foot-5 senior forward LePear Toles cut the deficit to one point with a soft rainbow jumper with 2:18 on the clock and Bulldogs Head Coach Rick Hairston called for a timeout at 2:16.

Keeping its composure, Saint Ignatius went on an 8-0 run that featured a moving without the ball layup by 6-7 junior post Matt Davet off an one-the-money lob pass from Kalish (the late Red Holzman was smiling), a determined drive and under-handed scoop shot by Kalish, and four consecutive free throws by Ryan Berger, the last two making the score 66-57 with 25.1 seconds left.

Straughter's driving one-hander cut the deficit to 66-59 with 19.5 seconds on the clock, but less than two seconds later the multi-skilled Stover sent home two more points from the line and the celebration was on. Deven was 8-of-10 from the charity stripe.

Ryan Berger, who was 3-of-4 on his 3-point shots, including a buzzer-beating trey that put Saint Ignatius on top, 32-29, entering the halftime break, led the Cats with 16 points. Stover finished with 14 points and did an exceptional job of guarding Toles. Toles totaled 12 points on the night, but only five over the final three quarters. After Stover got into a bit of foul trouble late in the game, 6-4 senior forward Tyler Musbach came on and continued the tight coverage on Toles. Toles' 12 points make him three points shy of 1,000 for his career.

The Bulldogs got game-high efforts from their backcourt of senior TJ Lipkins (20 points) and Straughter (18 points).

FROM KYLE KALISH: "That's a tough team we just beat, they went up by what, two points in the fourth quarter? But that was the best part of the game. We kept our heads together and didn't panic. And that's how we came out with the W.

"My mindset was to keep my composure and play like I know how to play," continued Kyle, who also had a couple of assists off in-bounds passes that the late "Pistol Pete" Maravich would have been proud of. "Wayne Gretzky always said that you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take, so that was my mentality in the fourth quarter. We played as a team and we were fearless out there. Everyone believes in himself and we believe in each other, so it's an equation for success."

FROM RYAN BERGER: "It's unbelievable, it's so fun," Ryan said of how he and his twin brother Jim feed off each other. "We've been teammates for 17 years now, from the time we were in my mom's womb. It's great to be able to go out and play with my brother, my best friend.

"We need to work on our help defense, we need to work a little more on that," Ryan continued. "Which is a good sign, because we can only get better from here. Stopping their break, getting in front of them and keeping them off the boards, no second chances for their great athletes. That helped us a lot. That's what we emphasized in practice, just crashing the boards."

FROM COACH BECKER: "We did a really good job on Toles defensively, especially in the second half. Coming into the game I talked about offensive and defensive rebounding. If you control the boards against McKinley, you are going to be able to control the tempo against McKinley. And we were able to do that."

The Wildcats outrebounded the Bulldogs, 44-20, including 15-5 off the offensive glass. Saint Ignatius was 17-of-23 from the foul line and McKinley hit 13 of its 20 free throws.

"They're such a quick-jumping team and such a strong team, that if you give them second shots, you're toying with a loss," Coach Becker continued. "It was a good, solid team win I thought. We ran the floor, we were opportunistic and had some good finishes. But our clock management can be better and we gave too many straight line drives to the McKinley kids."

IT WAS A TOUGH NIGHT FOR THE JUNIOR VARSITY CATS, WHO EXPERIENCED THEIR FIRST LOSS IN FOUR GAMES, 64-51, TO MCKINLEY'S JAYVEES. THE JV BULLDOGS ARE NOW 6-1.

Trailing, 13-9, late in the opening quarter, the JV Cats knotted the score at 13 entering the second quarter on a layup by sophomore forward Evan Massouh and a buzzer-beating jumper by sophomore guard Mark Bobinski.

After a back-and-forth second quarter saw the score tied at 26 through the first 14 minutes (JV quarters are 7 minutes), McKinley moved to a 41-34 lead late in the third quarter.

A 3-pointer by sophomore guard Neeko Melendez enabled the Cats to close to 41-37, but the Bulldogs took a six-point lead into the fourth quarter.

McKinley's quick and aggressive perimeter players kept the pressure on, as the team from Stark County stretched its advantage to nine points with 5:27 left in the fourth quarter.

A 3-pointer by Wildcats multi-skilled sophomore guard/wing Joshua Ozanne cut the deficit to six points, but the Bulldogs took another bite out of the Cats' defense that resulted into a 59-44 deficit for Saint Ignatius with 1:53 remaining on the clock.

As we emphasized earlier, Wednesday's game versus Louisville is a Varsity only venue. The next game on the JV Cats' schedule shows them facing Warren G. Harding on Dec. 29th at 6 PM in Sullivan Gym.              

 

      

 

    

  

       

 

 

                           

        

The Ice Cats continue their dominant play at the Padua Franciscan Christmas Tournament, as they rack up their second consecutive 5-0 victory on Saturday morning, this time over Sylvania Northview
12/19/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

After outshooting Toledo St. John's Jesuit, 53-4, in Friday night's 5-0 opening-round triumph, the Ice Cats continued their outstanding play on the OBM Arena ice at Strongsville's IceLand USA by laying a 5-0 blanket on Sylvania Northview Saturday morning.

Saint Ignatius, which improved to 11-1-1, got its offense unleashed behind goals by junior forwards Connor Koehnke and Cullen Frebes. Senior forward Zack Kisel followed with a power play goal and Coach Pat O'Rourke's gifted team added lamplighters by senior forward/captain Cam Gerard and senior forward/assistant captain Jared Stepka. Stepka's goal was a short-handed effort. Koehnke was coming off a Friday night performance that saw him assist on four of the Ice Cats' five goals.  

Standout senior goalie/assistant captain Dylan McKeon had 23 saves for Saint Ignatius, turning away 11 Northview shots in the third period.

The Ice Cats, who could be headed for a Sunday showdown with defending State Champion Toledo St. Francis at the OBM Arena (St. Francis and Saint Ignatius are 1-2 in the state), will now get a little rest before returning to the OBM Arena ice tonight for a matchup with Olentangy Liberty. The puck is scheduled to drop at 9 PM.

The corner will have a recap on the Liberty game later tonight after returning home from the Varsity Basketball Home Opener versus Canton McKinley. And this old-timer will be at the OBM Arena on Sunday for what all area hockey gurus are hoping will be a Saint Ignatius-St. Francis final.  

  

Wildcats Varsity Basketball remains unbeaten by turning back host Kenston, 74-65, on Friday night. The JV Cats also stand 3-0 after defeating the Bombers' Jayvees, 64-51.
12/18/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2015

Geauga County - "You need to win an ugly game here and there," said Saint Ignatius Head Basketball Coach Brian Becker, moments after his Wildcats survived a number of late chargers by the Kenston Bombers and prevailed by nine points on Friday night in the bright and impressive gymnasium that sits on the scenic campus of Kenston High School.

"That's a grind out game for the tournament," continued the man who now has 301 career victories, including 287 at his alma mater Saint Ignatius. "Down the road, this game will help us. Kenston's two best players played extremely well. So give them credit. I thought we could have defended a little better, but you want to have coachable moments.

"Being able to come back and talk about the defense is a coachable moment," Coach Becker continued. "And that's how kids learn. We're not going to play perfect all of the time. We didn't play perfect tonight, but we can learn from it."

Saint Ignatius' formidable five of the Berger twins, Ryan and Jimmy, Kyle Kalish, Deven Stover and Matt Davet all finished in double figures, as they offset outstanding efforts from the Bombers' 1-2 punch of senior guard CJ Maynard and 6-foot-8 senior post Drew Sova.

Maynard finished with a game-high 27 points, including four of Kenston's eight 3-pointers, and Sova had 17 points, 11 of those coming in the second half.

Kalish led the Wildcats with 19 points, Ryan Berger scored 16, including four 3-pointers, Stover and Davet each had 12 points and Jimmy Berger contributed 10 points. A 6-foot-7 junior post, Davet stepped outside and hit two key 3-pointers.

Saint Ignatius, ranked fourth in the cleveland.com Top 25 seven-county area poll, clung to a 28-26 lead entering the third quarter. Maynard scored half of his team's points in the first 16 minutes.

The Cats led by 13 points entering the final eight minutes after Ryan Berger buried a trey and hard-nosed senior forward Tim Kiefer scored down low.

Kenston, which slipped to a deceiving 2-4 on the season, refused to call it a night as it cut the deficit to five points four different times down the stretch.

However, after Maynard's two free throws with 2:30 left made it a 62-57 game, the Bombers had two key turnovers and Saint Ignatius was able to improve to 3-0 behind a huge offensive rebound and layup by Jim Berger, two free throws by Stover, a driving one-hander in transition by Jim Berger, a layup by Ryan Berger and the clutch free-throw shooting of Kalish.

Along with the strong performances by Maynard and Sova, Kenston Head Coach Matt Vespa received some solid minutes from 6-4 sophomore forward Ryan Kooser, junior guard Brian Henderson and 6-3 senior forward Parker Gdula.

Coach Becker's Wildcats will now gear up for their home opener on Saturday night, as they face the 5-1 Canton McKinley Bulldogs in storied Sullivan Gymnasium. The Junior Varsity tipoff is at 6 PM, followed by the highly anticipated Varsity game at 7:30.

"That's the mark of a good team, if we can learn from the Kenston game," Coach Becker said. "With them controlling the tempo in the second quarter like they did, and us not defending the way we should have, we gave them some energy. And when you give a good team energy on its home floor, well, that's why they came back and played as strong as they did.

"But we had five guys in double figures, and that makes us kind of hard to guard," Coach Becker continued.

Saint Ignatius was 19-of-26 from the foul line, 13 of 14 from the charity stripe in the second half.

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME

Saint Ignatius 64, Kenston 51: The Bombers' Junior Varsity rode two consecutive baskets by 6-4 sophomore post Ben Batista to a 9-7 lead with 3 minutes and 41 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.

Then came the turning point, in a big way.

After calling a timeout to get their team back on track, Saint Ignatius coaches Chris Salata, Andrew Salata and Brian McLaughlin watched the JV Cats go on a dominant surge that included a 17-0 run.

Behind the will, skill and all-out hustle of 6-4 sophomore post/forward Luke Wiskes and the long-range shooting of skillful 6-1 sophomore guard/wing Joshua Ozanne and sophomore guard Mark Bobinski, a young man you read about in the fall for his prowess as the JV Football tailback, Saint Ignatius stormed to a 39-16 lead by the halftime break.

With Wiskes dominating the game at both ends of the floor and sophomore guards/wings Charlie Kriak and Neeko Melendez burying 3-pointers, the Wildcats stretched their lead to 51-19. Some of the other close-out and clear-the-bench moments featured 3-pointers by Kriak and Bobinski.

The ever-present Wiskes finished with 26 points, Bobinski scored nine points, and Ozanne and Kriak each tossed in eight points. Dishing out some sweet assists that helped fuel the offensive firepower was 6-3 sophomore forward Aymin Bahhur.

      

   

 

 

     

 

     

 

   

  

Congratulations from the corner go out to Wildcats standout senior guard Deven Stover, who received cleveland.com Basketball Player of the Week honors for his 25-point, all-around performance in last weekend's dominant victory over Cleveland Heights
12/18/2015
Kaden Russell's 18-second pin at 182 pounds was the bright spot for Saint Ignatius in what was a tough night of wrestling at St. Edward, as the tradition-rich Eagles controlled the action from the get-go, 63-6
12/17/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2015

Lakewood, Ohio - The perennial state power Eagles, who have also made their mark nationally, were at the top of their game on Thursday night as they turned the traditional December matchup with West Side rival Saint Ignatius into a one-sided performance on the mat at St. Edward.

Wildcats outstanding junior Kaden Russell prevented a shutout when he pinned Eagles mainstay, junior Tyler Stepic, in 18 seconds of their 182-pound matchup. A champion at this month's tradition-rich Solon Comet Classic, Kaden was coming off a solid wrestle-back effort during last weekend's nationally acclaimed Ironman tournament at Walsh Jesuit.

As is always the case with a Saint Ignatius versus St. Edward athletic event, a nice crowd was on hand at the Eagles Nest.

Coach Greg Urbas' Eagles wasted little time in establishing the upper hand as they soared to a 50-0 lead. All but two of the Eagles’ 13 victories on the night involved bonus points.

St. Edward freshman Angelo Rini got the Eagles soaring with a 23-9 major decision at 106 pounds and Bryce Andonian, also a freshman, moved up from 106 to 113 and came away with a pin at 3:07.

That's the kind of night it was for the home team.

Eagles sophomore Josh Leidich won a hard-fought, 6-4 decision over Wildcats promising freshman D. J. Huff  at 120 pounds and defending state champion Allan Hart, a junior, kept the onslaught going by recording a pin at 126 pounds.  

Sam Dover, another St. Edward freshman and a junior high state runner up last year, came up with a 26-second pin in the 132-pound match and gifted senior Hunter Ladnier, a state runner up last season and the only champion from Northeast Ohio at last weekend's Ironman, turned in a pin at 3:46 of his 138-pound match.
 
The Eagles are now 3-0 in dual matches this season.
 
FROM KADEN RUSSELL: "I wrestled the kid (Tyler Stepic) last year and also pinned him," Kaden said. "I came in and I knew what I had to do. Overall it's disappointing, but the team now knows what we have to work on and we're going to get better. You have to learn as a wrestler, brush it off and get right back on the mat. 
 
"I had a lot of energy," Kaden continued in reference to his 18-second pin over Stepic, who finished sixth at the district level last season. "I was excited, so it's good. St. Edward is a tough team, but I feel we have the talent to be as good. In some matches, I think we got outworked. But that is definitely something we can change."
 
FROM WILDCATS HEAD COACH MARK SULLIVAN:  "I think some of the kids lost their match before they wrestled," said Coach Sullivan, who has done an outstanding job of binging the Wildcats' wrestling program back to a level of prominence. "They were nervous. The rivalry of St. Edward and the history of St. Eds. Many of these kids were wrestling their first match against St. Eds and I think they would wrestle them much better the second time around.
 
"It showed tonight," Coach Sullivan continued. "There were a lot of young kids on the mat and they were a little timid. And you can't be timid against a great team Obviously Kaden wrestled very well against a kid that was ranked very high in the state. He went out there and took it to him. I thought Tito Vazquez wrestled a nice match (a tough decision defeat at 285) and D.J. Huff wrestled well. He's been sick all week and some kids wouldn't wrestle when they're that sick. But he wanted to give it a go."
 
UP NEXT: The Varsity Gold Team will now focus on the history-rich Brecksville Holiday Tournament, which takes place on Dec. 29th and 30th at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School. 
 
The Varsity Blue Team will be in action this weekend at the Bowling Green State University Duals on Saturday and Sunday. The starting time each day is listed for 10 AM on the Wildcats' Wrestling Page.
 
A TIP OF THE CORNER'S CAP: Goes out to freshman Matthew Whipkey (a pin at 106 pounds), sophomore Michael Caldwell (a 16-1 major decision at 126 pounds), freshman Kyle Sullivan (Coach Sullivan's nephew who won a gutsy and hard-nosed 10-6 decision at 182 pounds), junior heavyweight Joe Gibbons (an impressive pin at 3:08) and junior heavyweight Michael Chime (an overpowering pin at 1:03) for their standout efforts during the Wildcats-Eagles underclassmen/JV/Blue-Green competition on Thursday night.           
 
             
 

 

 

     

Wildcats Head Coach Brian Becker will send his Varsity Basketball Wildcats against two solid opponents in what is the first back-to-back games weekend of the season, including the Home Opener on Saturday versus Canton McKinley
12/16/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2015

Ohio City - The 2-0 Wildcats, ranked fourth in the cleveland.com Top 25 seven-county area poll, will make the trip to Geauga County on Friday night to face the up and down, but capable 2-3 Bombers from Kenston High School. Friday's Junior Varsity tipoff is slated for 6 PM, followed by the Varsity Game at 7:30.

On Saturday night, Sullivan Gymnasium should be rocking as one of Ohio's storied programs, the Bulldogs from Canton McKinley, make their traditional every other year visit to the campus of Cleveland's Jesuit Preparatory School.

"The Pups," as McKinley's faithful affectionately refer to their basketball teams, are 5-1 and have been bolstered by their merger with Canton Timken High School.

Saturday's action begins with a 6 bells JV matchup and at 7:30 the atmosphere will be loud and rich, as Saint Ignatius' always creative Student Body welcomes the 2015-16 Varsity Basketball Cats back home.

On Friday night at Kenston, the thrill-a-minute threesome of Matt MacKenzie, Brendan DeVenney and Matt Harsar are scheduled to bring you the Junior Varsity and Varsity action live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network and on Saturday night, MacKenzie, DeVenney and Louis Williams are slated to have the head sets on for the JV and Varsity encounters with the McKinley Bulldogs.

Here is a corner's view on both the Kenston Bombers and the McKinley Bulldogs, along with comments and insight from Saint Ignatius Head Coach Brian Becker '77, who is coming off his 300th career victory.

THE KENSTON BOMBERS: Ranked sixth in The News-Herald's preseason "Top of the Crop," Kenston, said Coach Becker, is "a very dangerous team."

Two of the Bombers' three losses have come against programs that have traditionally been among the area's talent-rich - the 10th-ranked Bedford Bearcats, 53-48, and a 62-58 setback to the Warrensville Heights Tigers. Kenston's victories came against University School, 68-54, and Ravenna, 74-46.

"They were up on Bedford almost the entire game," Coach Becker said of the Bombers. "They have some size, good discipline and they vary their defenses. They look to run and jump (defensively), they like to trap a little bit and play some zone. And the 6-8 kid makes them legitimate."

Coach Becker was referring to 6-foot-8 senior post Drew Sova, who is averaging 14.2 points and 10 rebounds for a Kenston program that has always shared the wealth.

"He's a very good player," Coach Becker said of Sova. "He can drop step, he's got a baby hook and he can make a 15-foot jump shot. And they have guards who, especially when they are playing at Kenston, shoot it really well. They have two or three guys who look real comfortable shooting jump shots."

Leading the Bombers' perimeter attack is 5-10 senior CJ Maynard, who has eight 3-pointers and is averaging 13.2 points per game. Maynard also has a knack for getting to the foul line. Five-foot-10 junior guard Josh Kain has six 3-pointers and is right around 10 points per game, and 6-1 senior wing Jack Belkin is flirting with 7 points an outing. Belkin has decent range and is not hesitant when it comes to attacking the basket. Parker Gdula, a 6-3 senior forward, has contributed 5 points a game.

"Maynard has the green light from anywhere on the floor," Coach Becker said. "I saw him at Gilmour (where Kenston lost, 60-52) and he took and made two really quick deep threes. So he has range and can get to the basket. We have to be ready to play. I told the kids this is the type of game that we have to control from the tip to the final buzzer, because if we give them any breathing room, especially out at Kenston, they'll take advantage of it."

Kenston, which was coming off a solid 18-win season as a member of the Chagrin Valley Conference, now competes in the Western Reserve Conference.   

THE CANTON MCKINLEY BULLDOGS: Although Saint Ignatius has won its last six meetings with McKinley, including a 58-54 thriller at the Memorial Fieldhouse last season and a 51-point domination at Sullivan Gym in December of 2013, the Bulldogs lead their all-time hoops series with the Wildcats, 28-13.

After a 66-52 triumph over North Canton Hoover on Tuesday night, McKinley has an impressive all-time mark of 1,826 victories. This is currently the 116th season of Boys Basketball at the legendary Stark County School and Saturday night's game at Saint Ignatius will be the 2,428th in the Bulldogs' Boys Basketball history.     

In 23 state final four appearances, the Bulldogs have brought home three state titles (the Gary Grant-led 1984 team and the Raymar Morgan-led teams of 2005 and 2006). Ah yes, Gary Grant. I can still see him as a little kid taking much older players to school in games of 21 at Cudell Recreation Center. This old-timer was privileged to do a feature story on Gary for The Plain Dealer when he returned to Cudell Recreation Center during his marvelous career at the University of Michigan and gave a tremendous motivational speech to the young men and women at the Center, a college career that took Gary to the NBA. Before the Grant family moved to Canton, Gary's older brother, Donald, was a mainstay on West Tech High School's City Championship Team of 1979.

As for the current Bulldogs, there is no question that they have benefitted from the merger with a Canton Timken program that was very formidable the past few seasons.

In rebounding from a 61-51 loss at Massillon Jackson last Friday, a game that saw Jackson bury 19 of 25 free throws and the Bulldogs hit 4 of 10 shots from the charity stripe, McKinley rode 15-point performances by TJ Lipkins and LePear Toles to Tuesday night's 14-point victory over Hoover. Javon Stovell was particularly strong in the first half for new Bulldogs Head Coach Rick Hairston, as he helped McKinley to a 12-point lead after the first 16 minutes by scoring seven of his eight points in the second quarter.

"You add those Timken kids in and, watching them down at the Fieldhouse, they have some size and the Toles kid covers so much ground," Coach Becker said. "He's supernatural quick. He goes baseline to the half-court line faster than any kid I have seen. He just glides and a dribble later he's down the floor dunking it.

"We have to be very careful Saturday night in terms of how we handle the basketball, how we handle their pressure," continued Coach Becker. "They're the type of team that likes to speed up the game. I don't mind playing a faster game, but we've got to be under-control fast. If we're under control, I think we can beat their double team and get some open shots. And now it's just a matter of knocking them in. Hopefully here at Saint Ignatius (Saturday night), we'll shoot the ball well."

Coach Becker emphasized that the Bulldogs also have an inside game that is very strong and that Coach Hairston utilizes nine to 10 players.

"This weekend will be a true measuring stick on where we stand," said Coach Becker. "It's a solid and well-coached team at Kenston that can shoot it and then the very athletic and also well-coached team from Canton McKinley.

"There have been a lot of bright moments from a lot of different people," Coach Becker said of the rich depth and talent that have been on display in the Wildcats' 2-0 start, 81-38 at Shaw and 88-59 versus Cleveland Heights at Lutheran East High School. "It's a good telling sign, but it hasn't been perfect. From a coach's point of view there has been plenty to review, to talk about and refocus on. But at this point, I think the good far outweighs the bad."

Note: After facing the Wildcats on Saturday night, Canton McKinley will probably have only 14 hours before it takes the floor in the LeBron James Classic on Sunday for a high noon tipoff versus Lexington (Kentucky) Lafayette.

As it says on the Bulldogs' website, "Saint Ignatius will host Saturday, LeBron will host Sunday."               

         

 

           

         

          

    

     

    

 

 

      

        

 

 

  

A tip of the corner's cap goes out to State Champion Coach of the Year Dr. Mike Gallagher '71 and Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Jim Rogers, CJ Ambrosio and Andrew Szendrey on being selected to the cleveland.com All-Star Cross Country Team for 2015.
12/16/2015
Congratulations go out to Wildcats football standouts Liam Eichenberg, Dennis Grosel, Jack Cook and Colin Goodfellow for being recognized on the 2015 cleveland.com All-Star Team
12/16/2015
Saint Ignatius Varsity Football reaches a verbal agreement with Detriot Catholic Central for a Week 4 matchup in 2016
12/16/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2015

Ohio City - The agreement with the Shamrocks from Detroit Catholic Central has the Wildcats traveling to Michigan for a Friday night game on Sept. 16, 2016. There is also discussion between the schools for Freshmen and Junior Varsity games.

Like Saint Ignatius, Detroit Catholic Central has a rich football tradition that includes 11 state championships, 19 regional titles and 27 Catholic League championships. The Shamrocks were MHSAA regional finalists this past season, finishing their season at 9-3.

Detroit Catholic Central, whose 11th state championship on the gridiron came in 2009, is located in Novi, Michigan.

With the Week 4 verbal agreement with Detroit Catholic Central, Saint Ignatius has one more open date to fill for 2016 and that is Week 7.      

Just a few "housekeeping items" from Head Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher, as the Wildcats' amazing harriers wrap up their 2015 State Championship Season
12/15/2015
FROM THE WILDCATS' OUTSTANDING HEAD CROSS COUNTRY COACH, DR. MIKE GALLAGHER '71
 
Runners and parents,
Just a few housekeeping items as we wrap up the fantastic 2015 State Championship season.

Most of you should have had your review with the coaches.  If you have not met with us, freshmen, please contact Coach Sullivan or Coach Wolf. Upperclassmen please contact Coach Voigt or Fr. Paul to schedule. 

We are still waiting for a number of uniforms. You will not receive semester grades if the uniform is not turned in. Coach Voigt has already sent out several reminders.
 
If you are not planning on running XC in 2016, let me know and I will take you off the e-mail list.
 
The standards will remain the same for 2016. Freshmen 15:00, sophomores 4:00, juniors 13:00 and seniors 12:00 for 3200 on the track. We will hold three time trials in July and a final one August 3rd.  You are exempt from the time trial if you meet the following criteria: varsity letter in the 2015 XC season, varsity letter in 2016 track in the 3200 or 1600. We will be handing out the summer training program at the team meeting in May.
 
We strongly encourage running track to prepare for the season. If you are planning on attending Coach Rupe's camp in the summer, and you have not lettered, you should plan on completing the time trial BEFORE going to camp.
 
Please do not schedule vacations after August when mandatory practice begins.
 
Take advantage of the great weather we are having and get a run in with your teammates. Contact the captains for group runs over the break.
 
The foundation for another state championship starts this winter.
 
Also, someone left a pair of designer sunglasses on the bus. Cindy believes they belong to a cross country runner. If you are missing a pair, please contact Jennifer in the athletic office.
 
Happy Holidays,
Go Cats!
Doc

Dr. Mike Gallagher
Head Cross Country Coach
St. Ignatius High School
Senior Clinical Instructor
CWRU School of Dental Medicine AEGD
drmggalls@gmail.com
216-299-3519 Cell
216-941-5535 Office
West Park Dental
17001 Albers Ave.
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Thursday evening's JV and Varsity Wrestling Matches at St. Edward, the first back-to-back games of the Varsity Basketball season and the Ice Cats' annual appearance at the Padua Franciscan Christmas Tournament highlight this week's Where The Cats Play
12/14/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Ohio City - Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats, aka Saint Ignatius' tough and talented Varsity and Junior Varsity Wrestling Programs, will make the short trip to St. Edward on Thursday night for the traditional regular season matchup with one of the most storied programs in the history of High School Wrestling - Coach Greg Urbas' St. Edward Eagles.

The Junior Varsity match is scheduled for 6 PM, followed by the Varsity match at 7:30. It would be great to see a nice turnout from the student body at the Eagles Nest.

Coach Brian Becker '77, coming off his memorable 300th career victory (see the corner's game story from Saturday night), will send his deep, versatile, basketball savvy and unselfish Varsity Wildcats into their first weekend doubleheader of the 2015-16 season, starting with Friday night's trip to Geauga County to face the always disciplined and well-schooled Kenston Bombers. The JV tipoff is 6 PM, followed by the Varsity tip at 7:30.

On Saturday, it is welcome back to Sullivan Gymnasium for another night of hoops hysteria, as the Varsity Basketball Wildcats play their home opener against the tradition-rich "Pups" from Canton McKinley, who are even stronger now that they have merged with Canton Timken.

The action gets underway in Ohio City with a 6 PM JV Game, followed by another chapter in the storied McKinley vs. Saint Ignatius Varsity rivalry at 7:30. The corner will preview the Kenston and McKinley games on Wednesday night.

Pat O'Rourke '90, one of the premier ice hockey coaches in the nation, will guide his 9-1-1 Ice Cats into the annual and always competitive Padua Franciscan Christmas Tournament this coming weekend in the OBM Arena at IceLand USA in Strongsville.

Coming off their impressive 4-0 weekend at the talent-rich Cornfield Cup Tournament in Indiana (see the corner's post from Sunday), the Ice Cats will open their play at the OBM Arena on Friday evening against a familiar foe, the Titans from Toledo St. John's Jesuit. The puck will drop at 6 bells.

The Ice Cats return to the OBM ice on Saturday for an 8:40 AM encounter with Sylvania Northview and a 9 PM faceoff with Olentangy Liberty. The times for Sunday's third-place and championship games are to be announced.

Saint Ignatius Head Bowling Coach Jim Viets and his gifted and resilient Alley Cats will be at Buckeye Lanes on Saturday for 9 AM matchup with the keglers from Westlake High School, and Coach Mike Lehto's Swimming and Diving Program will be competing at Saturday's traditional Viking Meet in the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium at 5 PM on the campus of Cleveland State University. Below are the team scores from this past weekend's prestigious Ned Reeb Swimming and Diving Invitational at The Ohio State University.

1, Cincinnati St. Xavier 469. 2, Columbus St. Charles 348. 3, University School 259. 4, Upper Arlington 239. 5, New Albany 199. 6, Gahanna Columbus Academy 166. 7, Saint Ignatius 144. 8, Findlay 127. 9, Dublin Jerome & Hilliard Davidson 122. 11, Toledo St. Francis 110. 12, Grove City 95. 13, Lancaster 92. 14, Lewis Center Olentangy & Massillon Jackson 91. 16, Westerville South 73. 17, Fremont Ross 72. 18, Powell Olentangy Liberty 70. 19, Pickerington North 66. 20, Bay 41. 21, Thomas Worthington 32. 22, Gahanna Lincoln 30. 23, Walsh Jesuit 29. 24, Columbus Watterson 28. 25, Marysville 22. 26, Akron Firestone 21. 27, Westerville North 18. 28, Colonel Crawford 17. 29, Ashland 16. 30, Celina 11. 31, Pickerington Central 9. 32, Lewis Center Olentangy Orange 8. 33, Hilliard Darby 7. 34, Dublin Scioto 6. 35, Willoughby South 4. 36, Worthington Kilbourne 2.

Oh yes, that familiar name at the top of the list. As far as the St. Xavier Bombers are concerned, it should be the Swim City instead of the Queen City.   

We'll see you at St. Edward on Thursday night, at Kenston and Sullivan Gymnasium on Friday and Saturday nights, and at the OBM Arena for a Sunday with the Ice Cats.       

     

      

         

 

Wildcats Basketball remains at No. 4 in the cleveland.com seven-county area poll
12/14/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The top 10 teams from last week did not change - 1. Garfield Heights, 2. St. Vincent-St. Mary, 3. Lorain, 4. Saint Ignatius, 5. Central Catholic, 6. East Tech, 7. Beachwood, 8. Medina, 9. St. Edward and 10. Bedford.

After a day off on Sunday following Saturday's dominant second-half performance against Cleveland Heights, Saint Ignatius has four days to gear up for their first back-to-back weekend of the season - at Kenston on Friday night and the home opener versus Canton McKinley (which has merged with Canton Timken) on Saturday night.

The corner will take a look at the Kenston Bombers and "The Pups" from Stark County later this week.

    

Momentum-swinging goals by forward/Captain Brian Russell and defenseman Cam Cook, a key short-handed goal by forward Zack Kisel and a sealer by defenseman Geoff Allman help the Ice Cats to a 5-2 victory over Glenbrook North in the Cornfield Cup title game
12/13/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

The Ice Cats, rallying from an early 2-0 deficit in the Henderson Ice Arena at the Culver (IN) Military Academy, defeated a Glenbrook North team that entered Sunday's opening faceoff with a record of 30-10-2 and ranked fifth in the state of Illinois. Senior Brian Russell had two of the five unanswered lamplighters.

As Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 pointed out, many states start their season in October, whereas Ohio begins regular season play during Thanksgiving weekend.

It was a sweet Cornfield Cup that the Ice Cats brought home, as they avenged a 6-1 loss to Glenbrook North at the 2014 Cornfield Cup Tournament. Glenbrook North is the alma mater of Indians All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis.

In going 4-0 in one of the most talent-rich tournaments in the nation, Saint Ignatius, currently the third ranked team in Ohio, also defeated the state's fourth-ranked Walsh Jesuit Warriors, Carmel, the No. 1-ranked ranked team in Indiana with a 26-4-2 record, and Providence Catholic, the third-ranked team in Illinois with a 29-4-1 record.

Glenbrook North defeated Shattuck St. Mary, 3-2, to earn the faceoff with the now 9-1-1 Ice Cats.

Up next for Coach O'Rourke's deep and gifted team is next weekend's annual Padua Franciscan Christmas Tournament in the OBM Arena at IceLand USA in Strongsville.  

Saint Ignatius' first game in the Padua tournament is Friday (Dec. 18) at 6 PM against the always solid program from Toledo St. John's Jesuit. You remember the Titans.

This old-timer and former Wildcats outstanding broadcaster for the SIBN, John Fanta '13 (currently making his mark at Seton Hall on college and professional broadcasts), will never forget that white-knuckle drive to and from the OBM Arena as we battled a blizzard in my ugly, but sturdy Ford Focus in covering an opening-round matchup at the Padua Tournament between the Ice Cats and the Titans. And now we have 60-plus degree December temperatures.

YOU WILL HAVE TO EXCUSE A PROUD GRANDPA, BUT BEFORE I SAY CONGRATS TO COACH O'ROURKE,  HIS STAFF AND ALL OF THE ICE CATS,  I HAVE TO EXPRESS A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO MY GRANDSON, CONNOR MURPHY, WHO SCORED A HAT TRICK DURING HIS GAME AT THE POND TODAY. AN AVID FAN OF THE ICE CATS, CONNOR CELEBRATED HIS SIXTH BIRTHDAY LAST SUNDAY.

AND CONGRATS TO HIS MOM AND DAD, MY YOUNGEST DAUGHTER LAURA AND HER HUSBAND CHRIS MURPHY.     

      

Congrats also go out to the Ice Cats and Saint Ignatius' combo of Gold and Blue Wrestlers
12/13/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Varsity Ice Hockey Team defeated New Lenox (IL) Providence Catholic, 2-0, on Saturday night in the Henderson Ice Arena and advanced to the Sunday's 11:15 AM final of the annual Cornfield Cup Tournament at the Culver (IN) Military Academy.

The Ice Cats, who improved to 8-1-1, will face Glenbrook North in the final.

Assistant Captain/senior forward Jared Stepka gave the Cats a 1-0 lead in the second period against Providence Catholic and Cam Gerard's empty netter down the stretch made it a 2-0 game. Cam is a senior forward/Captain.

Standing tall between the pipes was senior goalie/Assistant Captain Dylan McKeon. 

And a tip of the cap goes out to the Varsity Gold/Varsity Blue wrestling combo for finishing second at this weekend's Riverside Rumble in the Painesville Riverside High School Fieldhouse.

The Men of the Mats went 8-1 in duals.    

     

Talent, depth and versatility. The Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball Wildcats put it all on display Saturday night and presented Head Coach Brian Becker '77 his 300th career victory with a resounding 88-59 triumph over Cleveland Heights.
12/12/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2015

Cleveland Heights, Ohio - Coach Becker's 300th victory was also his 286th at his alma mater Saint Ignatius, where he coached the Varsity Wildcats from 1990 to 2008 before stepping down to devote more time to his family. Brian spent two seasons as the head basketball coach at Fairview High School prior to coaching at Saint Ignatius.  

Coach Becker, who is also a Math Teacher at Saint Ignatius and the Wildcats' Head Varsity Golf Coach, returned to the Varsity Basketball helm this season and, after a 2-0 start, has some of the area's seasoned gym rats, like yours truly, seeing similarities between the current Basketball Cats and Coach Becker's March of 2001 OHSAA Division I State Championship Team. Coach Becker also guided the Wildcats to a state runner-up finish in March of 1998.

"Three hundred is a special number, obviously," said Coach Becker. "That's the fortune of having really good players and a great staff. I can probably remember something from everyone of those 300 games. That's God's gift to me, I remember plays from basketball games.

"It's a special night, and 300 for Saint Ignatius will be even sweeter (14 more victories to go)," Coach Becker continued. "My hat goes off for the kids who play for me. They listen to me and are an extension of me. There the ones who should be congratulated for the great victory."

Great is not an exaggeration in describing how the Wildcats started and finished in front of a full capacity/standing room crowd at Lutheran East High School on Saturday night. The first game in what is a home and home series with Cleveland Heights was played at neighboring Lutheran East because Cleveland Heights High School is going through reconstruction and renovations.

Saint Ignatius, ranked fourth in the cleveland.com seven-county Top 25 poll, shot and shared the basketball, played relentless team defense and rebounded at both ends of the floor with authority in taking a 25-11 lead after the first quarter and stretching that to 46-27 by halftime.

The area's 14th-ranked Tigers from Cleveland Heights, who now carry a very deceiving 0-4 record, made an impressive 21-7 run in the third quarter after the Wildcats had built their advantage to 50-27 early in the second half.

However, with its lead cut to 57-48 entering the final eight minutes, Saint Ignatius kept its composure and doused the fire in the Tigers behind one of the most versatile and deep in talent teams Northeast Ohio has to offer.

Hitting big-time perimeter shots, rebounding with a passion and beating Cleveland Heights in the half court and in transition, the Wildcats stormed to a 66-48 lead after gifted senior guard Deven Stover buried one of his in rhythm 3-pointers with 5 minutes and 34 seconds remaining to be played.

It was Katy Bar the Door down the stretch, as basketball savvy senior point guard Kyle Kalish left the Tigers' defense flat footed with a textbook driving one-hander that floated in the air before kissing the twine, workhorse senior forward Tim Kiefer, who leaves everything he has on the floor, put back a shot with great positioning and timing off the offensive glass, and Kalish followed with two 3-pointers that hardly disturbed the net.

After multi-skilled 6-foot-8 junior forward Austen Yarian dropped in a deep baseline 3-pointer and Stover went to the glass and put back a shot, the Cats were purring to the tune of an 81-56 lead with 2:19 left.

Stover finished with a game-high 25 points, including three of Saint Ignatius' 10 3-pointers. Coach Becker also got double-digit efforts from Kalish (12 points and some savvy assists), Yarian (10 points) and endless energy 6-7 junior post Matt Davet (10 points). The length, strength and athleticism that Yarian, Davet, Kiefer and senior forward Tyler Musbach provide inside create endless match up problems for the opponent. Yarian blocked three shots and altered a few more.

And when the above-mentioned mainstays needed a little rest, the Cats' bench kept clawing away.

"That's what I think is obviously one of our real strengths," Coach Becker said. "We've got numbers 6 through 10 (off the bench) that can really provide a punch for us. That's what I think makes us one of the dangerous teams. Kids are going to have off nights, but I don't think 10 guys are going to have off nights.

"Tonight, Kiefer gave us some real good moments, Musbach gave us good moments and Q (junior forward Quinton Farren) came in and gave us unselfish moments," Coach Becker continued. "Davet had another nice workhorse game, Stover had exceptional all-around game and Kyle Kalish hit some big shots."

Coach Becker also pointed to the play of senior guards Ryan and Jim Berger, who are twins. The 6-4 Ryan Berger displayed the ability to cover just about anyone in Cleveland Heights' lineup and, as for the 6-3 Jimmy Berger, will let Coach Becker do the talking.

"The kid is a magician, he sees the floor very well and he can get to the basket," said Coach Becker of the other half of the Berger 1-2 punch.

"It's a step in the right direction," Coach Becker said of his team starting the season with two dominant road victories, including last week's 81-38 triumph over the Shaw High Cardinals. "I have a lot of respect for Cleveland Heights. They're young and they have that ability to go on spurts like they did in the third quarter. It's just a matter of how composed we are when that happens. We got good quality shots in the fourth quarter, withstood their run and danced with one of our own."

DEVEN STOVER ON COACH BECKER'S MEMORABLE NIGHT: "We wanted to play for him, we knew how much it (300 career victories) meant for him. I just happy that we were able to come out and get it for him."

UP NEXT: THE WILDCATS WILL TRAVEL TO KENSTON ON FRIDAY NIGHT TO FACE THE ALWAYS WELL SCHOOLED BOMBERS. A 6 PM JUNIOR VARSITY MATCHUP WILL PRECEDE THE 7:30 VARSITY GAME.

ON SATURDAY NIGHT, COACH BECKER WILL GUIDE HIS WILDCATS IN THEIR FIRST HOME GAME OF THE 2015-16 SEASON, AS THE TALENTED CANTON MCKINLEY BULLDOGS COME CALLING TO SULLIVAN GYMNASIUM. THE BULLDOGS, WHO GAVE THE CATS ALL THEY WANTED AT THE MEMORIAL FIELDHOUSE LAST SEASON, HAVE BEEN BOLSTERED BY THE MERGER WITH CANTON TIMKEN.

A 6 PM JUNIOR VARSITY GAME WILL GET THINGS STARTED AND SET THE TABLE FOR THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED 7:30 VARSITY GAME.

****And speaking of the Junior Varsity, we say congratulations to the JV Cats, who kept pace with the Varsity and improved to 2-0 with a 52-42 victory over the Jayvees from Cleveland Heights.

The JV Cats led, 20-4, after the first quarter and the JV Tigers were able to chip into that by closing to 28-17 by halftime.

Saint Ignatius took a 37-32 into the final seven minutes and rode 3-pointers by sophomore guards Neeko Melendez and Charlie Kriak, along with some clutch free throw shooting by Melendez, to the victory.

The free throw line wasn't very kind to the Cats, however, as the official scoring book showed them with a 13-for-31 night from the charity stripe.

Six-foot-4 sophomore post Luke Wiskes, who made his presence felt all night, finished with 17 points and five blocked shots, and Kriak and Melendez scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Tigers sophomore guard Javon Roberts led all scorers with 20 points.

           

                

   

 

 

     

      

Here is a breakdown on Cal Miller (160), Kaden Russell (182) and Kyle Vilsack (195) during this weekend's talent-rich Ironman tournament at Walsh Jesuit School. The Wildcats' team points are included.
12/12/2015

CONGRATS TO CAL, KADEN AND KYLE FOR THEIR GUTSY WRESTLE-BACK PERFORMANCES AT ONE OF THE NATION'S PREMIER EVENTS - EDDIE DWYER

160 - Cal Miller place is unknown and scored 2.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 - Cal Miller (St. Ignatius, OH) received a bye.
    Champ. Round 2 - Jesse Beverly (Delta, OH) won by injury default over Cal Miller (4:50).
    Cons. Round 2 - Cal Miller (St. Ignatius, OH) received a bye. 
    Cons. Round 3 - Cal Miller (St. Ignatius, OH) won by decision over Brennan Johnson (Walsh Jesuit, OH) (Dec 5-4).
    Cons. Round 4 - Hudson Heidorf (Trinity, KY) won by decision over Cal Miller (St. Ignatius, OH) (Dec 5-4).

182 - Kaden Russell place is unknown and scored 6.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 - Michael Beard (Malvern Prep, PA) 62-9 won by fall over Kaden Russell (St. Ignatius, OH) (Fall 2:55).
   Cons. Round 1 - Kaden Russell (St. Ignatius, OH) won by fall over Saffan Rahim (Franklin Regional, PA) (Fall 0:34).
   Cons. Round 2 - Kaden Russell (St. Ignatius, OH) won by fall over Evan Goebel (Wadsworth, OH)  (Fall 0:27).
   Cons. Round 3 - Chasen Blair (Ranch Bernardo, CA) won by decision over Kaden Russell (St. Ignatius, OH) (Dec 4-1).

195 - Kyle Vilsack place is unknown and scored 5.00 team points.
    Champ. Round 1 - Kyle Vilsack (St. Ignatius, OH) received a bye.   
    Champ. Round 2 - Chase Singletary (Blair Academy, NJ) won by fall over Kyle Vilsack (St. Ignatius, OH) (Fall 2:59).
    Cons. Round 2 - Kyle Vilsack (St. Ignatius, OH) 2-2 received a bye.
    Cons. Round 3 - Kyle Vilsack (St. Ignatius, OH) won by fall over Angelo Arellano (Pomona, CO) (Fall 2:27).
    Cons. Round 4 - Kyle Vilsack (St. Ignatius, OH) won by decision over Chris Martinez (Delaware Hayes, OH) (Dec 3-1).
    Cons. Round 5 - Kevin Snyder (Good Counsel, MD) won by major decision over Kyle Vilsack (St. Ignatius, OH) (MD 10-1).

Ice Cats defeat Carmel (IN), 3-0, Saturday morning in the second round of the annual Cornfield Cup Tournament in the Henderson Ice Arena at the Culver Military Academy
12/12/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

After a scoreless first period that saw the Ice Cats pepper the pipes, senior forward Zack Kisel got Saint Ignatius on the board with a power play goal that was assisted by senior captain/forward Aidan Spellacy.

Spellacy made it 2-0 with a power play lamplighter that was ignited by assists from Kisel and ever-present junior forward Connor Koehnke, and senior defenseman Cam Cook closed out the scoring by sending home the third goal with just over six minutes remaining to be played.

The Ice Cats, who improved to 7-1-1, will return to the Henderson Ice Arena this evening for a 5:15 faceoff with New Lenox (IL) Providence Catholic.

Note: The corner will have a wrap up on the Providence Catholic game after returning home from tonight's Junior Varsity and Varsity Basketball Games versus Cleveland Heights at Lutheran East High School.      

Mentor's Austin Victor grabs the headlines during the first day of the annual Riverside Rumble Duals. Saint Ignatius has a team made up of both Gold and Blue Varsity wrestlers competing at the Riverside Rumble.
12/12/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Wildcats standouts Kaden Russell (182), Kyle Vilsack ((195) and Cal Miller (160) competed in the prestigious Ironman tournament at Walsh Jesuit on Friday (see the corner's posts from earlier tonight), thus the combo team that is representing Saint Ignatius at the Riverside Rumble.

As for Friday's action at the Painesville Riverside High School Fieldhouse, Mentor's outstanding 138-pound senior Austin Victor went 4-0, including a major decision in his match against Saint Ignatius.

Victor helped the Cardinals to a 4-0 record on the first day of the Riverside Rumble Duals, as Mentor defeated Riverside, 63-15, Girard, 35-22, Saint Ignatius, 37-34, and St. John 75-6.

Saint Ignatius defeated host Riverside, 49-21.

Matches resume at the Riverside Fieldhouse tomorrow (Saturday) at 9 AM.

Just FYI, Cleveland Heights was defeated by Bedford, 65-61, on Friday night and will enter Saturday night's game vs. the Wildcats with a record of 0-3. See the corner's preview from Wednesday night on Coach Becker's pursuit of his 300th victory.
12/11/2015
In a solid display of mental toughness, Kaden Russell (182) and Kyle Vilsack (195) wrestle back and are still alive in the consolations of the storied Ironman tournament at Walsh Jesuit High School. Matches resume tomorrow at 10 AM.
12/11/2015

See the corner's post from earlier this evening on what took place during the Wildcats' opening matches.

- Eddie Dwyer

The Ice Cats' late-game heroics result in a 4-2 victory over Walsh Jesuit in Friday night's opening round of the annual Cornfield Cup Tournament in the Henderson Ice Arena at Culver (IN) Military Academy
12/11/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

After playing to a 2-2 tie versus Walsh Jesuit in a Great Lakes Hockey League matchup on Dec. 5 at the Kent State University Ice Arena, Coach Pat O'Rourke's Wildcats scored three goals over the final 7 minutes on Friday night in the Hoosier State and went on to defeat the Warriors, 4-2.

Gifted junior forward Connor Koehnke gave the Ice Cats a 1-0 lead with 9 minutes remaining in the first period, but Walsh Jesuit skated and scored to a 2-1 advantage with 7 minutes left in the third period.

Less than a minute later, senior defenseman Cage Cramer knotted the score and Saint Ignatius took command on lamplighters by senior forwards/captains Aidan Spellacy (3:27 left) and Brian Russell, as Russell scored off a power play opportunity with 2:52 to go. Senior Mark Mastroianni was between the pipes for the Ice Cats on Friday night.

In what will be a quick turnaround, the Ice Cats (6-1-1) resume play in the Cornfield Cup Tournament when the puck drops at 9:15 AM Saturday. The Wildcats' hockey web page shows the opponent as being Culver Military Academy, but the tweeters are saying it will be Carmel (IN). But then Saint Ignatius hockey has always taken on all comers.       

Saint Ignatius Wrestling will look to rebound after three tough opening day setbacks during the talent-rich Ironman tournament at Walsh Jesuit High School
12/11/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Here are the results of Friday's first matches for Cal Miller (160 pounds), Kaden Russell (182 pounds) and Kyle Vilsack (195 pounds).

Jesse Beverly from Delta, Ohio advanced versus Cal Miller because of an injury at 4:50.

Chase Singletary of Blair Academy (NJ) advanced versus Kyle Vilsack, Fall 2:59.

Michael Beard of Malvern Prep (Pa.) advanced versus Kaden Russell, Fall 2:55. 

 

Wildcats add a freshmen basketball game to the Dec. 29th schedule
12/10/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats' Freshmen Gold Team will face the Warren G. Harding freshmen on Tuesday, December 29th at 4:15 PM. It will be part of a Junior Varsity and Varsity tripleheader in Sullivan Gymnasium. 

Saint Ignatius Head Varsity Basketball Coach Brian Becker goes for his 300th career victory on Saturday night when the Wildcats take on the Cleveland Heights Tigers at Lutheran East High School
12/9/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2015

Ohio City - Saint Ignatius, the fourth-ranked team in the cleveland.com Top 25 seven-county poll and the area's 14th-ranked Cleveland Heights Tigers are playing the first game of their home-and-home series in the relatively small Lutheran East Gym because of the construction and renovations taking place at Cleveland Heights High School.

The Varsity tip off on Saturday is scheduled for 7:30 PM and will be preceded by a 6 PM Junior Varsity game. Matt MacKenzie (play-by-play), Brendan DeVenney (color commentary) and Louis Williams (color commentary) will bring you the action live over the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network and yours truly will find a corner (no pun intended) to squeeze in and provide you with game coverage upon the arrival home from 3565 Mayfield Road.

Coach Brian Becker '77, who will be seeking his 300th career victory on Saturday night (including two seasons at Fairview High School), is 1-0 in his return to the helm at his alma mater. Brian previously guided the Varsity Basketball Wildcats from 1990 to 2008, compiling 284 victories that included an OHSAA Division I State Runner-up in March of 1998 and a Division I State Championship in March of 2001. He stepped down after the 2007-08 season to devote more time to his family. Brian is also the Wildcats' Varsity Golf Coach and is a member of the Saint Ignatius Math Department.

As was the case in last weekend's 81-38 season opening victory at Shaw when he went up against Cardinals Head Coach Harold Rasul, Coach Becker will be matching strategy with another former Cleveland Heights basketball mainstay, Tigers new Head Coach Jeremy Holmes. Coach Becker was the Head Coach of the Wildcats during Coach Rasul's and Coach Holmes' playing days at Cleveland Heights under Tigers Hall of Fame Coach Jim Cappelletti.

"All coming from that 'Cap' (Cappelletti) era, when Jim did such a great job," Coach Becker said. "Jeremy Holmes is a hard-nosed kid and has been a successful coach. Certainly his success in the state tournament last year with Cleveland Central Catholic was phenomenal. He will have those kids at Cleveland Heights playing hard and they're talented.

"Give Cleveland Heights credit, the Tigers have a lot of good young guys with a lot of enthusiasm," Coach Becker continued. "And with that type of enthusiasm, you can do a lot of good things. I expect a real battle, I really do."

Cleveland Heights enters its Friday night matchup at 10th-ranked Bedford with a deceiving record of 0-2. The Tigers' losses were to a Canton McKinley team that has been bolstered by the merger with Canton Timken High School, 84-71, and to a strong Wilmington program, 82-69, in the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic at Wilmington College. Showing the way for the Wilmington Hurricane was University of Cincinnati recruit Jarron Cumberland, who scored 37 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Cumberland's 37 points bettered the record he set at last year's Ohio Valley Hoops Classic, when he tossed in 35 points.

The Tigers gave the Hurricane all it wanted, cutting a 16-point deficit to 67-61 with 3 minutes and 35 seconds remaining. But Cumberland hit 9 of 10 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Five Cleveland Heights players reached double figures versus Wilmington, including 6-foot-5 forward Malik Smith, who scored 15 points. Six-foot-5 football standout Jalen Harris, whose efforts on the gridiron have caught the eye of both Ohio State and Alabama, contributed 11 points and the Tigers' other double-digit efforts came from guard Yahel Hill with 14 points and wing Grayson Green and guard Chaz Hardin, who each finished with 10 points.

"To me, Saint Ignatius and Cleveland Heights is one of the greatest basketball rivalries in the city," said Coach Becker. "We draw from the East Side and they're a storied program."

TREY CITY: Last season, after hitting what was a Wildcats' single-game record 14 3-pointers in victory over Shaw at Sullivan Gymnasium in December, Saint Ignatius turned back Cleveland Heights by nine points on the Tigers' Cappelletti Court in February by burying 15 shots from beyond the arc.       

COACH BECKER ON THE VERGE OF 300 VICTORIES:  "It means two things, one, you and I are getting old, Eddie (maybe me, but Coach Becker is a young 56). I've been very fortunate to be around a lot of very good basketball players that make wins come easy. The last time I looked, I don't think I ever made a basket. But I'm going to put kids in a position to be successful. Their willingness to listen, that's what makes it special. You get good quality kids that kind of become your extension. That's what makes me proudest."

As he did in preseason, Coach Becker shared with this old-timer that 300 wins at Saint Ignatius would be "real special." After last weekend's opening night triumph over Shaw, he has 15 more to go to reach that precious milestone. And this corner is boldly predicting that will also come this season.

A PRIVILEGE TO HAVE COVERED AND REPORTED ON "THE TEAM OF THE '90s": Under legendary coach Jim Cappelletti, a member of the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association's Hall of Fame, Cleveland Heights made six state Final Four appearances, including four in the 1990s. The Tigers were state runners-up in 1975 and 1995, and state champions in 1997. Their great run in the '90s included three consecutive Final Fours - '93, '94 and '95. Cleveland Heights' most recent trip to the Final Four was in 2003.

As Coach Becker emphasized, we're not getting any younger. But this old-timer felt like a kid during practice on Wednesday when sharing with our Student Basketball Mangers the memories I experienced with my longtime friend, mentor and colleague at The Plain Dealer, Saint Ignatius Hall of Famer the late Dick "Zip" Zunt '50, in covering and reporting on those great Cleveland Heights teams of the 1990s, including Coach Cap's 400th and 500th career victories. 

Have a wonderful weekend and in this Blessed Season, let me say Thank You again to those who have expressed their kind thoughts and prayers for my daughter Suzanne Patton, who is a tower of love and strength.   

 

     

       

A Varsity Wrestling update for this weekend and an answer to a faithful reader
12/9/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Kaden Russell, the 182-pound champion at last weekend's 31st annual Solon Comet Classic Wrestling Tournament, Cal Miller (second at Solon in the 160-pound class) and Kyle Vilsack (third at Solon in the 195-pound class), will represent Saint Ignatius in this weekend's nationally acclaimed Ironman tournament at Walsh Jesuit High School.

The Ironman will get underway at 1 PM on Friday and matches resume at 10 AM on Saturday.

Head Coach Mark Sullivan will send other members of his Varsity Gold Team, along with a portion the Varsity Blue Team, to the annual Riverside Rumble. Held at the Painesville Riverside Field House, the Riverside Rumble gets underway at 4 PM on Friday and resumes at 9 AM on Saturday.

In responding to a loyal reader as to why the corner's up to the minute posts on last weekend's impressive performance at the Solon Comet Classic were not added to Saint Ignatius' Wrestling page, I can only give you an honest answer - I have no editing privileges for the various sports pages on the athletic website, just Eddie Dwyer's Corner where I spent my Saturday posting the results within minutes of their completion, including Kaden Russell's impressive championship performance. I am glad you and your wife enjoy hanging out on the corner. Please continue to do so. It is my privilege and pleasure to report on the outstanding student athletes at Saint Ignatius High School.          

Wildcats Basketball jumps up one spot to fourth place in this week's cleveland.com Top 25 area poll
12/7/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The top 10 teams this week are 1. Garfield Heights, 2. St. Vincent-St. Mary, 3. Lorain, 4. Saint Ignatius, 5. Central Catholic, 6. East Tech, 7. Beachwood, 8. Medina, 9. St. Edward and 10. Bedford.

Cleveland Heights, Saint Ignatius' opponent on Saturday night at Lutheran East High School, is ranked 14th. The corner will take a look at the 2015-16 Tigers later this week.   

A smorgasbord of winter sports action awaits the Wildcats and their faithful this weekend. It's another version of Where the Cats Play.
12/7/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2015

Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats, who are coming off an outstanding performance at the Solon Comet Classic that saw the Cats' Varsity wrestlers finish third out of the top 24 scoring teams and bring home the 182-pound championship behind gifted junior Kaden Russell (see the corner's posts from Saturday), will be competing in the nationally renowned Ironman tournament on Friday and Saturday at Walsh Jesuit High School.

Friday's action gets underway at 1 PM and matches are scheduled to resume on Saturday at 10 AM.

Coach Mike Lehto's Swimming and Diving team, as per Saint Ignatius' swimming and diving site, is scheduled to be competing at Upper Arlington High School on Friday and at the Ned Reeb Invitational on Saturday at The Ohio State University.

Coach Brian Becker's Varsity Basketball Team, coming off a dominant performance in its season opener at Shaw this past Friday (see the corner's story), will face the Cleveland Heights Tigers in the first of a home and home series on Saturday night at Lutheran East High School. The Cleveland Heights Gym is under renovation. Lutheran East is located at 3565 Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights.

The Junior Varsity tipoff will be 6 PM, followed by the Varity tip at 7:30. The basketball savvy tones of Matt MacKenzie on the play by play and Brendan DeVenney with the color commentary, along with Louis Williams, will bring you the Cleveland Heights games live over the Saint Ignatius Student Broadcast Network.

Coach Becker '77 will be seeking his 300th career victory (counting two seasons at Fairview High School) on Saturday night and his 286th win at Saint Ignatius.

The Varsity Ice Cats (5-1-1), under the direction of one of the finest high school hockey coaches this nation has to offer, Mr. Pat O'Rourke '90, will compete at this weekend's Cornfield Cup Christmas Tournament in the Henderson Ice Arena at the Culver (IN) Military School.

Friday night's action at the Cornfield Cup will match the Ice Cats against the Walsh Jesuit Warriors at 6 bells. The Cats and the Warriors played to a 2-2 tie in this past weekend's Great Lakes Hockey League matchup at the Kent State University Ice Arena.

In what will be a quick turnaround, the Ice Cats will faceoff with Culver Military School at 9:15 AM on Saturday and on Saturday evening they matchup with New Lenox (IL) Providence Catholic at 5:15.

Sunday's game and time at the Cornfield Cup are to be determined.

On Saturday morning at 9, Coach Jim Viets' Alley Cats, aka the Saint Ignatius Varsity Bowling Team, will be at Cloverleaf Lanes looking to take the sting out of the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Kegler Bees. The Alley Cats continued their winning ways this past weekend by recovering from a slow start versus Garfield Heights. See Coach Veits' report below from this afternoon.

Sunday, the Alley Cats are scheduled to compete in the North Olmsted Eagles Challenge at Buckeye Lanes. The time on the Saint Ignatius Bowling site is "to be determined," so we suggest you check with the Athletics Department at 216-651-0222, ext 222.

Have a great and safe weekend, and enjoy whichever Wildcat sport is your cup of tea.                     

    

 

   

The Alley Cats "Claw Back" versus Garfield Heights, despite a tough start over the weekend at Buckeye Lanes
12/7/2015
From Saint Ignatius Head Bowling Coach Jim Viets and Posted By Eddie Dwyer
 
Coach Viets: After facing our toughest lane condition of the season, the Alley Cats suffered their first game loss of the year. The first game went to Garfield Heights by 3 pins.
 
Led by Senior Captain Gianni Schaefer, the Alley Cats clawed back and won the next two games by a total of 317 pins. This enabled us to take 5 points out of 7 in scratch, 5 points out of 7 in handicap and the OHSAA point. We are 26-2 in the scratch division and 4-0 in the OHSAA division.
 
Gianni Schaefer 236 645, Ralph Deadwyler 223 611 and Cedric Crawford 225 598 were the standouts for the Varsity.
 
The Junior Varsity continued its strong start to the season by knocking off Olmsted Falls in the afternoon shift.
The Junior Alley Cats are off to a 28-0 start in scratch and also 4-0 in the OHSAA division. Devin Venczel continued his good start with another strong outing of a 237 571 series. Alex Gerhlein continued to show improvement as he posted his highest series of the year by bowling 100 pins over average.
 
Congratulations from the corner go out to Jack Wiegandt '15, who will be presented with Saint Ignatius' John J. Wirtz Athlete of the Year Award on January 2 at the Wildcats versus University School Varsity Hockey Game in the Brooklyn Ice Arena.
12/7/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Jack Wiegandt excelled in soccer as a key member of Coach Mike McLaughlin's record-setting 2014 Division I State Champion Team and was a mainstay for Saint Ignatius' outstanding Ice Hockey program, which is under the direction of Coach Pat O'Rourke.

Jack, whose brother Matt is currently a junior defenseman for the Ice Cats and a defensive back for the Varsity Football program, will receive the Athlete of the Year Award either during the pregame on Jan. 2 or at the first intermission.

Jack was a four-year letterman for Coach O'Rourke, a Captain for the Ice Cats and joined teammate and classmate Jack Mazanec '15 as last season's recipients of the prestigious Father Styles Coaches' Cup.

The Saint Ignatius Athlete of the Year Award is named in honor of the Wildcats' late and legendary Coach and Athletic Director John J. Wirtz.

Congratulations from the corner go out to Jack Wiegandt, his family, Coach McLaughlin, Coach O'Rourke and the entire Wildcats' Athletics Program.  

The corner congratulates St. Edward Head Coach Tom Lombardo, his staff, the firm of Keefe & Gest and the rest of the Eagles for doing the area proud and bringing another state title to where the best football is played - Northeast Ohio
12/6/2015
Kyle Vilsack helps the Cats close out their competition at the tradition-rich Solon Comet Classic by pinning Anthony Italiano of Jackson-Milton in 4:38 of the third-place match at 195 pounds. Tito Vazquez places fourth at 285 after a tough 2-1 OTdecision.
12/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats of Head Coach Mark Sullivan finish third out of 24 teams at the Solon Comet Classic with 187.5 points. Brunswick took home the team title with 244.5 points and Walsh Jesuit was second with 190.5 points.

Saint Ignatius will now gear up for one of the most storied wrestling tournaments in the nation, the annual Ironman at Walsh Jesuit High School on Friday and Saturday, December 11th and 12th. Friday's matches are scheduled for 1 PM and Saturday's action is slated for 10 AM.

After the Ironman, the Cats' Men of the Mats will travel to St. Edward for a December 17th 7:30 PM match with one of the nation's and state's perennial powers. It would be great to see some solid student body support during this annual Christmas break matchup.

THIS COMPLETES THE CORNER'S POSTS ON THE SOLON COMET CLASSIC. SEE THE POSTS BELOW FOR  A COMPLETE BREAKDOWN ON SATURDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS. 

 

  

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO WILDCATS STANDOUT JUNIOR WRESTLER KADEN RUSSELL, WHO BROUGHT HOME THE 182-POUND CHAMPIONSHIP AT THE 31ST ANNUAL SOLON COMET CLASSIC BY PINNING MIDVIEW'S SETH FRAMBACH IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH ON SATURDAY EVENING
12/5/2015

Posted by Eddie Dwyer

Kaden, who advanced to the title match with a 33-second pin over Green's Dade Brubach in Saturday's semifinals, highlighted an outstanding weekend for Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats.   

Saint Ignatius and Walsh Jesuit battle to a 2-2 tie in a Great Lakes Hockey League matchup at the Kent State University Ice Arena on Saturday evening
12/5/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats, the defending regular season champions of the GLHL and the two-time defending champs of the league's postseason Cleveland Cup tournament, are now 5-1-1 overall and 2-0-1 in the GLHL.

Saint Ignatius and Walsh Jesuit will meet again in less than a week, as the Ice Cats and the Warriors are scheduled to face off this coming Friday in the annual Cornfield Cup Christmas Tournament at Culver (IN) Military School. The puck will drop at 6 bells in the Henderson Ice Arena.

In an interesting side note to Saturday's tie with Wash Jesuit, Saint Ignatius' outstanding Head Coach Pat O'Rourke '90 shared with this corner in the preseason that he looked at the Warriors as being among the area's best this winter, a tough, scrappy team that leaves it all on the ice.

Walsh Jesuit was coming off Friday night's 2-1 GLHL setback to St. Edward and the Ice Cats were coming off a dominant 8-0 league victory over Gilmour Academy in a game that was played on Friday evening in Quicken Loans Arena.   

  

 

Wildcats freshmen D. J. Huff began his oh so promising wrestling career at Saint Ignatius with a second-place finish (120 pounds) at the prestigious Solon Comet Classic and veteran Cal Miller also finished second at 160 pounds on Saturday evening
12/5/2015
AND ANOTHER TIP OF THE CORNER'S CAP GOES OUT TO HUNTER TOTH (145) AND ANTHONY DELSANTER (106), WHO WON THEIR FIFTH-PLACE MATCHES BY A 16-1 DECISION AND A PIN, RESPECTIVELY. MICHAEL DROBNICK FINISHED SIXTH AT 170.
12/5/2015
CONGRATS TO THE WILDCATS' PAT MCGRAW, WHO TOOK SEVENTH PLACE AT 113 POUNDS THIS AFTERNOON DURING THE SOLON COMET CLASSIC
12/5/2015
D. J. Huff, Kaden Russell and Cal Miller will wrestle for championships this evening at the tradition-rich 31st annual Solon Comet Classic Wrestling Tournament
12/5/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

D. J. Huff advanced to the 120 pound title match by defeating Mike Farkas of Willoughby South, 8-3 in the semifinals. He will face Nick Henneman of Oregon Clay in the championship match.

This evening's finals will get under way at approximately 5:30 in the main gym at Solon High School.

Also wrestling for a championship this evening will be the gifted Kaden Russell at 182 pounds. Kaden advanced to the title match by with a 33-second pin over Dade Brubach of Green. Kaden will face Midview's Seth Frambach in the title match.

Rounding out the Cats' championship-match threesome is the tough, talented and savvy Cal Miller. Cal will take on Nick Kiussis of Brunswick in the 160-pound title showdown. Cal advanced to face Kiussis by pinning Trey Crockett of Nordonia in 3:28. It was Cal's third consecutive pin of the tournament

Kyle Vilsack (195 pounds) and Tito Vazquez (285) are wrestling for third place and Hunter Toth (145), Anthony Delsanter (106) and Michael Drobnick (170) are wrestling for fifth place.

Remember the name D.J. Huff, my friends. He is just a freshman.

We'll have more coming up on the corner later this afternoon and this evening.  

 

 

Wildcats Junior Varsity Basketball opens its season with a 57-23 victory at Shaw
12/5/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

While Saint Ignatius' outstanding Junior Varsity Coaches Chris Salata '94, Andrew Salata '01 and Brian McLaughlin '94 realize it was only game one, there was an area of the Wildcats' 34-point victory at Shaw that is sure to be discussed either before or during Monday's practice - missed layups.

Yes, the JV Cats were able to overcame those unfinished bunnies on Friday evening in East Cleveland. However, do that against a stronger JV program and it could result in a night you would just as soon forget.

Okay, now on to the good things.

The JV Cats play hard, are unselfish and have the skills that could potentially lead to another winter to remember for a Junior Varsity Program that has enjoyed successful seasons under the coaching firm of Salata, Salata & McLaughlin.

Saint Ignatius' Jayvees did more than enough in wearing down Shaw's 11 sophomores and three juniors.

The JV Cats jumped out to a 7-0 lead with the game not two minutes old and led, 16-2, after the first quarter.

Some of those missed opportunities at the offensive end showed up in the second quarter, however, as Shaw outscored the Cats, 8-6.

Saint Ignatius, which is a well-schooled team, came out and played a second half that was similar to what the Wildcats' faithful are accustomed to seeing from their future Varsity players.

After pushing their lead to 34-18, the JV Cats put together an 11-0 run in the early stages of the fourth quarter, a surge that featured strong offensive efforts by Josh Ozanne and Aymin Bahhur. Following a 3-pointer by JV Football mainstay Cameron Toppin, it was a 53-21 game with 2 minutes and 48 seconds remaining to be played.

Leading the way for Saint Ignatius in the final offensive stats were Neeko Melendez with 14 points, including two 3-pointers and a 6-for-6 night from the foul line, Luke Wiskes with 10 first-half points, including a 4-for-4 performance from the line, and Ozanne with 10 points that included two 3-pointers.

Saint Ignatius finished with 10 players in the scoring column.

Shaw's Junior Varsity was led by 9 points from junior center Tyese Jackson and 7 points from sophomore guard Steve Swain.        

     

     

 

      

Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball rides a dominant third quarter to an 81-38 victory at Shaw on Friday night in what was Coach Brian Becker's first game in his return as the Cats' Head Coach
12/4/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2015

East Cleveland - After his team rolled in the second half on Friday night, particularly the third quarter, Saint Ignatius' Brian Becker '77 talked about what was a very satisfying opening-night victory, a triumph that came in his first game back at the helm of the Varsity Basketball Wildcats.

"I think we're the type of team that once we get on a roll, it's a pretty good roll," said Coach Becker after his Wildcats outscored the host Shaw Cardinals, 29-5, in the third quarter and coasted to an 81-38 triumph. "We have a lot of different weapons with Deven Stover going to the basket, Kyle Kalish hitting jumpers, Austen Yarian and Matt Davet inside and Ryan Berger, who I thought played an extraordinary game tonight. He shot the ball well and he defended well.

"There were good spurts, but I would like to extend those spurts and that will make us a real good team," Coach Becker continued.

Friday night's triumph on the Cardinals' floor was Coach Becker's 285th at his alma mater and 299th overall, counting his two years as the coach of the Fairview Warriors. Coach Becker guided the Wildcats from 1990 until 2008, when he stepped down to devote more time to his family. Among those 284 previous victories at Saint Ignatius were a Division I State runner-up in 1998 and a Division I State Championship in 2001. Mr. Becker also serves as a Math Teacher at Saint Ignatius and is the Wildcats' Varsity Golf Coach.

"We're capable of those big quarters," said Coach Becker of the decisive third quarter that wore down the overmatched Cardinals. "But I want to see that for four quarters. You bottle that and hopefully by the time March comes around we have those four consistent quarters down."

The Cats wasted little time in making themselves at home at Shaw, as they outscored Coach Harold Rasul's Cardinals, 20-4, in the first eight minutes. Saint Ignatius extended that lead to 31-8 in the second quarter before the Cardinals went on a 16-6 run and closed to 37-24 by halftime. Coach Rasul was a standout post player for Hall of Fame Coach Jim Cappelletti on the great Cleveland Heights teams of the 1990s.

Helping key that early barrage was Ryan Berger, a senior guard with multiple skills. Ryan scored 10 of his game-high 17 points in the first half, including two of his three 3-pointers and a coast-to-coast breakaway layup off an assist from his twin brother Jim.

Ryan Berger, basketball savvy senior point guard Kyle Kalish and gifted 6-foot-4 senior two guard Deven Stover were not only beating the Cardinals in transition and off the dribble, but they joined standout 6-8 junior forward Austen Yarian, strong and active 6-7 junior post Matt Davet and the endless hustle and athleticism of Jim Berger in playing lock down defense on Shaw.

"Austen blocked some shots and when we went to the 1-3-1 defense he baited the kid and made a nice steal there," Coach Becker said. "Austen can be a force. He did a lot of the dirty work inside tonight, which is good."

Shaw gave its devoted faithful something to cheer about late in the second quarter, as Coach Rasul's team picked up its defensive effort and cut what was a 23-point deficit to 13 points.

It was the last surge of the night by the Cardinals, however, as Coach Becker's Cats shot, defended, ran and rebounded their way to a 55-28 lead that featured a nothing-but-net 3-pointer by Kalish with 4 minutes and 23 seconds remaining in the third quarter and stretched that to 66-29 entering the final eight minutes.

Saint Ignatius' depth also came to the fore on Friday night, as senior forward Tyler Musbach, senior forward/post Tim Kiefer, junior forward Quinton Farren and 6-6 senior guard Michael Hollis provided their usual quality minutes.

Along with Ryan Berger's 17 points, the Wildcats got 14 points from Yarian, 13 points from Kalish and 12 points from Stover.

"It starts on the defensive end first," said Ryan Berger. "We got stops and Austen Yarian forced a couple of turnovers in that 1-3-1 we play. So that really got us going. We got out and pushed it (offensively), that's what we like to do."

Ryan Berger, who will help lead Saint Ignatius against Cleveland Heights on Dec. 12 at Lutheran East, smiled when this old-timer referred to his hot hand in the first half.

"It's all about confidence," he said. "Coach Becker and the other coaches have confidence in me (shooting threes), so that's what I do."

That and plenty more.

Saint Ignatius Hockey improves to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Great Lakes Hockey League with an 8-0 victory over Gilmour Academy on Friday evening in Quicken Loans Arena
12/4/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Ice Cats, the defending regular season champions of the GLHL and the two-time defending champions of the league's postseason Cleveland Cup tournament, have now outscored their first two GLHL opponents (Lake Catholic and Gilmour Academy) by a combined score of 18-0.

Saint Ignatius will play its third league game in four days on Saturday when it travels to the Kent State University Ice Arena to face the Warriors from Walsh Jesuit. The puck is scheduled to drop at 3:50 PM.

   

Five Wildcats wrestlers have advanced to Saturday's semifnals and eight more will be competing in the consolation round at the 31st annual Solon Comet Classic
12/4/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Congratulations go out to D.J. Huff (120 pounds), Hunter Toth (145), Cal Miller (160), Michael Drobnick (170) and Kaden Russell (182) for performances on Friday evening that vaulted them into Saturday's semifinals of the tradition-rich Solon Comet Classic at Solon High School.

Coach Mark Sullivan also has eight more of his wrestlers in the consolation round.

Saturday's consolations are slated to get under way at 9:30 AM, with the semifinals scheduled for approximately 11:30 AM. Saturday's finals in the Main Gym at Solon begin at 5:30 PM.

The corner will be recapping results throughout Saturday. Saint Ignatius enters the semifinal and consolation rounds in third place as a team.

 

  

Former Wildcat standout defensive end Matt Gawlik '13 garners two-time Academic All-American honors for Gannon University
12/4/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Matt became a two-time  Academic All-American with a 3.93 cumulative grade point average as an entrepreneurship major.

A junior at Gannon University, Matt was one of four defensive linemen to be named to the first team. A two-time Academic All-District first-team selection, he landed a spot on the Academic All-America second team last season.

Matt has been named a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Scholar-Athlete and has received the NCAA Division II Athletics Directors Association (ADA) Academic Achievement Award every year during his collegiate career.

Congratulations to Matt, his family, Gannon University, Coach Chuck Kyle, Coach Dan Corrigan and the entire Gannon University and Saint Ignatius football programs.

May God Bless Matt in all of his future endeavors. 

A TIP OF THE CORNER'S CAP GOES OUT TO FORMER WILDCAT GREAT AND MICHIGAN WOLVERINE STANDOUT LINEBACKER JAKE RYAN, WHO WAS A FORCE ON DEFENSE IN GREEN BAY'S DRAMATIC 27-23, LAST-PLAY VICTORY OVER DETROIT ON THURSDAY NIGHT
12/3/2015

AH, AARON RODGERS. MY FANTASY LEAGUE FIELD GENERAL. ALL DUE RESPECT TO BRETT FAVRE, BUT THIS OLD-TIMER WILL TAKE DOUBLE CHECK ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.   

Junior forward Connor Koehnke produces the first hat trick of his Varsity career, along with three assists, and fellow junior forward Cullen Frebes sends home two lamplighters as Saint Ignatius opens league play with a 10-0 victory over Lake Catholic
12/2/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit December 2015

From the Mentor Civic Arena's West Rink - Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the highly competitive Great Lakes Hockey League by attacking with speed, skill and superior strength from the get-go, strength that comes to the fore with all of the Cats' deep and team-first lines.

Saint Ignatius, the defending regular season champion of the GLHL and the two-time defending champ of the league's postseason Cleveland Cup tournament, scored four goals in each of the first two periods on Wednesday night and settled the issue with two more goals in the third period as the game ended with the deficit rule coming into play.

The Ice Cats, who looked sharp and skilled no matter which line they employed, were crisp even when they mixed their lines.

Senior forward and Assistant Captain Jared Stepka got the offensive barrage started by scoring off an assist from junior forward Connor Koehnke with 11 minutes and 56 seconds remaining in the first period.

Lake Catholic, which slipped to 1-5, 0-1 in the GLHL, had its best opportunity when Saint Ignatius had two players in the penalty box in the first period. There were 34 seconds remaining on the first penalty when the second one was called, but the high-flying Cats' defense was undaunted and killed off both penalties.

The Cougars, who were outplayed in every phase of the game on their home ice, were then hit with three more first-period goals.

Koehnke, who came up with his first hat trick on the Varsity level and complemented his scoring with three assists for a total of six points on the night, made it 2-0 off his unassisted goal as 7:46 was left in the opening period. With Coach O'Rourke rotating and mixing his lines frequently, Koehnke struck again, this time off an assist from versatile and hockey savvy junior defenseman Seth Whitney with 3:33 to go in the first period.

Just over a minute later, the Ice Cats, who will face Gilmour Academy in a GLHL matchup on Friday at 4 PM in Quicken Loans Arena, closed out their tone-setting first period with the first of two goals on the night from junior forward Cullen Frebes. Assisting was the ever-present Koehnke.

"Getting points on the road anywhere you go is tough and this place has always given us nightmares," said Coach O'Rourke '90. "We've blown some big leads here. Lake Catholic is a very prideful program and we knew it wasn't going to be easy, but we just seemed to be clicking tonight and it got a little out of hand on the scoreboard. We had pretty balanced scoring and moved the puck well, nothing selfish."

And that unselfish control of the puck, along with an active pressure defense, led to an 8-0 lead after two periods and two more sealers in the third period, calling a halt to a matchup that, as Coach O'Rourke emphasized, saw the Cats never let the Cougars back in the game.

Producing the four-more second period were junior defenseman Matt Wiegandt, who went top shelf off assists from senior forward/captain Brian Russell and Stepka, junior forward Benji Rechin, who was assisted by Russell and junior defenseman Steven Neff, Koehnke, who completed his hat trick off helpers from Frebes and Rechin, and Frebes, who sent assists from Koehnke and Rechin past the goalie.

Goals nine and 10 were courtesy of an unassisted lamplighter by Whitney and a score off the stick of senior forward Zack Kisel that was assisted by senior forward/captain Aidan Spellacy and Rechin. Rechin added a three-assist night to the goal he scored earlier.

"We knew he would score this year," said Coach O'Rourke of Koehnke. "He'll be a captain next year for sure. Super coachable. When you talk about something in practice, he puts into the game. He was deadly from the slot tonight. He got a couple of great looks and he knew what to do with them. He's an awesome kid, a good student and very polite, a total Ignatius guy. I'm glad he's a junior."

FROM KOEHNKE: "We wanted to come out and set a tone, showing everybody how we're going to go about playing this year and what we're going to try to accomplish. We just have so many good players who can fill so many different roles. The chemistry is so good, even when we're playing out of our lines. Tonight we switched up a lot. We're a tight-knit group and that translates well on the ice."     

 

 

                 

                      

Just a reminder that senior standouts Hunter Gordon and Lawrence Karpeh, and Head Coach Mike McLaughlin '85 from Saint Ignatius' Division I State Champion and National Champion Soccer Team will be competing in Saturday's All-American Game
12/2/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Hunter and Lawrence are among forty of the nation’s elite high school soccer players and Coach McLaughlin is among eight of the country's elite coaches from the fall playing states who will take part in the fifth Annual High School All-American Game on Saturday at 2 PM on the pitch at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, NC.

The players selected are seniors who have finished their high school careers and represented their high school teams during the fall season. These players have achieved many regional and national awards and will attend some of the top universities across the country. The game is being held the same weekend and in the same proximity as the women’s NCAA Division I College Cup. The participants will arrive on Thursday, December 3rd and will attend the semi-final NCAA games on December 4th as well as the championship game on December 6th.

Hunter and Lawrence will be furthering their educations and soccer careers at the University of Pittsburgh.

Good Luck to Hunter, Lawrence and Coach McLaughlin as they represent Saint Ignatius and its nationally acclaimed soccer program. 

Wildcats Freshmen Gold Basketball Team has added a game with Eastlake North
12/1/2015

FROM SAINT IGNATIUS ASSOCIATE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR MR. SEAN O'TOOLE '87

Our 9th grade Gold Team will play at Eastlake North on Saturday, December 19th at 930 am. The game will be played at the high school.

Please note a February change on the Wildcats' Wrestling Schedule
12/1/2015

The Lake Catholic wrestling match in Sullivan Gymnasium is being moved from February 12th to February 13th. The Wildcats are scheduled to play Cleveland Heights in basketball on February 12th in Sullivan Gymnasium and Cleveland Heights was unable to change that date.

- Eddie Dwyer

The Wildcats' Winter Sports Season is upon us. It's the corner's first weekly Where the Cats Play for the winter of 2015-16.
12/1/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

After going 3-1 (including a forfeit win) in the annual season-opening Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Tournament at the Kent State University Ice Arena last weekend, Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats are preparing for three Great Lakes Hockey League games, starting with tomorrow's 7 PM faceoff with the Lake Catholic Cougars at the Mentor Civic Arena.

On Friday, the GLHL's defending regular season champions and two-time defending Cleveland Cup champs will face the Lancers from Gilmour Academy at 4 PM in Quicken Loans Arena, and on Saturday the Ice Cats return to the Kent State University Ice Arena for a 3:50 PM faceoff with the gritty Warriors from Walsh Jesuit.

Returning this season for the Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network's coverage of ice hockey are the savvy tones of lead broadcaster Carter Spearry and color commentator Owen Miklos. Go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on Saint Ignatius Broadcast Network for the SIBN's coverage schedule.

As we reported in the corner's 2015-16 Varsity Basketball Preview on Monday night, Coach Brian Becker's Wildcats will open their season on Friday night at Shaw High School in East Cleveland. The 7:30 Varsity tipoff will be preceded by a 6 PM Junior Varsity game. The corner will be on hand for coverage of both games.  

Coach Mark Sullivan's Men of the Mats, aka the very promising 2015-16 Wildcats Varsity Wrestling Team, will open its season at this weekend's tradition-rich Solon Comet Classic, which is held in the main gymnasium at Solon High School. 

Friday's action at Solon will get underway at 4 PM. Matches resume on Saturday at 9:30 AM and the Finals are slated for Saturday at 5:30 PM.

As for Coach Mike Lehto's Swimming and Diving Team, this weekend's Solon Relays will get the new season started. The Solon High School Athletics page has the event scheduled for Saturday at 1:30 PM. Please call the Saint Ignatius Athletics Department at 216-651-0222 (extension 222) to clarify the schedule, as Saint Ignatius, as of this morning, has it listed for Sunday.

And last, but certainly not least, the red-hot Alley Cats, aka Coach Jim Viets' Varsity Bowling Team, will take their 3-0 start to Buckeye Lanes on Saturday for a 9 AM matchup with the Bulldogs from Garfield Heights. See Coach Viets' report on the start of the season that was posted on the corner Monday.

Have a great and safe rest of the week and weekend. 

 

      

         

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO SENIOR QUARTERBACK DENNIS GROSEL AND SENIOR ALL-AMERICAN OFFENSIVE TACKLE LIAM EICHENBERG FOR EARNING FIRST TEAM ALL-OHIO HONORS FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, AND TO ALL-OHIO SPECIAL MENTIONS JACK COOK (WR/DB) AND PUNTER COLIN GOODFELLOW
11/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Dennis, Liam (a University of Notre Dame recruit), Jack (also a senior who is bound for Harvard University) and Colin, a junior, each garnered first-team honors on last week's AP All-Northeast Lakes District Team.

Grosel continued a quarterback legacy under Wildcats veteran Offensive Coordinator Nick Restifo that ranks among the best in the nation. Dennis had two games this fall in which he set new school records for passing yards. He finished with 1,959 yards and 18 TDs passing, and rushed for 469 yards and 11 touchdowns. In three games combined this fall, Dennis totaled just five series because of the score.

Liam, a two-time All-Ohio honoree, graded at better than 93 percent for his blocking efficiency while showing the way for an offense that totaled 3,539 yards in just nine games.

      

 

  

 

 

The 2015-16 Saint Ignatius Varsity Basketball Preview. Coach Brian Becker '77 returns as the Wildcats' Head Coach and will feature a veteran nucleus with diverse skills.
11/30/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit November/December 2015

Ohio City - Sitting in his school room after classes earlier this month, Brian Becker '77, Saint Ignatius' Varsity Basketball Coach, Varsity Golf Coach and Math Teacher, couldn't hide the enthusiasm while discussing his return to the bench at his alma mater.

"I think I got out of coaching for the right reason," Coach Becker said, who guided the Wildcats' Varsity Basketball program from 1990 until 2008, when he stepped down to spend more time with his family and follow his son's and daughters' athletic careers.  

"I obviously always stayed connected to the school, watching the kids play and having those kids in class," Coach Becker continued. "Coming back, my adrenaline level kicked up the first day of practice. I didn't know what to expect walking in (Sullivan Gymnasium). But it really was a good feeling to be able to walk in and plan a practice.

"Molding the kids, that's what is important," said Coach Becker. "As a teacher in the classroom we do it every day. Out on the basketball court, it's the same thing. It's an extension of the classroom. It brings me a lot of joy to be able to work with these kids."            

Coach Becker, who also coached Varsity Basketball at Fairview High School for two years, enters his 21st Varsity season with an overall Varsity career mark of 298-170. His Varsity record at Saint Ignatius stands at 284-142, a mark that includes a Division I State Championship in March of 2001, a Division I State Runner-Up in March of 1998, two Regional Championships, a Regional Runner-Up, seven District Championships and 15 Sectional Titles. Brian coached on the Freshmen and Junior Varsity levels when he first returned to his alma mater.

Preceding Coach Becker's return was the man who succeeded him as the Cats' Varsity Coach, Mr. Sean O'Toole '87. Coach O'Toole, a former standout power forward under Coach Larry Arthur at Saint Ignatius, compiled a record of 119-46 in his seven seasons as Saint Ignatius' Varsity Coach.

While Coach Becker is just two victories shy of reaching the 300 victory plateau overall on the Varsity level, counting his wins at Fairview and Saint Ignatius, the mark he looks upon as being "very special" would be 300 victories at his alma mater. Sixteen is the magic number. 

"I don't ever like to put a number on a season, but with this group, I would hope that we could get to that (Saint Ignatius) milestone this year," said Coach Becker, who played basketball in all four of his years at Saint Ignatius is now a young 56. "I've been involved with Saint Ignatius probably since I was a fourth or fifth grader. My father (Coaching legend Gerry Becker) was good friends with Coach Wirtz (the Wildcats storied Coach and Athletic Director John J. Wirtz), Coach (Pat) Gallagher and Coach (Marty) Chambers, so I would tag long with my Dad down to the gym numerous times. I've seen a lot of very good basketball here, very good basketball. It's humbling to be part of the tradition at Saint Ignatius."

Like Coach Gerry Becker and Coach Wirtz, Coach Gallagher and Coach Chambers were household names on the area's coaching scene.

As for his 2015-16 Wildcats, a talented, experienced and basketball savvy group, Coach Becker is impressed with how hard they work every single day in practice.

"It's a nice mix of juniors and seniors," Coach Becker said. "The juniors push the seniors, which is good. I told the kids that this is a new set of eyes. Whatever went on the past few years might be different, because I see things differently. There are a lot of ways to do basketball and Sean (Coach O'Toole) did a lot of very great things. But I may do things differently. The kids have been great. They've taken to the coaching.

"Certainly the staff we have is fabulous," continued Coach Becker in referring to veteran Jerry Porath, Dr. Tim Valla '76, a Wildcats Hall of Famer who excelled as a shot putter and is the most prolific rebounder in Saint Ignatius Basketball history, and former Cat hoopster Mike McGlynn '02. Chris Salata '94, Andrew Salata '01 and Brian McLaughlin '94 will continue their fabulous job with the Junior Varsity program.

In case you don't know by now, the Wildcats' basketball staff has been bolstered by the addition of Cleveland Cavaliers legend Zydrunas IIgauskas. "Z," whose kids were coached on the CYO level by Coach Becker's brother, Mark, works with the post players on all levels.

One of Saint Ignatius' senior mainstays, 6-foot-7 post Sharief Irish, can't say enough about how much "Z" has helped him. Sharief, a man inside offensively, defensively and off the boards, is recovering from a knee injury and is expected to be back in mid-December.  

"One of my philosophies as a coach has always been to look at the talent you have," said Coach Becker. "I want to try to mold the talent that is there in the right direction. I think we have good quickness and we have good size. We also have some pretty good on-ball defenders. So you're going to see a variety of defenses. You'll see some pretty hard man-to-man, some run and jump and some run and trap.

"You'll also see some half-court zone, with 6-6 Michael Hollis (also an exceptional shooter), 6-7  Austen Yarian, 6-7 Matt Davet, 6-4 Deven Stover and 6-3 Jimmy Berger out there," added Coach Becker. "That's a really long team. So I have the unique fortune to be able to play a lot of different styles. We can go real hard quick and we can go pretty big and trap, and be very aggressive with it."

Stover, who has already garnered three varsity letters, and Yarian, whose versatility, down low and on the perimeter, makes him a tough matchup, are listed among cleveland.com's Top 50 area players to watch. Senior point guard Kyle Kalish, whose dad, Scott, was one of the most gifted backcourt players to ever wear the Blue and Gold, was listed as "Others to Consider" on cleveland.com's list. The Cats were ranked fifth in the preseason Top 25 area poll.

"Offensively, we'll be opportunistic," Coach Becker said. "We've got some guys who can really shoot the basketball. Ryan Berger (6-4 and Jimmy's twin brother) really shoots it well. Every shot the kid takes looks like it's going to be dead splash. Ryan picks up a lot of things. As for his brother Jimmy, I have seen him do a lot of Jon Gannon-like things in terms of his vision on the floor and where the ball needs to be. And he can put the ball in the basket."

Jon Gannon is a Wildcats Hall of Famer who excelled in basketball as a member of the 2001 State Championship Team and in football, where he was dominant on both sides of the ball and on special teams. Jon, the pride of St. Thomas More elementary school in Brooklyn, is currently on the coaching staff of the Minnesota Vikings.

Coach Becker also pointed to the on-the-ball defense, shooting touch and experience that Kyle Kalish brings to the table and how he is "really encouraged" by the offensive rebounding the multi-skilled Stover has taken to another level. As coach Becker emphasized, the are very few players around who have the knack for getting to the basket like Stover does. Deven has the ability to play the two, three or four.

In turning to his juniors, Coach Becker referred to Davet as "real solid with great fundamental knowledge, a strong player who knows where to go on the floor and plays the game the right way."

While Davet is one of the nicest young men you will ever encounter, he brings an edge to the floor that Coach Becker enjoys. That said, he is the first to help an opponent up when things get a little physical.

Continuing with his juniors, Coach Becker said Yarian is going to be a "special talent." Coach Becker added that Yarian has the length and can put the ball on the floor, but also can mix it up down low.

"We've had some great conversations about don't limit your game to a jump shot," Coach Becker said of the advice he has given Yarian, who caught this old-timer's attention when he was competing in the legendary Saint Ignatius of Antioch Basketball League as a grade-school player. "We can force a lot of mismatches with him."

In getting back to his seniors, Coach Becker turned to heart-and soul performers 6-4 Tyler Musbach and 6-4 Tim Kiefer, young men who, said Coach Becker, are solid workhorses. Tyler and Tim bring their lunch pail to every scrimmage, every practice and every game. Musbach, who had to overcome a foot injury early in his football and basketball careers, turned in an exceptional fall as a wide receiver and has impressed the coaching staff with his speed, shooting touch and ability to defend

"Kids like that are going to be successful, you can go to battle with kids like that," Coach Becker said of Musbach and Kiefer.

Among the many other Cats to keep an eye on are blue-collar, 6-5 junior forward Quinton "The Governor " Farren, another endless-passion worker on offense and defense, and 2014-15 Junior Varsity standouts Michael Spear, who can shoot the lights out and is a relentless both-ends-of-the-floor performer, point guard Devin Jackson, who can also shoot the ball and has the savvy, knowledge and skill set of a veteran player when it comes to running a team, and guard Colin Goodfellow, a tough, knowledgeable competitor and scorer who earned first-team All-District honors and All-Ohio Special Mention as a punter in football.

"I like the guys we have, they are student athletes," Coach Becker emphasized. "But I kind of feel like the coach of a freshmen team, because this is all new for them. There is a learning curve that we are all going to go through. Probably after the fifth or sixth game, everybody will be on page with how I coach the game and how I expect the game to be played."

THE SCHEDULE: The Cats open their promising 2015-16 slate on Friday night at Shaw. The Junior Varsity tipoff is 6 PM, followed by the Varsity tip at 7:30. Last season in the Wildcats' Sullivan Gymnasium, Saint Ignatius defeated Shaw, 91-47. The Cats hit a school-record 14 3-pointers that night, including four by Kyle Kalish, who led all scorers with 19 points.

Saint Ignatius currently has just six home games this season, but there is talk of adding a seventh one versus Glenville. After Friday's trip to Shaw, the Cats travel to Lutheran East for the first of a home-and-home series with the Cleveland Heights Tigers on Dec. 12. The Tigers' gym is undergoing renovation. Saint Ignatius is at always well-schooled Kenston on Dec. 18 and plays its first home game the next night, Dec. 19, versus the tradition-rich Canton McKinley Bulldogs. McKinley gave the Cats all they wanted in the storied Memorial Field House last season and have been bolstered by the merger with Canton Timken. For a look at the complete schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on basketball.  

A TEAM CONCEPT: Coach Becker plans to have different captains throughout the season's schedule.

THE POSTSEASON: As we reported on the corner earlier this month, Saint Ignatius has been assigned to the newly formed OHSAA Strongsville Division I District. Barring upsets in Sectional play, the Cats will be joined at Strongsville by Coach Eric Flannery's St. Edward Eagles. Hey, I'm up to three meetings with the Eagles this winter. How about you?

THE AIR WAVES: Matt McKenzie will have the lead broadcasting role for the SIBN's coverage of Wildcats Basketball this season, with Brendan DeVenney, Matt Harsar and Louis Williams sharing the color commentary.

See you on Friday at Shaw. Ah, those days of the "Red Ball Express" and the talent-laden Lake Erie League.                     

 

 
Alley Cats Fever. Saint Ignatius Head Bowling Coach Jim Viets provides his first report of the young season on his red-hot keglers.
11/30/2015

Presented By Coach Jim Viets and Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Coach Viets: The season is kicking off just as I had hoped. We have bowled Valley Forge, Cleveland Heights, and then St. Edward (see the corner's post below from Sunday).
 
After 3 weeks we are leading the Scratch standings with a 21-0 record. The OHSAA standings we are leading with a 3-0 record. These two standings are the most important as they are determined by how good you are bowling. The OHSAA standing is derived from your scratch total series plus your 2 baker games total.
 
With our averages being so high, we do not typically do well with the handicap standings. After 3 weeks though we are sitting near the top with a very respectable 15-6 record.
 
Varsity has the high team scratch series with a 2973 series, high team game 1046 and high OHSAA series with a 3391. This was added from a baker series of 418 plus their 2973.
 
Gianni Schaefer 194, Austin Venczel 189, Anthony Doran 193, Cedric Crawford 196 and Ralph Deadwyler 205 are setting the pace. Anthony leads the varsity with a 645 series and a high game of 235, also shared with Ralph. Devin Venczel 188 and Vinny Doran 190 have also stepped up to bowl varsity already this year.
 
The Junior Varsity has also jumped out to a commanding lead. After 3 weeks they are 21- 0 in scratch, 19- 2 in handicap, and 3-0 in OHSAA. They are led by Vinny Doran 190, Nizar Dergha 119, Alex Gerhlein 103, Tom Kmet 162, Devin Venczel 188 and Nick Frank 187. Devin shot a 638 series this past week with a team high game of 239.
 
 
From Wildcats Head Hockey Coach Pat O'Rourke on the Chicago Blackhawks Charities 22nd Annual High School Hockey Classic
11/30/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

From Coach O'Rourke '90: We play New Trier Green, Notre Dame and Waubonsie in the tournamment. Our 1st game is 12/26 at 1:15 CST, so we'll have to leave fairly early on the day after Christmas.
 
Here are the brackets on the prestigious tournament, courtesy of Coach O'Rourke. Please note that there are two Saint Ignatius High Schools competing in the tournament.
 
 
The Alley Cats continue to prowl the area's lanes, as they keep their winning ways alive with a victory over St. Edward on Saturday
11/29/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Jim Viets, who is in his first season as Saint Ignatius' Head Bowling Coach, watched his gifted team continue to hold the hot hand in the early stages of the 2015-16 season with a 3,063 to 2,812 triumph over the keglers from St. Edward.

Although it's early, area coaches are describing the Alley Cats as the team to beat in the Greater Cleveland Interscholastic Bowling League. The Cats handed the Eagles their third consecutive setback.

Up next for Coach Viets' Cats is Saturday's 9 AM matchup with the Bulldogs from Garfield Heights at Buckeye Lanes.   

  

 
       
 
Just another reminder that the corner will whet your appetite for Friday's Varsity Basketball season opener at Shaw by previewing Coach Brian Becker's 2015-16 Wildcats on Monday evening
11/29/2015

The Cats and the Shaw Cardinals, aka "The Red Ball Express," are scheduled tip off at 7:30 on Friday night. The Junior Varsity Game is slated for 6 PM. The corner will be on hand for game coverage on both the JV and Varsity games.

- Edward Hannon Patrick Dwyer 

After winning by forfeit in their final game at the Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Tournament, the ICE CATS will gear up for three Great Lakes Hockey League matchups
11/29/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

Following Seneca Valley's forfeit to Saint Ignatius in Sunday's final round of the annual Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Tournament at the Kent State University Ice Arena, the Cats stand 3-1 on the young season (lost to Bethel Park in the second round, see posts below from over the weekend).

Coach Pat O'Rourke's team will now focus on the start of its Great Lakes Hockey League schedule, as Coach O'Rourke's defending GLHL regular season champions and two-time defending Cleveland Cup Champs will travel to the Mentor Civic Center Ice Arena on Wednesday night to face the Lake Catholic Cougars. The puck will drop at 7 PM.

On Friday, the Ice Cats will be at Quicken Loans Arena for a 4 PM GLHL encounter with the Lancers from Gilmour Academy, and on Saturday they take on the Warriors from Wash Jesuit in another league matchup at the Kent State University Ice Arena. Note that Saturday's game time is listed as 3:50 PM.     

Wildcats Hockey withstands two late goals by Shaler Area (Pa.) and defeats the Titans, 5-4, in Saturday's second of two matchups at the annual Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Tournament
11/28/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

With senior captain/forward Cam Gerard helping fuel the offense, the Ice Cats took a 3-1 lead late in the first period.

Saint Ignatius pushed its advantage to 5-2 on a third-period goal by Benji Rechin and then turned away Shaler Area's rally to improve to 2-1. The Cats rebounded from Saturday's earlier setback to Bethel Park (see the post that precedes this one).

Coach Pat O'Rourke's Ice Cats will close out their play in the Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Tournament bright and early Sunday morning when they face off with Seneca Valley (Pa.). The puck will drop at 8:30 AM in the Kent State University Ice Arena.    

Saint Ignatius Hockey is defeated by Bethel Park (Pa.), 3-2, during Saturday's second round of the annual Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Tournament at the Kent State University Ice Arena
11/28/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

The Ice Cats (1-1) received goals from Benji Rechin and Connor Koehnke, and senior goalie Dylan McKeon had 10 saves.

Bethel Park, year in and year out one of the strongest programs the Keystone State has to offer, brought home a national championship in the 2013-14 season. 

Four early power play goals help show the way as the ICE CATS open their 2015-16 season with an 8-1 victory over the Upper St. Clair Panthers from Pennsylvania in the opening round of the annual Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Tournament
11/27/2015
Posted By Eddie Dwyer
 
Here are the Cats' goal scorers. The offensive production was supported by 25 saves in goal by three-year mainstay Dylan McKeon.
 
Aidan Spellacy
Zach Kisel
Benji Rechin 2
Cullen Frebes 2
Brian Russell
Matt Wiegandt
 
Saint Ignatius will return to the Kent State University Ice Arena on Saturday for two more matchups with programs from the Keystone State.
 
At 11:30 AM, the Ice Cats will face the Blackhawks from Bethel Park. Located 7 miles southwest of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, Bethel Park won a national title on the ice in the 2013-14 season.
 
Coach Pat O'Rourke's Wildcats will then gear up for a 3:30 PM drop of the puck against the Titans from Shaler Area. Shaler Area is located in Glenshaw, Pa.

    

Congrats from the corner go out to senior guard Deven Stover and junior post/forward Austen Yarian for being selected among the Top 50 Players to Watch this winter by cleveland.com. Senior point guard Kyle Kalish made cleveland.com's "Others to Consider."
11/25/2015

Just another reminder that corner will preview Coach Brian Becker's 2015-16 Varsity Basketball Wildcats early next week as a nice lead in to the season opener at Shaw on Dec. 4.

Our prayers and sympathy are with the family and friends of Mr. Tim Gamber, a great coach and even a greater human being
11/25/2015

FROM SAINT IGNATIUS ASSOCIATE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR AND FORMER HEAD BASKETBALL COACH SEAN O'TOOLE '87.

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

I just received word from Coach Tedd Kwasniak that our beloved colleague Tim Gamber lost his battle with leukemia this morning.

Tim was a prominent basketball coach in the Greater Cleveland area, serving as head girls' basketball coach at St. Peter Chanel, Garfield Heights and Villa Angela-St. Joseph. Tim was an incredible ally to our Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches' Association, serving years as a league representative.

More importantly though, Tim was just an incredible human being...loyal, hard-working, honest, and faithful. Please keep the Gamber family in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. God speed Tim.  

THE CORNER WISHES TO TIP ITS CAP TO SENIOR LACROSSE STANDOUT ALEX HORNUNG, AS THE HONORABLE MENTION ALL-MIDWEST ATTACK HAS COMMITTED TO FURTHERING HIS EDUCATION AND ATHLETIC CAREER AT CANISIUS COLLEGE. MAY GOD BLESS ALEX IN ALL OF HIS ENDEAVORS.
11/25/2015
Depth, Versatility and Great Chemistry. The 2015-16 Saint Ignatius Varsity Hockey Team will let its play do the talking.
11/25/2015
By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit November/December 2015
From the Brooklyn Ice Arena in the John M. Coyne Recreation Center
Now in his 12th season as the Head Coach of one of the state's and nation's premier ice hockey programs, Saint Ignatius' Pat O'Rourke talked about how much fun it is to be around what he described as "a great group of kids."
You didn't have to be around or watch them practice for very long without appreciating what Coach O'Rourke said about the young men who will continue the Wildcats' tradition of excellence on the ice this winter.
This old-timer has been blessed to have covered and reported on many exceptional teams during 45-plus years on the area and state high school beat. And it is those teams who can blend their God-given skills with a selfless approach, a genuine appreciation of playing as one, that are able to reach the highest levels of success.
Sure, hockey, like other sports, will have those nights when one forward or goalie dominates. It is those games when someone else has step up, however, in roles that don't always appear in the final statistics, that distinguishes the best of the best from the rest.
"We have good depth at a lot of different positions," said Coach O'Rourke, a former Wildcat hockey mainstay who has guided his alma mater to two state championships (2010 and 2014), two consecutive Great Lakes Hockey League Cleveland Cups (2014 and 2015), six Red Division titles, two Baron Cup I championships, a regular season GLHL championship (2015) and a single-season, school-record 39 victories in 2012.
Pat would never offer this, but he enters this season, which begins this weekend in the annual Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Tournament at the Kent State University Ice Arena, flirting with 300 career victories.
"Although we did graduate some offensive firepower, there are a lot of younger guys who will contribute," Coach O'Rourke continued in his evaluation of his 2015-16 Ice Cats. "Maybe they won't score as much as those guys (Ethan Whitney '15, Matty Geither '15, etc), but even if they score 10 goals, it will even it out more. They all have experience of some kind or another. Some of it is Varsity, some of it is Jayvee. But they have all played a great schedule and have competed in big games."
The young men who compete in Saint Ignatius' Ice Hockey Program are fortunate to receive exceptional coaching on the JV or lower level from the hockey savvy Drew Vilinsky '97.
Versatility, emphasized  Coach O'Rourke, is another strong suit.
"We're able to take some kids who played defense last year and move them up to forward," said Coach O'Rourke. "Hopefully, that will make up for some of the scoring we lost. We have enough good defensemen to fill in and we have two goalies coming back who are experienced (three-year standout Dylan McKeon and Mark Mastroianni). We're really not too green anywhere, it will just be a different kind of experience. It just keeps rolling, we really don't have a season anymore where we have to completely rebuild."
Coach O'Rourke said he looks at the Great Lakes Hockey League this season as probably being the most balanced circuit in the state. The veteran coach also said that St. Edward, which upset the Ice Cats, 3-2, in last season's District Championship/State Qualifying game at the Brooklyn Ice Arena, "is probably the team to beat."
Saint Ignatius is coming off a season that saw it finish 32-4-3, a mark that included a 20-game winning streak and the top ranking in the state poll.
"Of course you want to work toward perfection, but there are a lot of things that are not going to go our way in a course of a season, and we have to learn to deal with that, whether it takes a month or five months" Coach O'Rourke continued.
AS THE CAPTAINS SEE IT
Goalie Dylan McKeon, a Defensive MVP Award Winner last season: "We're returning a bunch of really good defensemen," said the young man who will be between the pipes for the third consecutive season. "Like you said, we've lost some forwards, but Cam (Gerard) and Brian (Russell) both got moved to forward and we have Aidan (Spellacy), Jared (Stepka) and junior Connor Koehnke, who can score. So we should have enough scorers. Last year, we were sort of gifted with so many (scorers). But this year I think we'll have two or three guys scoring a lot of goals and other guys contributing. With our defense, I think you will see us win a lot of low-scoring games, unlike last season when we would win 7-3 or 6-4, games like that."
Forward Cam Gerard: "We have to get our forwards going right away," said the three-year letterman who has made the transition to forward without missing a beat. "We have a lot of good young players and me and Brian (Russell) are moving up (from defense). I think we have real good chemistry with all of the forward lines, we're learning how to play with each other and we have a three-starter in goal. So that helps a lot. At first I was skeptic about it (the move to forward). I really didn't know how to embrace it. In the first couple of scrimmages, I had to get accustom to flying around more. On defense, you sit back a little more and let the play come to you. But at forward, you're engaged in everything. I think I have gotten a lot better at it and I love it right now."
Forward Aidan Spellacy, an Offensive MVP Award Winner last season and a two-year Captain: "Our lines are really deep," said the young man who carries a strong family lineage in the success of Saint Ignatius Ice Hockey. "Six-deep defensemen, it's a blessing to have. Last year we had a big roster and it's paying off this year. Cam's little brother, Grayson, was on JV last year and Chris Revnew is a big young kid who is stepping up and taking the body. Mental toughness. That's the big thing we have to work on this year. We have to learn that things are not always going to go our way. Take what comes our way and control the things that are controllable. Whatever comes, comes and keep playing the game. I'm really excited. I just love all of these guys."
Spellacy emphasized that the Captains have to lead not just by what they say, but by what they do. Lead more by example. 
Forward Jared Stepka, a three-year letterman and a Most Improved Player Award Winner last season: "This year our offense is faster," said the young man whose smile is as big as the heart he brings to the ice. "In the scrimmages, we just seemed to be beating everyone to the puck. We've been really good at fast-break situations. We have a lot of very good players who are unknown. So that makes them that much hungrier. Shoot low, keep the hands down," closed Stepka with what is his motto for the winter of 2015-16.
Forward Brian Russell, a three-year letterman and a Defensive MVP Award Winner last season: "We lost a lot of our top scorers, like everybody said," added the young man who is also making the switch to forward after being one of the area's top defensemen last season. "But we have a ton of seniors who I think know what it takes to win. That's going to keep us going. We're deep and we just have to continue to make the simple plays, because we have a lot of guys that can make things happen. I love defense, but if the coaches and everyone else think it is better for me and Cam to move to offense, I am more than happier to do that. I think that is why our team is really good. We have a bunch of guys who are versatile and will do whatever it takes to help the team. And we can help out by chipping in from the offensive zone. On defense, your more like a quarterback of the team, just moving the puck up the ice. On offense, I have to get better at taking chances up front."
Note: As we mentioned in the lead-in paragraphs on Coach O'Rourke, the Cats open their season at the tradition-rich Walsh Jesuit Thanksgiving Tournament in the Kent State University Ice Arena this weekend. Here is the schedule, which has the Cats facing some of the best the Keystone State has to offer.
Friday: Versus Upper St. Clair at 2 PM.
Saturday: Versus Bethel Park at 11:30 AM and Versus Shaler Area at 3:30 PM.
Sunday: Versus Harmony Seneca Valley at 8:30 AM.
Coach O'Rourke pointed to the tournament in Chicago this winter, the Chicago Blackhawks Charities Holiday High School Classic on Dec. 26-30 in the Edge Ice Arena, an event he and his team are honored to be part of, and the mid-January Saint Ignatius Cleveland Jesuit Classic/ Martin Luther King, Jr. Tournament at the Brooklyn Ice Arena, which will feature some of the finest teams in the Midwest.
Saint Ignatius and St. Edward meet in a Great Lakes Hockey League matchup on Jan. 9 in Serpentini Arena at Winterhurst. The puck will drop at 3:30 PM.   
For a complete 2015-16 schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on hockey.
HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING AND WE WILL SEE YOU ON THE ICE SOMEWHERE.     
          
Wildcats Basketball ranked fifth in the area's preseason Top 25 poll by cleveland.com. Just a reminder that the corner will give you an inside look at the Wildcats next week as a lead in to their season opener on Dec. 4 at Shaw.
11/24/2015
It's official. Coach Mike McLaughlin's Varsity Soccer Cats are Co-National Champions with St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, New Jersey) in the final USA Today Super 25/National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll for the 2015 season.
11/24/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit November 2015

Ohio City - Coach Mike McLaughlin's Wildcats, who finished their fall to recall with a record of 22-0-1 and added an Ohio-best seventh Division I State Championship to the record sixth state title they brought home last season, garnered the nation's top spot for the third time in the illustrious career of Coach McLaughlin '85.

The Soccer Cats now join Coach Chuck Kyle's Football Wildcats as three-time National Champions. Saint Ignatius' Crew Program has also made its mark on the national level.

Coach McLaughlin's other NSCAA national titles came  in 2005 and 2010.

After facing what Coach McLaughlin described as the most demanding schedule in the program's rich history, Saint Ignatius Soccer will enter next season having won its final 16 matches of 2015. The Soccer Cats now carry an unbeaten streak of 36 consecutive matches, a mark that dates back to last season's state title run. USA Today pointed to the Wildcats' schedule as being a big factor in its decision to crown two national champs.

A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE!

Saint Ignatius outscored its opponents this season, 127-11. That includes a 48-2 mark in the seven OHSAA postseason tournament matches. The 127 goals are two shy of the mark set by the Cats' 2000 State Final Four Team.

Along with his three national titles and seven state championships, Coach McLaughlin has a 21 year Head Coaching mark at his alma mater of 353-46-44. That record includes a 94-14 record in the OHSAA postseason. Mike's teams have won 15 District Championships, 11 Regional titles and have now made 11 State Final Four appearances.

And a final record that truly shows the character of the student athletes who are guided by Coach McLaughlin and his outstanding staff is that this year marks the 17th consecutive season that the Soccer Cats were declared NSCAA Team Academic All-Americans.

As for the other polls, the Soccer Cats remain No. 1 by MaxPreps and they finished second to St. Benedict's Prep in the Top Drawer Soccer.com/Sima Fab 50 National Poll.

For a look at the Soccer Cats' Fall Sports Awards Ceremony, see the corner's post from Monday night/Tuesday morning.

CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN FROM THIS CORNER TO COACH MCLAUGHLIN AND HIS AMAZING CATS, AND THANK YOU FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF COVERING AND REPORTING ON YOUR EXCEPTIONAL RECORD-SETTING STATE CHAMPIONSHIP RUN. 

 

  

 
       
 
                                            
 

   

 

  

       
 
                                            
 
Next up on the corner's winter previews will be a look at the 2015-16 Ice Cats. In what will be a solid lead into their Dec. 4 season opener at Shaw, we will preview the Varsity Basketball Wildcats early next week.
11/24/2015
Cats looking to dive right back among the state's Top 10. It's the 2015-16 Saint Ignatius Swimming and Diving outlook, courtesy of Head Coach Mike Lehto.
11/24/2015

Presented by Coach Mike Lehto and posted by Eddie Dwyer.

From Coach Lehto: We're Looking to jump back into the top 10 at states this year. We finished just outside last year finishing 11th.

We have added some depth this year to go along with our returning state swimmers, which will help with our dual meets.

Swimmers/divers to keep an eye on include sophomore diver Alex Claus - Top returning individual performer at last years states - 6th.

Senior Rayon Artis -  Sprint freestyle and butterfly. Will be counted on possibly for all three relays.

Junior Dimitri Simcox - A sprint specialist in freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly. Like Rayon, will be an integral part of all relays

Junior Marcus Hong - One of the most versatile swimmers on team. Will be one of the state's best in the back stroke. Counted on for the butterfly and the individual medley.  

Junior Joey Libertin - Co-Captain. Joe had a breakout season last year in middle distance freestyle. Will challenge for some relay spots.

Sophomore Cian O'Haimhirgin - Top freshman sprinter from last year will be looking to make his way on some relays.

Senior Pat Corrigan - Co-Captain will be a leader for the distance group.

Freshman Nicholas Hong - Will lead his class and contribute in the breaststroke and individual medley events.

Note: The Wildcats are scheduled to open their season at the Solon Relays during the first weekend in December. For a complete schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on swimming and diving.  

 


 

A night to celebrate Saint Ignatius' "selfless," but oh so talented Soccer, Cross Country and Golf Teams
11/23/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit November 2015

Ohio City - During his introductory remarks at Monday night's Fall Sports Awards Ceremony in The Breen Center for the Performing Arts, Saint Ignatius CAA-Athletic Director Rory Fitzpatrick '88 spoke of the selfless approach the Wildcats Soccer, Cross Country and Golf Teams carried with them throughout their falls to recall.

Although the individual talent was abundant, it was a "we" approach that brought home OHSAA Division I State Championships for Coach Mike McLaughlin's Soccer Cats and Coach Dr. Mike Gallagher's Cross County Wildcats, aka Ohio City's Harriers.

The same can be said for Coach Brian Becker's Men of the Links, who earned a second consecutive fourth-place finish in the annual OHSAA State Golf Tournament on the demanding Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University. Wildcat senior Harrison Vonderau finished third overall and garnered All-State Honors for the second consecutive season. Harrison was the individual state runner-up in 2014.

In winning back-to-back Division I State Championships, the 22-0-1 Soccer Cats added a seventh state title to the record sixth they won in 2014. Ranked No. 1 in last week's highly respected National Soccer Coaches Association of America/USA Today Super 25 National Poll (the final poll will be released on Tuesday), Coach McLaughlin's Cats put together a remarkable season that saw them outscore their opponents, 127-11, including a 48-2 margin in their seven OHSAA Postseason Tournament matches. After a dramatic 2-1 Sudden Victory Overtime triumph over their Jesuit brothers from Toledo St. John's in the state semifinals, the Cats wore down Hilliard Davidson, 4-0, in the 40th annual OHSAA State Championships at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus.

Saint Ignatius, which entered its 2015 season as the top-ranked team in Ohio and ran the table with that ranking, faced what Coach McLaughlin described as the most demanding schedule in the program's rich history. The Soccer Cats will enter next season having won their final 16 matches of 2015 and carrying what is now a 36-match unbeaten streak. That streak dates back to the 2014 state-title season.

As for Coach Doc Gallagher's deep, talented and tough-minded harriers, it was another brilliant team race that brought home the program's fourth state team title, an effort that epitomized the selflessness of a champion.

With senior standouts Luke Wagner and Tom Sullivan, and gifted junior C.J. Ambrosio among those leading the way, Saint Ignatius Cross Country matched the soccer team by going wire-to-wire with the top ranking in the coaches' state poll.

HERE ARE THE COACHES' 2015 FALL SPORTS AWARDS. NOTE: THE FOOTBALL AWARDS CEREMONY WILL TAKE PLACE LATER THIS WINTER.

GOLF

MVP: Harrison Vonderau

Rookie of the Year: Patrick Devine

Coaches' Cup: Andrew Zawie

Captain's Award: Harrison Vonderau

State Qualifying Team: Patrick Devine, Harrison Vonderau, Andrew Zawie, Zach Morris, Geoff Allman and Kyle McCafferty.

First-Year Letter Winners: Jake Moraca and Cam Gerard.

Second-Year Letter Winners: Hunter Rinkus, Louis Williams, Kyle McCafferty, Patrick Devine and Geoff Allman.

Third-Year Letter Winners: Tommy Lauer, Owen Miklos, Michael Vallee and Andrew Zawie.

Four-Year Letter Winner: Harrison Vonderau

CROSS COUNTRY

Team MVP: Senior Luke Wagner, an Iowa State Cross Country and Track Recruit.

MVP By Class: Senior Tom Sullivan (bound for Duke University), Junior C.J. Ambrosio, Sophomore Liam McGuire and Freshman Nick Saul.

Most Improved By Class: Senior Pat McGuire, Junior Matt Harsar, Sophomore Brett Saunders and Freshman Dillon Bangasser.

Spirit Award: Ned Conry

Coaches' Award: Max Gruber

Four-Year Letter Winners: Luke Wagner, Tom Sullivan, Jim Rogers, Connor Reilly, Mark McHugh, Alex Falkenberg and Tim Trentel.

Three-Year Letter Winners: C.J. Ambrosio, Colin Caniglia, Pat Nolan, Andrew Szendrey and Pat McGuire.

Two-Year Letter Winners: Gabe Ohliger, Michael Fitzgerald and Liam McGuire.

First-Year Letter Winners: Brett Saunders, Matt Harsar, Connor Sepesy, Andrew Biehl, Logan Kijewski, Nick Saul, Nathan Soria, John Heisterkampf, Colin Kelly, Matt Blouch, Joe Ripepi and Max Bryden.

SOCCER AWARDS

Most Valuable Player: Senior forward/captain Lawrence Karpeh. First-Team All-Ohio, First-Team All-Greater Cleveland and a University of Pittsburgh Recruit. Lawrence totaled 30 career goals and 18 career assists.   

Most Valuable Offensive Player: Junior Forward Stephen Milhoan. First-Team All-Ohio, First-Team All-Greater Cleveland, Player of the Year in Greater Cleveland, Player of the Year in Ohio and an Xavier University recruit. Steve has 49 career goals and 30 career assists, including 29 goals this past season.  

Most Valuable Midfield: Seniors Hayden Parente (captain, 17 career goals & 20 career assists) and John Duldner (captain). Hayden earned Second-Team All-Greater Cleveland and John, who totaled 21 career goals, including two in the 2014 state title game and a school-record seven versus Chardon this past season, garnered Honorable Mention All-Greater Cleveland and Academic All-Ohio.

Most Valuable Defensive Player: Senior captain Hunter Gordon. Second-Team All-Greater Cleveland and a University Pittsburgh recruit. Hunter was a four-year mainstay who played in 74 matches. Among the best of the best, if not the best, to ever play his position at tradition-rich Saint Ignatius.   

The Coaches' Cup: Junior midfielder Johne Vrablic, the essence of a team player.

The Magis Award: Junior goalkeeper Lodge Dils. Honorable Mention All-Greater Cleveland. Lodge was 20-0 in goal with 11 shutouts.

Note: Also garnering Honorable Mention All-Greater Cleveland were junior midfielder Riley Houde (11 goals, including the game-winner versus St. John's Jesuit) and endless energy junior midfielder Adam Collins.

****Just a reminder that Lawrence Karpeh, Hunter Gordon and Coach Mike McLaughlin '85 are among the 40 elite players and 8 elite coaches selected to this year's All-American Game.

Coach McLaughlin has had the distinction of being selected to the All-American staff in previous seasons.

This year's All-American Game will be played on Dec. 5th at 2 PM on the pitch at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, North Carolina.

THE CORNER WISHES TO CONGRATULATE ALL OF THE ATHLETES ABOVE AND THEIR TEAMMATES FOR TRULY MAKING IT A FALL TO RECALL AT CLEVELAND'S JESUIT PREPARATORY SCHOOL. MAY GOD BLESS YOU, NOW AND IN ALL OF YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVORS.

HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING.      

 

 

  

 

 

               

 

      

 

                                            
 
Priorities are in order and the work ethic is passion with a purpose. It's the 2015-16 Saint Ignatius Wrestling Preview.
11/19/2015

By Eddie Dwyer, Copyright Credit November 2015

From Saint Ignatius' Gibbons Hall - As he was putting his men of the mats through Wednesday's practice, Saint Ignatius Head Wrestling Coach Mark Sullivan, always one to look you straight in the eye and express what is on his mind, described his 2015-16 Wildcats as an "exciting group."

"We have a lot of incoming freshmen, a lot of talent and great upperclassmen leadership," said Coach Sullivan, who is in his 13th season as Head Coach of the Wildcats and his 14th overall with the program. "Last year we had a lot of injuries, and the kids who were injured are all back. They've worked hard and they've had a great offseason. I am looking forward to an exciting year."

One of those gifted wrestlers hit by the injury bug last year is current junior standout Kaden Russell, who has been selected by his peers as one of Coach Sullivan's Captains. Kaden put together an outstanding performance in bringing home the 182-pound Championship during last season's always demanding Catholic Invitational Tournament, which was held at Toledo Central Catholic High School. Kaden, who was a key member of the Varsity Football Team this fall as a safety/running back, will be among the area wrestlers to watch.

"As far as the incoming freshmen, we have eight kids that are between 106, 113 and 120," Coach Sullivan said. "So it's a great core of young talent that, as they develop the next couple of years, will make us a vey strong team in the middle weights. We are currently very strong in the upper weights and lighter weights, and with some of the middle weights we're not sure right now who's going start until after the wrestle offs. We could have some new faces in there."

In discussing the returning talent from last year, Coach Sullivan started with his newly elected captains Russell (195-pound weight class), Kyle Vilsack (182 pounds) and Cal Miller (160 pound class).

"This year, Cal Miller took it upon himself to be the leader in the wrestling room and the offseason workouts," Coach Sullivan said. "And in the classroom he really stepped up. Both athletically and in a leadership role,  I think he has done a great job."

Coach Sullivan pointed out that Russell is currently ranked ninth in the state at 182 pounds, so he is not completely sure which weight class he will go, 182 or 195. "Today, he is going 195," said Coach Sullivan.

"With his hard work, I think he will surpass that ranking," continued Coach Sullivan in reference to Russell. "Rankings are only something to talk about. But sometimes they give you a guideline of where you need to work, areas you need to improve upon."

Coach Sullivan went on to say that at this point it appears hard-working Anthony Delsanter, who garnered his first letter last season, will be the starter at 106. He said the 113-pound class is "a little up in the air," where Jake Micheli and a couple of freshmen will be wrestling off. Jake earned his first letter last winter.

Speaking of freshmen, D. J. Huff, who took seventh place in the Junior High state competition last year, will look to make his mark at 120 pounds.

"We're also looking for exciting things from Matt French (two-year letter winner) at 126 pounds," Coach Sullivan said. "He's a very solid wrestler."

Two-year letterman Quade Rasmussen, who welcomes hard work, is coming back at 132 pounds and hard-nosed three-year letterman Hunter Toth returns at 145.

"I told the kids this is one of the hardest working groups I have ever been around," said Coach Sullivan.

Continuing with his roster, Coach Sullivan said he is looking for sophomore Mike Drobnick to be there at 170. A standout wide receiver for Coach Paul Yappel's gifted Junior Varsity Football Team, Mike earned his first wrestling letter last year and is coming off an exceptional summer on the mats.

At heavyweight, the role will be in the capable hands of senior Tito Vazquez III, a three-year letter winner in wrestling and a mainstay on the defensive line in football.

"Tito, through his hard work, has gotten a lot bigger, stronger and technically more sound," Coach Sullivan emphasized.

Continuing in the upper weights, the Wildcats are waiting for the return of three-year letterman Nate Keirn (215-pound weight class), a standout defensive lineman in football who is recovering from a hand injury.

"Nate is a very athletic kid who can be one of the top guys in the state, so we're excited to get him back for his senior year," said Coach Sullivan, whose Wildcats finished second at the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Sectional last season and qualified 10 wrestlers to the Mentor District, aka "The Mentor Meat Grinder." Joe Conway '15, currently advancing his studies at The Ohio State University, finished fifth in the state at 195 pounds last March.

"They handle adversity very well," Coach Sullivan continued in reference to his 2015-16 men of the mats. "We had a lot of injuries last year from football or wrestling, or outside of sports. But they never lost focus on what is most important - that you're at Saint Ignatius for an education. They all do very well in the classroom, and that's the one thing I stressed. No matter what is going on in your sport, you're here for your education and to improve as an individual.

"This group has really embraced that, and I think spiritually they have become more sound. Those things translate into being a winner, on and off the mat."

FROM THE CAPTAINS

CAL MILLER: "We have a full lineup, which is great," Cal said. "And we have a lot of freshmen throughout the weights. In the upper weights, we have only one kid per weight class. But they're the best of the best that we have, and we're doing pretty well with that. We're getting all of the work in, with even some morning practices. We want to make sure that what we put into this sport, is what we'll get out of it.

"I've been pretty much working on my 'shot,'" Cal continued. "All summer and throughout the season, I haven't missed a practice in three years. I am hoping it pays off in the district (tournament). I have never get out of districts  It's a great  feeling (being elected as a Captain), knowing that your teammates look up to you as a wrestler and a person. It's pretty exciting."

KADEN RUSSELL: "I came from Kent (Ohio), which is far away from here, and then grew up in Cleveland," Kaden said. "Just to be at Saint Ignatius is amazing. My dad (who attended John Adams and Aviation High Schools) bought into Saint Ignatius when he was growing up in Cleveland. It's just a great school.

"It's so special," said Kaden of being chosen by his peers as a Captain. "It's not like someone just picked you, they actually believe in you. It's a lot of responsibility, but it's also fun. Wrestling is an individual sport, but when you're in the room, you need your partners and in conditioning you need someone to pick you up. As much as it is an individual sport, I feel like it's a team because you battle and struggle together.

"Everything started to click in the CIT Tournament (Catholic Invitational)," Kaden said of his tremendous championship performance that weekend of last season. "But then the injury that followed was devastating. But honestly, I think it has made me that much of a harder worker this year. You feel what it is like to be doing so well, and then have it taken away. So this year you just want to give it everything you have. I'm working on getting better, in every aspect of the word."

KYLE VILSACK: "The team's strengths are the passion and desire that we have," said Vilsack, who two seasons ago became a rare sophomore captain in the Wildcats' wrestling program. "The self motivation and the motivation from your teammates, we try to push everyone to their limit. Getting better every day. The love for the sport.

"Some of the things we have to work on are just the basics," Vilsack continued. "Working on a few moves and just perfecting them to the point that even if a guy knows what you're doing, he can't stop you. You see it in all levels of wrestling, they all have that one move. We have to work towards that, one defined move.

"Our motto as captains is lead by example," said the big-match tested Vilsack. "Don't say something that you're not capable of doing yourself.

"Any work on my feet will take me to those next levels," Kyle said. "I've always been a mat wrestler, on the mat top and bottom. Something I've learned for the past two years is that I have to work on my feet. Really, that's my weakest point, and I need to make it the strongest."

Kyle said his summer work included going to the University of Virginia and working with one of the greatest wrestlers in the history of Ohio High School Wrestling, current Cavalier great and Saint Ignatius all-time record setter and two-time undefeated state champion George DiCamillo '12.

THE SCHEDULE: As always, the Wildcats will prepare for the OHSAA postseason tournaments with another demanding set of regular season competition.

It all starts with the storied Solon Comet Classic on December 4th and 5th. That is followed by the nationally acclaimed Walsh Ironman Tournament on the campus of Walsh Jesuit High School. The dates are December 11th and 12th.

The Cats will make the short trip to St. Edward on Dec. 17th to face their longtime rival and following some time off to celebrate Christmas, it is the tradition-rich Brecksville Holiday Tournament on Dec. 29th and 30th at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School. For a look at the complete schedule, go to ignatius.edu, click on athletics and click on wrestling.   

DEVELOPING THE FUTURE: Coach Sullivan shared with the corner that the growth of the program has, in his words, taken a huge leap this year.

"We started the Wildcat Wrestling Club, which is a Junior High wrestling team," Coach Sullivan said. "This is the first year for the team. Of the top 30 teams in the state, we were the only one without one. So it just took a long time to do it properly and this was just the right time to do it. So I reached out and asked some alumni to help. We have great attendance with it. It's just going to be another building block in Saint Ignatius Wrestling."                                   

 

                       

Just FYI on Saint Ignatius Soccer
11/19/2015

As we posted on the corner Tuesday afternoon, Saint Ignatius took over the No. 1 spot in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/USA Today Super 25 National Poll.

The Soccer Cats are ranked second in the Top Drawer Soccer.com/SIMA Fab 50 National Poll, which we also posted Tuesday.

In this corner's humble opinion and the opinion of soccer coaches and officials, the above-mentioned polls are the most respected in the sport of high school soccer. An official national ranking announcement, as we made clear on Tuesday, will be made next week.

At the very least, the marvelous Soccer Cats will be co-National Champions, but I'm pulling for an outright national title.  

Coach Mike McLaughlin's record seven-time Division I state champions were National Champs by the NSCAA in 2005 and 2010.

This old-timer, who actually covers and reports on Saint Ignatius Soccer in person, has always, and always will, respect those experts who put in the time and effort to compile the above-referenced polls. And that respect includes honoring their datelines, just as I have done with the Associated Press for 45-plus years.

Now back to the 2015-16 Saint Ignatius Wrestling Preview, which will be posted on the corner tonight.     

          

Wildcats Football is well-represented on the 2015 Associated Press All-Northeast Lakes District Team for Division I
11/18/2015

By Eddie Dwyer

Ohio City - Senior quarterback Dennis Grosel, All-American senior offensive tackle and University of Notre Dame recruit Liam Eichenberg, senior wide receiver/defensive back/punt returner Jack Cook and junior punter Colin Goodfellow were selected to the NEO District's First Team. Cook, who is bound for Harvard University, was selected as an Athlete.

Garnering Honorable Mention was senior wide receiver Cal Grbac.

The corner salutes these young men and again says Thank You for the privilege and pleasure to report on your many accomplishments.

Well deserved recognition, gentlemen.     

For those among our faithful readers who inquired
11/18/2015

Posted By Eddie Dwyer

As we reported on the corner du