Open Door Jets win third state championship

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 31, 2003

Get out the brushes and purple paint.

During Friday's pep rally, Aaron Arbaugh told the students, teachers and fans at Open Door School to make preparations to paint "2003" on the wall along side the years 1991 and 1996 which are under the "State Champs" sign.

The painting can begin after the Open Door Jets captured the Ohio Special Olympics Division III state championship Saturday with a resounding 61-39 win over the Cuyahoga Berea Meteors in New Philadelphia.

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"I said we'd win and there she (the championship trophy) is," Arbaugh said after stepping off the team bus Saturday night.

Jets fourth-year coach Angie Kelley said the players displayed excellent teamwork in reaching their goal.

"At the beginning of the year, they were a bunch of individual players. By the end of the season, they played as a team," Kelley said.

The Jets reached the title game with a thrilling 37-36 win Friday over the Richland Bears.

Open Door trailed 23-16 at the half, but Donnie Cooper scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half to spark the comeback including the winning free throw. Chuck Ross added 14 points.

"We didn't play very well the first half. I think we took (Richland) for granted. But Donnie Cooper got hot the last half and brought us back," Kelley said.

"In the second game, we came out so much better and more focused. Chuck Ross had a career high 34 points, and Aaron Arbaugh had a great game rebounding."

Ross scored 34 points and Cooper 15 more in the championship game win. The Jets led 14-4 at the end of the first quarter, then 28-14 at the half.

It was 43-27 after three quarters and then Ross scored 14 points in the fourth quarter including a 3-pointer.

"Today, we were just plain on fire," Arbaugh said of the lopsided championship game. "When Chuck got the ball, no matter where he was he made it."

The championship may have been the third for Open Door, but none of the current players remember the last title seven years ago.

"We went and we conquered," Jarrett Osborne said. "It was exciting. It feels great. For the first time in my life, I was a champion."

And the paint brushes will soon put that champion label on the gym wall where it belongs.

Open Door106147--37


OPEN DOOR scoring: Chuck Ross 7 0 0-0 14, Donnie Cooper 7 0 1-2 15, Aaron Arbaugh 3 0 0-0 6, Patricia Ellis 1 0 0-0 2, Jarrett Osborne 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18




State Championship

Open Door14141518--61


OPEN DOOR scoring: Chuck Ross 15



34, Donnie Cooper 6 0 3-4 15, Aaron Arbaugh 2 0 0-0 4, Jarrett Osborne 1 0 0-0 2, Ben Slone 1 0 0-0 2, Michael Lake 0 0 2-2 2, Patricia Ellis 0 0 0-0 0, Robbie Stover 0 0 0-0 0, Kimber Brickey 0 0 0-0 0, Darrell Christian 0 0 0-0 0, Jimmy Fields 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25