Canton McKinley vs. North Canton Hoover highlights rivalries

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Canton McKinley is no longer No. 1 in Ohio. By the end of the week, the Bulldogs may not even be No. 1 in Stark County.

McKinley, knocked from the unbeaten ranks and out of the No. 1 spot in the poll by Lakewood St. Edward in overtime last week, takes on unbeaten North Canton Hoover on Friday night.

The Bulldogs have never lost to Hoover in 10 previous meetings, but the Vikings are coming off an impressive 77-38 victory over nationally ranked Detroit Country Day at the North Coast Classic on Sunday.

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Hoover is led by 5-foot-11 junior point guard Bret Wackerly, whose father Paul piloted Hoover's girls team to the Division I state championship two years ago.

In a similar showdown last week, Cincinnati La Salle's Justin Orr hit a 3-pointer from the top of the circle with 7 seconds left to give the Lancers a 52-51 upset of defending Division I state champion Moeller before a sellout crowd of 1,000 at La Salle's relatively small gym. Orr is the nephew of former NBA player Louis Orr.

''It's the ultimate feeling, beating a great team with the last shot,'' Orr said.

Moeller had gone 16-0 vs. Ohio teams since La Salle beat the Crusaders in the 2002-03 regular-season finale.

HOT HANDS: Kristi Zeller, a Toledo signee, scored a Stow-Munroe Falls-record 37 points in an 84-30 win over archrival Cuyahoga Falls; Katie Coon notched 32 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in Plymouth's 77-63 victory over Ashland Crestview then had 32 points and 10 rebounds in a 90-74 win over Greenwich South Central; Jackie Mories of Cardington Lincoln had 37 points and 13 rebounds in a 61-32 win over Mansfield Christian; Tyler Lough added Marietta's single-game scoring record to his career mark by scoring 47 points - hitting 17 of 29 shots from the field, including 9 of 15 3-pointers - in a 91-56 win over Point Pleasant (W.Va.); and Wes Anders of East Clinton had 33 points and 13 rebounds in a 78-60 win over Felicity, then came back with 29 points and 29 rebounds in an 80-70 overtime win against Blanchester.

HOT TEAMS: Cortland Maplewood's girls are headed for their best season ever, winning their first season-opener ever and then going on to win 12 of the next 13; Thornville Sheridan's girls have won 29 consecutive Muskingum Valley League games; Cincinnati Seven Hills' girls, coached by former Reds first baseman Todd Benzinger, improved to 12-1 by beating Summit Country Day 62-29; Loudonville's boys held Medina Buckeye to three second-half points in a 79-21 win; and Carey's boys started the season 7-2 and were ranked 13th in the first poll but since then have dropped five in a row.

SHAKE DOWN THE THUNDER: Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame improved to 13-0 by beating Purcell Marian 67-27. MND, led by UConn signee Mel Thomas' 21.8 scoring average, is winning by an average of 35 points. The Cougars' closest game has been 13 points, and they have beaten defending Division I state champ Beavercreek (66-41) and four-time defending Division III state champ S. Euclid Regina 80-48.

FOOTBALL TO HOOPS: Versailles' Kyle Gehle scored 35 points to becomes the Tigers' all-time leading scorer with 1,395 points in a 84-47 win over New Knoxville. He also quarterbacked the football team to a state title last fall. Blaine Maag, Ohio's Division VI offensive player of the year who led Columbus Grove to the Division VI state championship, is making 46.2 percent of his 3-point shots and averaging 17 points a game for the Bulldogs.

NOTEWORTHY: Mentor girls coach Mark Chicone won his 300th career game on Jan. 17, the same day his father-in-law, Mike Moran, won his 200th career game as the men's coach at John Carroll; Blanchester's Nicky Fey established a school record with her 208th steal Friday in a 57-34 win over Batavia; Sylvania Northview's Jerry Sigler (498-136) can become only the fifth girls coach with 500 career wins this week; Mansfield St. Peter's Gretchen Polinski hit 12 of 13 shots from the field - including all four of her 3-pointers - while scoring 28 points in a 62-49 win over Youngstown Ursuline 62-49;

Amanda Ronk set the all-time scoring record regardless of gender at Crestline, pushing her career total to 1,255 points; Ironton won at rival Ashland (Ky.) 63-58 for the first time since 1988; and North Baltimore's Josh Eichar had his second triple-double in two weeks, scoring 15 points, grabbing 16 rebounds and adding 15 assists in a 67-50 win over Sycamore Mohawk.

Finally, with a win this Friday against Toledo Scott, Toledo St. John's coach Ed Heintschel can tie Scott's Ben Williams for the most victories in Toledo City League history. Williams was 429-120 (.781) in 24 seasons (1974-75 to 1997-98) with 11 league titles and five trips to the big-school state tournament. His 1989-90 won a state championship. Heintschel is 428-135 (.762) in his 25th season, beginning in 1970-80. His Titans have won nine league titles and made three trips to the Division I state semifinals.