Waginger, Gagai, Rase lead area#039;s All-Ohio selections

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 17, 2005

The best teams in Southeastern Ohio were Ironton and Chesapeake. The Associated Press was somewhat in agreement.

Ironton and Chesapeake combined for a 39-1 regular season record - Chesapeake's only loss was to Ironton - and those two teams led the area in All-Ohio selections.

However, none of the local players were on the first, second or third teams.

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The Fighting Tigers, 20-0 in the regular season and ranked second in the final AP poll, landed junior guards Brigham Waginger and Dennis Gagai on the Division III Special Mention list while senior Joe Zornes was honorable mention.

Roger Zornes, 65-8 in three seasons at Ironton, was named the Division III Coach of the Year along with Ray Miller, West Jefferson and Mike Fuline of Rootstown. Ironton's 20-0 record was the school's first-ever unbeaten regular season.

Gagai, a 6-foot-3 guard, averages 17.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 3.2 steals a game while the 6-2 Waginger gets 15.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 3.7 steals per outing. Joe Zornes, a 6-2 forward, averages 10.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 steals.

The Fighting Tigers, now 25-0, play Archbold at 2 p.m. Friday in the state tournament semifinals.

Chesapeake's junior guard P.J. Rase was a special mention selection while teammate Brennan Hall was honorable mention.

The 6-2 Rase posted 14.0 points and 4.5 rebounds an outing as a point guard. The 6-6 Hall averaged 10.5 points, 6.5 points and nearly four blocked shots a game.

Southeast District Player of the Year Brett Beucler was a first team pick and Kyle Miller of Piketon was on the second team.

Ironton destroyed Piketon 84-49 and downed Eastern Brown 71-65 in the district tournament.

In Division IV, Green junior guard Derek Lewis was an honorable mention pick. Lewis averaged 14.1 points and 3.2 rebounds.

O.J. Mayo of North College Hill was named the Division III Player of the Year. The Division IV Players of the Year were Donald Suel of Columbus Africentric, Kurtis Brown of Continental and Sam Liggins of Cleveland Heights Lutheran East.