Gagai begins in new arenas; Massie lands big catch

Published 2:54 am Friday, October 29, 2010

Dennis Gagai’s final season playing in basketball arenas will begin in two impressive arenas.

The former Ironton Fighting Tigers All-Ohio guard who holds the team’s all-time scoring record begins his senior season with two exhibition games against two major programs.

The Northern Kentucky University Norse 6-foot-4 senior guard will play an exhibition game at Louisville at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Cardinals’ new arena, then visit Xavier Tuesday evening for the team’s second and final pre-season game.

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Of course, the Norse have an outstanding arena themselves. Fans can get a $10 cushioned back chair near the court. Since the women play first, fans can see two games for the price of one. The women’s program has won two NCAA D-2 national titles.

And for those interested, beer is sold at the arena.

Gagai is one of the top 3-point goal shooters in the country in NCAA Division II and the Norsemen have one of the nation’s top D-2 programs. Their schedule includes No. 5-ranked Grand Valley State plus highly-ranked Bellermine and West Liberty.

A transfer from West Virginia, Gagai was the Great Lakes Valley Conference Freshman of the Year.

More Northern Kentucky

Former Ironton baseball pitcher and Tiger Clan president Gary Massie is living in Covington, Ky., and he will get a small taste of home in a week.

Massie and his wife have four children including sons Clint and Kyle who both play for Covington Catholic.

Clint caught a 12-yard touchdown pass with 59 seconds to play to give CovCath 40-36 win over Dixie Heights and the No. 2 seed in the Class 5-A district playoffs.

Their opponent: The Ashland Tomcats.

The TD catch was the first of the season for the younger Massie who Colonels’ coach Dave Wirth said had been bugging him earlier in the day for more playing time.

Massie was given more playing time and he responded with the winning catch and a first-round home game on Nov. 6 against the Tomcats. The play was supposed to go to Alex Connelly who had nine catches for 127 yards. But Connelly was swarmed by Dixie Heights and quarterback Blake Bir checked off to Massie.

Driving Down the Layne

Brian Layne is at it again.

The former Ironton and South Point resident is living in North Carolina and finding golf to his liking.

Last week he shot a three-day total of 238 including a 73 on the final round to finish sixth in the A-Flight of the Amateur Nationals in Hilton Head, N.C.

Despite shattering his driver on Friday, Layne helped his Tidewater Association three-man team win the National Championship. Brian said he dedicated the win to his childhood friend, Jeff Linn who owns Bob Linn Sporting Goods.

Okay, so maybe Brian didn’t exactly say he was dedicating the win to Jeff. We’ll let them settle that between themselves.


Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.