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Alter three-peat D-II state title completes historic run

Published: Saturday, March 18, 2017 @ 11:01 AM
Updated: Saturday, March 18, 2017 @ 12:39 PM

            Alter’s six seniors hoist the D-II championship trophy. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Braxtin Miller, a prized centerpiece of Alter’s girls basketball success the last four seasons, was clueless as to what the Knights accomplished Saturday afternoon. That’s for record keepers.

“I really don’t know much about the history of all of this, so this might be big,” Miller shrugged while accepting congratulations following a 58-41 defeat of Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown that secured Alter’s third straight Division II girls high school basketball state championship. “I don’t know. It’s cool that we might have an opportunity to really have an impact on history.”

It was fitting that Alter’s talented six-player senior class made its finest – and last – effort on the grandest stage at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center. That enabled Alter (28-2) to wrap up an unprecedented four-year program run of 115 wins and just five losses. Besides the three-peat D-II state championships, Alter also was a D-II state runner-up in 2014 when these seniors were freshmen.

According to Ohio High School Athletic Association records, no other boys or girls teams have won that many games in four seasons. Alter joins Fairmont (2010-13) as the only area girls program to play in four straight final fours. No other area girls team has played in four straight state title games.

Hathaway Brown (18-11) had no answer for Alter’s talented backcourt duo of Miller and Libby Bazelak. Miller, an Oklahoma State signee, bottomed three 3-pointers for a game-high 23 points, and added eight rebounds and three assists. Bazelak (Duquesne) was just as good, going for 21 points (two 3-pointers), eight rebounds, six assists and five steals.

Brown’s Kaydan Lawson had 11 points and her 6-foot-2 sister Dani Lawson (Purdue) 10 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. Alter led by nine after the first quarter and Hathaway Brown closed to within five at the break, but Alter reasserted itself in the second half.

“We wanted it our senior year,” Bazelak said. “We have such a great senior class and we’ve had great leadership every year, which is really important. Going along with talent you also need to really love the game of basketball and we had that all four years.”

Emily Long, a senior move-in from Michigan, added six points and Lauren Lush and Nicole Hoeflinger four apiece to complete Alter’s scoring. All are seniors, as is Olivia Gillis, who added five rebounds.

Co-coach Kendel Peck sensed the Knights had something going following a 7 a.m. Saturday shoot-around at the high school.

“We were laughing and joking when we got off the bus,” he said. “We play better when we’re having fun and not so serious. It’s hard for a coach to let go of that but I had a good feeling (Saturday).”

Chris Hart, Alter’s other head coach, blinked back tears when addressing what this team and four-season run means to her.

“I don’t know how you adequately put into words what those six kids mean to us, to our program and to Alter High School,” she said. “What they’ve done is simply amazing. We’re very blessed to have had them go through our school for the last four years.”


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Former pro baseball player's son hospitalized after being hit in face with baseball

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 11:36 AM

Second baseman Keith Lockhart #7 of the Atlanta Braves sits in the dugout after hitting a home run driving in two runs against the San Francisco Giants in the sixth inning of game three of the National League Western Division Series on October 5, 2002 at the Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, California. The Braves won 10-2. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The son of former Atlanta Braves second baseman Keith Lockhart has been placed on life support after he was hit in the face by a baseball, according to media reports.

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Jason Lockhart, 15, was hit Saturday, June 17, during a baseball tournament in South Carolina as he touched home plate. The catcher was throwing the ball back to the pitcher when it hit Jason in the face and broke his nose.

Jason originally received stitches. While at a doctor’s office for a follow-up two days later to remove the tubes and packing in his nose, his nose began to bleed uncontrollably. A CT scan showed the fracture was worse than realized and there was a tear inside his nose, The Associated Press reported. Since then, doctors were working on controlling the bleeding.

Keith Lockhart, who played with the Braves from 1997 to 2002 and is now a scout with the Chicago Cubs, has provided updates on social media and asked for prayers for his son.

Jason underwent surgery to repair the fracture in his nose, but the bleeding persisted. 

According to a Facebook post by Lockhart’s daughter, Sydney, who also has been providing updates on her brother’s condition, Jason was placed on life support Friday. 

In part, she wrote on Facebook:

“Last night they were able to put Jason into a paralytic state through meds and machines. This has helped stop any movement that could encourage or cause a bleed to begin.”

The bleeding, however, continued.

On Sunday night, Keith Lockhart wrote on Twitter that doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite hospital were closing in on a possible cause for the bleeding:

Late on Sunday, Sydney Lockhart wrote on her Facebook page:

The doctors decided to take Jason into surgery to do an endovascular embolization today. They went in to his arteries and blood vessels and found the two most practical areas that could be feeding the areas where Jason has been bleeding. They went into both arteries on each side of his nose and cut off the blood supply. They are hopeful that this is the source of the bleeding. The surgery was a couple of hours long and Jason is now resting still on the ventilator to keep his vitals monitored and keep him comfortable. They will watch him for 24 hours and then he will go into surgery tomorrow to have his nose repacked and this will give them an opportunity to look back behind the packing to make sure there are no other areas bleeding. We are tired here but hopeful. The prayers and support that everyone has given to us is overwhelming and we are truly touched. Thank you so much. WE FEEL SO SURROUNDED

This article contains information from The Associated Press.

Reds’ Finnegan returns from disabled list

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 11:28 AM

Reds starter Brandon Finnegan pitches against the Phillies on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
Staff Writer

The Cincinnati Reds made three roster moves Monday before a makeup game against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

• The Reds reinstated from the 60-day disabled list pitcher Brandon Finnegan. He will start the 4:15 p.m. game Monday. The Reds have won 14 of their last 22 games against the Cardinals.

McCOY: Nats blast Bailey in return

Finnegan, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury, was 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three rehab starts in the minor leagues. This will be his first start for the Reds since April 15.

HARTSOCK: Better luck next time for Bailey

• The Reds moved pitcher Bronson Arroyo to the 60-day disabled list. Arroyo went on the 10-day DL on June 19, one day after he admitted his shoulder had been bothering him most of the season.

RELATED: Bryan Price talks about why they called up Castillo

• The Reds optioned reliever Lisalverto Bonilla to Triple-A Louisville.

The Reds beat the Nationals 6-2 on Sunday to avoid a sweep. At 31-43, they are in last place in the National League Central Division, eight games behind the Milwaukee Brewers. The Reds and Brewers begin a three-game series Tuesday in Cincinnati.

Fenwick Falcons name interim football coach

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 10:59 AM

Bishop Hartley defeats Bishop Fenwick 26-14 in their Division IV state football semifinal game held at Wilmington High School’s Alumni Field, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Fenwick High School has named John Aregood as its interim football coach.

Aregood takes over for Joe Snivley, who resigned in May after at four seasons citing family reasons.

“John brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position,” Fenwick Athletic Director Michael Coleman said in an e-mail to parents.

Aregood, a longtime area coach, has been a head coach at Franklin (16 seasons) and Carlisle (two seasons) and served as an offensive coordinator for 10 years combined at Springboro, Middletown and Hamilton. Aregood was a member of Snively’s staff.

Coleman said earlier this month the school likely will do a full-scale search for a new coach after the season.

“I think that would be a smart choice because if you lose a coach at the end of May or beginning of June, I don’t think you’re in a great position to try to come in with a new program and a brand-new coaching staff,” Coleman said. “I think that would just be a foolish decision to try to make that scale of a change at this late stage of the game.”

Fenwick opens the season Aug. 25 at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

Flyers’ Smith and Cooke land with NBA’s Celtics, Timberwolves

Published: Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 1:08 PM

Scoochie Smith of the Dayton Flyers dribbles against Rashard Kelly of the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 17, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Getty Images

You had to know that even though Scoochie Smith wasn’t drafted last night that one of Dayton’s greatest basketball players was going to get a shot in the NBA.

Sure enough, the first team All-Atlantic 10 point guard signed a free agent contract with the Boston Celtics, for whom he’ll soon work in summer leagues. A 6-foot-2, 180-pound native of the Bronx, Smith was not selected in Thursday’s two-round NBA draft, but that only left him the option of choosing which team he’ll try to play for as a professional.


Smith, 22, averaged 13.8 points and 4.5 assists as a senior, and played in a school-record 138 games for the Flyers over the course of his career. He worked out ahead of the draft for the Knicks, Rockets, Raptors and Mavericks.

Former Dayton teammate Charles Cooke, a guard/forward who along with Smith went to four consecutive NCAA tournaments, signed with the Timberwolves. Cooke led the Flyers in scoring (15.8 points per game) and rebounding (5.1).

Also, Duke’s Luke Kennard, a forward who played at Franklin High School, was drafted No. 12 overall by the Detroit Pistons.