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Published: Saturday, December 30, 2017 @ 11:22 PM
— Ninety seconds into Fairmont’s boys high school basketball game against Indianapolis Washington on Saturday afternoon, Firebirds senior Jack Hendricks already had hit a pair of 3-pointers and accounted for eight of the team’s 10-0 lead. Teammate Cade Morgan shot him a message.
“He looked at me and said you need to try and get the record today,” recalled Hendricks. “From right there, I was gunnin’ for it.”
»NOW YOU KNOW: The video - and multiple video bombs - is of Jack Hendricks after he scored 29 points in a 66-43 defeat of visiting Xenia last season.
Hendricks did just that, going for a program-best 52 points in the 117-64 victory. That surpassed Fairmont’s previous record of 47 points that Andy Metzler tallied in 1997.
Hendricks spent the rest of the day accepting congratulations. “It’s been non-stop all day,” he said. “My phone has been blowing up. It’s been all over Twitter and Snapchat just going crazy.”
A super-quick 5-foot-11 senior guard, here’s how Hendricks did it:
• He hit 14 of 22 three-pointers; four in the first quarter, three in the second, six in the third and a final 3-pointer in the fourth. According to Ohio High School Athletic Association records, that ties him with Eric Schiele of Atwater Waterloo (2006) for second in state history. J.T. Hoyng of Sparta Highland is the leader with 16 in 1998.
• Hendricks had three 2-point field goals and converted all four free throw attempts.
That ties him with four other area players who also scored 52 points: Robert Patterson of Colonel White (1974), Mike Haley Jr. of Dunbar (1988), Tyler Niekamp of Fort Recovery (2003) and Franklin’s Luke Kennard (2014).
»RELATED: Boys basketball power rankings
Coincidentally, Hadley LeVan of Triad scored 51 points in a 77-69 loss to West Jefferson on Dec. 22. Former Miami University men’s coach Charlie Coles is the all-time area record-holder, scoring 65 points for Bryan (Yellow Springs) High School in 1959. That’s two points better than Jerry Lucas of Middletown scored in the late 1950s.
Hendricks’ previous high this season was 29 points against Xenia. Last season he scored 30 against Cardinal Newman and also put 29 on Xenia.
The game started at noon and was the first in the debut of the Pioneer Showcase at Indianapolis Northwest High School. Few were on hand to witness Hendricks’ fireworks.
“There was no one there,” Fairmont coach Blair Albright said. “These were the sweetest people, but aside from a handful of parents on our end and a couple support staff for the opponent, there was literally no one there. It’s something we’ll always remember, but it’s something that wasn’t experienced by a bunch of people, that’s for sure.”
Among those missing was Hendricks’ dad, John. He kept up with Jack’s hot hand from a friend by phone. “He was, of course, upset because that was the one game he missed,” said Jack.
It also was one of the few times Hendricks hasn’t drawn extra defensive attention. Teams often put their most athletic defender on Hendricks, face-guarding with an intent to deny him the ball.
»RELATED: Girls basketball power rankings
“It’s always an advantage for us when we’re playing a team that doesn’t have us well scouted,” Albright said. “Jack can be incredibly dangerous, especially if people don’t realize what he’s capable of. Obviously, when you look at him in warm-ups, you’re not exactly intimidated.”
Hendricks quickly drew Washington out of its zone defense, but it didn’t matter.
“I got a day off of (face-guarding) and I was finally able to get some open shots,” he said. “(Coach) said if you think you’ve been face-guarded before, just wait until after.”
Wayne defeated Indianapolis Manual 57-51 in the Showcase later Saturday night to push its perfect start to 9-0. Fairmont (6-2) won its fifth straight contest.
Hendricks was grateful to teammates for continually passing on open looks and getting him the ball. He rewarded them with a record-setting show.
“My teammates were going crazy,” he said. “Every time I’d hit a 3, I’d look at the bench and they would go nuts.”
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 11:01 AM
— Kyle Schwarber clubbed two home runs as the Chicago Cubs beat the Indians 10-3 in Cleveland on Tuesday night.
The Middletown native raised his season batting average to .302, the highest it has been since the first of the month.
Ohio is for Schwarbers. pic.twitter.com/j8cHqU1mGq— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 25, 2018
After slumping in the first week fo the season, he seems to have found his stroke, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise he would do major damage in Cleveland.
After all, Progressive Field is the place he became a World Series hero two years ago when he came back from knee surgery to lead the Cubs to their first championship in 108 years.
Last season didn’t go so swimmingly for Schwarber, who hit only .211 in 2017 and spent some time in the minors trying to find his swing.
He always seems to have a good time hitting against teams from his home state.
Schwarber is a .500 hitter at Progressive Field and has a .421 batting average overall against the Indians.
He’s done even more damage against the Reds, who reportedly were set to pick him out of the University of Indiana four years ago if the Cubs hadn’t latched onto him first.
Schwarber has batted .330 with a 1.018 OPS against the Reds. He has seven homers and 20 RBIs in 25 games against Cincinnati.Follow @marcushartman
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 11:24 PM
— The game, the series, the season and perhaps Cleveland’s future were in jeopardy.
LeBron James saved everything.
James dropped a 3-pointer at the buzzer, a crowning moment for another one of his brilliant performances, to give Cleveland a 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in Game 5, putting the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Moments after blocking Victor Oladipo’s possible go-ahead layup — a play the Pacers felt was goaltending — James caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and hit his winner over Thaddeus Young.
As Cleveland’s sellout crowd exploded, James hugged rookie teammate Cedi Osman before jumping on the scorer’s table to celebrate another of those moments that will define his career.
“He does it at both ends every single night,” Cavs forward Kevin Love said. “That’s why he’s the best player in the world.”
James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and went 15 of 15 from the line.
“He really did impose his will throughout the game,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said.
Kyle Korver added 19 points and Cleveland’s much-maligned defense tightened just in time as the Cavaliers seized their first lead in the first-round series after being down 1-0 and 2-1.
Cleveland can close out Indiana with a win Friday night in Indianapolis.
Domantas Sabonis scored 22 points, and Young had 16 for the Pacers, who battled back to tie it 95-all on Sabonis’ 15-foot jumper with 33 seconds left. Indiana, which held Cleveland without a field goal for more than seven minutes during their fourth-quarter rally, forced James into a turnover and had a chance to re-take the lead.
Oladipo, who shot just 2 of 15, drove the left side and was at the rim when James swooped in for a block on a play reminiscent of his Game 7 block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Oladipo’s felt his shot hit the backboard first, which would make the block illegal.
“I got a step on him and I felt I even got grabbed,” Oladipo said. “It hit the backboard and he blocked it. It was a goaltend. It’s hard to even speak on it. That layup is huge.”
Oladipo’s shooting woes continued. He’s only 12 of 50 from the field in the last three games. He scored 32 in the Pacers’ Game 1 win, but the Cavs have been double-teaming him ever since.
The third quarter has been a major problem for Cleveland all season. The Cavs had tried everything to try and shake things up after halftime, even doing layup lines at the break in Game 4 like a high school squad.
Turns out, all it took was some defensive intensity.
Down by seven at half, the Cavs swarmed the Pacers in the third quarter, forcing five turnovers in the first six minutes and holding Indiana to one field goal over the first 6:52 while opening with a 19-3 run.
Cleveland outscored Indiana 32-17 in the third, when the Pacers shot just 5 for 16 (31 percent) and committed seven turnovers.
“We didn’t do anything new,” said guard Jose Calderon, who started his second game in place of George Hill. “We were just more aggressive.”
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 11:16 PM
CINCINNATI — Prized prospect Ronald Acuna Jr. looked like a polished veteran.
The 20-year-old Acuna singled and scored the tying run in the eighth inning of his big league debut, and the Atlanta Braves went on to beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 Wednesday night.
Acuna became the youngest player in the majors when he was called up from Triple-A before the game. He went 1 for 5 and played left field.
»RELATED: Riggleman wants ‘more’ out of bullpen
“As soon as I hit the field, I felt at home,” Acuna said through a translator. “I felt comfortable.”
Atlanta manager Brian Snitker saw no signs of nerves from his prodigy.
“I thought he was really good,” Snitker said. “Nothing affected him. He wasn’t overwhelmed. He went out and played his game.”
Acuna asked for jersey No. 13, following fellow Venezuelans Dave Concepcion, Ozzie Guillen and Omar Vizquel. The newcomer twice flied out deep, and struck out twice.
Ozzie Albies, the second-youngest player in the bigs at 21, homered for Atlanta. He was hit by a pitch to begin the ninth and scored on the go-ahead run on Johan Camargo’s second double of the game, a sharp one-hopper that shortstop Cliff Pennington couldn’t backhand.
“If you put the ball in play, good things can happen,” Snitker said.
Camargo drove in two runs and Ender Inciarte had three hits for the Braves, who led 3-0 after four innings. Acuna scored on Kurt Suzuki’s two-out single in the eighth to make it 4-all.
Jesse Biddle allowed three hits over two scoreless innings, Dan Winkler (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth and A.J. Minter worked the ninth for his first career save.
Kevin Shackelford (0-1) took the loss in his first appearance of the season since coming off the disabled list. The Reds dropped to 5-19, matching the 1931 team for the worst 24-game start in club history.
Joey Votto’s two-run drive, his second homer in two nights, got the Reds on the board in the fifth.
Reds starter Brandon Finnegan, who opened the season on the disabled list with a strained left biceps, allowed two earned in five innings.
“We made it tough on Brandon Finnegan,” manager Jim Riggleman said. “We missed a couple opportunities and fell behind early but we scored four after missing a couple. It came back to bite us.”
Braves starter Matt Wisler was roughed up for nine hit and four runs in five innings.
Adam Duvall was called out to end the fifth inning while trying to score the tying run from first on Scott Schebler’s double, but a video review requested by the Reds led to the call being overturned after a 2-minute, 10-second look.
A 33-second video review showed that Nick Markakis beat out what originally was ruled to be a double-play grounder with nobody out in the Atlanta ninth.
Albies’ fifth-inning home run was his seventh of the season. He hit six in 57 games last season.
The Reds loaded the bases in the first inning with three hard-hit singles but squandered the opportunity with Scooter Gennett’s short flyout and the slumping Duvall’s double-play grounder. Duvall is 2 for 25 over his last seven games. They also failed to score after loading the bases with one out in the seventh.
Umpire CB Bucknor returned after leaving Monday’s game and missing Tuesday’s game with an illness. Bucknor umpired at first base.
Reds: 3B Eugenio Suarez is 1 for 5 with a double and two walks in the first two games of his rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville. He went on the disabled list on April 9 with a fractured right thumb.
Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (1-1, 3.74) is Atlanta’s scheduled starter in Thursday’s finale of the four-game series.
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 4:45 PM
— The 83rd NFL draft is set for Thursday-Saturday in Texas, and Ohio State is expected to be heavily involved again.
Here are five things for Buckeye fans to know before it begins:
1. Close to a dozen Buckeyes could be drafted.
Eleven Ohio State players were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, and more got to work out for NFL scouts during the team’s pro day.
Land of 10’s Scott Dochterman predicts Jerome Baker, J.T. Barrett, Marcus Baugh, Jalyn Holmes, Sam Hubbard, Jamarco Jones, Tyquan Lewis, Billy Price, Denzel Ward, Damon Webb and Chris Worley will all hear their names called by the end of round seven on Saturday.
Ward and coach Urban Meyer are scheduled to be in attendance.
2. The top prospects are…
Ward is widely expected to be a first-round pick.
After him, it gets a little murky.
Hubbard could be taken in the first or second round and Price was considered a potential first-rounder before a pec injury knocked him out of the combine (he should be ready for the start of training camp).
Jones is the No. 34 player according to Pro Football Focus with Price coming in 64th, Hubbard 68th, Lewis 81st and Webb 88th.
3. The return of OSU as “DB U”.
If Ward does go in the first round, Ohio State will become the first school in the common era (since 1967) to have five first-round defensive backs in three years.
That run started with Eli Apple in 2016 with Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley following last year.
The last five starting cornerbacks from Ohio State have been drafted, something that also happened in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Ward could make six.
4. Will any Buckeyes remain in Ohio?
Recent history shows the Bengals and Browns aren’t very likely to pick a player from Ohio State.
While Cincinnati last chose a Buckeye in 2013 (offensive lineman Reid Fragel, seventh round), eight drafts have passed since the Browns chose Brian Robiskie in the second round in 2009.
In all, the Browns have drafted 32 players from Ohio State since 1952 while the Bengals have taken 17 since 1969.
5. Meyer’s first full recruiting class nearly finished.
Six players from Ohio State’s class of 2013 already have been drafted.
At least five more could be taken this weekend. If that happens, the 24-man class will be the most successful (in terms of draftees) since 2002, both in terms of total and percentage.