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National Signing Day: Local football stars making final recruiting plans

Published: Monday, February 05, 2018 @ 11:45 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 07, 2018 @ 9:21 AM

Springfield sr. Leonard Taylor addresses a 65-62 OT boys high school basketball

A trio of the best senior football players in the area have announced their finalists heading into the traditional National Signing Day. 

Springfield tight end/defensive linemen Leonard Taylor is set to choose from a final four of Cincinnati, Louisville, Kentucky and Texas A&M. 

Dunbar running back Tavion Thomas, who recently de-committed from Oklahoma, has listed a final four of Tennessee, Cincinnati, Ohio State and the Sooners. 

Trotwood-Madison running back Ra’veion Hargrove has a final three of Bowling Green, Ohio University and Eastern Kentucky. The 3,000-yard rusher was committed to BGSU until mid-fall when he announced he would re-examine his options. 

Taylor is the top-rated Ohio prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings who is not committed. 

The recruiting cycle has undergone a big change this year with an early signing period having been held in December. 

Most of the area’s prospects put pen to paper at that time, but those who did not will be able to sign Wednesday. 

RELATED: Ohio’s No. 1 player picks ClemsonSW District DPOY signs with Cincinnati

Aside from the three mentioned above, two more four-star prospects plan to sign this week. 

Dunbar receiver Joseph Scates is headed to Iowa State after verbally committing last week

Lakota West linebacker Xavier Peters, a long-time Kentucky verbal, announced Saturday he is heading to Florida State instead. 

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District softball: Kenton Ridge beats Monroe to reach regionals for first time in five years

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 9:27 PM

Highlights: Kenton Ridge beats Monroe in district softball

After postponements Friday and Saturday because of rain and a one-hour delay because of thunder on Sunday, Kenton Ridge and Monroe finally got to play their Division II district championship.

The Cougars (23-1), ranked second in the state, advanced to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2013 with a 6-2 victory at Brookville High School. The game started at 7 p.m. and finished just before it got too dark to play.

» RELATED: Bradford wins district softball title | Lebanon beats Fairfield

Monroe, which was seeking its first district championship, finished the season 18-3. Senior Faith Hensley, a Ball State recruit, hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning in the last at-bat of her high school career.

Kenton Ridge will play another Central Buckeye Conference team, Jonathan Alder, at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Mason High School. The teams split in the regular season. Both games went to extra innings. Kenton Ridge won 4-3 in Springfield on April 18 and lost 7-6 at Jonathan Alder on April 27. The Cougars have won 10 straight games since their only loss.

» EARLIER COVERAGE: Kenton Ridge beats Northwestern in sectional final

No. 4 Greenville and No. 7 Clinton Massie will play at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the other regional semifinal at Mason.

Carly Turner earned the victory on the mound, striking out nine, and drove in the first run of the game for Kenton Ridge in the fourth. Her double scored Lexee Trainer.

Paige Williams added an RBI single in the fourth. Then a squeeze bunt by Maddy Hall scored a third run. Trainer made it 4-0 with an RBI single in the fifth. Jordan Rucker drove in two runs with a triple in the sixth.

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Schwarber, Cubs hammer Reds, win series

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 5:08 PM

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 20: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on May 20, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 20: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on May 20, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)(Joe Robbins)

Yu Darvish recovered from a shaky start to earn his first win with the Cubs, and Kyle Schwarber hit one of Chicago’s three home runs Sunday in a 6-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Schwarber, a Middletown native, launched a two-run drive, and Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist each had a solo shot to help the Cubs take three of four in the series. Darvish (1-3) went six innings and allowed only two hits, both in the first, during his eighth start since signing a $126 million, six-year contract with Chicago last offseason.

»RELATED: Reds have played winning baseball since 3-18 start

»RELATED: Prospect to resume baseball activity

»RELATED: Votto weighs in on Reds’ historically bad start

In his second outing since coming off the disabled list Tuesday, the four-time All-Star overcame a 39-pitch first inning and finished six for the third time this season. He allowed one run with three walks and seven strikeouts.

Tyler Mahle gave up all three Chicago long balls, passing Homer Bailey for the team lead in homers allowed with 13. The Cubs reached Mahle (3-6) for seven hits, two walks and four runs. He struck out six.

Chicago outscored the Reds 16-1 over the final two games of the series while completing a 4-2 road trip. The Reds are 2-5 since sweeping the Dodgers in a four-game series at Los Angeles for the first time since August 1976.

The Reds scored their only run on Scott Schebler’s bases-loaded infield single with two outs in the first. Cubs shortstop Addison Russell went deep into the hole to backhand the ball, but he couldn’t hang onto it. Darvish retired the following eight batters and nine of the next 10.

Schwarber gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead in the second with his first home run since April 26. Baez, who went into the game leading the National League with 37 RBIs, followed with his first since May 7.

Zobrist led off the fifth with his second homer of the season and first since April 8. The Cubs capitalized on first baseman Joey Votto’s throwing error to add two unearned runs in the seventh.


Right-hander Michael Lorenzen (right shoulder strain) was scheduled to throw two innings of relief in his third rehab appearance for Double-A Pensacola.


Right-hander Matt Harvey (0-2) makes his home debut for Cincinnati in Tuesday’s series opener against Pittsburgh.


Pirates at Reds, 7:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410

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NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell released from hospital

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 11:56 AM

Hall of Famer Bill Russell led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA titles.
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Hall of Famer Bill Russell led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA titles.(Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell confirmed on Twitter he was released after an overnight stay in the hospital for dehydration.

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According to TMZ, the 84-year-old Boston Celtics great was taken by ambulance from his Seattle-area home to a nearby hospital Friday night. 

Russell tweeted Saturday that he was doing all right, writing that “Yes, I was taken to the hospital last night and as my wife likes to remind me I don’t drink enough.”

Russell also dismissed earlier reports by TMZ about being admitted to the hospital because of heart problems, tweeting “As most of my friends know, I don’t have a heart to give me trouble.”

Russell later posted a tweet that included a photo of him holding a glass of water

The Celtics legend was also hospitalized in 2014 after collapsing at a speaking engagement.

Russell made it home in time Saturday to watch the Celtics lose 116-86 to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics lead the series 2-1.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens told ESPN that he was relieved to hear that Russell was all right.

"Yeah, that was obviously scary news, and happy to hear that he's doing better and he's been released from the hospital,'' Stevens said in Cleveland before Game 3. "He's the ultimate basketball winner. The way he impacted winning, the unselfishness of a teammate, what he stood for off the floor -- everything about him.” 

Russell won 11 titles with the Celtics and was named the NBA’s most valuable player five times. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975.

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Sinclair baseball team advances to national junior college World Series

Published: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 5:16 PM

            Sinclair first baseman Eddie Pursinger is headed to the University of Dayton next season. Tom Archdeacon/STAFF
Sinclair first baseman Eddie Pursinger is headed to the University of Dayton next season. Tom Archdeacon/STAFF

The Sinclair College baseball team saved the best for last in its regional baseball tournament in Sandusky on Saturday.

The Tartan Pride rode a late rally to an 11-7 win over Kellogg Community College in the championship game, sending Sinclair to the National Junior College Division II World Series.

ARCHDEACON: A spring tradition — Sinclair baseball one of nation’s best

Sinclair had been on a dominating run through much of its season. In fact, hadn’t lost a game since late March. That 31-game streak was snapped in the first game of the double-elimination tournament Saturday morning as Kellogg scored nine runs in the first two innings and went on to a 10-4 win.

Just like the first game, Steve Dintaman’s team got off to a slow start in Game 2 when the Bruins scored four times in the top of the second inning.

Down 5-1 in the fourth inning, the Tartan Pride got back in it with a solo home run from Eddie Pursinger to lead off the inning. Then Dylan Carpenter nailed a two run shot, and the deficit was down to one run at 5-4.

Kellogg held a 7-4 advantage in the eighth inning when Sinclair sent 11 batters to the plate. Carpenter started the scoring with an RBI single. Tyler Zaluski followed that with a two-run double, and Sami Mehmed drove in two more runs with a single to left field.

Justin Clarke capped the inning with a two-run single to right field. The Tartan Pride scored seven runs on seven hits in the inning.

Chaney Morgan got the win out of the bullpen, but he needed help in the ninth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Jake Webb came in to get a ground ball for the final out.

Sinclair now heads back to Enid, Okla., to another National Junior College World Series next week. The Tartan Pride finished third in the World Series in 2016.

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