Junior guards Ryan Elbert and Ella Neitzel combined to hit seven 3-pointers, and the St. Joseph Academy basketball team took a 47-31 win over arch rival Magnificat at home Dec. 9.

Elbert finished with a team-high 15 points, followed by 14 from Neitzel. Charlotte Adler added 10. The Jaguars (2-2) took an early 13-3 lead on the Blue Streaks (0-3) and were able to hold them off the rest of the way.

The victory ended a four-game losing skid head-to-head for the Jaguars dating back to 2019. The Blue Streaks beat the Jaguars three times last year, including in a Division I district semifinal Feb. 25.

Cameron Jones paced Magnificat with 12 points, while Clare Chambers scored six. The team will next host Nordonia Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

SJA will host Laurel today at 6 p.m. and will travel to Wadsworth on Saturday for a 7 p.m. start.

Eagles return to court

The St. Edward basketball team played its first game since a Division I regional semifinal last March and hit a familiar stride, hitting 12 3-pointers and winning 74-62 against visiting Richmond Heights on Dec. 11.

Four Eagles (1-0) reached double-digits in scoring, led by 17 from Jair Knight. Mason Lerch scored 15, Michael Bova 14 and Shane Macalla 11.

On Friday, the Eagles will travel to Benedictine for a 7 p.m. start.

Swimmers open season

The Rocky River boys and girls swimming and diving teams got their respective seasons off to a good start Dec. 9, defeating visiting Valley Forge 141-40 and 145-38, respectively.

During the boys meet, the Pirates claimed first place in six of eight swimming events. Braden Devorace, a junior, won the 200-yard freestyle and the 100 breaststroke, while also teaming up to win the 200 medley relay. Also a part of that relay team was sophomore Michael Esdon, who finished first in the 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke. Junior Griffin Sawyer won the 1-meter diving event.

Sophomore Gianna Miller helped lead the Pirate girls, serving as one leg of three first place relay teams and winning the 50 free. Junior Kate Tlapa won the 200 and 500 freestyle events, and was part of two winning relays. Heather Smith took first in the 1-meter dive.

St. Joseph Academy began its season at Perry on Dec. 9 and lost, 92-81. Suzanna Fernandez took first place in the 200 free and was part of the winning 200 medley relay team. Relay teammate Emma Claire Lambert-Shemo won the 500 freestyle and was also a part of the first place 400 freestyle relay. Vivian Ahern was a first-place diver.

SWC, LCL seasons back on

After taking multi-week pauses from outside competition, the Southwestern Conference and Lorain County League each announced last week that winter sports were to continue, beginning on Monday.

Because of the effects COVID-19 already put on schedules to start the season, schools in both leagues will prioritize contests against other member schools in hopes of fitting in a full conference season.

Petroff resigns from Longhorn football

Since taking over for Dave Stupka as the head coach of the Lutheran West football team in 2015, the Longhorns posted a 26-33 record, including a 7-3 mark in 2019 that narrowly missed the Division IV playoffs.

After a 4-5 finish to a COVID-19 altered 2020 season, Petroff stepped down Dec. 10.

“I feel that this is the right time to step down as the head football coach at Lutheran High School West,” he said in a statement on www.lutheranwestlonghorns.com. “The many demands of teaching and the time devoted to the football program made the decision a difficult one because of the outstanding football players that we have.”

“Being the head coach is a full-time position with year-round demands, and I have missed out on many important things pertaining to my family and friends,” he said.

four seasons of improved win totals (2016-2019) as well as increased program participation for the past four seasons.

Since 2015, 12 of Petroff’s players have continued on at the college level, including six from the 2020 graduating class.

Sherman finds the end zone

Louisville redshirt freshman and 2019 Bay High School graduate Francis Sherman had suited up for seven football games this season, achieving a breakthrough Dec. 12 in a 45-21 win at home over Wake Forest (4-4).

Sherman, lining up at tight end, caught three passes for 19 yards and a touchdown–all career firsts–for the Cardinals (4-7). The 6-foot-3, 237-pound Sherman was a three-year letterman for the Rockets under coach Ron Rutt, earning All-Great Lakes Conference Second Team honors as a senior.

College commitments

A pair of Avon High School athletes recently announced their college commitments.

Senior Cael Saxton Tweeted on Dec. 4 that he will continue his wrestling career at the University of Chicago. The 113-pounder was a state qualifier last season before COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the annual tournament in Columbus, and finished his junior season with a 27-8 record.

Keegan Dawson, a midfielder on the Eagles boys soccer team, announced his commitment to St. Bonaventure on Dec. 10. In his final high school season this fall, he tallied 24 goals and 27 assists as the team won the outright Southwestern Conference championship.

All-Ohio football teams

The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association announced its All-Ohio football honorees last week, with a number of area players making the lists.

In Division I, St. Edward linebacker C.J. Hankins was named to the First Team defense, while teammates Thomas Aden (offensive line) and Jaylen Castleberry (defensive back) were named to the Second Team. Punter Justin Slattery was named to the Third Team defense.

Avon and Avon Lake were well-represented in Division II. For the Eagles, quarterback Niko Pappas was named to the First Team offense, while offensive lineman Mason Bingham made the Second Team offense. Devon Hunter made the Third Team defense and Arling Bengu was named to the Third Team defense as a punter.

For the Shoremen, Alex Padgett (offensive line) and Kadyn Viancourt (defensive line) were named to the First Team, Gage Duesler (running back) and Nate Cikalo (linebacker) made Second Team and Owen Wiley (kicker) and Billy Simpson (defensive back) made Third Team.

Bay senior Cullen Gergye (defensive back) was named to the Division III Second Team.

Brookside teammates Karson Nail (linebacker) and Matthew O’Donnell (kicker) made the Division IV Second and Third Teams, respectively.

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