Tied at the start of the fourth quarter Jan. 5, the Bay boys basketball team engineered a 16-6 fourth quarter to defeat arch rival Rocky River, 60-50.

Rockets senior guard Ashton Price led all scorers with 32 points–16 in the first quarter–and helped put his team ahead early, 22-14. At halftime, the Rockets (6-3, 4-2 Great Lakes Conference) led 33-27.

The Pirates (3-4, 2-3 GLC) battled back in the third quarter, outscoring the Rockets 17-11 to tie it at 44-44 heading into the final eight minutes. The Rockets opened the fourth quarter with a quick 6-0 run to take back control.

Cullen Gergye and Sam Houk joined Price in double-figure scoring with 10 points apiece. Tommy Bebie and Braedon Spies led the Pirates with 17 and 12 points, respectively.

Both teams went on to win games on Jan. 8. The Rockets traveled to Parma and won, 58-50, led by 21 more points from Price. The Pirates beat Valley Forge on the road, 57-39, paced by 21 points from Charlie Hudson.

The next night, the Rockets traveled to Eylria for a non-conference contest and won 56-52. Price once again led the way with 20 points, while Gergye added 10.

This Friday, the Pirates will host Elyria Catholic and the Rockets will host Lakewood. Both games are set to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Kimani to helm Magnificat soccer

Magnificat announced Jan. 6 that it was hiring Johnny Kimani as its next head soccer coach.

Kimani, who currently lives with his wife, Melissa, in Beardstown, Ill., will relocate to Northeast Ohio in May. He brings an extensive playing and coaching resume with him to the Blue Streaks program, which is coming off a 7-6-3 season and a run to the Division I district semifinal, where they lost to Avon, 2-0. Tibi Regele had led the program for the past four seasons before stepping down in November.

Born in Kenya, Kimani was a member of the U17 Kenya National Team from 2002-05, then played for four years at Houghton College in Houghton, N.Y. He began coaching in 2011 with the Ambassadors Soccer Club in Twinsburg, then had stints coaching the Kenya U17 National Team and the Ohio Premier Soccer Club before joining the high school ranks, where he coached at Rosslyn Academy in Nairobi, Kenya (2013-16), and later Shaker Heights High School from 2016-19.

Narducci receives coaching honor

The Greater Cleveland Football Coaches Association recently announced its yearly award recipients, and Lutheran West co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Tom Narducci was named its Assistant Coach of the Year.

Narducci has been in his role with the Longhorns for the past three seasons, with the team posting a 17-12 record during that time. In a 2020 season altered by COVID-19, the Longhorns went 4-5, but won their final two games over Orange and Fairview by scores of 45-40 and 40-7, respectively.

Prior to coaching at Lutheran West, Narducci served as the head coach at Fairview, Hudson and Fremont St. Joseph’s, and has been an assistant at Westlake and Padua.

The GCFCA’s Coach of the Year award was given to Holy Name head coach Dan Wondolowski, who guided the Green Wave to a 7-2 record and the Division III, Region 10 final.

Demon gymnasts off to promising start

The Westlake gymnastics team was finally able to start its season Jan. 5, taking second place in a quad meet with Berea-Midpark, North Royalton and Olmsted Falls at Ten Point O Gymnastics in North Ridgeville.

The Demons totaled 130.25 team points, trailing only the Titans (137.65). North Royalton and Olmsted Falls scored 128.65 and 122.55 points, respectively.

Four Demons set personal bests during the meet. Sophia Kontak finished second in the pole vault and second on the balance beam, her 9.2 score in the latter tying the school record. Olivia Scherma’s 8.3 score on the bars tied for fourth and set a personal record. Aidan Browning set personal highs in every event, and also finished fourth in the all-around with 31.7 points. Ryann Rodgers set personal bests in the beam (8.3) and all-around (31.55).

College commitment

Avon Lake senior guard Emma Knick announced on social media Jan. 3 that she will continue her basketball career at Baldwin-Wallace University next year.

Knick was a Second Team All-Southwestern Conference selection last season, and is currently one of the senior anchors of a Shoregals team that was 4-4 heading into last weekend.

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