The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio on March 26, 2000 · Page 43
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The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio · Page 43

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Sunday, March 26, 2000
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D8 Akron Beacon Journal Sunday, March 26, 2000 www.Ohio.com High school boys basketball The name is James, LeBron . ' . Jt PHIL MASTURZO Akron Boom Inural St Vincent-St Mary's Maverick Carter lifts up the state championship trophy with his teammates Notes Winning one for Carter James says state title is for lone Irish senior By David Lee Morgan and Tom Gaffney Beacon Journal staff writers COLUMBUS: St. Vincent-St. Mary freshman sensation Le-Bron James lived up to the hype during the Ohio High School State Basketball Championships. With a 22-point scoring average in two games, James was named to the seven-member All-Tournament team He scored 19 points in St. V-M's 63-53 win against Canal Winchester and 25 in yesterday's state title game against Jamestown Greeneview. Irish coach Keith Dambrot said one of the things that makes James (6-4) such a special player is his maturity, which showed during the post-game press conference after the Irish won the title. "This has been a great season but I want to dedicate it to Maverick Carter," James said of the lone senior starter on the Irish team. "I wanted to make sure Maverick went out with a state title and we got it for him." The other members of the all-tournament team were Julius Johnson (Warrensville Heights), Jamie Cooper (Cincinnati Purcell), Kevin Groth-hause (Fort Jennings), Mike Marshall (Lima Shawnee), Ka-mil Wilson (Bedford) and Gregg Haines (Jamestown Greeneview). DOUBLE DISTINCTION - By winning yesterday, St. Vincent-St. Mary (27-0) became the only boys high school basketball team in the state to finish the season undefeated. The Irish also became the only boys team to win both the state tournament and the Associated Press poll title. The other poll champions were: Toledo Libbey (Division I), Triway (Division II) and Worthington Christian (IV). Triway lost in the regional final and the other two lost in the state semifinals. DROUGHT ENDS - St. Vincent-St. Mary became the first local state champion since Orrville took the Division II crown in 1996. It was the second of back-to-back titles won by Coach Steve Smith's Red Riders, who won the Division III title in 1995. The last state champion from Summit County was Hoban, which won the Division III title in 1989. BY THE NUMBERS - A total of 483 different schools have competed in the boys state tournament since it began in 1923. . . . Canton McKinley has made the most state tournament appearances with 24. However, the Bulldogs have won only one title - Coach Mike Riley's 1984 club, which prevailed in Class AAA. . . . Middle-town has the most state titles with seven. Orrville is the local leader with three titles (1992, '95 and '96). . . . Four local schools have two championships - St. Vincent-St. Mary (1984 and 2000), Central-Hower (1980 and '86), North (1935 and '39) and North-westem (1958 and '65). BRAIN POWER - Jamestown Greeneview' might have lost the Division III final to St. Vincent-St. Mary, but the Rams might have the smartest team in the tournament. Four players rank in the top six in their senior class. Trevor Thomas is No. 1, followed by Gregg Haines (No. 3), Chris Bailey (No. 4) and Joe McClure (No. 6). QUITE A RUN -State finals are nothing new to seven members of the St. Henry team which lost to Fort Jennings in the Division IV championship game yesterday. They also were on the Redskins baseball team which won the Division IV title last spring and the St. Henry football club which lost in the Division V title game in the fall. FOR YOUR INFORMATION - The boys tournament will be back at Value City Arena in 2000-2001. It will be the third year of a three-year contract that also includes an option for three more years after that St. Vincent-St. Mary freshman draws comparisons to Jackson, Kellogg with MVP performance at state By Tom Gaffney Beacon Journal staff writer COLUMBUS: Ohio basketball fans saw what likely will be the state's next superstar on display this weekend at Value City Arena. The state tournament was definitely a coming-out party for St. Vincent-St. Mary freshman LeBron James, whose skills and potential dazzled spectators and foes and media members as the Irish won the Division III title. In the two tournament victories, James scored 44 points and had 20 rebounds. He shot 16-of-22 from the floor and 10-of-13 from the foul line. "You can coach your whole life and never have one like him," Irish coach Keith Dambrot said. "He is a special player." 1 LI It PHIL MASTURZOAkron Beacon lournal St. Vincent-St. Mary teammates William McWain, left, and Lee Cotton celebrate the Irish's 73-55 win over Jamestown Greeneview in the Division III state championship game yesterday. Tall Joyce, Dambrot rise to occasion for St. V-M Continued from Page Dl A freshman guard who would need a stepladder to see over the Manhattan phone book, and a coach, not much taller himself, who couldn't even find a job in his sport two years ago. The long road To know Keith Dambrot, first you should know his mother. Faye Dambrot died of cancer on St. Patrick's Day. She was a professor at the University of Akron, helped to start the women's BOYS BASKETBALL STATE FINALS DIVISION I Cincinnati St Xavier 63, Bedford 54 DIVISION II Warrensville Heights 76, Cincinnati Purcell Marian 74, 0T DIVISION III St. Vincent-St Mary 73, Jamestown Greeneview 55 DIVISION IV Ft Jennings 64, St Henry 58 SUMMARIES Division I CINCINNATI ST. XAVIER 63, BEDFORD 54 St. Xavier 18 17 17 11 - 63 Bedford 10 12 15 17-54 CIN. ST. XAVIER (25-2) - Cornette 1-10 2-2 5, Cronin 6-8 1-2 13, Larkin 5-11 4-6 14, Callahan 3-6 4-6 10, Kennedy 2-5 1-1 5, Keating 0-10-9 James' numbers were impressive enough, but more impressive was how he plays the game - a 6-foot-5 guard-forward-cen-ter who considers the whole 94 feet of the court his private domain. "He is a fine player. He can go inside or outside," said Jamestown Greeneview coach Bill Green, whose club was beaten by the Irish 73-55 yesterday in the Division ID. tide game. "He is quick and he can shoot off the dribble." Press row was enamored of James, refusing to believe he could be a ninth-grader. Reporters sought him out and asked auestions about how good he lought he could be. The same reporters compared him to the likes of Jimmy Jackson and Clark " .f-j- " 4 " - -- studies program, was critical of Inventure Place for its lack of minorities and women. "When you look at my mother's resume," Dambrot said, "you realize that people like that don't raise people who are what they were saying I was. She influenced a lot of people." It is almost laughable now to consider Dambrot a racist, when you look at his bench, and behind his bench, when you see the black players and black assistant coaches and black parents who embraced him yesterday. But there was a time, after he was fired at Central Michigan for use of racially insensitive language, for his misuse of a derogatory term in an attempt to motivate his players, that Dambrot was branded. And no one would hire him. It lasted five years. He was 0, Larsen 4-5 0-1 8, Bast 1-1 0-0 2, Waligora 0-1 0-0 0, Sollmann 2-6 0-0 6. Totals 24-54 12-18 63. BEDFORD (21-6) - Birch 3-10 4-4 10, Washington 0-0 0-0 0, Curry 1-2 0-0 2, Melton 7-17 1-2 17, Wilson 8-21 3-3 22, Rias 0-3 0-0 0, Adams 0-0 0-0 0, Bradley 1-10-03, Monroe 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-54 8-9 54. 3-point goals-Cin. St. Xavier 3-12 (Sollmann 2-4, Cornette 1-4, Callahan 0-2, Kennedy 0-2), Bedford 6-22 (Wilson 3-9, Melton 2-7, Bradley 1- 1, Rias 0-2, Birch 0-3). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Cin. St. Xavier 35 (Larkin 7), Bedford 34 (Birch 8). Assists-Cin. St Xavier 9 (Callahan 3), Bedford 4 (Curry, Melton, Wilson, Rias 1). Total fbute-Cin. St Xavier 12, Bedford 16. A-11,320. Division II WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS 76, CINCINNATI PURCELL MARIAN 74, OT Warrensville Hts. 7 15 14 29 11 - 76 Purcell Marian 23 6 19 17 9 - 74 WARRENSVILLE HTS. (25-2) - Sanders 2-4 7- Kellogg, dominant players in their era. James himself is flattered by that, but wants to add some perspective to the situation. "I have read all that. All I want is to go out and work as hard as I can," said James, who had 25 points yesterday in the title game. "I think I could be the next Jimmy Jackson. But right now I just want to be LeBron James." One media member impressed with James was ex-Ohio State star Jay Burson, who did commentary yesterday on television for the Ohio News Network. Burson was a four-year starter at New Concord John Glenn High School and still holds the state career record for points with 2,958. He knows how difficult it was to make an impact as a freshman and believes James could develop into the state's turned down twice by the City Series for coaching vacancies. A college coach, once so young and promising, now turned away for nigh-school jobs because of a mistake, because of a misunderstanding. So he ran a Sunday evening clinic at the Akron Jewish Community Center. The rest of the week, he donned expensive suits and designer shoes and worked the phones at Prudential Securities. Gaining perspective But yesterday, here he was again. Fighting off a cold, fighting off the loss of his mother, fighting off allegations of illegal recruiting, but here, in a state championship game, a big game, kneeling and shouting and pointing and hugging his hands to chest. repScores, 14 11, JJohnson 10-25 5-9 28, Alexander 6-13 6-10 19, Brooks 4-14 2-2 12, Yancy 0-1 0-0 0, DJohnson 0-1 0-0 0, LJohnson 1-2 0-0 2, Moore 2-2 0-3 4, Rattliff 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-62 20-38 76. CIN. PURCELL MARIAN (24-4) - J.Cooper 10-25 5-6 25, Jackson 3-8 8-11 14, Cooper 2-3 0-0 4, Salamone 5-13 0-0 12, Fullman 2-4 2-2 6, Sanders 0-3 0-0 0, Fulks 1-2 3-4 5, Reid 0-0 0-0 0, Swann 3-5 2-5 8. Totals 26-63 20-28 74. 3-point goate-Warrensville Hts. 6-17 (JJohnson 3-7, Brooks 2-7, Alexander 1-3), On. Purcell Marian 2-9 (Salamone 2-7, J.Cooper 0-1, Jackson 0-1). Fouled out-J.Cooper, Jackson, H.Cooper, Swann. Rebounds-Warrensville Hts. 37 (Sanders 10), Cin. Purcell Marian 45 (Jackson, Swann 10). Assists-Warrensville Hts. 3 (Alexander, Brooks, Moore 1), Cin. Purcell Marian 12 (J.Cooper, H.Cooper 4), Total fbuls-Warrensville Hts. 22, Cin. Purcell Marian 28. A-12,656. Division III ST. VINCENT-ST. MARY 73, JAMESTOWN GREENEVIEW 55 premier player. "He has that type of potential," Burson said. "He sees the floor, he handles the ball well, has great poise and gets to the boards. As long as he doesn't rest on his laurels and gets better every year, there is no telling how good he could become." James has three more years to terrorize state opponents. He likely will be back to Value City Arena again since the Irish have a freshman class like no other in the state. Along with that will come attention from college coaches, fans and reporters. And let's not forget the autograph seekers, who were after him 20 minutes after the title game. How does he intend to handle all these potential distractions? "I just block it out when it's time to play basketball," he said. Then there were the interview sessions after the semifinal Irish Joyce, James lift St. V-M to Division III state title Continued from Page Dl found himself in an unfamiliar position, being surrounded by television cameras. After his on-court interviews, Joyce was hoisted into the air by his teammates, as St. V-M fans cheered "Druuuuuuu." He had to feel 10 feet tall St. V-M coach Keith Dambrot never has hesitated to use Joyce. Dambrot knows what he's getting when Joyce is on the court: an intelligent player who works hard on defense and can shoot. Boy, can he shoot. "I knew Dru was a player the first time I saw him," Dambrot said. "Watching him have a t game like this is just a great feeling. He's like me; we're the guys who don't get picked on the playground. I can't tell you how happy I am for Dru." "I'm a proud dad," said Dru Joyce Sr., an assistant coach for the Irish. "Dru is a small player, so there are times when he won't get many looks at the basket, but for a while there, they (Greeneview) packed their defense in and kind of dared Dru to shoot. He picked a great day to find his rhythm." Dru Joyce said he was "unconscious" after he made his first few 3-pointers, and his dad said he could tell it was going to be a good day for his son. "He kept calling for the ball, and that was a good sign," Dru Joyce Sr. said. St. V-M senior Maverick Carter was smart enough to know who had the hot hand. On Friday night, it was Carter who had the snooting touch. He led the Irish with 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting. However, yesterday, Carter didn't have tie touch, scoring six points (2-of-8). But when Carter was running the offense, he knew to find Joyce. "We have the type of team where guys can create shots for one another," Carter said. "When I saw Dru was feeling good, I started penetrating more so the defense would pick me up; And coaching. "Anytime anything bothered me about basketball this year, like if the bus was late," Dambrot said, "I'd just go back to myself and say, 'Hey, for five years, you couldn't coach at all.' This team was savvy enough to realize that there are people who resented their success, who did not want them to win, who considered their program and their coach in the light of a shadowy past They also were good enough, carefree enough, not to let it bother them. They wore down Jamestown Greeneview with their pressure, clenching, tightening, refusing to let go, carrying along on the remarkable shooting of a minuscule guard. This victory is not redemption for Dambrot any more than it is redemption upon the litany St. V-M 17 13 25 18 - 73 Greeneview 17 10 11 17 - 55 ST. VINCENT-ST. MARY (27-0) - Carter 2-5 2-8 6, Samabaly 2-13 3-6 9, Mraz 1-5 2-2 5, James 10-12 3-4 25, Taylor 0-2 0-1 0, Joyce 7-7 0-0 21, McWain 0-0 0-0 0, McGee 0-0 0-0 0, LCotton 0-0 2-2 2, Sherry 1-1 0-0 2, Johnson 1-1 0-0 2, S.Cotton 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 24-49 13-25 73. JAMESTOWN GREENEVIEW (23-5) - Matthews 2- 4 0-1 4, Carter 6-11 0-0 12, McClure 2-2 0-2 4, Haines 5-11 6-8 17, Thomas 4-14 0-2 9, Gill 0-0 0-0 0, Willis 1-2 0-0 2, Cardwell 0-0 0-0 0, Bailey 0-1 0-00 0, Pauley 2-4 1-2 5, Eartey 0-0 0-0 6, Crosswhite 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 23-50 7-15 55. 3- point goals-Akron SVSM 12-28 (Joyoe 7-7, James 2-4, Samabaly 2-10, Mraz 1-5, Taylor 0-2), Jamestown Greeneview 2-13 (Haines 1-3, Thomas 1-6, Willis 0-1, Bailey 0-1, Pauley 0-2). Fouled out-Carter. Rebounds-Akron SVSM 31 (James 9), Jamestown Greeneview 27 (Haines 6). Assists-Akron SVSM 15 (Taylor 5), Jamestown Greeneview 9 (Haines 6). Total fouls-Akron SVSM 19, Jamestown Greeneview 18. A-13,061. j James and final games in which James was asked question after question by print, television and radio reporters. James responses were fitting of an 18-year senior not a 15-year-old freshman. "My mother (Gloria) taught me well," James said. "She always told me to say the right thing at the right time." James' freshman year is now behind him. He led the Irish in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocked shots as St. V-M went 27-0 and won the Division HI title. And Dambrot has an opinion about how his next three years will proceed. "He will get better because he is very intelligent," Dambrot said. "He can be as good as he wants to be." And maybe as good as Jimmy Jackson and Clark Kellogg. Messages for Tom Gaffney can be left at 330-996-3825 PHIL MASTURZOAkron Beacon Journal St. Vincent-St. Mary's Aly Samabaly (right) is hammered by Jamestown Greeneview' s Joe McClure in the second half. then I would just kick it out to Dru, and he came through for us." Greeneview guard Gregg Haines (17 points) said he was impressed with Joyce. "We kept tying to go out on him and put a hand in his face, but he always seemed to get his shot off," Haines said. When Joyce enters a game, he knows opponents won't give him much respect. He said ne's had opponents ask him if he's in the fifth grade or if he's hit puberty yet. "I know what I can do on the court," Joyce said. "I don't let any of that stuff get to me. I just worry about doing my job." Greeneview (23-5) put together a very effective game plan, which consisted of playing a zone defense and forcing the Irish to make their shots from the perimeter. The Irish did. At the end of the first quarter, the game was tied at 17, and at haLftime, St. V-M led 30-27. But the Irish pushed the lead to 48-35 late in the third quarter on back-to-back 3-pointers by Joyce. However, Joyce's biggest 3-pointer was his shot at the buzzer, which gave St. V-M a 17-point lead (55-38). Messages for David Lee Morgan Jr. can be left at 330-996-3824. of short jokes that Dru Joyce has endured. That would cheapen the moment And besides, that time has passed for Dambrot. This is his place now, with this improbable and stirringly talented and oddly constructed team, with so many young players, with an exchange student from Mali (Aly Sambaly) whose parents both died, a story behind every face. It is Dambrot's kind of team. "I'm not perfect," he said. "But who is?" The answer, of course, will hang forever on a banner at the high school. The answer, of course, stood right before him all season, with 27 wins and not a single loss. Messages for Michael Weinreb can be left at 330-996-3821 Division IV FT. JENNINGS 64, ST. HENRY 58 Ft. Jennings 15 11 20 18 - 64 St. Henry 11 12 19 16 - 58 FT. JENNINGS (24-3) - Gasser 3-10 2-5 9, Utrup 3-6 0-0 7, Liebrecht 4-7 0-0 8, Grothause 9-16 1-2 23, Metzger 6-9 5-5 17, Boehmer 0-2 0-0 0, Ricker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-50 8-12 64 ST. HENRY (24-3) - Woeste 3-13 0-0 9, Bohman 3-9 2-2 8, Schmfiz 8-16 0-0 19 Gast 0-1 0-0 0, Wourms 1-4 0-0 3, Schwieterman 1-3 0- 0 2, Kaiser 0-1 0-0 0, Uhlenhake 0-0 0-0 0 Boeckman 2-5 0-1 5, Post 4-10 2-2 12. Totals 22-62 4-5 58. 3-point goals-Ft Jennings 6-20 (Grothause 4-7, Utrup 1-3, Gasser 1-5, Liebrecht 0-1, Metzger 0-2, Boehmer 0-2), St Henry 10-33 (Schmitz 3-8, Woeste 3-10, Post 2-6, Boeckman 1- 1, Wourms 1-3, Bohman 0-1, Gast 0-1 Kaiser 0-1, Schwieterman 0-2). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Ft. Jennings 32 (Metzger 10), St Henry 36 (Schmitz 10). Asskts-FL JenninfS 7 (Liebrecht 4), St Henry 14 Brjhman 5).

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