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Published: Thursday, 12/28/2006

Sidelines: No River East basketball tourney this year

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Guerrero Guerrero
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Once a holiday staple, the River East Basketball Classic will not be played this year.

And there s no one more disappointed about that than Clay boys basketball coach Joe Guerrero.

"I won the River East five times [while coaching] at Waite, and five at Clay," Guerrero said. "I really enjoyed coaching in that tournament, and I m disappointed that it s not happening this year."

The tournament began in December of 1987, and for many years the field featured strictly east-side schools such as Waite, Clay, Rossford, Lake, Genoa, and Cardinal Stritch.

But Clay s admission into the City League in 2003 meant that Waite and Clay might play one another as many as three times in any given year, which both schools preferred to avoid.

This year three teams who played in that tournament in years past instead will use a round-robin format that will allow each school s boys and girls team to play two games in three days.

"With Waite having pulled out, we were unable to garner a fourth team for the previous format," Cardinal Stritch athletic director Chris Fahim said. "[Clay A.D.] Jim Jurski came up with this format, so we re still getting good games."

Yesterday Cardinal Stritch hosted Rossford in varsity boys and girls games, with the Cardinal boys and girls playing a doubleheader at Clay today. The Rossford and Clay boys and girls will play at Rossford tomorrow.

The three schools also have scheduled freshman and junior varsity games for both boys and girls, as was the tradition of the River East Tournament.

The prospects of reviving the tournament in the future look dim.

"I love to play in it, and I think it s a great tournament for the east side," Guerrero said. "But I already am making plans for next year s schedule, and my understanding is the plan for next year is not to have it.

"Having said that, if the River East tournament is revived, we ll be interested [in playing in it]."

Tim Smith is one of four high school coaches selected for induction into the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Smith coached basketball for 33 years, splitting the time between Sandusky St. Mary, Springfield, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, St. John s Jesuit, Lake and Northview.

He won 316 games in his career, including 115 at St. John s, where he captured a district title in 1973. He was named City League coach of the year that season, and was voted Northern Lakes League coach of the year in 1981 and 84.

Smith also received the Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Award from the Ohio High School Athletic Association in 1997.

The three other coaches who will be inducted along with Smith are Mark Alberts Sr. of Wooster, Gene Ford of Cambridge, and Bob Walsh of Elyria.

The ceremony will occur in Columbus on April 21.

Barber Barber
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Hollis Barber received a pair of gifts just before Christmas.

The Ottawa Hills senior received national recognition when the National Field Hockey Coaches Association named her to its high school All-American team. Barber, a midfielder who was voted to the second team, was the only Ohioan honored.

A few days later Barber was accepted to Princeton, where she plans to play field hockey for the Tigers. Teammate Megan Jamieson has announced that she will sign with Northwestern.

Last season Barber led Ottawa Hills to a 16-2 overall record. The Green Bears reached the quarterfinals of the state tournament before losing to eventual champs Gahanna Columbus Academy.

Barber was a member of USA Field Hockey s U19 Futures Elite team that won the Marteeny tournament played in the Netherlands last April.

She also is on the roster of the U19 Olympic Development Select squad that is scheduled to play in Argentina next April.

Eastwood won the 20-team Bobcat Duals last weekend.

The Eagles went unbeaten in 10 dual matches, including a 39-23 victory over Lakewood St Edward s "B" team in the championship match.

Eastwood, 13-0 in duals this season, scored 52 points or more in eight of its 10 matches and won by an average score of 58-15. The Eagles only close match was a narrow 38-37 win over Strongsville.

Five Eastwood wrestlers were undefeated in the tournament: Eric Cubberly, who wrestled at both 152 and 160 pounds, went 10-0, as did teammates Jeremy Foster (171), Kyle Taylor (140), and Jan Ulinski (125/130), while Andrew Long was 9-0 at 135.



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