Aurora freshman Gavin Blunt, Hawken senior Louis DeMarco and Independence junior Ashley Rega were named Ward’s Lawn Care & Landscape Co., Players of the Week for the week ending March 1.
Blunt averaged 23 points, eight rebounds and three assists in two wins for the Greenmen.
“We relied on a freshman and our freshman didn't let us down,” said Aurora coach Jim Wallish. “That is the making of a very, very special player.”
Although he’s in his first year of high school basketball, Blunt has developed into a solid player on and off the court.
“He is a player who is very talented that takes to coaching and wants to help the team in any way possible,” Wallish said. “He has been our most consistent player in terms of effort night in and night out and tries to implement our philosophies as much as possible.”
In a 71-68 win over Crestwood, Blunt drained a 3-pointer to give the Greenmen a one point lead with less than a minute to play and against Chardon Blunt pulled down six offensive rebounds, all with the game very much in doubt.
Demarco, who placed eighth in the state tournament last season, on Saturday won his fourth straight OHSAA Division III sectional championship and he did it in dramatic fashion by beating Pymatuning Valley’s Mitch Skleres, 2-1, in the ultimate tie breaker.
The championship bout featured two returning state qualifiers.
“It was great, ultimate overtime,” DeMarco said. “Great match.”
Both wrestlers earned an escape in the match but neither could score the decisive points in regulation. The one minute overtime didn’t settle the match, which forced the wrestlers into the 30-second tie-breakers.
Again, neither wrestler scored and the ultimate tie-breaker was implemented.
DeMarco won the toss and opted to start the 30-second period in the top position.
“I knew I had a stalling to give so if he was going to get out I’d just drop down to a leg and pick it up,” DeMarco said of his decision. “In the second period I rode him out for a good 40 something seconds so I knew I had that coming in and then I rode him out previously in overtime and had the stall to give.”
Rega finished sixth in the 50 yard freestyle at the 2015 Northeast District Meet at Cleveland State University to become the first swimmer in school history to qualify for the state meet.
“I’m really excited,” Rega said. “It’s really cool that I’m the first one but I’m super excited I just made it.”
Rega, who won the Akron Division II sectional with a time of 24.96, finished the race in 24.56, just over a half second behind the first place swimmer.
“I was really nervous,” she said. “I was seeded so high so I really wanted to keep that spot. Once I hit the water I felt great. I had a lot of fun with it. When I finished I was happy with my time because I dropped from sectionals. I was happy with the race.”
Rega also swam in the 100 Butterfly and 200 Medley and 200 Freestyle relays.
She was seventh in the 100 fly with a time of 1:00.17 and helped the 200 freestyle relay set a new school record with a time of 1:48.05.
“I swam fly in the medley and had a faster time than I did at sectionals, which was exciting, and I dropped a little bit on my 100 fly too but I didn’t go as fast as I wanted to,” she said. “In the 200 free relay I went faster in my split. I was last and went faster than I did individually and we also broke the school record.”
COACHES, NOMINATE YOUR PLAYERS
Coaches, click HERE to nominate your athletes for Ward’s Lawn Care & Landscape Co. Players of the Week. Athletes from all Northeast Ohio schools are eligible for the award and nominations are due by 10:00 p.m. every Monday.