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Ellet graduate Laura Lakins commits to play softball at Akron

By Michael Beaven Published: June 30, 2015

Laura Lakins has decided to stay close to home for college.

Lakins, a 2015 Ellet High School graduate, has committed to play softball at the University of Akron.

Lakins, a 5-foot-8 first baseman, plans to join the Zips as a preferred walk-on with an academic scholarship already in tow. She anticipates majoring in secondary education, and pursuing a career as a high school English teacher and softball coach.

“I am super excited,” Lakins said. “I grew up watching Akron softball and the thought of being able to wear the uniform is really unbelievable. I am happy that coach [Julie] Jones gave me this opportunity and I am ready to make the most of it.”

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Garfield senior-to-be Jatairis Grant commits to play football at Toledo

By Michael Beaven Published: June 29, 2015

Garfield senior-to-be Jatairis Grant has committed to play football at the University of Toledo, according to high school coach Bob Sax.

Grant will be entering his fourth year as a starter for the Golden Rams on offense and defense. He plays wide receiver and defensive back.

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LA Lakers select Larry Nance Jr. with 27th pick in NBA Draft

By Michael Beaven Published: June 25, 2015

The Los Angeles Lakers selected Larry Nance Jr. with the No. 27 pick Thursday in the first round of the NBA Draft.

Nance was picked by the Harlem Globetrotters on Tuesday, but will likely sign with the Lakers and start his pro career.

Nance, a 2011 Revere High School graduate, led the University of Wyoming to their first NCAA Tournament berth in 13 years this past season as a senior. His father, Larry Nance, played in college at Clemson and then in the NBA from 1981-1994 with the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He made three all-star appearances and won the 1984 slam-dunk title.

The younger Nance was named to the All-Mountain West Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team while leading the Cowboys in points per game (16.1), rebounds per game (7.2) and blocks per game (1.2).

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Harlem Globetrotters draft former Revere, Wyoming star Larry Nance Jr.

By Michael Beaven Published: June 23, 2015

Larry Nance Jr. would love to be selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

But if the NBA and a possible career abroad don’t work out, Nance can play for the Harlem Globetrotters if he wants to.

In anticipation of their upcoming 90th anniversary tour, the Globetrotters held their ninth annual player draft Tuesday and Nance was one of the players they selected.

The Globetrotters are all about “basketball and family entertainment.” The organization “searches the world for superb athletes with a flair for entertainment who also epitomize the Globetrotters’ ambassadorial spirit.”

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APS selects Murray Hooten III to be East boys basketball coach

By Michael Beaven Published: June 8, 2015

The Akron Public Schools has selected Murray Hooten III to be the boys basketball coach at East High School.

Ron Linger of APS said the decision is pending Board of Education approval. The board is expected to finalize paperwork on the hire on June 22.

“This is an opportunity for myself and my staff to make a difference in the life’s of young people,” Hooten said. “We want our guys to be stars in the classroom first and stars in athletics second.

“There is definitely an opportunity for growth and improvement.”

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Nordonia senior Alex Alders commits to play baseball at Wright State

By Michael Beaven Published: June 2, 2015

Nordonia senior Alex Alders has committed to play baseball at Wright State University.

"Wright State is a perfect fit for Alex to continue his baseball career," Nordonia coach Drew Hoisington said. "The way he plays the game fits the way they approach the game. Alex is a special player and I look forward to seeing him grow as a player and thrive as a Raider."

Alders has been a three-sport standout athlete at Nordonia, playing football for coach Jeff Fox, basketball for coach Matt Cash and baseball for Hoisington.

Stay tuned to the Akron Beacon Journal and ohio.com for more on this developing story.

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Baseball: Aurora tops Jackson 3-0 in Division I regional final

By Michael Beaven Published: May 30, 2015

Aurora 3, Jackson 0 – Ben Stawicki and Andy Weber both had multiple hits, and Adam Long and Carter Semancik combined to pitch a shutout as the Greenmen (22-5) defeated the Polar Bears (23-7) on Friday night in a Division I regional final at Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium in Canton.

The victory propels Aurora into a Division I state semifinal game against Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (29-3), who defeated Mason 7-4 Friday in a regional final.

Aurora and Moeller will play at 1 p.m. Thursday at Huntington Park in Columbus. Cleveland St. Ignatius (26-5) and Westerville Central (24-4) will meet in the other state semifinal at 10 a.m. The state final is set to start at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Aurora coach Michael Brancazio said Stawicki, a sophomore, went 3-for-4 at bat against Jackson, and Weber, a senior who is a Virginia recruit, went 2-for-3.

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Softball: Three home runs allow Barberton to defeat Stow 8-5

By Michael Beaven Published: May 22, 2015

A home run in the sixth inning and two home runs in the seventh inning helped host Barberton defeat Stow 8-5 Thursday in a Division I district semifinal softball game.

Macy Ries hit a three-run home run to tie the score at 5-5 in the top of the sixth inning. Riley Ries delivered a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to give the Magics the lead and Kayla Rorrer followed with a solo home run to conclude the scoring.

“Without a doubt that was our best comeback of the season,” Barberton coach Steve Kaisk said. “It was one of those games where at the end when I was speaking to the girls I was at a loss for words. I am very proud of the way they fought back.”

Barberton will meet Walsh Jesuit in a district final at Barberton at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

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Baseball: Four-run fifth inning leads Woodridge to 7-3 win over St. V-M

By Michael Beaven Published: May 21, 2015

Woodridge’s baseball team put together a four-run bottom of the fifth inning Wednesday to defeat St. Vincent-St. Mary 7-3 in a Division II district semifinal at Canal Park.

Bulldogs coach Dennis Dever said sophomore Jake Margroff and senior Christian Owens both finished with two hits. Owens batted in three runs and Margroff scored twice.

Mike Seminatore (7-3) pitched a complete game and earned the win for Woodridge (19-10), which overcame a 3-0 deficit to St. V-M (16-13).

Woodridge will meet Tallmadge in a district final at 2 p.m. today at the University of Akron.

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Baseball: Tallmadge lays down two squeeze bunts to beat Chagrin Falls 7-6

By Michael Beaven Published: May 21, 2015

Tallmadge’s baseball team defeated Chagrin Falls 7-6 Wednesday in a Division II district semifinal at Canal Park following two perfect squeeze bunts.

Blue Devils coach Kenny Linn called for both plays that worked. Junior Ben Pratt’s bunt scored freshman Scott Seeker in the third inning and junior Tyler Duben’s bunt scored senior Bill Woods in the sixth inning.

Tallmadge (13-14) led 7-2 going into the bottom of the sixth and held on to win after Chagrin Falls (21-8) scored four runs in the inning.

Woods (5-4) earned the win. Seeker, Pratt and freshman Jared Burick each had two hits. Burick, Pratt and freshman Seth Gergely all batted in a run.

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