Area wrestling fans that grew accustomed to watching the Division II district tournament at Firestone will have to travel to Alliance today and Saturday.
Firestone hosted the tournament for about three decades, but this year it has been relocated to Alliance High School.
Coventry, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, St. Vincent-St. Mary and Walsh Jesuit are among several area schools that will compete in Alliance.
CVCA, the Division III state runner-up in 2010 and 2011, features junior two-time state champion Nathan Tomasello at 113 pounds and 220-pound senior Matt Meadows.
“I am excited to go to the district tournament with 12 guys,” CVCA coach Don Lorence said. “It will be a tough district. We are wrestling well, coming off a good sectional where we built a lot of momentum and won the team title at Walsh.
“The team has worked hard. Hopefully going through the brutal schedule going against Lakewood St. Edward in a dual, the Ironman tournament, the Medina tournament, Top Gun and the other tournaments will pay off.”
Lorence said CVCA has a 15-1 dual record. A win over Parkersburg South (W.Va.) broke that school’s 115-match winning streak.
St. V-M junior Mike Rix (120) and Walsh senior Nate Skonieczny (138) are also returning state champs.
St. V-M had seven individual champions last week at the North Canton Hoover Division II sectional, but placed second as a team to Coventry.
Fighting Irish coach Anthony Gary said only one of the seven is a senior.
“It’s a young group, but they are pretty experienced,” Gary said. “They do a lot of wrestling in the offseason. They are starting to mature and peak at the right time of the season.”
Mentor Division I district
Perry is expected to fare quite well at Mentor High School after winning six sectional titles last week en route to the team crown at the Hoover Division I sectional.
Twinsburg senior Mike Baker (182) is among the field after winning a state title last season.
Barberton, GlenOak, Hudson, Lake, Massillon, Canton Timken and Stow also will have sectional champs at Mentor.
Alliance seventh-year coach Larry Kukura guided his boys basketball team to a 20-0 regular season.
The Aviators boast two players averaging more than 15 points per game, senior wing Vernon Martin (15.6) and sophomore wing J.J. Kukura (15.2).
“I think we have a really good combination of kids,” Larry Kukura said. “We have great team chemistry. They have been really coachable. They enjoy practice. We do it as a team. We don’t have a really outstanding player. We have seven guys that are good players that are capable of playing good basketball together.”
Senior center Jalen Mays contributes about 12 points per game and sophomore point guard Parrish Martin adds about 11 points per game.
Senior Sam Cundiff rounds out the starting lineup. Sophomore Kordelle Phillips and senior Taurice Scott are key reserves.
Alliance opens the postseason with a Division II sectional semifinal against Triway on Tuesday at the Canton Memorial Fieldhouse. St. Vincent-St. Mary, Archbishop Hoban, Norton and Marlington also are in this sectional-district.
Ashland Division I district
Lakewood St. Edward is the favorite at Ashland University, with Wadsworth and Highland among the challengers.
The Grizzlies feature senior two-time state champ Nick Tavanello at 215 pounds.
Sectional champs from Copley, Medina and Nordonia will also compete in Ashland.
Garfield Heights ?Division III district
Bedford St. Peter Chanel and Beachwood are favorites at Garfield Heights High School.
Manchester and Rootstown also will be well represented along sectional champions from Waynedale, Orrville, Garrettsville, Smithville and Norwayne.
Vote of confidence
Green girls basketball coach Tracy Miller started two freshmen in his starting five Wednesday.
One of them, guard McKenzie Black, made a game-winning shot with 2.2 seconds to go to lift Green to a dramatic 48-47 victory over state-ranked Lake in a Division I sectional final at Walsh University.
“I told her at halftime I thought she was playing timid,” Miller said. “I told her win, lose or draw, we were sticking with her and she made the winner for us.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohiomm.com/blogs/varsity_letters/. Also follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.