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SPORTSBRIEFING

Salem wrestler fourth at state

HILLIARD — Salem freshman Karlie Stith made history over the weekend.

Stith became the first Columbiana County girl to reach and then place at the second Ohio girls state wrestling tournament sponsored by the Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association on Saturday and Sunday.

Stith placed fourth at 143 pounds during action at Hilliard Davidson High School.

She opened with a win over Christy Thelusma of Reynoldsburg by injury default at 0:05 and then posed an 8-3 decision over Caledonia River Valley’s Lila Mencer. Stith dropped a 3-2 in the semifinals to eventual state champion Lizabeth Banderas of Norwood. Then she was pinned by Rossford’s Zoe Hussar in the third-place match in 1:41.

Each of the 14 weight classes had 16 state qualifiers.

Minerva sophomore Alaina Jackson won her second straight state title at 235 pounds.

She recorded four pins — over Washington Court House’s Amara Corsbie in 0:40, Harrison’s Jessica Edwards in 1:16, West Union’s Celina Nickell in 4:55 and Greenview’s Karlie Harlow in 2:22 in the finals.

Minerva senior Kayla Phillips finished sixth at 121 pounds

She went 2-2, falling to eventual state champion Josie Davis of Sidney in the second round by a pin in 25 seconds.

Minerva junior Jada Shafer was her first match at 111 pounds and then lost her next two.

Three Minerva wrestlers — sophomore Paige Lucas (106), junior Michaela Jackson (126) and sophomore Emma Hilliard (189) — lost their first match, won their second and lost their third.

YSU back on the field

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Kobe Johnson ran for 114 yards and a touchdown and three-time FCS defending champion North Dakota State beat Youngstown State 25-7 at the Fargodome on Sunday to start its spring season.

The Bison extended their winning streak to 39, the longest in FCS history, and home streak to 30, the longest active ru2n in Division I. They will take part in the Missouri Valley Football Conference’s spring season with an eye on winning a 17th national championship.

North Dakota State (2-0, 1-0) beat Central Arkansas 39-28 in the Bison’s lone fall game on Oct. 3, which featured the final game in the career of redshirt sophomore Trey Lance. Lance, who declared for the NFL Draft, is expected to be a high, first-round pick on April 29.

Absent Lance, the Bison used a stout running game to control the line of scrimmage and a stingy defense on the opposite side of the ball.

In securing its ninth-straight win over the Penguins, North Dakota State amassed 243 yards rushing on 40 carries (6.1-yards per carry). Lance’s successor, Zeb Noland threw 18 times and completed nine pass attempts for 74 yards but protected the ball without an interception.

Johnson’s 15-yard jaunt with 4:20 left in the first-half and two-point conversion put the Bison firmly in control. North Dakota State led 18-0 before the Penguins could get on the board. Jake Coates caught a 12-yard touchdown from Mark Waid with 18 seconds remaining in the third.

The Bison squashed any Youngstown State comeback hopes when Jalen Bussey ran it in from 7-yards out to end a 9-play, 60-yard drive with 7:10 remaining.

North Dakota State held the Penguins to 171 total offensive yards.

Homa gets another shot

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The dream of winning at Riviera felt too good to be true for Max Homa, and it nearly was.

Needing a birdie on the 18th hole Sunday to win the Genesis Invitational, he hit sand wedge to a back pin that settled 3 feet away, setting up the storybook finish for a guy who grew up 30 miles away and has been watching this tournament his whole life.

And then he missed.

Homa won on the second extra hole when Finau failed to save par from a bunker, missing a 10-foot putt.

Blue Jackets will have fans

COLUMBUS (AP) — The Columbus Blue Jackets received permission from state authorities to allow a limited number of fans at games starting next week.

The city of Columbus and the Ohio Department of Health signed off on the plan to allow up to 1,953 fans — 10% of Nationwide Arena’s capacity — for the last 16 home games, beginning March 2 against Detroit.

Fans entering the building must complete an online check-in questionnaire and wear masks. They will be grouped in “seating pods” to maintain physical distancing. Tickets will be digital and concession stands cashless.

Fans have not been at games in Columbus this season because of COVID-19 restrictions. The last time the venue welcomed spectators was March 1, 2020, about a week before the pandemic began and shut down sports nationwide.

The Blue Jackets join a few other NHL teams allowing limited numbers of fans.

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