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SPORTSBRIEFING

Hall slotted to take on Virginia wrestler

ST. LOUIS — Oak Glen High School graduate Peyton Hall has his pairing for the NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships set for March 18-20 at the Enterprise Center.

At 165 pounds, No. 21 Hall (13-4) will take on No. 12 Jake Keating (10-3) of Virginia in the first round. Hall, a native of Chester, West Virginia, earned his first bid to nationals with a fourth-place finish at the conference tournament last weekend. Keating also looks to compete on the national stage for the first time in his career after posting a runner-up finish in his respective bracket at the ACC Championships on Feb. 28. The two wrestlers have not met this season.

The first round of competition starts at 11 a.m. on March 18.

McDonald reaches championship game

DAYTON — Longtime area girls basketball coach Tony Matisi will be coaching for a state title.

His McDonald Blue Devils ran wild on Waterford for a 57-29 win on Thursday a Div. IV state semifinal at the University of Dayton Arena.

McDonald (24-2) advances to meet Fort Loramie (28-1) at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday in the Div. IV state final at the University of Dayton Arena.

Matisi had runs of strong success with Lowellville and South Range in recent seasons, but never got to the state stage.

McDonald’s girls held a 23-2 lead in the first half and cruised from there.

Molly Howard had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Devils. Sophia Costantino added 15 points and Maddy Howard had 11 points.

Fort Loramie beat Convoy Crestview 66-24 in the day’s other semifinal.

McDonald last appeared in a state championship in 1991.

Fort Loramie is looking for its third state title. Its state titles came in 2013 and 2015.

Struthers, Chaney out

BARBERTON — Struthers boys basketball team had won all of its previous 25 games this season, but Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s pedigree was just too much to handle.

The Wildcats were down 50-13 at half and were erased from the Div. II regional semifinal with a 76-37 loss on Thursday.

The Wildcats end one of the best seasons in school history at 25-1. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary improves to 23-2.

Youngstown Chaney followed up in the night cap with a 59-52 loss to Gilmour Academy.

The Irish and Lancers will meet on Saturday to decide who will represent the region in Dayton.

WVU bows out of Big 12 tournament

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Avery Anderson III hit the go-ahead bucket for Oklahoma State with less than a minute to go, and Sean McNeil’s tying 3-pointer came a split-second after the final buzzer, allowing the No. 12 Cowboys to escape with a 72-69 win over No. 10 West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals Thursday.

Anderson and Big 12 player of the year Cade Cunningham had 17 points apiece for the fifth-seeded Cowboys (19-7), who have won seven of their last eight games — including two against the Mountaineers — with the only loss to No. 2 Baylor.

Isaac Likekele and Bryce Williams each added 10 points to help the Cowboys reach the semifinal round, where they will face the top-seeded Bears or No. 9 seed Kansas State for a spot in Saturday’s championship game.

Taz Sherman had given West Virginia (19-8) a 69-68 lead with his 3-pointer with 1:12 to go, but Anderson answered at the other end for Oklahoma State. The Mountaineers squandered a chance to retake the lead when Miles McBride and Emmitt Matthews missed near the bucket, and Williams calmly hit two free throws with 21.3 seconds left to extend the lead.

The Mountaineers drew up a play to get Sherman an open 3 from the corner in the final seconds, but he misfired and the ball found its way to McNeil. He threw a pump fake to get a defender in the air, and the moment it took to do that cost him a chance at the winner — the buzzer had sounded by the time he released his own 3 and it splashed through the net.

McBride and Sherman finished with 19 points apiece for West Virginia. Derek Culver added 11 points and nine boards.

The teams split their regular-season meetings with West Virginia rallying from 19 down to win in Stillwater and Oklahoma State edging the Mountaineers last week in Morgantown without Cunningham or Likekele at their disposal.

Made sense that they would play another nip-and-tuck affair in the Big 12 Tournament.

Both teams were sloppy at the start, and neither gained separation until a disastrous final minute for the Cowboys.

Ohio eliminates Kent

CLEVELAND (AP) — Jason Preston had 19 points to lead five Ohio players in double figures as the Bobcats romped past Kent State 85-63 in the Mid-American Conference tournament quarterfinals on Thursday.

Ohio (14-7) faces top-seeded Toledo on Friday.

Lunden McDay added 18 points for the Bobcats.

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