The Cleveland Heights girls' lacrosse team had a perfect week and earned the state’s top ranking after two dominant wins at the Hannigan-Galipault Lacrosse Tournament at Thomas Worthington High School near Columbus on Saturday.
The Tigers pounded Lake Forest of Illinois, 11-4, and Mason of Cincinnati, 8-4, to top the new computer rankings of laxpower.com released late Saturday. Meg Lentz had seven of the eight goals for Cleveland Heights (7-1) against Mason.
“We played two excellent games against very good competition. We started warming up in hail and rain and then played the games in pretty difficult conditions and played well,” Tigers coach Terry Saylor said.
Earlier in the week, senior attacker Tali Lugasy had five goals and an assist as the Tigers crushed host Western Reserve, 17-7, on Friday.
“(Lugasy’s) been a solid player all year. She been scoring a goal or two every game. And just seems to be in the right place,” Saylor said.
Lentz and Olivia Lash each scored six goals for an 18-3 win at Shaker Heights on Thursday. Kelly Rosenbaum had eight saves.
The Tigers play at Hathaway Brown on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. for their only game of the week. While Saylor isn’t looking past Hathaway Brown, he nonetheless has a circle around next Monday’s game when his team faces No. 17 Hudson.
“That should probably be one of the top games in the state,” Saylor said. “Hudson is very good. It’ll be two very equal teams.”
Rain claimed Cleveland Heights’ double-header against visiting Benedictine on Saturday and capped off a tough week for the Tigers as they went 1-2.
Cleveland Heights lost, 7-4, to Euclid at home Tuesday and then fell, 3-0, at Bedford on Wednesday. But the Tigers rebounded at home with a 14-3 win at Shaw on Thursday.
Coach Mike Dillon said the loss at Bedford might be the kick in the pants the Tigers (5-5, 3-1 Lake Erie League) needed. Bedford’s (1-2) took the loss.
“I think our team was way overconfident from beating Bedford, 15-0, last week. We just thought we were going to waltz in there and walk all over them. I don’t think there was very good focus. I’m hopeful it was a wake-up call,” Dillon said.
Trailing, 3-0, against Euclid, the Tigers scored four runs in the sixth inning for a one-run lead, but Euclid answered with four runs of its own to earn the victory. Wil Sharon (2-1) took the loss.
Sophomore Travis Thompson (1-0) pitched four innings with seven strikeouts and no earned runs in the defeat of Shaw. Sam Collins punched out two of the last three hitters to close the game.
“It was his first varsity start,” Dillon said of Thompson. “Overall, he was throwing well. He was throwing hard and got good velocity.”
The Tigers host Warrensville Heights on Monday and return the favor with the Tigers on Tuesday. Both games start at 5 p.m. Then it’s off to Maple Heights on Thursday (5 p.m.) and the week finishes hosting Beachwood for a doubleheader on Saturday (11 a.m.)
Boys' & Girls' Track and Field
Sophomore Shelton Gibson won the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.88 seconds at the two-day Mansfield Mehock Relays at Ashland University on Saturday while shaking off the wet weather to win another title at that distance this season.
Gibson also won the 100 in 10.89 at the Maralyn H. West Invitational last Saturday.
Bryce Jones took fourth in the triple jump (41-05.50) on Friday and sixth in the 110 high hurdles (15.59) on Saturday.
In relays, Marcus McShepard, Camerin Cross, Dionte Saffo and Gibson took second in the 4x100 (43.70) and fifth in the 4x200 (1:33.01) on Saturday. Gibson, Damon Legget, Rashawn Dickerson and Isaac Korb took fifth in the 4x400 (3:36.97) on Saturday. In the distance medley held Friday, Korb (800), Legget (200), Dorien Hudson (400) and James Moore (1600) took fifth (8:02.53).
Cleveland Heights finished seventh with 29 points overall.
No member of the girls' team placed.
Earlier in the week, the Cleveland Heights teams lost in a dual meet against Mentor at home Wednesday. Mentor’s boys won, 73-55, while the girls rolled, 94-35.
The Tiger boys had five winners including Bryce Jones who won the 110 hurdles (14.8); Damon Leggett, 100 meters (11.2); Cameron Redic, 300 hurdles (44.9); Isaac Korb, 800 meters (2:07.6) and Demetrius Harden, 200 meters (23.8).
For the girls, the winners included freshman Hadly Seidman in the long jump (14-6) and freshman Shavon Castro at 200 (27.4).
Seidman posted a personal best, and Tigers coach Nick Continenza thinks it’s only a matter of time before she’s on her way to bigger and better performances.
“She’s a tall girl. I’m assuming she got taller recently,” Continenza said. “She’s a little bit awkward now and still trying to grow into her body, but when she figures out how to use those legs and arms, she’s going to be an excellent athlete.”
Perhaps the team’s most interesting personality emerged during a dreary wipeout of a week.
No. 1 senior singles player Aleksi Vihanto, a Finnish exchange student, is probably than a tennis racquet. Vihanto, who plays hockey in his home country and played with the Tigers, is just learning tennis, but is a great athlete, according to Tigers coach John Laskarides.
“He has this hockey-player mentality which is really great for us,” Laskarides said. “It’s nice to have that hard-nose hockey guy on our team. It’s actually refreshing. He doesn’t take losing lightly. He’s a good kid.”
The Tigers lost all four times from Tuesday to Friday. In order, the Tigers fell to Orange (5 matches to zero), Shaker Heights (4-1), Archbishop Hoban (5-0) and Normandy (4-1).
On a side note, the junior varsity squad went 3-1 to put a spark back into the Tigers.
The varsity team (0-4) has a four-match Monday through Thursday schedule this week hosting Gilmour Academy, Aurora, traveling to Mentor and hosting Garfield Heights. All matches begin at 4 p.m.
Mentor got the best of Cleveland Heights, 9-3, on Saturday, but goalie Mike Arnold produced 20 saves to cap a fine stretch of play in Tigers coach Curt Kassigkeit’s eyes.
“He’s the player of the week, for sure,” Kassigkeit said.
The Tigers lost twice earlier in the week, falling to Kenston, 14-7, on Tuesday and then at Gilmour Academy on Thursday, 11-8.
For the week, Cleveland Heights (0-4) hosts West Geauga (6:30 p.m.) on Tuesday, travels to St. Edward (7 p.m.) on Thursday and to Beachwood (10 a.m.) on Saturday.