By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
The 2022-2023 winter sports season was filled with memorable moments.
So much so that you could classify the season as historical.
Complete with career records.
And long-awaited championships, among other accomplishments and achievements.
Each received their respective spotlight of Portage Sports coverage at the time, but here is your complete guide to the history that helped make the 2022-2023 winter season so special.
RAVENNA BOYS BASKETBALL
For the first time in 45 years, the Ravens were champions.
The drought was well documented — and rightfully so.
This Ravenna team was different from the start and now the year 2023 has found a home next to 1979 on the championship banner inside James L. Coll Gymnasium.
Ravenna used a thrilling victory, at home, over Woodridge on Feb. 10 to clinch the Metro Athletic Conference championship.
Leading the way was a group of nine tight-knit seniors that included Justice Haven, Pavel Henderson, Bryce Moneypenny, Marcus Gibson, Thurman Treadwell, Mason Ross, Maykai O’Neal, Emmanuel Miller and Daveon Gregory.
The group also authored the most wins in a single season with 18.
STREETSBORO GIRLS BASKETBALL
Just one year after setting the single-season wins record at 18, the Rockets were at it again this year, upping the new record by one to 19.
But it was not the only achievement celebrated by the program.
Sophomore Naomi Benson had another stellar campaign and set two new school records for most rebounds in a season (360) and most rebounds in a game (33).
Furthermore, head coach Carl Singer, who is already the program’s all-time winningest coach, hit a milestone with his 100th career victory when the Rockets opened the tournament with a 42-21 triumph over Painesvilel Harvey on Feb. 15.
GARFIELD GIRLS BASKETBALL
There was plenty to celebrate in Garrettsville, beginning with tying the single-season wins record for the G-Men with 23. Against just three losses on the year, for the record.
The 23 wins matches the same total achieved by the 2016-17 regional finalist team.
The G-Men also tied the regular-season win record with 19 — a number also set by the 1987-88 team.
Senior Laura McCoy, who transferred to the Garfield program this season after playing three seasons with LaBrae, finished her career with 1,188 career points, which ranks fourth all-time in Garfield history — and the fifth girl in program history to reach the scoring milestone.
The G-Men became the best defensive team in school history, allowing just 33.3 points per game in 26 games.
The group also knew how to play offense, with three players with 90 assists or more: Mandy Cardinal (96), Madeline Shirkey (96) and Laura McCoy (90).
All helping the G-Men win their third consecutive district championship and ninth sectional title in the last 10 years.
ROOTSTOWN GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Rovers went undefeated in the Portage Trail Conference to capture their second straight championship.
It was the first time since Rootstown won back-to-back titles since the program raised the banner for four consecutive seasons between 1984 and 1987.
MOGADORE GIRLS BASKETBALL
Junior Brook McIntyre, who is now the two-time reigning PTC Player of the Year, celebrated the 1,000th point of her career on Feb. 15. She now has scored 1,044 career points: 203 points as a freshman, 371 as a sophomore and 470 as a junior.
Wildcats coach Jennifer Ritch also won the 100th game of her career on Feb. 18.
WRESTLING WIN MILESTONES
A collection of wrestling standouts hit win milestones this season, including Hunter Andel and Cody Coontz both reaching 150 wins.
Additionally, Garfield’s Keegan Sell, Rootstown’s Lane McKenzie, Streetsboro’s Donovan Paes and Anthony Perez, Ravenna’s Sean Loucks and Crestwood’s JP Wrobel all won their 100th match of their career.
Those numbers are all still on the rise, too, by the way, as all eight worked their way through the sectional and district tournaments and seven of them will wrestle at the state meet this weekend.
Wrobel also set the single-season pin record for the Red Devils with 28.
Additionally, the Rootstown program won its 12th league championship in the last 13 years, including the last eight straight.
CHASE EYE AND NAVARRE ALHASSAN
Two boys basketball standouts hit the 1,000-point milestones this year: Windham senior Chase Eye and Waterloo senior Navarre Alhassan.
Eye finished his career with 1,136 career points.
Alhassan finished with 1,001 points.
The Greenmen celebrated a little bit of team history and individual history.
For sarters, the team qualified for the district meet for the first time in school history.
Individually, senior Hannah Salgado became the first Aurora gymnast to advance to the state meet since Jennifer Kingure in 2005.
CRESTWOOD BOYS BASKETBALL
Ty Fannin set a new single-season record for charges taken with 23, breaking the record that was previously held for three decades by current assistant coach Bob Lieberth (22).
Additionally, sharpshooter Dekota Johnson put his name in the record book.
Johnson broke the record for most 3s made in a single season with 79, with the previous record held by Jordan Fabry (73).
Ironically, Johnson’s teammate Charlie Schweickert also broke the record with 77 made 3-pointers, but now sits in second place.
CRESTWOOD GIRLS BASKETBALL
Sophomore Hannah Ward set a single-season record for blocked shots with 60. With two more seasons of her prep career still ahead of her, her own record may not be safe in 2023-24.
Rovers junior Payton Curall became the first girls bowler in school history to qualify for the state tournament.
Meanwhile, the boys and girls programs each won the PTC title in 2022-23, making it the first time for each to win back-to-back championships.
MOGADORE BOYS BASKETBALL
The Wildcats won at least 20 games for just the sixth time in school history.
The road to the wins included the program’s 12th sectional championship in 15 years and sixth district-finals appearance in the same timespan.
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