February has already surpassed its midpoint, bringing the end of regular season play and the arrival of postseason play.
All of the Wildcats’ winter sports teams will be in action this weekend, making for a busy couple of days for Saint Ignatius fans.
Here’s what’s on tap this weekend.
Only four regular season contests remain this season for the Saint Ignatius basketball squad, and two of them will be played in the next two days.
The weekend will begin on Friday evening, as the 14-4 Wildcats will host the 13-6 Massillon Washington Tigers. The matchup is slated to start at 7:30 p.m. in Sullivan Gym, as the two teams meet for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
Then on Saturday, the Basketball Cats travel south to Columbus to face the Westerville South Wildcats, the defending Division I champs. Westerville South, which enters the weekend with a 15-5 record, will host the 5 p.m. contest.
The Tigers and Wildcats will renew a rivalry from the 2000’s on Friday. Saint Ignatius and Massillon Washington have faced each other 11 times, including seven times between 2002 and 2010. Overall, the Tigers hold a narrow 6-5 series advantage, though the Wildcats have won the last three matchups. Eight of the 11 matchups have been decided by 10 points or fewer.
The Tigers will look to build momentum heading into the postseason, as tonight is Washington’s third-to-last game. The Tigers defeated St. Thomas Aquinas on Valentine’s Day, but previously dropped contests to Hoover and Ellet. Senior guard Jalen Kirksey will lead the Tigers’ backcourt, while 6’6” Thayer Munford will anchor Washington inside.
Westerville South carries a three-game winning streak into the weekend. The Wildcats have suffered five losses this year, but four of those have been determined by 5 points of fewer. Anthony Mills and Antoine Smith lead a solid Wildcats squad that will be a tough out for Saint Ignatius.
The JV Cats will face both Massillon and Westerville South, matching up with the Tigers tonight at 6:00 p.m. and the Wildcats tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.
All games this weekend will be broadcast on the SIBN. Saturday’s game will also be carried on Spectrum Sports, Channel 1311 in the Northeast Ohio area.
The OHSAA Division I Ice Hockey Tournament has arrived.
With another Cleveland Cup Championship in hand, the Ice Cats begin their journey to Columbus. It begins on Saturday with a Sectional matchup with Brecksville-Broadview Heights at noon at Brooklyn Ice Arena.
The Wildcats enter the contest with a 23-8-2 overall record. In the final state poll of the season, the Ice Cats placed second, merely one point behind first place Toledo St. Francis. In other news, senior Connor Koehnke was named the GLHL Player of the Year and sophomore goaltender Benny Savarino received Student-Athlete of the Week honors.
The Bees defeated Normandy this week in double overtime, 4-3, to earn a contest with the Wildcats on Saturday. Brecksville-Broadview Heights is the No. 19 seed in the Brooklyn District.
All postseason contests will be broadcast live on the SIBN, audio-only due to OHSAA regulations.
Swimming & Diving
A phenomenal showing at Sectionals has set the stage for the Saint Ignatius swimming and diving team.
The Wildcats finished first at Sectionals by a wide margin, setting a host of records in the process.
The journey to the state championships continues this weekend at Districts. Held at Bowling Green State University, Districts will feature steeper competition for a Wildcats squad that’s peaking at the right time.
Dimitri Simcox stands as a key swimmer to watch for the Wildcats. The senior won the 50 free last weekend, breaking his own sectional record. The Columbia-bound senior also played a key role for the record-setting 200 medley and 400 free relay teams. In addition, Simcox swam in the winning 200 free relay team.
The regular season ends this weekend for the Mat Cats.
The Saint Ignatius varsity gold wrestling squad hits the road tonight, heading to Beachwood for a quad-match with Beachwood, Wickliffe, and Riverside.
Originally slated for 6:00 p.m., the meet is now scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
The meet offers a great chance for the 12-2 Mat Cats to tune up their efforts before the start of Sectionals next week. Senior wrestlers such as Matthew French Quade Rasmussen, Cal Miller, and Kaden Russell will be especially focused on making the most of their final regular season matches in the Blue and Gold.
Best of luck to all of the Wildcats teams in action this weekend.