By RUSTY MILLER
AP Sports Writer
After a while, the numbers become overwhelming when it comes to Dick Kortokrax.
Ohio’s winningest prep basketball coach coached his 1,200th game on Jan. 3 in Kalida’s 55-33 loss to Spencerville.
Kalida followed with a 50-35 win over McComb and has gone 2-0 since, raising its record to 8-3 and Kortokrax’s career totals to 858-345 during a 54-year coaching career. It started in 1957 at Fort Jennings (two years, 26-18), moved to Ottoville, his alma mater for 13 seasons (199-82) and continues at Kalida, where he is 633-245 in his 39th season.
According to records of the National Federation of State High School Associations, Kortokrax’s 858th win moved him past O.W. Follis, who won 857 games at Lamesa, Texas, to become the 35th winningest boys prep basketball coach ever.
Kortokrax entered this season tied with Mike Doherty, who has won 850 games at schools in Washington and Oregon, as the eighth winningest active coach in the country.
OVER THE LINE: Facing a 19-point deficit (52-33) with just 8 minutes left, Elmwood coach Ty Traxler knew time was not his side. So he had his Royals make the most of what time they had.
“They wanted to stop the clock, so they were fouling us before we even got the ball inbounds,” said John Kloepfer, serving as North Baltimore’s interim coach while head coach Jon Eichar recovers from hip surgery. “That was about as bizarre (a fourth quarter) as I’ve seen.”
Elmwood, which got 39 points from 6-foot-5 senior wing Aaron Arnold, outscored North Baltimore 42-32 in a lengthy fourth quarter. But North Baltimore converted 24 free throws in those final eight minutes and 46 of 64 for the game to hang on for an 84-75 victory. Elmwood was 24 of 45 from the line as the teams combined for 109 free throws.
WATERSHED ACHIEVEMENTS: St. Clairsville boys coach Kim Clifford picked up his 400th career victory on Jan. 4 when his Red Devils topped Wintersville Indian Creek, 49-33; Hannibal River girls player Jensen Caretti set a school record with 42 points (and also had 18 rebounds) in the Pilots’ 62-45 victory against visiting Magnolia of New Martinsville, W.Va.; Continental’s Paige Ordway scored a school-record 44 points in a 73-35 win over Hicksville; Old Fort’s Hunter Perry scored a school and Midland Athletic League record 55 points in an 89-76 win over North Baltimore on Dec. 6, hitting 9 of 13 3-pointers and all six free throws; and in a loss to Bellevue, Upper Sandusky’s Taylor Graboski scored 14 points and grabbed 23 rebounds.
BULLETIN-BOARD MATERIAL: Bainbridge Paint Valley’s Mason McCloy has helped the Bearcats win six in a row by averaging 18 points and 16 rebounds in the run — including a school-record 32 rebounds against Lynchburg Clay on Dec. 28; Corbin Linder made eight 3-point shots in leading Haviland Wayne Trace to a 63-55 win over Delphos Jefferson; Wes Detter had totaled five 3-pointers on the season and was averaging 3.1 points per game, but knocked down five shots behind the arc in back-to-back games while scoring 17 points in each for Defiance; Josh Davis’ layup with 3 seconds left sent McConnelsville Morgan to a 50-48 win against Dresden Tri-Valley; Mansfield Madison opened its new gym Saturday with a 46-41 upset victory over Lexington; Celina shot 69 percent from the field as it snapped a six-game losing skid to Defiance in winning a 74-67 decision; Marion Local’s girls, off to one of their best starts in years, lost back-to-back Midwest Athletic Conference games over a span of three days, falling 49-33 to New Knoxville last Thursday, then getting beat by Minster 54-43 on Saturday; and Zanesville Maysville (14-0) ran its regular-season winning streak to 35 with a 60-31 win against New Lexington Saturday.
FREQUENT DRIVERS: The Athens boys spent a lot of time on the road over the weekend. Athens played at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s new LeBron James Arena on Friday night, losing 67-57. It then turned around and played Lucasville Valley all the way down at Chesapeake High School near Huntington, W.Va., on Saturday night. After traveling more than 400 miles round trip, Athens won in double overtime over Lucasville Valley, 77-71, to improve to 9-3.
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