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February 10, 2014 - Robert "Bubba" Kapral
CHAMPIONSHIPS SHOULD be won on the playing field, not by shrewd scheduling. The Girls' OVAC Basketball Championships Saturday at Ohio University Eastern again reinforced that mindset. The message was delivered by the upstart Frontier Cougars and the relentless Harrison Central Huskies. Neither the Cougars or Huskies finished in first place in their respective classes. Frontier was third in Class 2-A while Harrison was second in 4-A. The Cougars and Huskies shared a common and coveted achievement when exiting OUE Saturday -- that being OVAC champions. Nick Yourkovich's tall and tough-minded Huskies bounced top-seeded Steubenville. The Big Red had tasted defeat just once previously. Frontier, meanwhile, had to upset River on the Pilots' home floor to just reach the finals. In Saturday's title contest, the Washington County-based charges faced the daunting task of opposing 20-0, state-ranked and top-seeded Bridgeport. The Cougars proved they were more than up to the challenge. Frontier pocketed a two-point triumph to earn the OVAC crown. It wasn't too long ago that OVAC basketball championships were determined on paper and not the court. Schools could script a schedule conducive to winning the title. No more. Rick DeLuca was the mastermind of the tournament. He remains as the tournament director. DeLuca's vision has proven profitable for the conference and schools making the finals. It has also given real credibility to what a championship truly means.
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