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Thurgood’s Alstork ‘flips’ to Ball State

Mark Alstork of Thurgood Marshall High School has confirmed that he will sign with Ball State University to play basketball. The senior had initially committed to Drake.

The 6-foot-4 forward’s “flip” was just part of a series of events to impact the Cardinals program in the last few weeks.

First, former Arizona associated head coach James Whitford was named head coach. His first hire was Brett Nelson as associate head coach. Nelson had been mostly responsible for recruiting Alstork while an assistant at Drake.

Finally, Jason Grunkemeyer was named an assistant Ball State coach last Friday. He was an assistant at Miami under Charlie Coles from 2007-12 and served as Talawanda High School’s athletic director this school year. Among several coaching positions that Grunkemeyer recently announced as open was his AD position.

A three-year starter, Alstork averaged 20 points for the Cougars this past season. Ball State was 15-15 last season under former head coach Billy Taylor.

A Classic success: The North-South Classic football games at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium on Saturday appeared to be a hit. No decision has been made on the 2014 games, but all indications are it will return to Dayton.

For the first time in its 63-year history, the Classic was split into two games. The North swept, winning the Divisions I-III game 33-27 and the Divisions IV-VI game 27-24.

Splitting the game allowed more players and schools to be represented. But that also meant a split gate. No attendance numbers were available, but the first game drew about 4,000 spectators and the nightcap about 3,000.

Miamisburg head coach and former Ohio High School Football Coaches Association president Steve Channell spearheaded a drive to move the games from Columbus to Dayton.

Top honors: The Southwest District fared well in garnering top honors by the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association.

Josh Sagester of Tri-Village was named the D-V boys coach of the year. Centerville’s Adam Priefer (D-I) and Carla Siegel of Fort Loramie (D-IV) were named girls coaches of the year.

Three area standouts were named players of the year: Maverick Morgan of Springboro (D-I), Zach Denny of Valley View (D-II) and Anna’s Natalie Billing (D-III).

A numbers game: The 2013-15 enrollment figures for schools were released by the OHSAA on Monday. These are the numbers that eventually will determine which division a school will participate in for the postseason.

School principals have until next Monday to dispute their boys and girls totals.

The figures are recalculated every two years. Something that could affect those numbers is the competitive balance issue that member principals will vote on from Wednesday through May 15. If passed, some schools could be bumped up a division.

The enrollment numbers for all OHSAA member schools can be found at

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