Cooke leads Dayton to rout of Alabama

DAYTON — Charles Cooke scored 21 points and Dayton rolled to a 16-point halftime lead and never slowed down for an 80-48 victory over Alabama and new head coach Avery Johnson on Tuesday.

Cooke, a 6-foot-5 junior transfer from James Madison, scored seven points last week in his Dayton debut. Against Alabama, Cooke was almost perfect. He made 6 of 9 shots, including 2 of 3 3-point attempts, and all 7 of his free throws.

Scoochie Smith added 15 points and freshman center Steve McElvene 13 for the Flyers (2-0), who won their 24th straight at home.

Alabama (1-1) under former NBA coach Johnson, struggled to get good shots against Dayton’s man-to-man defense and shot 29.8 percent. Riley Norris led the Tide with nine points.

Dayton broke from an 18-18 tie to take control with a 22-6 run over the final 7:43 of the first half. Cooke sparked the run with a 3-pointer, and Smith turned a diving steal across half-court into a fast-break layup for Kyle Davis.

Dayton was cold early but finished the first half at 40 percent from the field, 5 for 13 from 3-point range and 9 for 9 from the free-throw line. Defense was just as important. The Flyers held the Tide to 30 percent shooting and allowed few easy shots. McElvene, who at 6-foot-11 gives the Flyers an inside presence they haven’t had in recent seasons, blocked two shots and altered a few others.

Bluffton football coach resigns

Bluffton High School football coach Kyle Cutnaw resigned on Monday.

His Pirates went 7-3 this past season. In two years at Bluffton, he was 10-10.

Buti resigns at Defiance

Defiance High School football Jerry Buti stepped down as coach at Defiance on Monday.

Buti coached at Defiance 26 years, going back to 1990.

He coached Defiance to the 1997 state championship.

Defiance recently wrapped up its season 2-8.

Minster-Kalida girls game rescheduled

Because Minster’s football team is still playing in the state playoffs, the Minster at Kalida girls basketball game originally scheduled for Friday, has been rescheduled for Saturday at Kalida.

The junior varsity game will tipoff at 12 noon.

St. John’s to start girls games at 7

DELPHOS — Delphos St. John’s is playing a girls varsity basketball schedule only. There will not be a junior varsity team.

St. John’s girls varsity home games will start at 7 p.m. during the week and 1 p.m. on Saturday. Road games during the week will vary between 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Bluffton Holiday girls matchups set

BLUFFTON — The Bluffton McDonald’s Holiday girls basketball tournament matchups are set for this weekend.

On Friday, Arlington will play Allen East at 6 p.m. Friday. In the second game on Friday, Bluffton will play Cory-Rawson.

On Saturday, the consolation game will be at 6 p.m., with the varsity game to follow.

ONU’s Borchers, Nieszala named volleyball All-America

ADA — Ohio Northern junior setter Ashley Borchers and sophomore libero Megan Nieszala were named honorable mention All-America in volleyball by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Borchers and Nieszala had already been named first team all-Ohio Athletic Conference and first team All-Great Lakes Region this season. They are the 15th and 16th All-Americans in ONU volleyball history.

This season Borchers was third in the OAC with 1,083 assists. She was sixth on the team with 179 kills, was fourth with 26 aces. She was third with 72 blocks and was fifth with 216 digs.

Borchers will enter her senior season ranked sixth all-time at ONU with 2,285 career assists.

Nieszala led the OAC with an average of 5.78 digs per set and was third with 572 digs in 99 sets this season. She was also second on the team with 31 service aces this season.

Feds: Driver who crashed into softball team bus likely high

OKLAHOMA CITY — Federal transportation officials said Tuesday that they believe the driver of a semitrailer that crashed into a Texas college softball team’s bus last year, killing four players, was likely high on synthetic drugs, although a blood test didn’t confirm he had drugs in his system.

During a hearing in Washington, the National Transportation Safety Board voted 4-0 that the likely cause of the September 2014 head-on collision on a highway near Davis, Oklahoma, was the semitrailer driver’s incapacitation, “likely stemming from his use of synthetic cannabinoids.”

The truck driver, Russell Wayne Staley, was charged with four counts of first-degree manslaughter after the collision, which killed four members of the North Central Texas College softball team.

Authorities found a small pipe containing residue of so-called synthetic marijuana in the truck after the crash.

From news and staff reports