By DON McCORMACK - email@example.com
They have been linked since their junior-high days, remained that way all the way through their high school years and history will no doubt keep them that way through the passage of time.
Today, though, Pymatuning Valley’s Quintin Ratliff and Grand Valley’s Jake Vormelker share something else in common — they are All-Ohioans on the hardwood.
The two seniors, respective leaders of their southern Ashtabula County and Northeastern Athletic Conference squads, were earned honorable-mention recognition on the Division III all-state squad, by the Associated Press as was announced Tuesday night.
Among their other shared achievements this past season were the fact both standout performers became Grand Players, meaning they reached and surpassed the 1,000-point mark for their careers.
Ratliff finished with 1,162 points, 18th-most in county history and fifth-most in PV history.
Vormelker wound up with 1,081 points, 27th on the county’s all-time list and third-highest in GV history.
While Ratliff finished with 81 more points for his career as an individual, it was Vormelker and his teammates who got the last laugh as a squad.
The longtime rivals squared off in a Division III sectional semifinal Feb. 25 at PV.
With Ratliff, who finished with 16 points, and his Laker buddies seemingly in control, holding a 66-59 lead with 3:03 to play, Vormelker jumped into the nearest phone booth (Google it) and morphed into Super Mustang.
Vormelker, who has signed to continued his education and play football at Mount Union University, outscored PV himself the rest of the way, 14-4, leading 10th-seeded Grand Valley to a memorable 73-70 triumph over the stunned eighth-seeded Lakers. Vormelker led all scorers that night, posting 31 points.
On Monday night, Edgewood’s Connor McLaughlin and Eli Kalil and Jefferson’s David Chase were named All-Ohio in Division II. The area was not represented on the Division I squad announced Monday night. There are no Division IV squads in the Star Beacon coverage area.
The AP will announce the 2013-14 Mr. Basketball for Ohio tonight.