By Ryan Kaczmarski
The Lutheran West boys basketball team started hot against the visiting Columbia Raiders, but their flame fizzled out as they lost 82-72 on Hall of Fame night.
“I thought we played well in the first half,” Longhorns head coach Alan Januzzi said. “Columbia has a lot of weapons. They have different guys on different nights that step up for them.”
It was an even matched game throughout the first half, with the Longhorns (5-12, 4-11 in the Patriot Athletic Conference) leading by a point at the end of the first (14-13) and second (32-31) quarters.
The Raiders (12-5, 7-5 in the PAC) started to pull away in the second half of the game, taking a 36-34 lead early in the third quarter and never looking back. Columbia led 59-52 at the end of the third, and kept the pressure on the Longhorns. Lutheran West stayed within striking distance, but the late run it needed never materialized.
“Defensively, we could not get the stops we needed,” Januzzi said. “In the beginning of the third quarter, the run that they (Columbia) made, we could never recover from that.”
Senior Ricky Downer led the Longhorns in scoring with 28 points, followed by Dan Hillenbrand with 14 and Kameron Bremer with eight. Columbia’s Zach Stopper and Jacob Simon each scored 20 points to lead the Raiders.
The Hall of Fame inductions were made during halftime of the varsity game. This year’s inductees included Phil Argento, Jr. (class of 1998), Jeremy Osborn (class of 1994), Gary Kronenberger (class of 1957) and Richard Wisnoskey (class of 1954).
Phil Argento Jr. is a 1998 graduate of Lutheran West. He competed in basketball during his years at West and put together a truly outstanding career. He received all-conference and all-state recognition his sophomore, junior, and senior years. During his senior year at West, Argento was named First Team All-Ohio, Northeast Ohio District Player of the Year and was the Conference M.V.P. He was also the Longhorns M.V.P. both his junior and senior years. He holds the school record for points in a career, points in a season, highest scoring average for a season, most free throws made in a game, most free throws made for a season and a career, most assists in a season and most 3-pointers made in a game, season and career. Argento was the recipient of the 1998 Basketball Coaches Association Division III Player of the Year Award in Ohio.
“Obviously this is a great honor,” Argento said. “I had a great experience when I played here for my four years.
“It’s a great trip down memory lane,” he added. “This means I’m getting older, but It’s a great honor at the same time.”
Argento is currently a resident of Fairview Park.
Jeremy Osborn is a 1994 graduate of Lutheran West. He was an outstanding all-round athlete competing in cross country, basketball, baseball and track during his years at West. In cross country, Osborn remains the school record holder with a time of 16:42. He was a first team All-Conference runner his sophomore through senior years and was also a regional qualifier as a sophomore, junior and senior. In basketball, he was the team captain his junior and seniors years, the team MVP as a junior and senior, First Team All-Conference as a junior and a senior, and was Honorable Mention All-State as a senior. Osborn held the school record for most points in a game and most points in a career until 1998. In baseball, he was second team All-Conference his sophomore and junior years. He switched to track his senior year and made an immediate impact. He was the conference champion in the long jump, the high jump and the 4 x 100m relay. He was also second team All-Conference in the 200m, and was a Regional Qualifier in track in 1994.
“It’s real special,” Osborn said of his induction. “There’s a lot of good memories of a lot of hard work. It’s good to be back (here) and see all of these people again.”
Jeremy is currently an officer in the Army National Guard.
Gary Kronenberger is 1957 graduate of the downtown Lutheran High School. He competed in football, basketball and baseball earning nine varsity letters for the Pioneers. In football, he was team captain his senior year and was named to the All-Independent Football Team both his junior and senior seasons. He was also selected to the Northeast Ohio Regional Team. In basketball, Kronenberger was also a captain, receiving first team All-Independent Team recognition his junior and senior years. At one point he held the school’s single game scoring record of 35 points. He was Honorable Mention All-State in Basketball in 1957, and was named the schools Athlete of the Year in 1957.
For Kronenberger, the induction notice came as a surprise.
“It came out of the blue,” he said. “It’s been 55 years, I didn’t expect it, and I didn’t know how I was going to react to this – it seems like another lifetime – but it’s really nice.
“I’m glad because it brings some recognition to the original (Lutheran High School).”
He has been married to his wife Janet (LHS class of 1958) for 53 years, and together they enjoy their five children and 12 grandchildren.
Richard Wisnoskey is a 1954 graduate of the downtown Lutheran High School. He was a fine all-round athlete, competing in football, track and baseball during his years at Lutheran High. Wisnoskey has the distinction of scoring the first touchdown in Lutheran High School football history against Brunswick High School in 1950. In his senior year, he was named to the Cleveland News Dream Team in football. In the spring he excelled in both track and baseball, often competing in a track meet and then playing a baseball game on the same day.
Wisnoskey had the same reaction as Kronenberger when he found out he was being inducted.
“It’s really kind of a pleasure,” he said. “As the years pass, you enjoy sports, and to get that letter of induction really makes you feel good.”
Wisnoskey is a Westlake resident and a member of Messiah Lutheran Church in Fairview Park.