The Stow girls basketball team is 10-0 and about to add another talented player to its game-day roster.
Stow coach Bob Podges said 5-foot-8 junior Morgan Thompson will be eligible to play at 5 p.m. Saturday against Mentor. Thompson is a Woodridge transfer. She has been practicing with Stow and sits on the bench during games, but has been ineligible for the season’s opening 11 games per OHSAA transfer rules.
“She is really good,” Podges said. “Obviously she will play a lot. She will not start right away, but she will play. The level at which we play defense we need a lot of bodies out there.”
Stow (2-0 in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley) has a solid nine-player rotation going without Thompson. The Bulldogs’ starting lineup consists of 6-2 senior Madi Baer, 5-9 senior Danielle Tiller, 5-8 junior Chrissie Vaughn, 5-11 junior Meghan Preston and 5-7 junior Sam Shaver.
“We are tremendously balanced on offense,” Podges said. “All five starters are averaging between eight and 10.5 [points]. That is very unique. … Our highest [individual] scoring output in one game is 17. We always have multiple players scoring in double figures.”
Baer leads Stow in points (10.5) and rebounds (10.2) per game. Vaughn is averaging 9.4 points, 5.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds. Shaver contributes 9.1 points per game, and Tiller is averaging 8.8 points and 6.4 rebounds.
Preston, a Copley transfer, is averaging 8.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.
“The thing this group does well is play defense together,” Podges said. “We play a lot of half-court pack defense, which is very aggressive.
“Team chemistry with this group has also been a key.”
Stow’s top reserves are sophomore Jessie Stout, senior Carley Terry, freshman Kelly Fenwick and senior Natalie Winters.
Stow will play at Jackson at 7:30 Wednesday night.
Mogadore is off to an impressive start this season with a 10-0 overall record and a 4-0 mark in the Portage Trail Conference-County Division.
“Everybody is doing their part,” Mogadore coach Thomas Pollock said. “We have two girls that are scorers, Ashley Barker and Grace Reilly. Everybody else understands their role and what to do. Everybody doing their part and knowing their part is big.”
Barker is a 5-7 senior, and Reilly is a 5-7 junior. The two guards combine to average about 32 points per game.
Pollock said the other starters are his daughter, 5-9 senior Naomi Pollock, 5-5 guard Brinkley Harvey and 5-6 Lexi Pierce.
Freshman Katie Oliver has emerged as a key reserve with juniors Madie Morris and Alex Heminger.
“We like to push the ball and get going,” Pollock said. “We like to rotate girls in when people get tired.”
Mogadore will host PTC-County foe Southeast (9-1, 5-0) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Booker earns honors
St. Vincent-St. Mary senior linebacker Dante Booker Jr. was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year at the U.S. Army All-American Awards Show.
Booker was also named to the MaxPreps 2013 All-American First Team on Monday afternoon. Booker, who is committed to Ohio State, was one of five linebackers named to the national list.
He was named Ohio’s Mr. Football by the Associated Press and helped to lead the Fighting Irish to their second consecutive Division III state title in December. He had 109 tackles this season.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.