Norton seniors Cara Cook and Jaclyn Fortner have signed national letters of intent to play women’s college basketball.

Cook signed to attend Clarion University of Pennsylvania and Fortner signed to attend Hiram College.

“Cara and Jaclyn were tremendous players for this program the past four seasons,” Norton coach Brian Miller said. “This program will miss their abilities on the court, but we will miss them more as a people. Clarion and Hiram are each getting a great young lady. They are both excellent students who volunteer in the community with the youth of Norton.”

Cook and Fortner helped Norton win two Division II district championships, four sectional titles and a PTC Metro crown.

Cook earned Associated Press All-Ohio Division II second-team honors as a senior, was a Northeast Ohio Inland District first-team selection and tabbed as the Player of the Year by the Women’s Tri-County Basketball Coaches Association and the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division.

Cook averaged 18.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game as a senior. She finished her career with 1,152 points.

“Cara is a marvelous player that possesses tremendous offensive abilities,” Miller said.

“She will have a great opportunity to help Clarion be successful. She brings a great mental aptitude about the game and the competitive game attitude needed to succeed at the next level.”

Fortner was an AP All-Ohio Division II honorable mention as a senior. She earned All-PTC Metro first-team honors and was third-team all-district.

Fortner averaged 10.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as a senior. She led the team with 15 charges taken and was named team Defensive Player of the Year twice.

“Jaclyn is a great player that possesses tremendous defensive abilities,” Miller said. “She brings a great toughness about the game and the attitude needed to succeed at the next level. Jaclyn is by far the hardest-working young lady I have coached. Knowing her since elementary school, I believe strongly she will have a great impact on helping to turn Hiram basketball into a winner.”

Cook plans to major in education. Fortner plans to major in sports medicine and nursing.

Kempt, Conley star

Massillon quarterback Kyle Kempt and wide receiver Gareon Conley enjoyed a nice game of pitch and catch Saturday in the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association’s 68th annual North-South Classic at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.

Kempt threw three touchdown passes to Conley to lead the North to a 33-27 win over the South in the Divisions I-III senior all-star game. The two connected on touchdown strikes of 38, 28 and 11 yards.

Kempt, an Oregon State recruit, completed 11-of-16 passes for 161 yards, three touchdowns and one interception to earn the game’s Most Valuable Player award.

Conley, an Ohio State recruit, finished with seven receptions for 109 yards, earning North Offensive MVP.

Copley kicker Joshua Brebant (Northern Illinois) made a 29-yard field goal in the game and Hudson linebacker Ben Gedeon (Michigan) had a sack.

Toledo Whitmer quarterback Nick Holley (Kent State) rushed for 68 yards on 11 carries for the North. The North Defensive MVP was Cleveland Glenville linebacker Chris Worley (Ohio State), who had six tackles.

New Albany’s Darrion Lee (Ohio State) totaled 72 yards on two rushes and 48 yards on three catches, and was named the South’s MVP. Dublin Coffman quarterback James Walsh (Boston College) was the South Offensive MVP. Lebanon’s Austin Wolf, a University of Akron recruit, caught a 68-yard touchdown pass.

Berger shines in game

Norwayne wide receiver Brady Berger helped the North to a 27-24 victory over the South in the North-South Classic Divisions IV-VI senior all-star game at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.

Berger caught five passes for 140 yards and three touchdowns to earn the Most Valuable Player honor. He plans to walk on the University of Akron football team in the summer.

Manchester quarterback Nick Peyakov tossed two first quarter touchdowns to Berger that went for 23 and 15 yards. Berger’s other touchdown went for 23 yards in the second quarter after he connected with Drew Loose of Mohawk.

Norwayne coach Joe Harbour guided the North, which featured five Norwayne players: Berger, Mitch Knieriem, Jon Zimmerly, Zach Croftcheck and Cody Scruggs. Knieriem intercepted a pass.

Coldwater quarterback Austin Bruns was named the South Offensive MVP and Dayton Chaminade-Julienne linebacker Darrien Howard (West Virginia) was named the South Defensive MVP.

Ottawa Hills kicker Michael Geiger (Michigan State) was named the North Offensive MVP and Streetsboro linebacker Brandon Gency (Ashland) was named the Defensive MVP.

Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or Read the high school blog at Follow him on Twitter at and on Facebook at