The traveling continues for Twinsburg senior Malina Howard.
Howard will be in Denver to play Saturday as her tour around the United States takes her to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association High School All-America Game at 6:30 p.m. at the Pepsi Center.
The WBCA game presented by Nike will be played at the same venue as the 2012 NCAA Women’s Final Four and features 20 of the top high school players in the country.
Howard was the only Ohio girl or boy to play in the McDonald’s All-American Basketball Games on Wednesday night at the United Center in Chicago. She scored two points and grabbed five rebounds for the victorious East Team, which defeated the West Team 79-78.
“It was a lot of fun, especially with all the girls that are here,” Howard said. “They are all really talented. It was an amazing experience to play with them.”
Howard, a 6-foot-4 Maryland recruit, led Twinsburg to consecutive Division I state titles as a junior and senior. She said she was not disappointed with her statistics Wednesday.
“It was just like any other game in that if it is was my time to score, than I would score, but if it wasn’t my time to score, then I wouldn’t score,” Howard said. “It’s no big deal.”
Tennessee recruit Bashaara Graves made a game-winning free throw with 0.3 of a second remaining to lift the East to the victory. Baylor recruit Alexis Prince had 15 points and nine rebounds for the East to earn the MVP award.
Howard said she enjoyed visiting the Ronald McDonald House in Chicago and also taking a picture next to the Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center.
Blanks of St. V-M selected
St. Vincent-St. Mary senior DJ Blanks has been selected to play in the 21st annual Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Basketball Games presented by Russell Athletic.
Blanks is the only area boy or girl to be picked for the games, which will be played April 7 at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky.
Blanks, a 6-foot-2 guard, averaged around 20 points per game this season and was an Associated Press Division II All-Ohio third-team selection.
University of Akron recruits Jake Kretzer of Waverly and Reggie McAdams of Elida were also picked for the Ohio Team. Kretzer, 6-7, averaged almost 27 points, and McAdams, 6-5, averaged a little more than 20 points. Both were Division II first-team All-Ohio choices.
On April 6, there will be a Slam-Jam Night of Stars with a slam-dunk contest, a 3-point shootout, and competitions of one-on-one and three-on-three basketball.
Track and field starts
A majority of the area schools’ boys and girls track and field teams will be in action this weekend, with several of the squads opening their seasons.
The Twinsburg Tiger Invitational is scheduled for today.
Saturday’s schedule includes local schools at the following meets: the Don Faix Invitational at Crestwood, the Golden Eagle Relays at GlenOak, the inaugural Michael Beaven Invitational at Archbishop Hoban, the Lakewood St. Edward Invitational, the Ward Invitational at East Palestine, the Wildcat Premier at Hilliard Davidson, the Avon Lake Invitational and the Ashtabula Lakeside Icebreaker Invitational.
A few schools opened their season Saturday at the Brunswick Elite Meet, an eight-school field for each gender held at Judy Kirsch Stadium.
Brunswick won the girls team title with 141.33 points. Solon was second, and Medina was third.
Brunswick’s Megan Kidd (9 feet, 6 inches in the pole vault) and Brianna Neitzel (12.25 seconds in the 100 meters) won individual events. The Blue Devils also won the 3200 relay in 10:05.15.
Medina won the 400 relay in 51.27 seconds. Other area girls winners were: Medina’s Ali Kovarik (16-11˝ in the long jump), Buckeye’s Rhyanna Wroblesky (1:01.42 in the 400) and Firestone senior Sarah Meek (11:20.8 in the 3,200).
Solon won the boys team title with 140 points. Cleveland St. Ignatius, Lakewood St. Edward and Brunswick rounded out the top four.
Medina senior Robert Robinson won the 800 in 2:00.74 and helped the Bees’ 3200 relay team to victory in 8:14.90. Tommy Menyes, Dan Schwendler and Ian McKee also ran on the relay with Robinson.
Lake’s Myers picks Malone
Lake coach Henry Cobb said senior Audrey Myers will continue her academic and basketball careers at Malone University in Canton.
Myers, a 5-foot-10 guard, averaged 10.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game this past season.
Myers helped the Blue Streaks to several firsts in the girls basketball program: a Federal League title, a No. 3 finish in the Associated Press Division I state poll, an 18-game winning streak and a 20-2 overall record.
She earned three letters playing basketball.
Garfield’s Lyons decides
Garfield senior Robert Lyons is going to play football at St. Francis University (Pa.), Garfield coach Bob Sax said.
Sax said Lyons, 5-foot-10 and 177 pounds, was recruited to play safety in college. He also played running back for the Golden Rams.
Walsh’s Nemer commits
Walsh Jesuit senior Anthony Nemer committed to continue his academic and baseball careers with Rollins College, an NCAA Division II school in Winter Park, Fla., Walsh coach Chris Kaczmar said.
Nemer, a 5-foot-10 and 170-pound shortstop, was an All-Cuyahoga River Baseball Conference second-team selection last season and helped the Warriors to a 20-3 record.
Tigers make college plans
Twinsburg coach Donald R. Jones said seniors Scott Effross and Alex Havens have signed to continue their academic and baseball careers in college.
Effross has committed to Indiana University, and Havens is headed to Baldwin-Wallace College.
Both are pitchers. Effross also plays first base, and Havens also plays shortstop.
The Tigers went 17-6 overall last season.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at https://ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.