The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


January 31, 2013

Herald girls claw Grizzlies

Iarocci has players step up when needed

ASHTABULA — St. John’s girls basketball team had more to battle then the opposing Geauga Grizzles at Mahoney Gymnasium on Wednesday night, but the team was also feeling the effects of the recent flu epidemic that has been present this winter. The virus claimed the Heralds’ leading scorer Mackenzie Stenroos, keeping her out of action.

The Heralds were able to overcome her absence to defeat the Grizzlies, 32-19, in a game that Coach Nick Iarocci felt was an important win for his team. The win locks up a second-place finish in the Lake Effect Conference and more importantly, a bye in the first round of the tournament.

“It was the first time we were without Mackenzie this year and it definitely showed,” Iarocci  said. “But on the same token, I challenged the girls to step because of the importance of this game to lock down that bye with the second place finish.”

The Heralds (9-8, 9-3 LEL) took control of the game early by forcing six turnovers and allowing the Grizzlies (2-11) just one field goal in the first period in establishing an 11-2 lead.

“What we prided ourselves on this year has been hanging our hat on our defense. We’re the second or third best team in the county for scoring defense. Tonight, we were in a funk offensively and our defense kept us where we needed to be.”

In the second period Geauga’s Holly Martin score all seven of the Grizzlies points to keep her team within striking distance.

“She’s actually a soccer player,” Geauga coach Chris Hanson said. “We have a very young team. The average age of our girls is about 14 and many nights we’re playing against seniors. Holly is transitioning to the game very well. She’s learned a lot and is going to be a very good player for us for the next few years. I’m really proud of the way the girls played tonight.”

Matin scored her last basket to pull the Grizzlies to within seven and it looked like they might have the momentum headed for the locker room.

St John’s Emily Powers, however, drove the lane at the other end and resembled Cavaliers All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving in delivering an under-handed layup in heavy traffic to push the Heralds lead to 18-9 at intermission.

 “She’s our fuel, Emily plays with so much passion,” Iarocci said. “Even when she’s not scoring, she has the ball in her hands 95 percent of the time. (Geauga) were a scrappy bunch tonight and they were really giving her fits, but she kept going at them and controlled the tempo for us.”

St. John’s was led in scoring by Alex Ferrente with 10 points and  Powers had eight and controlled the game’s tempo from the point-guard position.

“Alex has really been stepping up for us the last couple of games. She’s a senior and one of our captains. I’m really proud of her stepping up her game.”

Shaffer is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

Text Only
  • Olivia In transition

    Pymatuning Valley graduate Olivia Holt had a distinct reason she chose to play basketball for Mount Union.
    “They do have tradition,” Holt, the daughter of Gus and Michelle Holt, said. “I’m from PV. We had a tradition of winning and working hard there. I wanted to go somewhere that tradition mattered. I knew I was going to get better by coming here.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Spring has sprung one big leak

    Paying a Wednesday morning visit to the variety store...

    Think spring?
    If this, um, err, uh... spring... feels a bit unusual for high school baseball and softball teams in Northeast Ohio, it is, to a point.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    St. John 4, Euclid 1
    at Pine Lake

    April 16, 2014

  • tennis Scholastic Schedule:


    PV at Ledgemont (4:30)
    North at Geneva (4:30)
    Riverside at Chardon (4:30)
    Jefferson at Lakeview (5)

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Luke Baldwin Mustang to a Quaker

    As a junior, Grand Valley’s Luke Baldwin got a shot to play linebacker for the Mustangs because of an injury to a starter.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Kids’ stuff but, boy, was it a blast!

    I have no idea why I thought of this, just now, but I did.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    Chalker 4, Grand Valley 3
    at Chalker

    April 15, 2014

  • Megan Stech Scholastic Schedule:


    Geneva at Conneaut (4:30)
    Grand Valley at Windham (4:30)
    Edgewood at Niles (5)
    Maplewood at PV (4:30)
    Perry at West Geauga (4:30)
    Jefferson at Hubbard (5)

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACBF POY Hoops celebration

    The Conneaut Human Resources Center was the place to be for local basketball aficionados on Sunday afternoon.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACBF HOF HOFers very appreciative

    Members of the Star Beacon All-Ashtabula County teams had a rare chance to listen to the stories of the players who came before them. Hearing the Ashtabula County Basketball Foundation Hall of Fame inductees speak at the 2014 Awards Dinner at the Conneaut Human Resources Center on Sunday put their careers in perspective.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Week in Review January 10 and 11
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video