The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

March 12, 2013

Medusa turns Athena to stone in girls clash

Many of the area seniors who played girls basketball had the chance to step on the hardwood one more time on Monday in the 2012-13 Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic.

Team Medusa, which served as the visitors, outscored Team Athena by 12 in the second half to post a 69-61 victory at Lakeside Gymnasium. As usual, though the players’ competitiveness showed, it made for a fun occasion.

Jefferson’s Rod Holmes an St. John’s Nick Iarocci coached Medusa, while Madison’s Mike Smith and Grand Valley’s Kim Triskett guided Athena.

“It was nice to see the girls,” Holmes said. “I think they had a good time doing it tonight.

“Actually, I thought the gilrs shot the ball pretty well. For (some of them) not playing for three  whole weeks, I thought they shot pretty decent.”

 Geneva’s Becky Depp, a first-team Division II All-District selection and two-time Star Beacon Ashtabula County Player of the Year, added one more honor to her roundball resume by being named Medusa’s Player of the Game. Depp poured in 19 points to lead everyone on the floor, and added three steals, two assists and three rebounds. Her point total included three 3-pointers, all of which came within a short span of the second half.

Natalie Thomas won Player of the Game honors for Athena, giving Geneva the award on both sides. Thomas had a strong start and a strong finish, as she led her team in points (14), rebounds (9) and blocked shots (4), and also had one theft.

Medusa also received a 15-point effort from Jefferson’s Sarah Busch, including four triples. Fittingly, Busch also won the 3-point shooting contest held at halftime. Fellow Falcon LeeAnn Farr added nine points and Riverside’s Alexis Parsons seven for the winners, while Madison’s Melanie Primer (3 thefts, 2 blocks) and Riverside’s Katie Klingman each pulled down six boards.

Riverside’s Megan Carabotta (3 steals) was the only other player on either side who achieved double digits in scoring, as she had 10 points for Athena. Madison’s Abbie Trivisonno had seven points, seven assists and three steals, Perry’s Emily Clark seven points and eight boards, Lakeside’s Shelby Smith three blocks, and Conneaut’s Tori Simek and Grand Valley’s Brady Nye six caroms apiece.

Athena bounced back from a 24-18 deficit with a 13-3 stretch to give it a 31-27 lead. It kept the advantage at the break, 33-29. At that time, Busch led all players with 12 points.

Depp capped a 7-0 run with her first trifecta, providing Athena with a 41-37 lead. Moments later, her third 3-pointer and spinning layup keyed another seven-point surge that made it 51-41.

Athena answered with a 10-0 run , with Trivisonno dishing out three assists during that span, to tie it at 51 with less than seven minutes left. However, Klingman, a post who is better known for her inside play, nailed a trey to set off a nine-pojnt streak that gave Athena the lead for good at 60-51.

Carabotta countered with her second 3-pointer, but Farr converted a three and a layup en route to a 7-0 Medusa skein that stretched it to 67-54.

Athena then ran off three straight buckets, two by Thomas, but at 67-60, it would get no closer.

Athena put in two more baskets tghan its opponents (26-24), but hit just five of its 13 free throws as compared to 12-of-22 for Medusa. Medusa also sank nine 3-pointers, five more than Athena.

“It was kind of strange having one of my post players (Primer) on the other team,” Smith said. “It’s always so much fun, but then you see that competitive spirit come out in the kids when the game’s on the line.”

“It was fun seeing the girls play,” Iarocci, whose players included Alex Ferrante and Brenna Powers of his own Heralds squad, said. “I know that a lot of them on the bench kept talking about it was their  last night playing basketball together, so it’s kind of neat that they were able to enjoy the moment.”

Team Medusa also included Geneva’s Sarah Depp (3 steals) and Lyndsey Armstrong, Pymatuning Valley’s Michealia Skleres and Heather Brant and Jefferson’s Ariann Barile.

Lakeside’s Brianna Kingston and Stephanie Fusco, Madison’s Dana Appelfeller, Conneaut’s Lydia Coccitto (3 thefts), Edgewood’s Keegan McTrusty, GV’s Kayla Sellitto and Riverside’s Megan Tamburiello also played for Athena.

Kortlynn Carr of Riverside and Angie Zappitelli of Conneaut were members of Team Athena who were present and annouinced to the crowd, but could not play because of injury.

“It was a lot of fun to have an opportunity to coach these kids,” Triskett said. “Really, they (didn’t) need a lot of coaching. Mainly we were in charge of sending them in and out. To just get to play the game for the love of the game, it’s great — and the kids, I think, really had a good time. And I had a great time.”

“It’s so much fun for the kids to meet each other,” Smith said. “They play against each other so competitively all year long. It’s so nice to see them come out here and have some fun against their friends and their teammates, and push each other a little bit.”

Goldman is a freelance writer from South Euclid.

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