Friday, June 2, 2023

Balanced and deep VASJ girls basketball team improves to 13-3

The Villa Angela-St. Joseph girls basketball team ran its current winning streak to five and its overall record to a very impressive 13-3 with three wins in five days.

On Jan. 22, VASJ dominated Trinity, 70-38, at Viking Village. During a pregame ceremony, senior captain Mariah McGhee was honored for eclipsing 1,000 points in her career.

On Jan. 24, the Vikings avenged one of their three losses on the year by beating Holy Name, 49-40, in a game they trailed at the start of the fourth quarter. And on Jan. 26, VASJ disposed of host Lake Catholic, 59-37.

“I think the word that would apply to this team is ‘tenacious’. They get after you and they don’t want the other team to score,” VASJ coach Tony Redding said. “The other big thing is they are excited about learning. Some groups just want to go out and play, but these girls really want to learn the game and the system.”

VASJ is getting contributions from a host of players this winter, and Redding said as deep as he goes off the bench which routinely goes beyond 10 girls playing, he and the coaching staff are comfortable with any Viking stepping on the floor.

Toni Beuck led VASJ in scoring against Trinity and Holy Name, but it was Angelina Goosby who stepped up with 14 points versus Lake Catholic. Aaliyah Owens, Tyonna Foster, Shannon Garvey, Chardae Hendon, Aysia Kemp, Jordan Walker and Shamaurice Mowler are just some of the players contributing on a nightly basis for the Vikings.

“As the season was starting we as coaches would play around with starting lineups and it got to a point at one point we would look at the second five or third five and say, ‘Wow, this five might beat the first five.’ That’s a good thing,” Redding said. “After every game we assess if we reached our goals for that game and we go from there so hopefully it will all lead to us achieving our ultimate goal.

“I think this group has what it takes and wants to take it a step further than last year.”

VASJ fell to Cuyahoga Heights in a Division IV district championship game last winter and has its eyes set on a regional berth this March.

The Vikings next play at NCL White Division foe Trinity on Jan. 28.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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