Monday, February 6, 2023

Chardon standouts ride again

Chardon standouts Jacque Hunter and Beth Furlich spent four years together in the Hilltoppers girls basketball program but played together on the varsity squad just one year.

Both players were nominated and selected to play in the 2016 Ohio Varsity Senior Shootout presented by ScoreStream.com, giving them one final game to team up on the court.

“It means a lot,” said Hunter, a 5-foot-3 guard. “I had so much fun with her. We never played together until our senior year, so it will be a lot of fun.”

For Furlich, a 5-foot-9 guard/forward, playing in the Senior Shootout is a perfect ending to a fantastic season.

“This year was kind of a surprise,” she said. “I never really played varsity. This year I got a starting position, so it's been a good year for me.”

Hunter and Furlich aren’t the first members of their families to participate in an Ohio Varsity all-star event. Ben Furlich pitched in the 2013 Ohio Varsity All-Star Classic at Classic Park and Stephanie Hunter played in the OVASC last spring at Case Western Reserve University’s Mather Park.

Furlich hopes to outperform her brother.

“My brother played so it’s cool to follow him,” Furlich said. “There's a lot of competitiveness. It's who scores the most or who did the most.”

Hunter, who played varsity since her freshman season, also is excited to close out her career in the all-star event.

“This year was really fun, playing with a lot of new people I haven't played with,” she said. “My freshman through junior year I played with a group of seniors, including my sister, and I stayed with them until my junior year when they graduated. This year was very different, but last year was a lot of fun. We went the farthest in school history. We played in a district final. That's definitely my biggest memory and I’m really excited to come out and play one more time, especially with one of my teammates.”

The game also provides Furlich and Hunter with the opportunity to play for Chardon coach Cullen Harris one more time as he’ll coach the Army All-Stars against the Navy.

“I'm really excited,” Hunter said. “My coach sent me the list of who is on the team and I was like, 'Oh, this is going to be good. I know what she can do and what she can do.' They're all cool and stuff so I'm excited to be able to play with them instead of against them.”

Furlich is looking forward to playing with some of the girls she competed against all season.

“It's cool because then you finally get to make relationships with the people you were playing against,” she said. “It's not always competitiveness towards them. I think it will be competitive. We all want to win. We don’t want to lose our last game.”

Hunter also wants to win but she’ll be happy competing one more time before she heads to Ohio State to study accounting.
“I definitely know we're playing with a competitive edge but the main thing is to go out and have fun,” she said. “I want to win but everyone else out here wants to. They always say, every coach I've ever had, they say high school sports aren't the same as college or pro, whatever. The people you meet in high school, it's the best, the most fun you'll ever have.”

Furlich also will attend Ohio State where she plans to study nursing.

The Senior Shootout begins at 5:00 p.m. with the boys’ all-star game. The girls will follow at 7:00 p.m. Click here to purchase presale tickets, which provide admission to both games. 

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Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, 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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