Monday, February 6, 2023

Marines ground the Air Force, Army edges the Navy

The inaugural Ohio Varsity Senior Shootout presented by ScoreStream.com took place at Ursuline College's Seidman Gymnasium on Sunday, April 3, 2016.

The Marines All-Stars defeated the Air Force, 107-103, in the boys game and the Army edged the Navy, 40-39, in the girls contest.

Lake Catholic’s Connor Fitzgerald scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Marines, who held a 53-49 halftime edge over the Air Force, while Mentor’s Kyle McIntosh added 15 points and Fairport Harding’s Verlin Williams and Berkshire’s Jarett Smetana both scored 13 points in the winning effort. Cardinal’s Jake Francis and South’s Jack Whitaker both scored in double figures for the Marines with 11 points each.

Harvey’s David Holbert led the Air Force with 21 points while South’s Doug Burks contributed with 18, Kirtland’s Cole DiFabio dropped in 17 points and Mentor’s Andrew Robinson and Cardinal’s Andrew Miller both scored 10.

Robinson took home some extra hardware when he was named Ohio Varsity Player of the Year and McIntosh won the event’s top fundraising award after raising over $600 for The Wounded Warrior Project.

Mayfield’s Shannise Dillard was the top scorer in the girls’ game but she did make some key plays down the stretch to lead the Army to the come from behind victory.

Trailing 36-33 with 1:06 left in the game, Dillard hit a pair of free throws to cut Navy’s lead to 36-35. Beachwood’s Maurina Nunn hit a short jumper to push the Navy’s lead back to three points but Dillard came through again with a pair of free throws to cut the Army’s deficit to 38-37 with 46 seconds left in the game.

After a Navy miss, Beachwood’s Jada Stevens pulled down the offensive rebound but Fairport Harding’s Morgan Ondo got her hand on the ball and created a jump ball situation. The possession arrow gave Army the ball and Dillard hit two more free throws to give the Army its first lead of the second half, 39-38, with just 19 seconds left.

Stevens hit 1 of 2 free throws to tie the game at 39 with 12 seconds to go. Ondo grabbed the defensive rebound on the second and got the ball to Mayfield’s Alexa Pasquale, who was fouled driving to the hoop with 2.8 seconds left.

She converted on 1 of 2 free throw tries and Stevens’ half-court shot came up short to close out the game.

Chardon’s Beth Furlich matched Nunn for a game-high nine points in leading the Army All-Stars. Dillard and Pasquale pitched in to the winning cause with seven points each and Chardon’s Jacque Hunter scored six for the Army.

South’s Angie Adams contributed eight points to Navy’s output and Stevens finished with seven.

Kirtland’s Taylor Somodji was named Ohio Varsity Player of the Year.

Empower Sports, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to providing sports and exercise programs for children and adults with various physical and cognitive disabilities, played at halftime of the boys game and the Berkshire and Ledgemont girls youth teams played at halftime of the girls contest.

The event raised over $1,000 for The Wounded Warrior Project.

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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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