An eventful winter for the Villa Angela-St. Joseph girls basketball team ended with a Division IV district runner-up trophy and plenty of promise for 2014-2015.
The Vikings finished last season with 16 wins, including a pair of victories over rival Cleveland Central Catholic and a sectional championship. VASJ beat Ledgemont and Fairport at Viking Village to win the D-IV sectional crown and then outlasted Maplewood in overtime to advance to the district championship game at Grand Valley.
The Vikings’ season ended with a loss to Cuyahoga Heights in the district finals on March 1.
Mariah McGhee averaged 18 points per game and earned several postseason honors, including first team All Northeast Lakes District, All NCL, All News-Herald and OhioVarsity.com. McGhee scored a career-high 43 points in a win over CCC in February. Toni Beuck averaged 10 points per game. Senior point guard Brijae Journee averaged 7.5 points per contest and finished her career by scoring 5 points in the News-Herald Classic all-star game on March 29, 2014.
Jordan Walker, Aysia Kemp, Emily Mastalski, Kasie Jordan and Tyanna Foster were just a few of the girls Coach Tony Redding pointed out as having a major impact on the tournament run among a very deep roster.
Replacing a leader at the point guard position like Journee will not be easy, and the loss of other seniors makes for a difficult void to fill on the roster. However, with so many returning underclassmen – led by McGhee and Beuck – there is plenty of reason for optimism at Viking Village for this season.
McGhee is one of the top scorers in Northeast Ohio and Beuck is one of the area’s most prolific three-sport athletes (volleyball, basketball, track).
VASJ plays a grueling schedule that includes a difficult slate in the NCL White (Holy Name, Cleveland Central Catholic) as well as nonconference matchups with Richmond Heights and Beachwood.