Twinsburg, Fairmont, Olentangy Orange and Toledo Notrae Dame vie for the title…What You Need To Know about the D-I state
Ohio HS Girls Basketball State Tournament
Friday, 6:00 p.m. – Division I: Twinsburg (28-0/No. 1 OGBR JJH/No. 1 AP) vs Lewis Center Olentangy Orange (25-2/NR OGBR JJH/NR AP)
Friday, 8:00 p.m. – Division I: Kettering Fairmont (25-1/No. 2 OGBR JJH/No. 2 AP) vs Toledo Notre Dame (25-3/No. 10 OGBR JJH/NR AP)
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The Division I bracket is highlighted by two-time defending state champion and undefeated Twinsburg (28-0). Head Coach Julie Solis, who is 103-5 in five years at the school, is hoping to lead the Tigers to their third state title in as many appearances. Just as she did in their 44-41 regional final win over Solon, Solis will rely heavily on seniors Ashley Morrissette (19.1 ppg), Brooke Smith (14.0 ppg) and junior Baleigh Reid (11.0 ppg) to provide the bulk of the Tigers’ offense. First-time state qualifier Lewis Center Olentangy Orange (26-2), led by head coach Mary Ann Grimes, defeated Gahanna Lincoln (63-52) and North Canton Hoover (61-55) in its regional tournament run. The Pioneers are led by seniors Taylor Agler (15.6 ppg) and Mya Walker (15.1 ppg) and are hoping to bring home their school’s first state title. The other side of the bracket is a rematch of the first 2012 state semifinal contest between Kettering Fairmont (25-1) and Toledo Notre Dame Academy (25-3). In the 2012 version of the contest Fairmont won 54-45. Fairmont went on to finish as the runner-up and is making its fourth-consecutive state tournament, with hopes to bring home its school’s first state crown. Head coach Tim Cogan will rely on his imposing trio of Kathryn Westbeld (15.0 ppg), Makayla Waterman (15.0 ppg) and Chelsea Welch (14.0 ppg) to lead the Firebirds. Their opponent, Notre Dame Academy, is led by head coach Travis Galloway and comes into the state tournament with impressive wins over Perrysburg (41-30) and Wadsworth (43-39) in the regional tournament. The Eagles are led by junior Jayda Worthy (12.1 ppg) and sophomores Tierra Floyd (11.2 ppg) and Kaayla McIntyre (10.8 ppg). – OHSAA
ONG OGBR JJH Ranking: 1
AP Ranking: 1
Of Note: The Tigers have won 42 straight games overall and 72 straight against Ohio teams dating back to a 53-43 loss to Canton McKinley in the 2010 Regional Final. Seniors Brooke Smith (Cleveland State) and Char-dell Dunnigan (George Mason) are D-I recruits.
Key Player: Senior G Ashley Morissette is arguably the state’s top senior prospect and is headed to Purdue. She averages 191. Points, six assists, five rebounds and five steals a game.
Olentangy Orange (26-2)
ONG OGBR JJH Ranking: NR
AP Ranking: NR
Of Note: The Pioneers, who have won three straight OCC Capital-Division titles, are making the school’s first state tournament appearance in a girls sport. Junior C Sarah Sagerer is a foreign exchange student from Austria. She averages 9.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.4 blocks a game.
Key Player: Senior PG Taylor Agler averages 15.6 points, 7.7 assists and 4.5 steals a game. She is headed to Indiana.
ONG OGBR JJH Ranking: 2
AP Ranking: 2
Of Note: The Firebirds are the first Dayton-area school to make four straight state tournaments. Fairmont senior PG Chelsea Welch is headed to Duquesne. Junior F Makayla Waterman (Ohio State offer among others) is a top 30 national prospect for 2014.
Key Player: Junior F Kathryn Westbeld is one of the country’s top junior prospects. She surpassed 1,000 career points earlier this season and has narrowed her college list to Connecticut, Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC and UCLA.
Toledo Notre Dame (25-3)
ONG OGBR JJH Ranking: 10
AP Ranking: NR
Of Note: The Eagles opened the season 0-2 but are currently riding a 19-game win streak. Notre Dame starts three sophomores who are averaging a combined 27.8 points, 15.6 rebounds and 11.3 assists.
Key Player: Sophomore G Tierra Floyd is averaging 11.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists a game.