Last hurrah for Stow girls

By Eric Clutter Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Kent Roosevelt High School played host to the seventh annual Women's Tri-County All-Star Game Monday night and it was a couple of familiar faces that shone brightly.

Stow's Cortney Ray and Jackie Campbell scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, leading the White team past the Red team 81-65.

The White squad dominated play throughout most of the night in the exhibition involving senior standouts from the tri-county area of Summit, Portage and Medina counties.

Ray's performance, which included the 6-foot-1 center hitting 8-of-12 from the line, earned her MVP honors for her team. Campbell, meanwhile, was voted Senior Player of the Year by coaches in the tri-county area.

Cuyahoga Falls' Meredith Brusko, who played an outstanding game and led everyone with 19 points, was the Red team's MVP.

The Red squad, with four points by Walsh Jesuit's Mary Varga, scored six of the game's first eight points and took a 6-2 edge.

But Green's Emily Miller, who won the 3-Point Shootout that preceded the game, nailed a 3-ball igniting a 19-1 run that gave the White team a 21-7 advantage with 10 minutes left in the first half.

The Red team rallied and cut the lead to as few as six points (27-21) with three minutes remaining in the half. However, the White squad closed the first of two 20-minute halves with an 11-4 spurt to take a 38-25 bulge at the intermission.

The Red team fell further and further behind in the opening moments of the second half until the deficit was 60-34 with 13 minutes remaining in the game.

At that point, Brusko and Ellet's Jamie Hicks (15 points) went to work and got the Red team back into contention.

Brusko, who scored all of her points in the last 13 minutes of play, posted nine straight tallies _ two 3s and one conventional 3-point play _ reducing the Red deficit to 60-43.

The White squad built the margin back to as many as 23 points, but Brusko and Hicks, a 5-8 guard who teamed with Brusko very nicely, continued to help the Red squad chip away until it got the lead under double digits at 74-65 with three minutes left.

The Red team went scoreless the rest of the way, though, while Campbell added a hoop and 1-of-2 free throws and Ray, a putback, that sealed the outcome.

"I think after the 10-minute mark of the first half when we opened up the lead, it was just kind of on a roller coaster," described White team co-coach and Garfield mentor Gene Troyer of the contest. "It was back and forth. And then they did make it a little bit interesting at the end. They kept cutting it closer and closer."

Troyer also had the opportunity to coach one of his players for the final time.

Garfield star forward Chiara Chambers, playing in her last high school game, added 11 points to the winning cause, closing her career on a high note according to Troyer.

"I was real happy for her. She kind of struggled at the end of the season," said her coach. "She still played well. But for her standards, I think maybe she felt she could have done a little better. I was pleased to see her get into the flow of the game. She really helped us out on offense."

St. Vincent-St. Mary's Raegan Johnson also contributed 11 points for the White team and Ravenna star Amy Stefansic added four markers.

Varga and Chamberlin's Ebony Craft had eight apiece for the Red squad. Stacia Clark of Kent Roosevelt, and Carrie Hill and Tricia Layne of Southeast also were members of the Red team.

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