GIRLS BASKETBALL REVIEW: Notre Dame gains trip to Columbus

3/27/2013
BY STEVE JUNGA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Jayda Worthy holds up the Division I regional championship trophy after Notre Dame defeated Wadsworth. The Eagles (25-4), who lost in the state semifinals, won the Three Rivers Athletic Conference title.
Jayda Worthy holds up the Division I regional championship trophy after Notre Dame defeated Wadsworth. The Eagles (25-4), who lost in the state semifinals, won the Three Rivers Athletic Conference title.

Notre Dame had an inauspicious beginning to its 2012-13 girls basketball season. Coach Travis Galloway’s team — which had graduated five of its top six players from a squad that had gone 22-5 and reached the Division I state semifinals in 2012 — started the season 0-2 with two losses at an invitational in Reynoldsburg.

But the Eagles — led by their only returning starter, junior Jayda Worthy, and promising sophomores Tierra Floyd and Kaayla McIntyre — shook off that start by winning 25 of their next 26 games en route to a second straight state final-four appearance.

Notre Dame (25-4), whose only other regular-season loss came against City League champion Rogers, completed its second consecutive 14-0 Three Rivers Athletic Conference title run, then won six D-I tourney games before falling in the state semifinals for the second year in a row to Kettering Fairmont, 37-31.

One of the Eagles’ tourney victims was Northern Lakes League champion Perrysburg in the regional semifinals. The eighth-ranked, 23-2 Yellow Jackets, coached by Todd Sims, suffered both losses to Notre Dame.

Cha’Ron Sweeney led Rogers to the City League championship and a Division II regional final.
Cha’Ron Sweeney led Rogers to the City League championship and a Division II regional final.

In Division II, coach Lamar Smith’s Rogers Rams continued climbing the tournament ladder. After reaching their first district final in 2011, and their first regional semifinal in 2012, the Rams — led by senior point guard Cha’Ron Sweeney and junior guard Sasha Dailey — achieved a No. 6 state ranking in Division II and advanced to the regional final before falling 61-53 to top-ranked Clyde (27-1).

Coach Brian Ziegler’s Archbold Blue Streaks closed the regular season 21-1 and ranked No. 3 in Division III. Led by junior forward Cassidy Wyse, they won the Northwest Ohio Athletic League title. The Streaks (25-2) reached the regional final before falling 60-42 to sixth-ranked Columbus Africentric.

NWOAL runner-up Patrick Henry (23-2) achieved a No. 3 ranking in D-IV and advanced to the district final.

Elmwood (21-4) won the Northern Buckeye Conference under coach Doug Reynolds and reached the D-III district final before losing to Liberty-Benton.

Coach Tandy Bradford’s Toledo Christian Eagles (20-4) won the Toledo Area Athletic Conference title before falling in a D-IV district semifinal against Blanchard Valley Conference champion Arcadia.

The Redskins (23-4) continued on to the regional final before falling against top-ranked Ottoville.

Whitmer junior Keshyra McCarver was All-Ohio first team in Division I, and Perrysburg’s Sims was named co-coach of the year in D-I. Archbold’s Wyse (D-III) and Arcadia senior guard Miranda Palmer (D-IV) were selected All-Ohio first team.