The girls' high school basketball season is still in the early stages of the 2012-13 campaign, but there have been several sterling performances thus far, both individually, and as a team.
First off, the initial OVAC standings have been released and one area school - St. John Central (Class A) - sits atop its classification all alone. The 4-2 Irish are the lone team in their division with a record above .500.
Veteran head coach Robert "Bubba" Kapral's youthful squad has been led by senior Kristen Russell, who does yeoman's work at both ends of the court.
The Irish also have a pair of talented freshmen in Marissa Rose and Lindsay Froehlich.
Undefeated Martins Ferry (4-0) is a couple of bonus points behind Steubenville in Class 4-A.
The Purple Riders of first-year head coach Lindsay Coyne check it at 4-0 and are tied with Steubenville for the top spot, with Big Red earning the top line by virtue of more bonus points.
Martins Ferry has relied on the scoring of Jessica Kinney and Ashlei Ray and its tenacious in-your-jersey defense, which is limiting the opposition to just under 36 points an outing.
Other leaders include Wheeling Park and Morgantown (Class 5-A); Fort Frye (Class 3-A); and Clay-Battelle (Class 2-A).
River and Bridgeport are both a distant second in Class 3-A and Class 2-A, respectively, despite owning fine 4-1 and 4-0 records. The two clash tonight in Hannibal with the ball going up at 7:30.
Shadyside's Karli Bonar didn't waste any time in reaching the 1,000-point barrier as the University of Findlay recruit did so in the first game of the season.
The blonde bomber went over the coveted mark with 6:36 left in the fourth quarter of a win over visiting Shenandoah.
It came on a three-pointer from the top of the key.
Did you think she'd do it any other way?
Last Thursday night in Richmond, Union Local's Mikayla Patton had the game of her career thus far.
The 5-11 sophomore poured in a career-high 20 points in the Jets' win over Edison.
SO FAR, SO GOOD
Monroe Central's Chelsie Roberts has been a one-player wrecking crew for Troy Baker's Seminoles. She leads all area scorers with 22 points per game.
PLAYING ON ONE LEG
Two players, Buckeye Local's Kayla Fillipovich and Union Local's Kayla Doty, are courageously playing their senior seasons despite serious knee problems.
Both, according to their head coaches, have ACL injuries that will likely require surgery after the season.
ALL SHE'S BRAGGED UP TO BE
I know it's still early, but Bridgeport freshman Caitlyn Kroll has lived up to all the high expectations people have labeled her with.
The 5-8 Kroll has averaged 17.8 points, but more importantly, she knows the game. Her on-the-court skills are much more advanced than her grade class indicates.
GAMES OF THE WEEK
In addition to the aforementioned Bridgeport at River game tonight, other key matchups this week include Shadyside at Wheeling Central and John Marshall at Union Local on Wednesday; Monroe Central at Fort Frye and Bridgeport hosting Weirton Madonna on Thursday; and Shadyside hosting Wheeling Park on Saturday.
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