Tigers, Pilots are honored

When the final seconds ticked off the clock Thursday night in at New Philadelphia High School, it marked the end of a sparkling 4-year run in Shadyside girls’ basketball history.

The Lady Tiger seniors – Karli Bonar, Hayley Holenka, Kristen Fijalkowski, Dana Jackson, Jacey Eneix and Alicia Gulley – were part of an impressive 82-16 record during their careers.

Although this season didn’t end up where Shadyside and head coach Tina Yates would have liked, the last four years have been memorable, and won’t soon be forgotten.

Included in the memories will be four trips to the Division IV district tournament as sectional co-champions, two trips to the regional tournament and an appearance in the Division IV Final Four at the Jerome Schottenstein Center when they were sophomores.

“Those seniors are unbelievable,” Yates said following Thursday’s game. “They came in as freshmen and made a statement. They were bound and determined to battle with the older kids since they came in. They brought it all. I just want to wish those kids the best because they’re great role models, great student-athletes and just great kids.”

And, if that wasn’t enough, Bonar and Holenka both joined the coveted 1,000-point club, which also includes Holenka’s two older sisters – Ashley and Shayla.

Bonar also etched her name in the Ohio High School Athletic Association record books. The University of Findlay recruit is the all-time leader in made three-point field goals, both on the girls’ list, as well as the boys’ ladder. She also established a new single-season mark (110) during last Thursday’s contest when she drained five trifectas in the loss to Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans.

The blonde-haired bomber finished her outstanding career with 350 bonus goals.

The cupboard won’t be bare next season as the LTs return junior guard Toni Andes, who has started for the last two seasons, and sophomore forward Kenzie Fielding, who started this season.

Also ending stellar careers were a handful of River seniors, as they lost to Hiland earlier in the night, despite outplaying the Hawks in the second half.

Head coach Rick Isaly regrettedly said goodbyes to stalwarts Cassidy McCullough, Emile Weaver, Laken Ramsay, Myla Smith, Hannah Jones and Leslie Young.

“Wins-wise, this is the most we’ve had in four consecutive years,” Isaly said. “This is a great group of kids and we have accomplished quite a bit during their time here. “We’ve made it to the district tournament three straight years and we played in an OVAC championship game. You can’t ask for more from a group of girls.”

Isaly will have a good nucleus of returnees in junior guard Landon Ramsay, sophomore forward Haley Bowers and freshman forwards Jensen Caretti and Brielle Williams.

Congratulations to All

A big round of applause goes out to all the players who were and will be – recognized on the Eastern District, OVAC and All-State teams.

Look for Some Changes

When the 2013-14 season gets under way next fall, I foresee some new faces leading programs in The Times Leader coverage area.

Without leaking any information or hinting at any possible changes, several positions could change hands.

No matter, next season promises to be an exciting one with all the underclassmen returning on area rosters.

For now, it’s on to softball for some and the summer programs for many.

North can be reached at knorth@timesleaderonline.com