Union Local senior leads the way in win over John Marshall
MORRISTOWN — Monday night, inside ‘The Hangar’ at Union Local High School, the girls basketball senior class of 2023 was celebrated.
By the time the biographies for both Reagan Vinskovich and Torre Kildow were read, the public address announcer needed a big drink of water and tipoff had been delayed for several minutes.
Despite resumes that stretched from the high school to downtown Bethesda and back, the dynamic Jets duo — along with fellow senior Emily Kellaway — still found time and energy to add another chapter.
With Vinskovich and Kildow combining for 45 points, the Jets made it 19 wins in as many starts with a 60-43 victory against a solid John Marshall club.
“Everyone heard all of Reagan and Torre’s accomplishments and they added to it,” Union Local head coach Scooter Tolzda said. “They showed that they’re both legitimate first-team, all-state players. It’s a rare occurrence to have great players like that on one team, in one class and it’ll probably go down as one of the best combinations in the history of Ohio Valley girls basketball.”
Vinskovich further extended her school records in the process. Already the school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, Vinskovich put forth yet another double-double with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Her rebounds gives her 1,010 for her career.
Kildow, meanwhile, scored just four points in the first half, but she came alive in a big way in the third quarter. She scored 13 points in the period and helped push the Jets’ lead from six at half to 14 after three chapters.
“Union Local isn’t 19-0 by accident,” JM head coach Brock Melko said. “At the end of the day, Vinskovich inside and Kildow outside is the difference. That’s been the difference for them 19 times now. They’re really good players, they’re coached well and their role players know who to get the ball to.”
When the Jets were making their run to gain significant separation in the third quarter, Vinskovich was certainly involved. She battled her way through some of John Marshall’s size and length on the interior to score eight points in the period. In the fourth, she added eight more, including a sharp six of six effort from the line.
“We knew their size was going to cause us some problems,” Tolzda said. “They have some tall girls, even on the perimeter. They have girls who play bigger than their size and they came in here after having some good success and it’s a team that’s going to be really good in the future.”
The Monarchs were able to hang around in the game because of the splendid play of talented freshman Rilee Storm. She flashed the entire arsenal en route to 18 points. She was complemented by Kaitlyn Blake’s 12 and Kayli Derrow added eight.
“I really wish I could rush the process,” Melko said. “We’re ready to win and win this type of game. I still think we are, but it just didn’t happen (Monday). Some people think you can get some talent and you’re just good right away. We’re in the thick of it with Morgantown, Union Local, Wheeling Park and maybe Park again (in the OVAC). We’re knocking on the door for respectability because there aren’t many teams in our local area that people hear their name and respect. It’s really only Park and Union Local, so we told the kids if you want to be in that club, go earn it.”
While the seniors paced the Jets, Kellaway and junior Lauren Miller each had five and turned in solid defensive performances.