Ron Moschella is entering his 29th year as head coach of the Boardman girls basketball team.
Moschella is the proud owner of 545 wins, 19 Steel Valley Conference titles, 2 Federal League titles, 11 district championships, four regional final appearances and two Final Four trips. Yet, he would trade all of those accomplishments for the sake of the girls he is in charge of.
Coach Moschella has said numerous times in the past that winning is not what is important, that the reward comes from how his girls have turned out after their basketball playing days were finished. By the time this season finishes, however, the coach and his kids may be cutting down some nets.
The Lady Spartans were knocked off in the District Finals by fellow Federal League mate Canton McKinley last season. Still, the Spartans secured another Sectional title and finished 15-8 overall and 7-3 in the conference. The lineup coach Moschella can write down every night may be a federal offense because it is one of the best in the Federal League.
The Spartans are stacked with a sensational trio of seniors who are dripping with talent. That troika is led by six-foot, two-inch power forward Darryce Moore, who displays a rare combination of grace and brute force. Moore has already made plans to attend Ohio State in the fall, but before she moves to Columbus she intends to keep collecting double-doubles. Joining Moore in the starting lineup will be five-foot, eight-inch guard Monica Touvelle. Touvelle is a sharp-shooting, three-point specialist who has committed to continuing her playing career at Youngstown State. The third part of the senior puzzle is five-foot, seven-inch swing-girl Dorian Glass. Glass is comfortable playing guard or forward, but she almost wasn’t playing at all this year. The senior has had three major knee surgeries, but has decided to give it one more try in 2009-2010. Coach Moschella has always considered Glass a true leader and she will prove that once she steps on the court for her triumphant return.
The other two girls who are most likely to start for the Spartans are a pair of juniors. That duo is six-foot forward Kayleigh Lipke and five-foot, nine-inch guard Brooke Meenachan.
Getting the bulk of playing time off the bench for Boardman will be junior guards Missy Demarinis and Amanda Volosin and five-foot, ten-inch junior forward Allison Borts. At press time, Borts was battling an injury and her status for the start of the season was still up in the air.
One thing that was not up in the air was who the Spartans will start the season against. The season and home opener is Nov. 30 against Cardinal Mooney. Mooney is a decent team, but after that game the fun really starts for the Spartans. Boardman will travel to defending Division II champion Hathaway Brown on Dec. 2 then battle three straight Federal League foes in Massillon Perry at home and Fitch and Canton McKinley on the road. Other non-conference games feature Canfield (twice), Berlin Hiland, Ursuline and East Cleveland Shaw. No doubt Boardman will be battle tested by the time the Division I state tournament begins.
When that playoff proceeds, expect to see the Spartans right in the thick of the Sectionals once again. Advancing past that round probably means that Boardman will have to face one of their friends from the Federal to fall into the Final Four.
In the end it really won’t matter to coach Moschella if his team is on top or not. You can bet he will be proud of his young ladies nonetheless.