The Austintown Middle School eighth grade girls’ Red team has captured the All American Conference title after defeating Struthers, 49-36 in final tournament action. The girls not only won the championship, but they set a lot of records along the way.
"These girls clicked together,” said head coach Jeff Wilson. “They worked hard and there were no egos in the forefront. Each girl knew what her job was and each respected their teammate. They functioned well as a team.”
Functioning well was was brought them to a season record of 17-0. That record actually set another record for the history books.
“Its the only undefeated girls basketball team ever for any level of play in Austintown,” Wilson said.
He said the only other Austintown basketball team to make such a claim was the boys varsity team from 30 years ago under coach Dan Bokesch.
The girls also set a record of scoring an average of 41.1 points per game on offense. Their highest winning score was 58. They only gave up an average of 20.5 points per game.
One standout player this year was Megan Sefcik who set the all-time scoring record of 321 for the season. The prior record, according to Wilson, was 265.
“She also shot 79.2 percent from the foul line,” Wilson said. “which is another school record.”
All 13 girls from this year’s team will be heading to Fitch this fall. Wilson expects to see most of them on the freshman team, but he does believe some may be playing higher up on JV or even varsity.
“They are that good,” Wilson said.
For Wilson, the whole program begins anew for the 2010-11 season. It is the fate of the middle school coaches. He coached the sixth-grade team two years ago and had several of his championship girls on that team. His assistant coach, Mike Cook, had about half the team on the seventh-grade team last year. When the girls finish at the eighth-grade level, it starts fresh for the coaches in the next season.
Wilson said it is tough when you start fresh each year. The only advantage is the fact that middle school is where the fundamentals are taught. When the girls reach the high school level, those who continue to play will be developing strategies using the basics they gained from the middle school level. Wilson said there is one other challenge.
“We start out working with girls from all levels of learning,” he said. “We, as coaches, have to know to reach all of the girls and get them to the point that they all know what to do.”
The eighth-grade AMS Red girls basketball team AAC champions for 2010 include, kneeling: Gabby Figueroa, Latrice Nelson, Alex Coe, and Christian Roberts, and standing: assistant coach Mike Cook, Sam Swoger, Kierra Lawrence, Maura Bianco, Megan Sefcik, A.J. Corradi, manager Sydney Greenwood, Gabby Butcher, head coach Jeff Wilson, Sarah Melfe, and Hannah Guidosh.