Classic in the Country

All-Classic Second Team and other memorable performances from 2019 CitC

The Classic in the Country Challenge high school girls basketball showcase that is held annually at Hiland High School’s Perry Reese, Jr. Community Center is all about bringing Ohio’s Amish Country the pinnacle of high school girls hoops competition and nationally recognized talent, fantastic food, and rump-shaking music that will get you up off your seat.

Previously The Ticket announced our All-Classic First Team selections. Now it’s time to shine the spotlight on our All-Classic Second Team selections as well as some other special performances from the 2019 Classic in the Country Challenge that was held Jan. 19-21.



The Ticket’s 2019 All-Classic 2nd Team

  • Makira Cook, Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame Cougars
  • Chance Gray, Lakota West Firebirds
  • Julia Hoefling, Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame Cougars
  • Gabbie Marshall, Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame Cougars
  • Julia Ress, New Philadelphia Quakers
  • Madeline Westbeld, Kettering Fairmont Firebirds



Tri-Valley Scotties vs. Sycamore Aviators

Photo by James Wagler

Tri-Valley wiped out an 18-point deficit to complete a comeback victory of the ages to defeat Sycamore 44-43. Down 19-3 after the opening quarter of play, the Scotties outscored the Aviators 17-10 in the second quarter to make it a 29-20 Sycamore lead at the half.

Tri-Valley went on to outscore Sycamore 24-14 in the second half behind a strong double-double performance by Kyndal Howe, who scored 13 points and snared 11 rebounds with two blocked shots and two steals. Fellow Scottie Audrey Spiker also scored 13 points and added six steals, three assists and three rebounds. In the epic victory, Tri-Valley forced Sycamore into committing 25 turnovers for the game, and the Scotties’ inspired defense held the Aviators to just 24 percent (5-of-21) shooting from the field in the second half to complete the epic Classic comeback effort to pull off an improbable win after a miserable start.



Chance Gray, Lakota West Firebirds

Sammi Rinicella, Solon Comets

Photo of Chance Gray by James Wagler


Photo of Sammi Rinicella by James Wagler

The Deep from Downtown game of The Classic was on full display during the opening day when Lakota West’s Chance Gray drained 5-of-7 three-pointers from downtown on her way to scoring 17 points in the Firebirds’ win over Solon. Not to be outdone, Solon’s Sammi Rinicella kept pace, making 5-of-9 attempts from behind the arc for the Comets. As The Classic unfolded, Gray and Rinicella were the only two players who hit five triples in a single game. For both girls to do it in the same against each other was fun to watch.

Other sharpshooters who made four or more 3-pointers in a single game and did so by shooting 50 percent or better from behind the arc against some tough defenses were:

  • Gabbie Marshall, Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame, 4-of-8 vs Hamilton Heights
  • Brynn Mullet, Hiland Hawks, 4-of-8 vs Margaretta
  • Julia Ress, New Philadelphia Quakers, 4-of-4 vs Magnificat
  • Olivia Zender, Hopewell-Loudon Chieftains, 4-of-8 vs West Holmes



Celeste Ryman, Loudonville Redbirds

Photo by James Wagler

Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson was a beloved member of the 1989 and 1990 World Championship Detroit Piston teams and lived up to his nickname whenever the streaky scorer got hot and scored points a plenty in a very short time-frame. Loudonville’s Celeste Ryman pulled off an excellent impression of The Microwave on Monday against Dalton. After a tough loss Sunday night where she shot just 5-of-20 from the field (4-of-15 from behind the arc) against Kettering Fairmont, Ryman showed that she is a true gamer as she shook off the cold spell and had a microwave-esque moment when she scorched Dalton for 12 points in the third quarter of the Redbirds’ 46-41 victory over the Bulldogs. Ryman finished with a game-high 18 points, but it was her flurry in the third stanza that helped push Loudonville’s lead from 20-19 to 40-31 to perch the Redbirds into a more comfortable lead on their way to earning the victory on a short 12 hours of rest.



Paige Race, West Holmes Knights

Photo by James Wagler

Paige Race not only came off the bench as a sub for the Lady Knights against Hopewell-Loudon, but she helped jump-start the West Holmes offense. Race’s relentless attack off the dribble sliced the Chieftains to the tune of a team-high 20 points, accounting for nearly half of West Holmes’ point total for the game. Race’s aggressiveness paid off the most from the charity stripe, where she calmly sank 10-of-11 freebies from the foul line. Hopewell-Loudon eventually won the game 50-41, but it was Race’s effort that helped the Knights battle their way back to a slim 38-36 margin after digging a deep 21-8 deficit to start the contest.


Makira Cook, Mount Notre Dame Cougars

Megan Wagner, Mason Comets

Photo of Makira Cook by James Wagler

Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame’s Makira Cook is poetry in motion. The 5′ 6″ junior point guard not only breaks the ankles of opposing defenders with her wicked cross-over, but she can score at will and lock down any team’s top guard. Her court vision is second to none, and her ability to feed her teammates with a single hand off the dribble from anywhere on the court makes her the top chef of the Cougar’s kitchen. On Sunday the Miami of Ohio recruit served up seven dimes to her Cougar teammates in Mount Notre Dame’s 59-32 shellacking of Cornerstone Christian.

Photo of Megan Wagner by James Wagler

Megan Wagner was in the giving mood for the Mason Comets during their matchup with Laurel in the opening game of the 2019 Classic in the Country. The 5′ 8″ junior guard dished out a whopping eight assists in the Comets’ 60-45 victory over the Blue Streaks to lead all players for most single-game dimes dished all weekend.

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