Ohio All-Stars bring talent to play West Virginia

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

CHESAPEAKE — They’re big-time players, they just aren’t big.

The Ohio girls All-Star Team will lack size but not talent as they face the West Virginia All-Stars Friday and Saturday in the annual river rivalry.

The girls’ game Friday is 6 p.m. at Chesapeake High School followed by the boys game. The site shifts to Charleston (W.Va.) Catholic High School Saturday.

Email newsletter signup

“We don’t have any size, but this still is an impressive group,” Ohio girls coach Dave Adams of South Point said. “We have a lot of guards. We still have a lot of Division I players.”

Ohio’s only size is Ironton’s 6-foot-1 Sara Hacker who is an outstanding outside shooter.

Despite the lack of team size, Hacker played in the Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Game and said Ohio has a solid team.

“We have a lot of speed and a lot of quickness,” Hacker said. “The Ohio-Kentucky team has more variety. This team has more local players, but it’s a good team.”

Regardless of the type of team Ohio has put together, Hacker said the game can only be a positive experience.

“It’s an honor to play in this game,” said Hacker. “It’s going to be a good experience. Playing in a game like this helps prepare me for college. Glenville State plays a fast pace but it has a lot of set plays. I’d like to have a double-double.”

Hacker signed in April with Glenville State, an NCAA Division II school. However, Ohio University called her only a week ago to offer her a scholarship.

“Ohio changed coaches and the new coaches didn’t know I had already signed,” said Hacker.

The Ohio boys team has a talented team as well and many players are from the area.

On the Ohio roster are Dennis Gagai from Ironton, P.J. Rase and Justin Porter of Chesapeake, Brigham Waginger of South Webster, Jeremiah Taylor of South Point and Derek Lewis of Green.

Ironton’s Mark LaFon will be the Ohio head coach.

“We have a real talented team,” Gagai said. “If we come out and play like we’re capable, we should win.”

The Ohio All-Stars will feature some top players inside. Chris McKnight of Lancaster and Mike Bardo of Cincinnati Oak Hills have signed with Akron and Adam May of Mentor will play a Holy Cross.

Nate Davis, the multi-sport star from Bellaire, is expected to play. Davis has signed to play quarterback at Ball State but had 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds during his basketball career.