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STVM girls basketball team ends season in state semifinals

3/20/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

DOWNTOWN AKRON — St. Vincent-St. Mary (STVM) High School’s girls basketball head coach Joe Jakubick called the 2013-14 season “a very exciting journey” for the team.

“We won our first district championship in about 19 years, and we also won the regional championship,” he said. “That obviously made it a very special season for us even before we got to the final four in Columbus.”

STVM made it as far as the state semifinals, where the team fell to West Holmes High School, the eventual state champion, by a score of 49-45.

“It was a very exciting season — a very successful season — and yet, the young ladies and myself felt that if just a couple of different plays got made, we could have been the state champions,” Jakubick said. “But, that being said, it was a very enjoyable season. It was fun.”

The team, which finished with a 25-3 overall record, was led by five seniors in the starting lineup: point guard Cassie Jakubick; guard Kiley May; forward Shannon Jack; power forward Alexis Taylor; and center Jordan Korinek.

“Going into the season, with the players we had and the experience we had coming back, I really felt that if we played to our abilities, we would have a good shot to get to Columbus,” Jakubick said. “Going 25-3 and getting to the final four in Columbus shows that they are very talented players on the basketball court. But really, the reason I felt that we were successful was because of their leadership, and the chemistry and the bond that they formed. These kids had each other’s backs all the time. They didn’t care who scored, or who got more shots or who played more minutes. They were just all together. They were really mature in the way they handled things both on and off the court, and they really helped the younger players who formed the core of our bench. All five of these seniors are going to be successful in life.”

This was the 10th season as head coach of the STVM girls basketball team for Jakubick, who said this year’s squad will always hold a special place in his career.

“Regardless of how many wins they had and making it to Columbus, what I will really remember about this team is that they were the most coachable group of young ladies any coach could ever have at the high school level,” he said. “I think it will be extremely difficult for this team to be matched in that capability. With this team, it was all about winning and I was so blessed to be able to coach them.”

As tough as it will be to lose the entire starting lineup to graduation, Jakubick said, the team has a group of young players who are ready to step up next season and make their mark.

“Our top subs this year were four sophomores (Amelia Motz, Jane Uecker, Lexie Handley and Octavia Loll) and a freshman (Annie Santucci),” the coach said. “They are all ready to step right in, and this year’s senior group really showed the path to take to be successful.”

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