July 23, 2016

Mostly clear

Girls basketball: Benner powers Devils to win

BRUNSWICK — Senior night for Brunswick’s girls basketball team turned into a party for one talented underclassman.

Sophomore small forward Farrah Benner scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds Monday, powering the Blue Devils to a 50-40 Northeast Ohio Conference cross-division victory over Shaker Heights.

RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE Brunswick’s Claire Albino controls a loose ball against Shaker Heights’ Bria Taylor. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

Brunswick’s Claire Albino controls a loose ball against Shaker Heights’ Bria Taylor. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

Benner also made four 3-pointers and now has 48 on the season, tying the school record set by Erica Eubank two years ago.

“I was really motivated tonight because I wanted to send our seniors out with a win,” said Benner, who is averaging 12.2 points in her first varsity campaign. “They taught me to never give up and to always have fun while we’re playing. It was important to all of us that they won their final home game.”

Power forward Monica Wasson and shooting guard Cassie Steets were honored in a pregame ceremony, then helped Brunswick (8-12) throw a defensive blanket over the Red Raiders (5-16).

Wasson collected six points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocked shots, while Steets made her second straight — and second career — start as the Blue Devils held Shaker Heights to .277 shooting.

Junior centers Clare Albino and Samantha Gut also rose to the occasion in holding the Raiders’ three 6-foot post players to two total field goals.

The lone Shaker Heights player to reach double-digits in scoring was junior point guard Thyuna Rock, who had 16 points on 5-for-15 shooting with six turnovers.

“Clare and Sam were ready for a battle tonight,” Brunswick coach Halle Lengal said. “They did a terrific job and played extremely hard and smart. Both of them did a great job fronting their bigs the entire game, which was what we needed because our backside help is really good with (Wasson) and Paige (Salisbury).”

Salisbury turned in her typical quality performance with 13 points, seven boards, four assists and a pair of steals. The junior point guard gave the Blue Devils their largest lead at 42-28 with a driving layup early in the fourth quarter.

The Raiders pulled within 44-38 on a steal-and-score by sophomore point guard Nailah Mitchell with 2:23 left, but Albino and Wasson quelled the threat by making 3-of-4 free throws.

“I couldn’t be happier to win this way on senior night,” said Wasson, whose 67 career games are tied for 18th in school history. “Cassie and I worked really hard over the last four years, and it was gratifying to see how well everyone on the team played.

“We’ve struggled against some big teams of late, but Coach made some adjustments and each of us did our part. You can’t ask for anything more than that.”


Brunswick shooting guard Olivia Gailey missed her second straight game with a sprained ankle. She is expected to return for the team’s postseason opener at Firestone on Feb. 20.

• Blue Devils point guard Sam Malleo scored her first points since returning from a seven-game absence due to knee and ankle injuries.

• Shaker Heights won the junior varsity contest 41-35. Meghan Williams led Brunswick with seven points.

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.