August 1, 2014

Medina
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Girls basketball: A ‘sick’ record, Wadsworth’s Booth 112-0 in SL

WADSWORTH — Peyton Booth got physically ill Wednesday night while leading the Wadsworth girls basketball team to a 53-32 Suburban League victory over Revere.

No one will ever know how sick she might have gotten if she had ever lost in SL play — in any varsity sport.

The 5-foot-10 senior concluded her four-year high school basketball career with a 56-0 record in league games. Combine that with a similar mark as a varsity volleyball player and Booth went 112-0 in SL play. For good measure, the 18-year-old also never lost an SL basketball game in middle school.

Wadsworth’s Peyton Booth goes up for a shot against Revere’s Caitlin Vari in the first quarter. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

Wadsworth’s Peyton Booth goes up for a shot against Revere’s Caitlin Vari in the first quarter. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

“I hate losing,” Booth said. “I hate it more than anything. Me and my dad (Wadsworth basketball coach Andrew Booth) don’t take it well. When we lost to Solon (in a non-league game), it was a little quiet in the Booth household.”

Peyton Booth sparked the Grizzlies (21-1, 14-0), who recorded the most regular-season victories and highest winning percentage in program history (.955), with 10 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks against a young but very good Revere team (18-4, 11-3) that never really had a chance.

The New Hampshire basketball recruit’s quickest move of the night, however, came when she dashed off the court with 5:12 left in the second quarter and Wadsworth already leading 23-6. After ridding herself of dinner, she returned to action several minutes later.

“I throw up a lot,” she said with a laugh. “I kind of have a stomach reflex problem. … I was gagging and gagging and eventually ran off the court. I felt fine after.”

Andrew Booth, whose team also got 11 points and five rebounds from Jodi Johnson, eight points from Aubrey Virgin and six points apiece from Hannah Centea, Madison Gilger and Olivia Thompson, blamed the incident on his daughter’s pregame meal.

“I made her a turkey sandwich before the game and she ate it during the junior varsity game,” he said. “Maybe her dad should stay out of the kitchen.”

Revere, which got 13 points and nine rebounds from sophomore center Caitlin Vari and four points, five boards and four assists from sophomore point guard Camryn Brown, certainly couldn’t stand the heat.

With Peyton Booth getting both her blocked shots early, the Grizzlies raced to a 10-2 lead, then soon after added a 13-0 run to go up 17. Wadsworth, which has won 22 of the last 24 SL titles, led by 20 at halftime and the game was basically over.

All that was left was for the players to cut down the net, with seniors Centea, Thompson, Gilger, Courtney Palange and Taylor Wyatt taking special joy in the ceremony.

Fittingly, Peyton Booth was handed the scissors last.

“She’s always been ultra competitive,” Andrew Booth said. “She doesn’t like to lose. That’s the biggest thing we’re going to miss (next season). She’s a winner.”

The same can be said of the entire Wadsworth program, which utilizes the same pressure defense and up-tempo offense at every level.

The seventh- and eighth-grade teams both went 18-0 this season, with the freshman squad going 15-3. The JV team finished 21-1 and has won 99 straight SL games, while the varsity has now captured 61 straight in league play, its last SL defeat coming at Green on Jan. 23, 2010.

As the varsity heads into postseason play, the five teams from seventh grade on up have combined for a 93-5 record.

“Not a bad year for Lady Grizzly basketball,” Andrew Booth said.

Peyton Booth, her father and her teammates aren’t done yet, however. Division I regional finalists the last two seasons, the Grizzlies have their sights set on something that would be “sick” in the positive, slang sense — making a trip to Columbus.

“The sky’s the limit for this team,” Peyton Booth said. “I want to win a state championship, and I think that’s possible.”

Note

Wadsworth won the junior varsity game 41-19 behind 12 points from McKenna Banks and 11 from Jenna Johnson.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @RickNoland.