Ann Marie Ricciardi netted 29 points to break the Blue Devils' career record.
By DOUG CHAPIN
MINERAL RIDGE -- Athletes who achieve individual milestones prefer to do so as part of a victory because the team's loss can take away from the individual's achievement.
Western Reserve High senior Ann Marie Ricciardi made sure her latest accomplishment came during a win by scoring nine of her game-high 29 points in overtime Wednesday as Western Reserve beat Mineral Ridge 54-46.
Ricciardi scored 10 first-half points to tie the Western Reserve career scoring record of 1,248 established in 1989 by Diana Smith.
The 19 points she tallied in the second half and overtime leave her at 1,277 with the tournament still to play.
"What Ann Marie brings to our team is a lot of enthusiasm, plus a whole lot of athleticism and a great work ethic," Western Reserve coach Eric Kalina said. "No one works harder than her during the season or in the offseason.
"She leads by example, but she's also a vocal leader, which is a big factor."
Ricciardi, who won a state high jump championship last spring by clearing 5 feet 6 inches, is clearly more than just a scorer.
In addition to her 4-of-7 performance from behind the 3-point arc, she recorded nine rebounds, nine steals and four assists.
In the overtime, Ricciardi grabbed a loose ball and converted a one-and-one after being fouled; she scored on a short jumper after a steal by teammate Erica Zimmerman; then she rebounded a teammate's miss, was fouled and made two more free throws.
That put Western Reserve (15-5, 10-4 ICL) ahead 48-42 just 35 seconds into overtime. The Rams got no closer than five the rest of the way.
"My teammates are just as important as me; without them I wouldn't have the ball to score," said Ricciardi, who prefers to play in transition. "I like a fast-paced game, I like to run.
"I get most of my points off layups. I usually don't shoot 3-pointers that well, but I was feeling it tonight."
Ricciardi got support from Tiffany Palumbo with 11 points and Mikah Berger with five assists. Palumbo scored the basket that put the game into overtime.
Mineral Ridge (9-11, 6-8) was paced in its upset bid by Dariana Casado with 15 points, 11 rebounds, three blocked shots and three steals. Carrie Wilson added eight rebounds and three assists.