Seven represent area in Ohio basketball game on Sunday

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By Matthew Peaslee

Imagine knowing that something you love is about to end.

A favorite television show halting its run, a quaint Italian restaurant going out of business, or the loyal, late 80’s station wagon that finally stopped running.


That’s what Fitch’s Dan Chepke, Struthers’ Jake Jacubec, Newton Falls’ Cody Dillon, Howland’s Taylor Williams, Warren Harding’s Anita Brown, Lowellville’s Taylor Hvisdak and Badger’s Sarah Bonar have all had to put up with for the past few weeks.

The absence of their love for basketball.

“Life’s been boring,” Hvisdak said. “I’m so lost without it.”

“I still shoot around everyday,” Jacubec said, “but it’s not the same as playing in a game and being with your teammates.”

Although, being seniors, the seven talented area players won’t be playing in another high school game — they’ll have a chance to give one last go on the prep stage in Sunday’s North-South All-Star Game held at Capital University in Columbus.

“I kind of didn’t believe it in a way,” Chepke said. “I thought that there’s no way I can be considered up there with some amazing players in the state. It was almost surreal.”

Hvisdak and Bonar will play in the Division III and IV game starting at noon, while Williams and Brown tip off at 1:45 in the Div. I-II contest.

“That will be exciting to play with the best girls in the state,” Brown, an Akron-commit said. “It could be a good tune up for the college level, too.”

Dillon’s Division III and IV game starts at 3:45 and the D-I and II game follows at 5:30 featuring Chepke and Jacubec.

Dillon averaged 19 points in his senior season and totaled over 1,000 in his career, while Jacubec averaged 26.2 per game and also finished with over 1,000.

Chepke averaged 16.7 points with 7.1 rebounds. He wants to have that scoring touch and open eyes with his all-around game.

“My thing is to make sure my shot is on,” Chepke said. “I’ve been shooting about 100 shots a day to get ready for this. I don’t know how much playing time I’ll get, so I want to make it count.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do. Going up against bigger kids is going to be a cool challenge.”

Hvisdak stayed healthy in her season and was an honorable mention on the Div. IV All-Ohio team. Her Rockets were district champions for the fourth-straight year.

“I will still remember that last game,” she said. “But then I look back on the past four years and it’s kind of hard to be upset with myself. I’m ending my career on a high note this Sunday.”

Although Badger lost its first-round sectional game to Villa-Angela St. Joseph, Bonar made headlines with a 41-point performance.

Williams and Jacubec will play at Princeton and California (Pa.), respectively, on full scholarships in the fall. Hvisdak and Chepke hope to walk on at the Division I college of their choice (Youngstown State for Hvisdak and Kent State for Chepke), but are also pursuing options at the D-II level.

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