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Prep Insider: Mason girls get defensive

The main reason the Mason High School girls are 14-0 and ranked among the state’s top five Division I teams is defense. Following a 54-41 defeat of Lakota West on Saturday, the Comets are allowing an average of just 29.9 points.

The Mason rotation consists of 6-foot-3 Kayla McDowell, 6-1 Lauren Van Kleunen, 6-0 Jenna Gunn, 5-10 Sarah Ammons, 5-9 Sydney Neal, 5-8 Jailyn Mason, 5-6 Maddie Melinick and 5-5 Alyssa Herren.

They are forcing 24 turnovers a game and holding opponents to 26.6 shooting percentage. “We really take a lot of pride in our defense,” said McDowell.

A good fit: Chaminade Julienne will host Alter in a boys basketball game at Belmont on Saturday. These games have outgrown the 800-seat gyms at both Catholic schools in favor of neutral sites.

Often played at Fairmont’s 4,000-seat Trent Arena, that’s unavailable this weekend with Flyin’ to the Hoop taking over there.

“(Belmont) is close for a lot of CJ families who live in that area,” CJ coach Joe Staley said. “I can see us playing some other games there if it’s available.”

Alter (10-0, 4-0 GCL North) won the first meeting at Trent in December, 46-43.

Niswonger out: Former Valley View head football coach Jay Niswonger resigned after one season with the Wilmington College football program. Niswonger, the Quakers’ offensive coordinator, was named interim head coach last fall when former coach Ken Minor resigned in midseason.

After the 1-9 season, former Browns assistant Stacey Hairston was named head coach. On Monday he hired former Cincinnati assistant Greg Forest as the team’s offensive coordinator.

Tipp football position open: Tippecanoe is accepting applications for a head football coach. That’s because longtime coach Charlie Burgbacher will resign as a teacher in the district. Coaching positions must be posted following a teacher’s resignation.

Burgbacher must reapply for the position that he has held the past 24 seasons. Tipp (8-3) advanced to the playoffs for the eighth straight season last fall.

Send a letter of interest and resume to Tipp AD Matt Shomper. Deadline is noon, Jan. 31.

M-U football coach needed: Feb. 8 is the deadline to apply for the Milton-Union head football position. Send a cover letter and resume to athletic director Tom Koogler.

The position opened when Bret Pearce resigned after 13 seasons. Milton (10-3) was knocked out of the D-IV regional final last season by state champ Clinton-Massie.

Honored Pirates: Gary Legate (1980 graduate) and Angie Sparks (’94) will be inducted into the West Carrollton athletic hall of fame on Saturday prior to the boys basketball game against Miamisburg.

Legate still holds Pirates football records for rushing yards and scoring, which he set during the 1979 championship season. Sparks was on four soccer league title teams and was a two-time All-Ohioan.

- Dave Long contributed to this report.

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