Girls Basketball: Tecumseh seeking share of second straight CBC Kenton Trail title

Cutline: Tecumseh High School's Mae Mastin is guarded by Centerville's Amy Velasco during their game last season at the Vandalia Butler Student Activities Center. Mastin is averaging 15.3 points per game this season for the Arrows. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

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Cutline: Tecumseh High School's Mae Mastin is guarded by Centerville's Amy Velasco during their game last season at the Vandalia Butler Student Activities Center. Mastin is averaging 15.3 points per game this season for the Arrows. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

NEW CARLISLE — For the third straight season, the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division title race is going down to the wire between Tecumseh and Jonathan Alder.

The Arrows (15-4, 8-1) trail the Pioneers (16-4, 9-0) by one game heading into Saturday night’s Kenton Trail Division finale at 7:30 p.m. at Tecumseh.

“It’s a nice rivalry,” said Arrows coach Chasity Russell. “(Tippecanoe) used to be our big rival. It’s nice to have Jonathan Alder in our league. They’re a nice quality team.”

The Pioneers beat the Arrows 53-39 on Jan. 8. Since the loss, Tecumseh has won seven straight games. They won three games this week, beating Northmont, Shawnee and Northwestern, all by double-digits.

“Teamwork has been what’s gotten us this far so far,” Russell said.

The key in the rematch will be stopping CBC leading scorer Mary Ferrito, who is averaging 18.1 points per game, Russell said.

“She works hard for it,” she said. “We’ve got to figure out a way to stop her.”

The Arrows also missed 11 free throws in the first meeting three weeks ago.

“It was the glaring thing that stuck out in the stats,” Russell said. “Free throws come at certain times and change the momentum of the game and they’re scrambling instead of us.”

Tecumseh is seeking its third CBC title in four years and sixth since 2013. Last year, the Arrows shared the title with Jonathan Alder.

“We took the summer to essentially redefine our team,” Russell said. “We lost three starters in the offseason to graduation and moving. That’s huge. We spent the summer trying to figure out what we were going to look like this year.”

The Arrows are led by senior lone Mae Mastin, a four-year varsity player who’s averaging 15.3 points, 4.2 assists and 3.8 steals per game this season. She’ll play collegiately at Marietta next season.

Tecumseh hopes to send out Mastin with a bang on Saturday’s Senior Night.

“She’s been such a big part of this program and really left her mark,” Russell said.

Junior Gabrielle Russell is averaging 12.5 points, a conference-best 9.7 rebounds per game and 1.6 blocks per game.

Junior Emma Garber is averaging 11.8 points per game and leads the CBC at 4.8 assists per game in her first year as a varsity starter.

The Arrows are averaging a conference-best 58.9 points and 17.2 assists per game.

The Arrows always play a tough schedule to help prepare them for the postseason, she said. Of their four losses, three have come to other Division I programs, including Wayne, Beavercreek and state-ranked Bellbrook.

“It’s been a good challenge for us and hopefully it will get us ready for a tournament run,” Russell said. “We want to win the CBC, but we also want to do well in the tournament.

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